Memoir Authors — Paper Book versus eBook Tips

by Matilda Butler on May 31, 2018

Writing Prompt LogoPost #240 – Women’s Memoirs, Writing Prompt – Matilda Butler

Paper Book vs. eBook? Tips and Considerations for Memoir Authors

Memoir AnthologyI’ve got exciting news about the publication of Seasons of Our Lives: Spring / Summer / Autumn / Winter. These four award-winning anthologies were previously available only as Kindle eBooks. All four volumes are now available as paperbacks through Amazon with introductory pricing through June 15. Here are the links to the books on Amazon. Spring, Summer and Autumn are currently just $9.97 each and Winter (a longer volume) is $10.97. And at the bottom of this article, I’ll tell you more about them. [If you want copies, be sure to order them quickly as the price of each volume will go up by $2 from this intro price.]

Seasons of Our Lives: Spring      
Seasons of Our Lives: Summer 
Seasons of Our Lives: Autumn     
Seasons of Our Lives: Winter       

But first, let’s look at the arguments for traditional paper books and arguments for eBooks. Which one should you use when publishing your memoir?

Top 7 Reasons to Publish Traditional Paper Books

1. Many readers will only buy a book if there is a physical copy. You’ll miss those readers if you insist on publishing ebooks only. (I should know. I originally published Seasons of Our Lives as ebooks only. We sold many copies but lots of people said they would wait for a paperback version.)

2. Paper books provide a sensory experience that can’t be replicated with a Kindle book. People like to hold a book, feel the paper, even smell the ink.

3. Paper books can be shared easily. If you like a book, it is fun to pass it on to friends.

4. Paper books give you more control over the layout since each page will always look the same. Ebooks use the concept of flowable text so you can’t “fix in stone” what will be seen on a page.

5. Research shows that print books mean better retention of content. And we definitely want people to remember our stories.

6. What about the future? We know that print books can be passed on from one generation to the next. But future ebook readers may not be able to display content from today’s ebooks. Think Beta tape format versus VHS. One format couldn’t be read in the other player.

7. This last point may seem frivolous, but… If you drop a print book in the bathtub, it can be salvaged with a hairdryer. Just sayin’.

Top 7 Reasons to Publish eBooks

1. eBooks are less expensive to purchase. The intellectual work is the same but the cost to manufacture is substantially less. This means more people may consider buying your book.

2. Younger readers prefer ebooks. Also ebooks are great for traveling. Even people who enjoy print books prefer taking ebooks on a trip.

3. Your readers can control font size. This matters to many people and is especially true if your book may appeal to an older audience. (Not old, just older.)

4. And speaking of older, if people in your audience might have arthritis, an ebook’s reader is light and small, easy to hold.

5. Readers can search for half-remembered passages, phrases, etc. As the author, you can set up hyperlinks from any word or phrase to other parts of your book or out to relevant websites. It’s easy to set up and can add value to your book.

6. The environment will love you. I live in the Pacific Northwest and I see truck after truck after truck loaded with the trunks of just fallen fir trees. Each trunk is massive and I realize how many years it took to get that big. Paper books use a lot of trees. eBooks don’t use any.

7. Almost everyone has an ebook reader with them at all times. What? Yup. It’s called your phone. That isn’t the most pleasant way to read, but if you get stuck in the waiting room of your doctor’s office or waiting for a concert to begin and you’re tired of reading the news, you can always bring up an ebook and get lost in other stories. No one carries a paper book with them at all times. Some of these people will be in your audience and you want to have an eBook for them.

Either Or Both?

Of course, you may want to have both print and electronic versions of your book. But there are some costs associated with each so you need to consider the pros and cons as you make plans for the publication of your memoir.

More Than 100 Award-Winning Memoir Stories

I promised you more information about the new release of the four-volume Seasons of Our Lives anthology.

Here’s the Scoop

Seasons of Our Lives: SummerThere’s no such thing as too many good stories. And it seems, there’s no such thing as a single technology for reading these stories. previously published four volumes of true stories in the Seasons of Our Lives series for the Kindle. These memoir anthologies won seven book awards, and stayed on the Kindle bestseller list for more than a week. A real success story.

Since that time, these stories have continued to resonate with readers across the US and many countries and are now also used by memoir teachers and coaches. These stories are not only inspirational. They are also exemplars of memoir writing.

Seasons of Our Lives: AutumnWe’re all modern women and like digital technology. BUT there is still something special and satisfying about holding a book in your hands, enjoying a story, setting it aside on the coffee table where it lands with a thud rather than a ping, and returning the next day to read more. Due to the large number of requests for print copies, through Knowledge Access Books has just released the four volumes of the Seasons of Our Lives anthologies in paperback.

Motivating Lessons. In addition to the more than 100 true stories, the anthologies have lessons that help the reader to reflect on her life and to see how she might write about her own experiences. Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett, editors of these four volumes of stories, added a lesson, or what they call a “takeaway,” at the end of each story.

As you read the 100-plus stories, you’ll also find an equal number of short lessons, one tied to each vignette, designed to motivate and instruct in the writing of life vignettes.

The mini-lessons that follow each award-winning story cover many of the topics important in memoir writing such as:

• creating a memoir title,
• crafting a powerful opening,
• linking openings and closings,
• choosing point of view,
• incorporating sensory details,
• adding character descriptions,
• showing (not telling) emotions,
• using dialogue effectively,
• understanding how time and place can be used in tandem or as stand-alone elements,
• making word choice a priority,
• discerning the different impacts of present versus past tense,
• considering vignette topics to write about,
• choosing between letting the reader figure out the story behind the story or spelling out all the details,
• and much more.

Inspiring Exemplars. Want inspiration for your life as well as your writing? Consider the just-released paperback version of the four volumes of Seasons of Our Lives — Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. These 100+ award-winning true stories from WomensMemoirs and KnowledgeAccessBooks are inspirational. They’ll make you laugh. Cry. Feel joy. Experience sorrow. Collectively they form a kaleidoscope of life’s multi-faceted seasons.

Background. WomensMemoirs held four contests and received hundreds of remarkable stories. Award-winning authors and memoir coaches Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett, editors of these four volumes of life stories, read each submission, ranked them, and then made decisions on the winners. These four volumes contain the award-winning stories.

Your Way. Here’s what is special about the concept of “Read a Story, Tell a Story.” If you mainly like to read memoir, then you’ll savor these stories just for themselves. Through them you can reflect on your own life, think about your past and how you want to shape your future. Or, if you are interested in writing, let these stories inspire you and then study the takeaways that accompany each one so that you’ll have new techniques for writing your own life stories. Either way, your way, you have a real treat awaiting you in these four volumes.

Book Specs and Availability
Seasons of Our Lives: WinterSeasons of Our Lives is a four volume series (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter) edited by award-winning authors and memoir coaches Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett; Knowledge Access Books Publisher.

Seasons of Our Lives: Spring  
Includes 28 stories and takeaways and two special family recipes; 155 pages

Seasons of Our Lives: Summer 
Includes 25 stories and takeaways along with four cherished recipes; 135 pages

Seasons of Our Lives: Autumn 
Includes 26 stories and takeaways and seven treasured family recipes; 153 pages

Seasons of Our Lives: Winter
Includes 33 stories and takeaways and five unique recipes; 211 pages

If You Teach or Coach Memoir Writers

These four volumes are currently being used by memoir coaches and teachers. If you are interested in ordering multiple copies, we have them available in our Etsy store. Below are the links. Also, you can contact me (Matilda at WomensMemoirs dot com) and tell me how many copies you want to purchase and I’ll get back to you.

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