Writer's Notes

Books versus e-books?

By Thonie Hevron

I answered a question from a member of Sisters-in-Crime last week. She will post it on her blog but only portions because of space constraints. I don’t have such worries so here goes:

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

Print book versus e-book? I’m not much help to tip the choice to one side or the other. I like both. E-books have a “disposable” quality to them that I prefer–sometimes. Genre fiction can be bubble gum for the brain. If I start an e-book and several pages into it, decide I don’t care for it–it’s history. On the other hand, some authors like Michael Connelly, PJ Parrish and Robert Crais write so eloquently (word economy, delicious settings, layered characters) that I will buy the print copy and underline. Sometimes, studying the way a paragraph is organized, or a protagonist is portrayed can teach me, as a writer, so much.

For traveling, you can’t beat an e-book. I was on a cruise once and finished my paperback. We were at sea and I had nothing to read. I went to the library, but finding a book that wasn’t in Swedish or German was difficult. When I finally came across one, I read it for two days then had to turn it in without finishing it because it was time to debark. My husband and I bought Kindles when we got home.
In 2011 in a speech to Redwood Writers Club in Santa Rosa, Peter Behren, a Bay Area Literary Agent, suggested publishing would evolve into offering “bundles”. This is just what it sounds like: buy an e-book and a print copy together. That way a reader has the choice to read whatever media he/she wants at any given time. So far, I haven’t seen much evidence of staying power on this type of offer. Personally, when my second book is published this year, I hope on “bundling” my first e-book with the second e-book or print copy or some variation of that. 
One thing is for sure: publishing is on the move and changes are the new rule. I don’t think there is any final outcome to the industry. It will keep evolving, morphing into whatever the reader finds most suitable at the time.

By Thonie Hevron

Mysteries to keep you reading through the night.

3 replies on “Books versus e-books?”

Thonie: Have you checked out We’re going to use them for my genealogy association to publish our material in several formats. These include printed, CD/DVD, and ebooks (2 most popular formats). The nice thing is you upload the content and customers order directly from They pay for shipping, taxes, etc. and you (author/owner) receive a check!

i used to be an avid reader of physical books but my eyesight deteriorated due to a health problem and i had to give that up. i read ebooks on my pc but again due to health i can’t sit all that long at the pc. last birthday my family got together and bought me a kindle! i love that i have control of the text size, colour and the colour of the background. it has made the world of difference and i can whip through my reading again. the changes in publishing have been a bonus to me.

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