While I enjoy reading a print version of a book, preferably in hard cover, my husband typically reads two books per week. I proudly keep my books from various authors on the bookshelves within my home, but he keeps his collection on his iPad. Guess whose books need to be dusted?
I know there is a convenience factor with ebooks. Nothing can be more practical than being able to carry your entire library with you whenever you head out of town. No more selecting two or three books to stow in your luggage for long flights or for lying on the beach. Instead, you can have dozens available at your fingertips, ready and waiting at your beck and call.
But what about the feel, look, and even smell of a brand new book? There’s something emotional about cracking the spine and breaking in the pages for the very first time. It’s magical. It not only pulls you in with words from the pages, it almost transports you directly to the location, allowing you to become a part of the characters’ lives. You don’t get that from an ebook.
But, alas, as authors we must keep up with the times.
According to Publishers Weekly, statistics show that in 2014, ebook sales accounted for 23 percent of the market, while hardcovers came in at 25 percent and paperbacks at 42 percent. Statistica reveals that ebooks brought in around $5.6 billion into the US economy during the same time period, while sales of print and audio books produced around $10 billion.
While ebooks haven’t outpaced print versions as fast as what was once originally predicted, they definitely have a hand in the way we read.
People have preferences. People won’t read something in a way you might prefer. And why would we want them to when we can give them exactly what they want?
That’s where publishing your book on multiple platforms comes in handy.
Amazon may be a giant in the ebook retail world, but it’s by no means the only platform to consider. How about Barnes & Noble? Or iBookstore? Or Smashwords? Or Kobo?
Yes, ebooks are here to stay. And no matter how you prefer to enjoy reading your favorite books, it’s nice to know as authors that we can please everyone.
Have you jumped on the ebook train yet? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments below.
"A few minutes passed and the fortune-teller served us the thick, black coffee…"I see a man," she determined …" — Michelle Dim-St. Pierre, Pinnacle Lust
Almost all of us have this raw desire to travel and see the world. We want to learn more about the people and the cultures around us. We want to see the history right before our eyes. For most people, travel is an important part of their lives. To a writer, it’s not just important; it’s vital.
Traveling even just a few hundred miles from home can give you a new outlook on the world. But when your journey takes you far beyond the borders of where you currently live, there’s something eye-opening that will inspire you in an entirely new way. Here are the things I love most about traveling.
Every country is filled with stories. Every country has unique myths and legends. Each country has stories that are passed down from generation to generation. They reveal the history and help each new generation understand how past generations lived. What better way to gain inspiration and to spark creativity than to see what a new country has to offer? To find the stories, you can do it through the best-loved resources available – museums, historical buildings, and events can all help you dive deeper into the culture and experience life from the people deep within.
New lands provide you with new landscapes. From the deserts to the seas, from the mountains to the valleys, every aspect of Mother Earth provides a visitor with a sense of awe. Whether you are in an urban city with millions of inhabitants, or are alone in a desert with no one in sight, the sheer vastness and beauty can leave you breathless. And inspire you well beyond anything you would achieve in the normalcy of home.
Learning a new culture gives you empathy. In many ways we don’t appreciate or empathize with things we don’t understand. By getting close and personal with people from other cultures and other lands, we learn that in as many ways as we are different, we’re also more alike then we realize. By viewing the world through another’s eyes, it provides a palette of characterization in which you can learn from. Mannerisms, accents, beliefs, even physical characteristics can all make you realize just how close we really are. (And give writers like me lots of ideas for new book characters.)
Traveling provides you with more depth. The simple acts of visiting a coffee shop, touring a historic monument, or even sampling the best restaurants in a town will give you more perspective than you could ever get by sitting at home. You can hear the sounds, smell the distinct aromas, and see in distinct detail what certain areas are like, and how the people from within live on a daily basis.
Planning is part of the process. Part of the fun of traveling is planning. It’s like creating a short story before you begin with the fully thought out manuscript. You do a little research, make a few decisions, all in anticipation of adding in the details in the near future. It leaves you filled with anticipation of what is to come.
"My shower took forever but didn't last nearly long enough. The stream of water washed away the sleepiness, though it couldn't wash away the nightmare that I was living. I was comfortable as the water trickled down my body. The touch of the water soothed and secured me, like I was back in my mother's womb. Part of me wished that he would just disappear—maybe indefinitely." — Michelle Dim-St. Pierre, Pinnacle Lust
Ahhh, a writer’s life. We’ve all imagined how the greatest writers of our time complete their projects. I envision them escaping to a house on the beach to watch a glorious sunrise as they type away, taking breaks to be inspired as they walk along the sands.
Even when I first had the desire to write, I could see myself rising in the morning and writing for a few hours, fully inspired by the story I held tight in my chest. After getting a few pages of copy, the day would be my own, and I could have fun doing the things I wanted to do.
Alas, dreams rarely match reality. And some of the tasks of being an author have actually surprised me. When I saw myself writing books, I imagined finishing a book, giving myself a much needed rest, then diving into writing the next book. I never imagined the process would have me marketing and promoting the book as well.
But as I learn more about sharing my story with the world, one thing has become a bigger part of my life than I would have ever anticipated —using social . I remember when Facebook and Twitter weren’t even companies. Now they are two of the major tools an author can use to connect with readers and fans.
While social media offers hundreds of thousands of different channels, the two most effective opportunities for an anthor are Twitter and Facebook. Why? Because that’s where readers hangout. That’s how I find a lot of information in today’s world, and I know that’s how my readers find theirs as well. So why fight the system; why not join it instead?
The key to being successful on social media is to remember it’s all about sharing, not selling. If you’re an author, of course you want people to buy your book. But it goes beyond that. You want people to see who you are, to be able to get into your mind and find out the secrets behind your book, to find out the secrets that allow you to write the way you do. And you can do that in so many ways.
Take, for example, my recent share about my anniversary dinner. I gave my readers a peek into my life, sharing the thrill of being in one of the trendiest restaurants in Atlanta with them. Not only did we have a fabulous time, we even spotted a celebrity as well! You’ll have to read the post to find out who!
That experience is now a part of who I am. Will I use it to sway the way I write when working on one of my next Pinnacle books? Maybe.
Yet the fun of it comes from being able to share all of those experiences with you—to give you, my readers, a taste of what I use every day to influence my writing.
Does social media work? Is it an effective way to promote a book? I would argue it’s more effective as a way to promote an author. Because as we build a relationship with the authors we enjoy, we want more. When they release a new book, we want to read it. Because we’ve developed a relationship with that person over time, and we’re ready to continue the relationship, through the stories they share.
That’s only one way to sell books, still employ other tools.
Maybe it’s the lazy days and the warm nights. Maybe it’s the hotdogs and hamburgers, watermelon and apple pie.
It’s one of the best times of the year to relax, enjoy family and friends, and simply watch the world go by.
As millions come together to celebrate America’s independence from Britain, one of the most time-honored traditions we have is fireworks. But have you ever stopped to think much about why we use fireworks… or more importantly, how safe they really are?
The reason we use fireworks dates back to the very first Independence day we celebrated. Even before the Declaration of Independence was signed, John Adams envisioned the occasion to be celebrated with pomp and parade, with sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of the country to the other. And as we celebrated our very first year of independence, a fireworks display was indeed set off on July 4, 1777.
But while fireworks displays continue to get bigger, brighter, and more awe-inspiring every year with what we can do with technology, the idea of letting consumers share in the fun with personal fireworks is frightening.
More than 200 people require medical treatment in the emergency room every day around the Fourth of July holiday for fireworks related injuries. Fireworks can be dengerous, causing serious burns and eye injuries, and even death. Unbelieveably, the highest number of injuries is caused by sparklers.
With these findings, it is understandable why some states have banned consumer fireworks.
I enjoy the 4th of July holiday like everyone else. I adore the beauty of the exploding lights in the sky—fireworks mezmerize me. I am intrigued by the history and tradition. However, the traumatic images of patients I saw in my work at the hospital are still vivid, and it makes me think twice.
I am a major advocate of safety. There is a way to have both, beauty and safety.
As you’re laying by the pool, enjoying a burger and a slice of watermelon this Independence day, skip the consumer grade fireworks, and plan to attend an event in your local community instead, where fireworks are controlled and safety is enhanced.
Have a happy and safe Independence Day.