Friday, May 4, 2012

Electronic Books. Good as Print? by Jude Urbanski

Welcome to another Fortifying Friday, the day we give authors opportunities to share their personal journeys to publication. As we’ve seen, God’s plan for each writer is unique, but as we travel down that road, we need to be aware that the scenery is constantly changing. At one time, authors probably never dreamed how popular electronic books would become. For author Jude Urbanski, her journey to publication has led her to a publisher who uses the electronic format.  ~ Dawn

Electronic Books. Good as Print?
by Jude Urbanski

Bestselling novelist, Jonathan Franzen, made a bold statement when he said electronic books don’t have the staying power of good, old-fashioned paper volumes. He even went as far to say they are bad for society. Actually, his point dealt with the idea of permanency and he asked “what’s the world to do without permanence?”

I ask “Is permanence the real point with electronic books?” While it’s true everyone personally has a preference, is one type of book better than the other? And if so, what makes one better? Or worse?

Each type of book has pros and cons, but, in my opinion, electronic books are certainly not ‘bad for society’ as Franzen implicated. It is true that anything electronic is subject to power and batteries, but remember that print books are prey to age, fire and other forms of destruction.

The big different between electronic and print books is their method of production, which is vastly different. New technology has brought electronic printing and with it a brave new world of publishing. This doesn’t mean print books will go the way of the dinosaurs. In 2010, print books sales increased 3.6%over 2009 (Productive So, print is growing, but not in the way of the explosion of electronic printing. Electronic books jumped 176% in 2010 over 2009.

Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuk, both writers for RedBlueAmerica, talk about electronic books versus print February 2, 2012 on Facebook at Their comments are enlightening. They poll whether electronic books are an obstruction to society or a useful too.

It’s helpful to remember eBooks and print books go through the same rigors of first catching the eye of a publisher, usually several edits, and working with cover design artist. They both receive royalties, maybe advances and both must vie for the marketplace.

Traditional publishing houses have also embraced electronic publishing. Barbour, the stalwart of Christian publishing, is reaching that direction. Bestselling novelists are electronically published. Stephen King has many of his backlist books available electronically. Nora Roberts and Janet Evanovitch appear electronically and many, many other authors do, also.

Amazon, seller of the Kindle, a popular electronic reader, aims to increase electronic readership with its downloadable app making electronic books available on your computer. Sixty seven percent of libraries have some access to electronic books.

Confusion occurs with equating electronic publishing to self-publishing, which it may or may not be. Just as print books may or may not be self-published. Self-publishing is when an author assumes all responsibility or joint ventures with a publisher for production of his or her book. Interestingly, a lot of the big traditional publishing houses now offer self-publishing options. Thomas Nelson being one with their West Bow arm. But self-publishing is material for another article.

Whether we like it or not, electronic books are here. We don’t have to give up our print books, by any means, but I, for one, am pleased to have the opportunity to see my books in electronic print.

Jude has been writing seriously for just over six years and has completed her fourth book. She has loved reading since elementary and remembers reading 'every book' in the school library (well, maybe almost every book). She comes from a big, writing family. She loves to spin tragedy into triumph with women's fiction combined with inspirational romance. She has a Masters degree from Indiana University and lives in the Midwest with her husband. They are active in church and community. Jude loves to travel, bike and grow flowers. And collect rocks from places she visits.

Her series, The Chronicles of Chanute Crossing, is published in electronic format by Desert Breeze Publishing. Book One, Joy Restored, is available now and Book Two, Nurtured in Purple, releases June 2012.


  1. I think people will continue to buy paper books, because of the feel and ability to hold it in your hand and turn the pages, for whatever reason... but people like the convenience of ebooks, less weight, the ease of ordering on line. given that we are a techno world, I would say ebooks have a chance to stick around for some time.

  2. Tina, thanks for your visit and I think you are absolutely right! I hesitated for a long time before getting an electronic reader, but do so love it now. Yes, that's not to say I don't also love print books.

  3. I have a number of reader friends and church friends who will only read ebooks now. I've even had people come to a book signing and ask me if I had my books in ebook format.

  4. Michelle, what music to my ears! You must have been instrumental on the fore front! I love it.

  5. I don't own an e-reader per se, but I read on my Kindle app on the iPod. And I don't think for one minute that "permanence equals quality"--oh, no, it will take more than that! How many mediocre, dog tired old plot cliches have we read in print fiction? How many times are we willing to hear a publisher say that they want something new and thrilling, as long as it's just like everything else out there in print? No, I'm for the e-book, because it sets me free to tell the sorts of stories I like to read.


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