Tuesday, January 6, 2015

27 The Undeniable Importance of Paper -- For Writers and for Readers -- Plus a Giveaway and Special Deal

A few years ago, people speculated about the death of books. Books, many said, wouldn't survive the rising popularity of e-books. Teens, the wisdom said, would adopt e-books, and within a few years, no one would read on paper anymore.

But guess what?

A recent Neilsen survey says that teens prefer "real" books.

And there appear to be concrete advantages to reading printed books. A study suggests that digital readers remember significantly less about when events occur in a plot than people reading the same story on paper, while another study showed markedly better reading comprehension for people reading a paper book.

I admit. I made the switch. There are several reasons that e-books work well for me, but they all boil down to convenience.

Here's the thing though. I also made the switch when reading manuscripts.

I read digitally when I write:

  • I type the story on my laptop. 
  • I read the story on my laptop and edit as I go. 
  • I make changes electronically, and my beta readers read digitally. 
  • And finally, before I send the book off to my editor, I make it into an e-book, and I read it in the Kindle program on my iPad.

My editor, on the other hand, prints the book out and reads on paper.

For those of you unfamiliar with the editorial process, it works something like this:

  • I submit the first(ish) draft to my editor.
  • She reads and sends me a letter about what's working and what isn't working and makes specific notes in the manuscript. She sends me the printed file via UPS.
  • I follow the document through digitally and come up with a chapter by chapter list of changes to address her concerns.
  • We discuss those changes and make sure we're on the same page.
  • I make the changes electronically and then send her the digital file.
  • She prints it out and reads it again, marking pacing and other issues in the manuscript margins and making suggestions for specific lines that need to be reworked. 
  • I go through the line edits and submit the file--digitally.
  • I send the electronic file to my beta readers and go through their suggestions--digitally.
  • I convert the book to an e-book and read it through, highlighting places I need to go back to.

And all this time, even though the book has been printed out, I don't *read* it on paper.

Then I get the copyedited manuscript. On paper. And I have to read and review it on paper.


There is a real difference in the way the words read and look on paper. I see things I didn't see when I was reading digitally, even when I read the book as an e-book. Even when I read passages aloud, which I also do frequently.

The moral of this story?

This is only the second book I've worked on with an editor. I'm going to get better--all of this is a learning process. I definitely have a takeaway on process for myself though. And for book three, I'm going to do things a little differently.

I'm going to print the book out for myself several times before the copyediting stage. Not sure how I'm going to work this in with the fast deadlines that we work with in publishing, but I'm going to make time, because it's worth it.

Takeaway writing tip of the day:

Read your manuscript in as many different ways as you can:

  • As a Scrivener or word processing file.
  • As a Scrivener or word processing file with the font changed. (You'd be surprised how just this small change brings things to light.)
  • As a Scrivener or word processing file that you read aloud.
  • As an electronic book.
  • As printed pages -- bound, if possible.

What about you? Do you prefer to read digitally or on paper? Does it make a difference in how you read and what you understand and remember?


Rebel Belle
by Rachel Hawkins
Putnam Juvenile
Released 4/8/2014

Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper's destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can't get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she's charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper's least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him--and discovers that David's own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y'all beg for more.

Purchase Rebel Belle at Amazon
Purchase Rebel Belle at IndieBound
View Rebel Belle on Goodreads


by Martina Boone
Simon Pulse
Released 10/28/2014

Beautiful Creatures meets The Body Finder in this spellbinding new trilogy.

Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.

All her life, Barrie Watson had been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lived with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead--a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.

Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family's twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.

Purchase Compulsion at Amazon for $1.99
Purchase Compulsion at IndieBound
View Compulsion on Goodreads

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I like ebooks because I'm able to get more books for reveiwing and also indie authors I would have never heard of if not for kindle but I much prefer a book in my hands.

    1. That's a good point about digital ARCs and indie books! : )

  2. Great post! I go back and forth between paper and e-books. You're right though the e-book is all about convenience especially late at night when I am too tired to hold a book open lol

    Thanks for sharing!

    Emily @ Follow the Yellow Book Road

    1. You're so right! One of the things I love about reading on my iPad is that I can just lay it down without having to reach over and turn off the light!

  3. I can't get myself into reading ebooks. I've had a Kindle for years, but hardly ever read anything on it. When I do, it's something short.

    1. It's funny, there are studies that show the attention spans shrink when reading, so reading shorter is probably better! :)

  4. I really prefer paper books. I am too easily distracted while reading e-books on my Kindle with all the apps, Facebook, and email on it as well.

  5. I prefer paper books but I definitely use my Kindle a lot too and enjoy reading on it. My main reasons for my preference are I just like the feel and looks of a physical book and I find that my ebooks get lost on my Kindle.

  6. read both ebooks and print

  7. I prefer paper books and I agree you do retain more of the plot with physical books!

    But of course when writing or editing electronic is easier.

    thank you so very much :)

  8. I read mostly e-ARCs but otherwise prefer print books. And I know many adults who feel the same.

    1. Interestingly, the statistics say that ebooks are gaining more traction with older readers. Don't know if your eyes have started to go the way that mine have, but I definitely like the fact that I can adjust the screen and font size. : )

  9. Finally got to buy Compulsion, Martina!! I'm SO excited to read it, I've had it on my wish list for a while. The funds just haven't been there till now!!

    1. Thank you so much, Traci! I truly hope you will enjoy it and thanks again for picking it up! XO

  10. I have read on my Kindle, but still prefer paper books. Thanks for the giveaway!

  11. For me, I can't stand E-books. I need something in my hands, something that I can turn the pages as I read because otherwise, I lose interest. I've tried reading an e-book and it's HARD! It's too easy for me to set down and never return to it. For writing purposes, I have to write electronically because otherwise, I will never get my writing off scratch paper and onto a computer.

    I have been wanting to read Rebel Belle for a very long time and it would be great to win a copy!

    1. I wonder if statistics would show greater book abandonment with ebooks than regular books in general. Amazon has statistics on exactly where people stop reading. Not that they'll share with authors or publishers, of course. ; (

  12. You know when I really looove paper? When my Kindle battery dies while I'm trying to keep reading! That happened to me while I was on vacation reading...of all books...COMPULSION!!

    1. LOL! That's too funny! And you are so, so sweet! : )

  13. I read both ebooks and paper books. Though if I could have a paperback of EVERY book I would haha. Thanks for the chance!

    1. I'm with you -- except I'm a hardcover girl. Which is why buying the ebook and the hardcover gets expensive. : )

  14. Thank you for this amazing chance! I've heard great reviews about this book! :)


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