Ebooks: Have You Been Won Over Yet?

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I stumbled upon this quote this morning: “There is no future for e-books, because they are not books. E-books smell like burned fuel.” – Ray Bradbury. I wonder what Mr. Bradbury would think now?

In the not too distant past, it was impossible to know just how quickly Ebooks would gain traction with readers. Even I once claimed I would never be won over by Ebooks. Well, I’ve changed my mind.

It all started when my husband gave me a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas. He figured I would like it since it doesn’t have any apps, just books and the capability to access an online bookstore. At first I was cynical, but then I downloaded an Ebook and Holy Mackerel! I am in love with my Ereader. I never thought  holding an Ereader in my hand would be satisfying at all, but I was wrong. Of course, there is nothing like turning a real page, but if the writing is fantastic, the story reigns supreme no matter the delivery method to the reader.

One of the first things I did after getting my Ereader was buy a skin for it because I am one of those people who likes pretty things. Then, I looked online for the kinds of books I enjoy reading and there they all were. I expected the Ebook store to just be flooded with lower quality books by self-published authors, but while they are there, I found that most of the books were the same ones I look for in bookstores. I even looked up and downloaded my own EBooks available from my publisher. Oh, come on, wouldn’t you? Ha. I couldn’t help it! It’s neat to see what my own Ebooks look like in electronic form. But don’t worry, I don’t sit and read my own books over and over again. I can hardly bear to do that, but that’s just me. Thank goodness I’ve found plenty of other authors to enjoy on my Kindle.

Besides the traditionally published authors I’ve always enjoyed from the big legacy publishing houses, I’ve even discovered some wonderful Indie and even a few self-published authors who can definitely write good books. Maybe the best part of Ebooks is turning out to be the choice we as readers now have. Many of our favorite traditionally published authors who continue to publish with the big  houses are going Indie at the same time. That gives us as readers something to read while we’re waiting around for an author’s next traditional novel. It’s good news for readers and writers alike.

I’m not saying I’m giving up reading a book with real pages and a glossy cover. What kind of reader would ever do that? But I’ve let go of the notion that Ebooks aren’t great, and now I carry my Ereader around with me wherever I go.

What about you? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. Have you been won over yet? Or do you agree with Ray Bradbury that Ebooks smell like burned fuel? I hope not!

-Tina

 

 

Aspiring Writers: Enter The Rising Star Contest While There Is Still Time.

Before I was a published novelist, I was a reader (still am, of course!), so I know that many of you readers out there have tried your hand at writing a novel of your own, as well. Maybe you finished it and it’s hidden away in a desk drawer. If that’s you, then here’s your chance to get your manuscript noticed. Here is all the information you need to enter the Rising Star Contest from a great organization called WFWA. We all have to start somewhere and this is a good way to take off. So, what other writing contests are out there for prepublished authors? Share if you have links.

Good luck, friends.

-Tina

The Rising Star Contest is limited to the first 75 entries.

Important Dates:

Contest Opens: May 1, 2014

Entry Deadline: June 27, 2014

Finalists Announced: August 13, 2014

Edited Finalist Entries Due: August 20, 2014

Winners Announced: October 10, 2014

Entry Submission Details

Submit the first thirty-five (35) pages of a completed manuscript (60,000 words or more), plus a 2-3 page synopsis. The synopsis is not judged.

Entry Fee

$30 WFWA Members $35 non-WFWA Members

More info and how to enter:

Rising Star Contest 

Link to WFWA:

Join WFWA

Liz Curtis Higgs On Reaching Readers Through EBooks And A Word About What Mary Magdalene Has To Do With Her Latest Release

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As we gear up for Easter, I thought it would be nice to feature a novel that follows that theme. MERCY LIKE SUNLIGHT by Liz Curtis Higgs is a contemporary retelling of the Biblical story of Mary Magdalene. I started reading MERCY LIKE SUNLIGHT the moment I saw it had appeared on my EReader, and I can already tell you it is a wonderful read. Another cool feature of Liz’s latest book is that it is available exclusively as an EBook, so there is no waiting. You can read it as soon as you finish reading this post!

I am so excited to share my interview with the author of MERCY LIKE SUNLIGHT, Liz Curtis Higgs. Enjoy!

It’s a pleasure having New York Times Bestselling novelist Liz Curtis Higgs here with us today to talk about her latest book from Waterbrook, Mercy Like Sunlight.

Me: What is MERCY LIKE SUNLIGHT about?

Liz:  A little history first. Back in 2001 I wrote a nonfiction study of Mary Magdalene called Mad Mary A Bad Girl from Magdala, Transformed at His Appearing. For the other three books in my Bad Girls of the Bible series, I created modern counterparts for all the biblical Bad Girls, opening each chapter with a short story that paralleled the one in Scripture. So, Delilah became Lila, a hairdresser from Dallas, who cut the hair of Judge Sam Nazar—you get the idea. The fictional stories, only about 2,500 words long, prepared readers’ hearts for the nonfiction studies that followed.

Since Mad Mary (later retitled Unveiling Mary Magdalene), explored just one woman, her contemporary story turned into a 42,000 word novella—half the nonfiction book!

As a novelist, you know how we fall in love with our characters and want to introduce them to as many readers as we can? Well, all these years I’ve longed for my fiction readers to meet Mary Margaret Delaney from Unveiling Mary Magdalene. An eBook exclusive with just the novella seemed the best way to do that.

So, faithful readers who own my nonfiction book on Mary Magdalene don’t need to purchase Mercy Like Sunlight—they’ve already read it! But for fiction readers, who might easily have missed this story tucked inside a nonfiction book, Mercy Like Sunlight offers an easy way to meet this unlikely yet remarkable heroine, who completely captured this storyteller’s heart.

Now, to the story itself… 

Mary Margaret Delaney hides in the shadows, her arms scarred, her heart wounded by grief and weighed down with regret. Adrift on the streets of Chicago, she is surrounded by strangers and hounded by demons, both real and imagined. Her neighbors in Lincoln Park call her Mad Mary—until a fearless young pastor dares to call Mary his friend. Just as winter slowly turns to spring, Mary gradually warms up to Pastor Jake and his ragtag congregation in Lincoln Park, an eclectic neighborhood along the shore of Lake Michigan. Through the course of the novella, Mary moves from darkness to light, from lost to found, from rejected to redeemed. It’s a journey many of us have made, especially this Former Bad Girl! Especially as Easter draws near, Mary Margaret’s story gives us a fresh way to look at the Resurrection. 

Me: How does this story differ from your previous novels?

Liz: Well, it’s not set in Scotland, for starters! :>) Nor is it set in the 18th Century. But just as I based my Scottish historicals on biblical characters, in Mercy Like Sunlight the parallels are as close as I could make them without twisting the plot in a convoluted knot. My novels tend to have a good bit of drama, with the occasional need for a tissue. Mercy Like Sunlight definitely includes some dramatic scenes, and I found myself teary at several points in the story. This is women’s fiction, rather than a romance, but the ending is definitely joy-filled!

Me: I already know you have an EReader, so how has your EReader changed your reading habits?

Liz: I never imagined myself saying this, but I love my eReader! When I’m buying books simply to enjoy reading themnovels, devotionals, inspirational booksI usually go the eBook route. If I’m purchasing a book for research, then I need a physical book because it’s easier to work with and I can footnote the page references properly. Of course, I adore the feel of a book in my hands, so you’ll still find tons of them lining the shelves around my house and writing office, and I never come home from a bookstore without a bagful.

Me: Some authors worry that the digital age is a threat to traditional publishing as we know it (or maybe I should say as we ‘knew’ it), while others are excited about the change. What are your thoughts about the new ways published authors have to reach readers?

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Liz Curtis Higgs, Author

Liz: Whatever way we can meet the needs of our readers works for me. I love learning new things (well, most of the time), and I especially love the immediacy of digital publishing. It doesn’t change the writing process one bit. It simply changes the delivery method. The key for writers is to invest just as much energy into our manuscripts, just as much editing, just as much passion, so that however the book is produced, it’s worthy of our readers’ time and resources.

I’m grateful my publisher, WaterBrook Press, said “Yes!” when I suggested offering Mary Margaret Delaney’s story as an eBook exclusive. At $3.99, it’s less than a Starbucks Chai Latte, and will stay warm longer too!

Thanks for this visit, Tina, and continued blessings on your own writing efforts!

Me: Thank you, Liz. I am starting to love EBooks, too. I appreciate your words to writers about meeting the needs of our readers and how EBooks do not change the writing process. Also, giving up a Starbucks for a good book sounds like a good trade. I think some of us could do without the extra caffeine. I know I can! Thank you so much for sharing with us. I’m already loving MERCY LIKE SUNLIGHT.

About the Author: Liz Curtis Higgs is the author of 30 books, including her nonfiction bestseller, Bad Girls of the Bible, and her newest fiction release, Mercy Like SunlightAs a speaker, Liz has presented more than 1,700 inspirational programs in all 50 United States and 14 foreign countries. You can get to know Liz better at her website, blog, and on social media.

Website: http://www.LizCurtisHiggs.com

Bible Study Blog: http://www.LizCurtisHiggs.com/blog

Facebook:  http://www.Facebook.com/LizCurtisHiggs

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LizCurtisHiggs