The Case for Ebooks

I could tell you all the reasons why you should read ebooks: It saves paper and space. The smallest Kindle can hold between 3,000 and 6,000 books. The fancy one can hold 4 times that many books. You can effectively walk around with a small town library in your briefcase. For the most part, e-books are cheaper than their paper counterparts. Oh, sure. You’ll occasionally see some bestselling author selling their e-books for $10 or more. That’s insane, in my not-remotely-humble opinion. Buy a used paperback before you give that author ten bucks (or more!) for an e-book. E-books are what the cool kids are doing. Blah, blah, blah! I know. If you wanted an e-reader you’d have one already.

Hear me out, though. What I really want to do is convince you that you should at least buy my books in e-book version.

I write English books for an English-speaking readership. I live in mainland Europe. Not only do I have to charge you for the extra cost of producing a paperback, I have to add the postage and the packaging costs, too. It runs up the cost of the book. It also costs me time and effort that I could be using to write. My e-store on my website is set up so that if a reader buys an e-book, I only get a confirmation that a book was sold. I don’t have to do anything. If a reader buys a paperback, I get a notification and I have to pack the book, buy and print out postage, and walk to the post box. Not very taxing, I admit, but it takes time away from the writing.

And here’s the main reason why I don’t think you should be paying $13 a pop for my books. (And some authors would disagree, but this is my opinion.)

Cozy mysteries are a form of drugstore novel. They’re modern-day dime novels. They are the direct descendants of pulp fiction.

Pulp fiction was a type of monthly magazine filled with action and adventure stories printed on cheap, paper that had a good percentage of wood pulp in it. Pulp magazines were the opposite of glossy magazines. Dime novels were also inexpensive, widely available, and were often private detective stories or westerns. During the Golden Age of Mysteries, authors like Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers made most of their sales in cheap paperbacks, sold in drug stores. Drug store novels were very popular and covered many genres. When I was a child, my father was hard-of-hearing, and his main form of entertainment was drug store novels. He bought two or three a week and spent weeknights and weekends with his head in these books.

Popular entertainment is fun and enjoyable. It should also be readily available and have a seemingly endless supply.

Also, it shouldn’t cost you a fortune.

I am working on ramping up my writing schedule and streamlining my publication process so that I can put out two, and possibly three, books a year. I don’t want those books to have a $13 price tag.

I don’t want my readers to balk at buying the next book. I don’t want there to be any hesitation before a reader hits the BUY THE BOOK button. I want my readers to say, “Oooh, a new book by Liza!” *click*

But, Liza, you are saying, I don’t know how to buy a book from you and transfer it to my Kindle, Nook, Kobo, or iBooks reader. I always buy my e-books from the website where I got the e-reader.

If you have a Kindle, it’s easy-peasy to transfer an ePUB. When you bought your Kindle, you received a Kindle email address. (You may not have known this. I didn’t.) The default address is <your Amazon user name> When you buy an e-book from my website you are sent a link to download the book in ePUB version. Download it onto whatever device you use for email and then simply email that file to your kindle email address and it shows up on your Kindle.

For transfering ePUBs onto a Nook, follow this link for instructions:

For Kobo, here are the instructions:

For Apple iPad:

But, Liza, you are saying, I don’t have an e-reader at all. That’s fine. There are dozens of free apps you can download that turn your phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer into an e-reader. And when all else fails, you can read it as a .pdf file on any of your devices that has Adobe reader.

You really, really, really don’t need to buy a paperback from me.

That said, I will always print small paperback runs of my books so I can have them for sale at author events and so I can wave them around in public and scream like the town cryer that I wrote a book.

And, yes, they will still be for sale on my website. But, I wish you wouldn’t buy them in that form.

And, in case you are wondering, I make the same amount of profit no matter which form of book you buy. I purposefully priced them that way.


  1. I bought your first book both ways, because I like to look on the bookshelf and see the copy sitting there. I’m a big re-reader, so will likely go back to that one before the next one is published. (Yes, I know I can (and do) that with an e-book also.) Paperbacks are also much easier to lend, and to bring to the beach. And lastly, how do you autograph an e-book? Especially when you want to gift it to someone? 🙂

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