Yes, I Want Print Too

I’m well aware that the profit margin on paperback books is low, yet I still want to have my books in print.

For starters, there’s nothing in the world like holding your book in your hands and seeing your name on the cover. Here is tangible proof that you actually wrote a book, overcoming all the obstacles and setbacks an author encounters along the way. Your heart swells with pride, and you’d like the whole world to see that book and rejoice with you.

Besides that, not everyone uses electronic readers. I don’t really understand this. You can have a tremendously large library in a space not much bigger than a 5×7 photo. Also, the entire library can go wherever you go. You’ll never be out of something to read. I’ve noticed that swiping a page on a reader is a lot easier than holding onto a paper book and turning pages. Still, some people can’t give up the idea of the paper book, and I want to accommodate them.

Did you know that libraries now have electronic books? My books are available in electronic format at my local library. Some of them are available in paper too, and if I had to guess, I’d bet that more people check out the paper books.

I like to give books as gifts at Christmas time, and even though you could give a gift certificate for an electronic copy of one of your books, it isn’t quite the same as wrapping the book and putting it under the tree.

Interestingly enough, my first book was only available in print until a few years ago when the publisher put it in electronic format.

So when all is said and done, I want my books to be available in both formats.  What about you? Do you prefer paper books?

The picture is one of my books available in print and electronic formats.

Rest Thy Head

Posted in Books, Elaine Cantrell, libraries, publishing, Uncategorized | 8 Comments

On the Shelves

This week we’re discussing books in print. “Knowing that the profit margin / royalties in paperback formats is minimal, do you still try to obtain that format? Why or why not?” 

I’ve never had to ask myself this as all the publishers I have gone with offer books in print right away. I know there are authors out there that have e-book only but that is not a decision that I have had to make.

If I was in a position where I needed to decide if I wanted my books in print I would, undoubtedly, go with yes. I do read a lot of books on my Kindle, as I have said there are a lot of authors that only offer electronic versions of their works and I would hate to miss out on a great story simply because I can’t read it in paperback. However, I am an avid user of my local public library and absolutely love when I see one of my books on the shelves waiting for someone to be thumbing through the titles and come across it. There it is on the shelves for someone to pick up, look over the cover, read the blurb, and then take it home with them at no cost to them! Waiting to open up a new world for someone who maybe can’t afford an e-reader, perhaps a teen who doesn’t have a phone, or an elderly person who doesn’t know how to operate a tablet.

Then there’s my children’s books. I believe that a lot of people would rather hold a picture book in their hands with their child/grandchild snuggled up beside them, thumbing through the pages, pointing at the pictures, and following along with the words. If I had to fight to get my children’s books in print I certainly would, but I am lucky enough that I don’t have to do that. My books are readily available for those who read with e-readers and those who prefer to hold a physical book in their hands.

Now, if only I get them printed in Braille, that is something I have discussed with one of my publishers but I really need to push a little harder for it.


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The Great Paper Debate

Female compare books and new wireless reading digital book

To our American friends, Happy Labor Day! Hope you and your loved ones are able to enjoy the last hurrah of summer, safe from whatever weather surrounds you.

This week’s topic is one brought forth by our resident hound. “Knowing that the profit margin / royalties in paperback formats is minimal, do you still try to obtain that format? Why or why not?”

Although most of the books I read and review are on my electronic shelf, my short answer to this question is YES to paperback copies. Whenever my publisher makes paperback copies available, I keep a supply of them on hand. I haven’t yet done the self-publishing route, but when I do, I’ll definitely have paperback copies of those as well. There are a few reasons why I do this, despite the low profits:

Lots of people don’t use electronic devices to read.
Some of these readers are not willing or able to own electronic reading devices. Some have them, but enjoy reading from traditional books instead. Maybe it makes one look more scholarly. Anyway, I think it’s important to have a print option available for the non-device reading public.

At author events, it’s better to have regular books.
I attend about a half dozen author events each year, and people coming to those events are looking for something to take home with them. Plus, it’s difficult to sign and personalize an ebook. I did attend an ebook event once at a local Barnes and Noble. Each of the authors brought bookmarks and other swag to sign, and the store supplied us with QR codes so people could purchase our ebooks on the spot. I have absolutely no idea if anyone actually bought any of my books that day.

They make great gifts.
I’ve needed last-minute gifts, and if I know the person likes to read, I’ll sign and wrap up a book or two. It’s nice not having to go out and shop.

There’s nothing like seeing your name on an actual book.
The first of my books to be put into print was The Samurai’s Garden in 2011. I’ll never forget my wonder and sense of accomplishment when I opened that first shipment of books with my name on the cover. Before this, my stories hadn’t met the word count my publisher required for print. Since my books tend to run on the short side, I searched for and found a publisher who put all books into print. So now I have a wider selection.

The bottom line is, I might make less per book with print copies, but I feel I’m making a better connection with my readers when I can personally hand over a tangible piece of my creativity.

What about you? If you’re an author, do you think it’s worth the trouble to have print copies of your books? If you’re a reader, do you have a preference?

Posted in author's life, Books, epublishing, Patricia Kiyono, publishing | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Networking vs. People Collectors & Writer Groupies


I have found lots of ‘Friends’ on Facebook. Many of the people are fantastic. Some of the biggest names in publishing today interact with me and are truly ‘friendly’.  In fact, I interact with some of the famous people more often than some of my relatives, old friends and not-famous friends.

I have an eclectic group on my main FB page, though I only keep around well-intentioned people. There is no way for me to agree with everything everyone says,  even though I am a Gemini on the Cancer cusp  Even with all that going on in my head, there is no way for me to be mentally split-up enough to agree with the diverse ideas that crop up.

I have found good/great writers, great interviews, great advice, good books and wonderful interviewees by friending writers and accepting their friends’ ‘friend requests’. My net gets cast wider and wider, but when and how to stop?

The Facebook page where I spend most of my time and interest is under this name, my writing name, my maiden name. I have another FB page under my married name, for the local ‘People Collectors’, as I call them.  “Are you on Facebook? I’ll friend you”-types, even if their kid was two years behind my grandson in Cub Scouts and I didn’t know the woman at all. And now just about every person who worked with or near me at one place has decided to friend me whether they were friendly to me when worked there or not, and most of those who were not suddenly want to be ‘friends’, (then they often don’t answer my comments!)

There are a few on that page from long ago with whom l have nothing in common. Their lives are not great and I haven’t the heart to ‘unfriend’ them, even though we seldom interact. Then we have my highly critical son and assorted ex-in-laws on that page, as well. If someone I knew previously finds me and I think that they will get along on my main page, I invite them to friend me over there.

That wasn’t a real digression; my question is about people who may want to ‘collect me’ because I am a writer or I know other writers.

‘Writer collectors’

Do you get requests from them?

Do you accept them all?

Many writers accept any friend request because it broadens their fan base.
I am hardly in that position.
I have been burned by non-writing Friends-of-Friends, who latched onto a writer because they thought their work was on the steamier side and, well, you can imagine how THOSE went. Now, I have been checking on those who send me requests, and if I think that they are hangers-on, I really don’t usually answer those.

Maybe I am not being fair; I have even deleted some request by mistake.

NOTE: I am NOT talking about ‘spam’ request, many with the phony military pictures. I delete and report them as SPAM immediately. I am talking about some “Friends of Friends”, which is the outgoing setting for most of my posts. Some of the best people that I have come to know started out as ‘friends of friends’; many of you reading this befriended me this way and I embrace you.

I am, however, talking about ‘hangers-on’; people collectors who want to hobnob with the famous and those around them. People who have no interest in writing , but read, say one particular romance writer, and think that anyone who is interested in her needs to be their ‘friend’, (even if I never read  the works of that nice person who is the famous writer).


I never expected to have (as of this writing) 251 ‘friends’; I almost quit at 100! I am so glad that I didn’t. I see everything from the greatest books, the funniest memes, the most touching tales, laugh-out-loud anecdotes, the prettiest scenes, pets, poems, recipes, you-name-it. I pray with people, share their joys, learn new things, watch other people’s kids and grandkids grow, celebrate their milestones, offer condolences for their woes.

But how many people on a page, with whom one has nothing in common, are too many?  Again, I do not feel that I am in a position to have a ‘Writer’s/Author’s Page’, at least, not yet.  I hate to miss new, great people, especially writers with whom I have good rapport.  However, by choices of FB, I only see a portion of posts, as people only see a portion of mine.

But now I think that I have been unfair to ‘writer collectors’.

Maybe I should see them as I see them as ‘potential fans’.

Maybe I should see them as ‘potential friends’.

What do you think  SPECIFICALLY of ‘Writer Groupies’?

Posted in author's life | 10 Comments

Not So Easy Being Android

Maybe you thought impersonating an android was easy

By Jeff Salter

It’s “free” week here at 4F1H, so for my Hound Day post, I’m reaching back to spring of 2018, when this novel was released by TouchPoint Press.
The Noble Woman


Amateur actress (and recent college grad) accepts a far-fetched, and high-paying assignment to impersonate a sophisticated android prototype for one full day. The actual floor model android has developed a last-minute glitch, but the evaluation by the billionaire buyer must go on. Can Pennie Lane fool the haughty, leering buyer long enough to collect her bountiful per diem?


As the minutes tick by, more glitches become evident (and so does fractiousness within the company, Delos Echo International). Pennie learns there has been corporate sabotage… and possibly other breaches. With her fresh eyes assessing both the android and the Delos Echo employees, Pennie eventually believes she knows which company insider is guilty and even suspects what crimes may have been committed.

After the first hours, the MA/F-9.0 still isn’t ready and Pennie is told to stall the wealthy buyer… no matter what it takes. But the buyer, Knox Kendall, already seems suspicious that Pennie’s MORE than an android and she’s not that good of an actress. Besides this wealthy purchaser is the handsomest (and most virile) man she’s ever been around. But he’s also demanding an intimate inspection of this female android’s companionship mode. And he doesn’t mean how well she plays checkers.

Can Pennie’s performance convince the brusque son of a wealthy industrialist to sink his family’s fortune into this android manufacturing company?

TouchPoint Press. Available as E-book ($3.99) and paperback (pricing varies).

[JLS # 451]

Posted in Books, Fantasy vs Reality, Jeff Salter, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 5 Comments

I Really Love That Man

Since I’m a romance writer, my husband sometimes has to take a little ribbing.  “Are you the model for her heroes?” they always ask.  “Did you pose for her latest cover?”  Well, he didn’t pose for any of my covers, and even though the man is adorable, my heroes don’t always resemble him.  In some ways he might be a little challenged in the romance department.  He’s an engineer, and I don’t think that profession lends itself to romance.   But on the other hand…

On the other hand, he can be unexpectedly, deeply romantic.  Last week we were on the way to the grocery store to buy some dog food, and he took my hand and said, “You’re prettier now than you were on our wedding day.”  I was on cloud nine for the rest of the evening. I do think he needs new glasses, though. I’ve changed a little since our wedding day.  But I can still wear my dress if you don’t try to zip it.  There’s only a three or four inch gap in the back.

That’s nothing compared to how he surprised me on our anniversary.  He can home one day three years ago and said, “I’ve booked a condo in Pigeon Forge.  Let’s go up there for our anniversary.”  I was scared to death!  We always pretty much ignore our anniversary because school had just started, and I was a teacher.  So, why was he booking condos?  Was he sick? Did he get a bad report at his last physical?  No, he was fine.  Like I said, he can still surprise me when he reveals his romantic side.

He’s given me some nice gifts too which is mainly because I’ve learned to hint very, very hard about what I want.  I’m reminded of the gift that he bought me the second year we were married.  This is a true story; no joke.  He bought me electric hair curlers and an umbrella. It was hard to be enthusiastic, which is why I’ve learned to hint.

But it isn’t the gifts, trips, or compliments that please me most.  The things I love most are small, day-to-day things that show a husband’s love. In the winter when we watch TV at night, he’ll let me put my cold feet in his lap to warm them.  He also polishes my toenails for me, but don’t you ever tell him I said so.  I’ll deny it to the end.  We usually spend the evening in our small, upstairs study, and if I need some hot chocolate or ice cream, he’ll get it for me.

He doesn’t want brownies in the house because he likes them too much, but he buys them for me and suffers while I eat them.

He’s also generous with his church, family, and friends, doing favors that self-centered Elaine wouldn’t think to do.

Is he ever irritating? Duh.  He’s a man, isn’t he?  Still, I think he’s a keeper.

What about you? What’s the favorite nice thing that your significant other does for you?

Posted in blessings, Elaine Cantrell, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

The Lack Of….

It’s free week here and I thought I would blog about last week’s topic since I had missed it. If you could choose one thing you can no longer do and suddenly had the strength/time/resources to do once again, what would it be?

If we’re looking at something I can no longer do because I do not have the resources to do it then I think I would want to work with horses and other farm animals again. Growing up I was always around animals, I had a pet lamb that I had to bottle feed. I had a variety of pets. I always loved horses. My uncle had a few that I would go ride on occasion. One of my close friends in high school had a horse that I worked with for my agriculture project, gentling it. When I was a young mother I worked at the stables. I loved being around those majestic creatures. There was just something completely soothing about sharing your day with them. I even miss mucking out their stalls. That was the best job I ever had, nobody ever complained and any bad mood I was in melted away the second I got to work! I haven’t been on a horse since the stables closed. I simply don’t live in a place where I can keep one. The goal is to someday get the resources that I can be around them again, even rescue them from bad situations.

Now,  onto something that I can no longer do to lack of time/strength. I used to stay up all night long reading, I would pick up a book and read until it was finished. I’d write until the sun turned the eastern sky rosy. Now, I can’t do either. Lately, I’m constantly tired. Now, I know this comes with the autoimmune disease that I have, the lack of nutrients that my body needs to function, and so on but despite the fact that I am doing what needs to be done in order to improve I still don’t have the energy. I spend the day stifling yawns and forcing myself to get things done. When I have a minute and excitedly sit down to read or write, I find myself drifting off. Because of this I have fallen behind in both those areas. I find myself not wanting to do things that I had planned to do because I know I will be even more wiped out the next day. I can go spend the day at the fair but the next few days I will be so wiped out so I limit the extras that I do because I have to work and I work in a job that keeps me on my feet and moving for hours on end.

Is there anything that you that you wish you could still do?

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments