Reading vs. E-Reading

Yesterday, while enjoying my weekly sojourn into the happy environs of Woman’s World Magazine, I came across a fun tid-bit on reading.  Before jumping into that, I’d like to make a little plug for Woman’s World.

Picture of Woman's World Magazine

Fun, uplifting weekly read.

My sister introduced me to the publication a few years ago, and while I don’t read it either for the weight loss miracles splashed on the front cover, or for the gooey, yummy, sure to create 3,000 calorie recipes consistently taking up seven to eight pages inside, I find myself smiling more and feeling positive after reading through.  Most articles are very short, and packed full of happy-talk.  There’s a new issue every week, and I appreciate that in this world of constant reduction in creative writing opportunities, Women’s World still produces a short mystery and romance story every week.  How cool is that?

Anyway, in an article entitled, Your Hands Hold the Key to Less Stress, Better Brainpower, and More Happiness, author Maria Lissandrello, had this to say about reading a book:

“In a recent study, people who read a book on an e-reader had much more difficulty remembering plot points than those who read the same story on paper.  Researchers say that simply turning the pages and watching “the pile of pages growing on the left and shrinking on the right” helps sharpen your focus as you eagerly anticipate getting to the end of the novel.

Boost the benefit . . . by reading a mystery!  Reading a mystery delivers big brain benefits, enhancing your memory as you recall clues while trying to solve what whodunit!”

This seems plausible to me.  I remember when email was still new.  I printed out several of my messages because my eyes seemed to “hurt” while trying to read the screen in those olden days.  I also seemed to miss a lot of the message in the effort.  Several of my friends at the time expressed feeling the same way.

Image of E-reader vs. Trad. Book Format

Which do you prefer?

Today, with better screen resolution, and a couple of decades’ experience, I don’t print so many missives and don’t complain about the headachy feel to reading on-screen. But I do notice more of a “dyslexic” feel to my reading.  It’s easier to skim over words and mis-read them or not see them at all.

I read both on an e-reader (iPad), and in the traditional form.  Have to admit there is something more substantial feeling about reading a book. I love the smell of the ink on the page, the sound of chapters turning over under my fingers, and the satisfaction of flipping back and forth and all around (especially in books with several sub-heads and graphics).  You just don’t get that full reading experience on a tablet.

YET, e-readers are terrific too.  If you’re reading in bed, you can turn out the lights and still read.  If the text starts to blur late at night, you can change the size and keep on going.  If you’re comfortable laying and reading on one side, you don’t need to roll over as you try to read the other side of the page.

Retention?  Hmm.  When I was young, I could “picture” words and facts from the reading I did, so that while I didn’t ever finish my professors’ reading recommendations, that which I did consume stayed in my head at test time.

Today, as I look things up more and more on-line, I find I have to read them three, four, or more times before something sticks. I thought I was just getting old (well, that I am), and my brain was fading (no blue-hair jokes please). Maybe this lack of sharpness has something to do with the idea that I’m not as physically involved in reading with electronic reads.  At least that will be my excuse for today.

What do you think?  Is e-reading hurting or supporting a good reading experience in your life?

Wishing you a great week.  I’m off to go find a nice, printed-on-paper book.


Daisy Update: Yipee!

My friends, it’s official.  I received word from my editor last week that Five Star Publishing will produce Sliced Vegetarian.  Yipee!  I am so excited. So what does all of this mean in terms of getting out to the bookstores and library shelves?

Book Offer from Five Star

Whoo Hoo!!

Step One: Contracts

Within the next three or four weeks, I’ll receive the legal document that forms the agreement between Five Star and me.  In this document they’ll outline where, how, and in what form(s) Sliced Veggie will come out, what royalties are involved, who has what ownership rights to the product, what the legal obligation is for getting the book out in specific times, copyrights, editing limits and obligations and more.  The contract is intimidating but well worthwhile.  Hopefully by August, this contract work will be done.

Step Two: Blurbing and Input

As my book is handed off to marketing and other people within Five Star, I will be asked for things like the back of the book blurb, cover ideas, profiles of the main characters etc.  While I have been working on this all along, the official work document may take a couple of weeks.  That puts us into the later part of August.

Step Three: Editing

If this goes like last time, there will be at least two rounds of editing.  The first will be someone who will read the book for glaring errors in plot and general content. He or she will either give it a go signal or return it to me for corrections.  At any rate this is about a month of back and forth.  Then things, from the author end, go quiet for a couple of weeks.

A second round of editing will take place that’s more detailed. This line editor will go through the book word for word, looking for spelling, grammar, or punctuation challenges. He or she may also comment or question details about passage of time in the story or other layers that aren’t obvious on a first read.  That will probably take another six weeks or so.

Hopefully editing will be complete by the end of November.  But, with all of the books Five Star has to produce, these “deadlines” are not carved in stone.

Step Four: Rough Production

In this step, I think the editors, marketing people, and all the magicians at the publisher’s will be making decisions on how the cover will look (authors giggle over the fact that they send in a lot of good ideas, but the cover never truly ends up how they would expect), where in the market it will be placed, how it will be promoted from their end.  They’ll also work on the ARCs, or Advanced Reader Copies.  I’ll get about 40 of these for my own promotion work (hint: if you missed the last writing contest, now might be the time to sharpen your pencils-heh, heh, heh!). Guessing I’ll get ARCs sometime around June of next year.

I would appreciate your help when the ARCS to come out. If you know book reviewers who have popular blogs or columns in newspapers near you, I’d really appreciate their contact information.  The same goes for library media purchasers.

Step Five: The Waiting Game

There will be months of waiting after the ARCs ship.  I’ll have one last time to make corrections, but mostly, at this stage everyone will be looking for feedback from the big names in publishing–Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly.  I’m also hoping for positive feedback from Gumshoe Press and others who were kind enough to review Faith on the Rocks.  I’ll be using this time to send out news and promotions.

Finally: The Launch

I’m not 100% sure, but I believe Five Star launches books twice a year.  My best guesstimate is that Sliced Vegetarian will hit the shelves December of 2015, but please don’t hold me to this.  I’ll keep you up-to-date on what’s happening as we go.  Meanwhile, I’ll need to have been working on Pot Shots all along, so hopefully that book will be ready to submit to Five Star just after Sliced Vegetarian comes out.


E-Book Autographs

I have electronic signing now.  How cool is that?  There is a website called Authorgraph, in which you can request electronic signatures for some of your favorite books or authors.  Go to the site, and simply request an autograph by clicking a button under the book you’re interested in.  The request is sent to the author who then scribbles his or her name using an artwork software.  This way, you get the “real” author connection.  If you bought Faith online, please click that button, and I’ll be happy to send you an “authorgraph”.  Then you can start a collection of these.  Something fun to do.

Presentation Coming

If you live in the Denver area, I have a book talk coming up.  Hope you can join me at the Lakewood Arts Council gallery on Saturday, July 26 at 1:00 pm.  I’ll be reading, selling, and signing, and doing an art project with regards to either murder or Daisy’s adventures.  Should be fun.


Date: Saturday, July 26
Time: 1:00 – 2:30
Place: Lakewood Arts Council Gallery
85 South Union Street – Suite B
Lakewood, CO 80228
Details will be kept posted on this site until the event.

Wishing you a great week.