5 Reasons to Love E-Books

5 Reasons to Love E-Books, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com
Photo by Perfecto Capucine on Pexels.com

E-books seem to bring out strong opinions in readers. Those who don’t like them will say they don’t smell like books do, or aren’t as attractive on a shelf, or that “real books” don’t need batteries. While those may be valid opinions, the truth is that e-books are just as real as hardcovers, paperbacks, and audio books. People have probably been complaining about changes to their reading material since writers switched from scrolls to bound volumes. And while there’s no reason to give up your preferred book format if you don’t want to, consider that there are several reasons to love e-books…

E-Books Are More Comfortable to Use

Comfort might not be something most people consider when thinking about books, but it can be a real issue. For one, books are heavy. It can get tiring, or even painful, to carry a book (or books) around, and if you like to read in bed, some books are simply too heavy to easily lift while you’re lying down. Eyestrain is another issue readers face. If you have an e-reader, the screen is designed to mimic a printed page– and unlike a regular book, font sizes are adjustable. As well, if you have dry skin you may have noticed that paper pages seem to leach every bit of moisture from your hands, which is unpleasant and can harm your skin (I’ve found that lotion doesn’t always help). This (thankfully) isn’t an issue with e-books.

You Can Carry a Library with You

There’s no way I’m the only person who always dreamed of taking their books with them wherever they went. With e-books, the dream is a reality because you can access thousands on your device. Besides the fun of being able to bring all the books with you, there’s a practical side too. Have you ever brought a book to pass the time, but were close to finishing it and had to bring another one “just in case”? Or have you ever had to take up valuable luggage space with books when going on vacation (I would always either take too many or not enough)? Or maybe you’re a student who has to take textbooks to every class. If you’ve ever needed to bring more than one book with you, e-books are the ideal option.

They’re Better for the Environment

As much as I love physical books, I do feel some guilt whenever I buy a new one. Books are made of paper, which means trees are cut down for them. In some cases the trees are farmed, which isn’t as bad. In other cases, forests are being cut down for paper, which isn’t so good. Some post-consumer recycled paper is used to produce books, but not nearly as much as should be. On top of that, books are heavy and bulky– they use a lot of fuel to transport. And they create a significant amount of waste too. Textbooks, for example, get outdated quickly and are replaced with new editions. What happens to all the old books that are no longer wanted? Some might be recycled– a lot end up in landfills. Same goes with unsold books at bookstores– often the cover will be torn off and returned to the distributor for a refund, while the rest of the book ends up in the trash. Although e-readers come with their own set of issues, you don’t actually need an e-reader to read e-books (see below). Overall, e-books have a minimal environmental footprint.

Books with Benefits

Imagine you’re reading a great hardcover and you come across a quote you really love. So you whip out a pen and underline the quote right on the page. Or you want to remember where you left off, but there’s no bookmark handy, so you fold the corner of the page down. Did you just shudder a little? E-books have some great features for readers. You can underline or highlight passages, bookmark a page, leave notes for yourself (or others, if you want), and instantly look up the meaning of a word you’re unfamiliar with. You can also report any errors you notice, which is a feature my editor brain particularly appreciates! Those aren’t the only convenient features, either. If you’re the type of person who really likes to interact with a book, e-books might be perfect for you.

E-Books Are a Great Deal

E-books are generally less expensive than physical books. Although it’s not always the case (especially with traditional publishers), many e-books are priced affordably, and some are even free. E-books usually offer free samples too (for example, you can download the first 20% of Love Lies Bleeding free). Because of this, e- books are a great way to discover new authors or try out a genre you don’t usually read.

Bonus: No E-Reader Is Required

You might not realize that you don’t actually need an e-reader to read e-books. Amazon offers a free Kindle app that you can download to a phone, tablet, or computer (or all three), allowing you to read any Kindle-format e-book (also known as mobi files). Apple, Kobo and others offer their own apps, as well. These apps have most of the same features as you would get with an e-reader. E-books also come in other formats, like PDF files, which generally can be read on any device. E-books are accessible to anyone with a device (and since you’re reading this blog post, that means you).

Can you think of other reasons to love e-books? Share in the comments…

Want to give e-books a try? Take advantage of the Smashwords Summer/Winter sale, on until the end of July (Love Lies Bleeding is 25% off!)

July Summer/Winter E-Book Sale at Smashwords! Get Love Lies Bleeding by Aspasia S. Bissas for 25% Off... Books, book, book sale, ebook, ebooks, ebook sale, dark fantasy, gothic, horror, urban fantasy, vampire, vampires, aspasiasbissas.com

Happy reading!

Aspasía S. Bissas

3 Reasons You Should Ignore Your Inner Critic

3 Reasons You Should Ignore Your Inner Critic, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com
Photo by Olya Kobruseva on Pexels.com

To be creative, especially if you’re creative for a living, is to be in a constant state of worry. Will anyone be interested in my work? Will they like it? What if they hate it? The worst is when the worry morphs into self-criticism and you start doubting yourself and everything you do. My own inner critic nags at me that my books aren’t any good, that I should never have pursued writing in the first place, and I should just quit now. If I let them, my inner demons would probably take up as much space in my head as my plots and characters.

But my inner critic is a liar, and so is yours.

Your inner critic is nothing more than an amalgamation of doubts, anxieties, and insecurities. We inadvertently feed our critics because smart creators know there’s always room for improvement, so we think we should pay attention to what our critic tells us. We definitely shouldn’t,

Why you should ignore your inner critic

  1. It’s counterproductive. Your inner critic is both a poor judge and a compulsive liar. If you need some honest feedback to help improve your work, ask a friend or colleague, or join one of the many groups (both online and in real life) where your fellow creatives and/or interested volunteers will be happy to help. You could even hire someone like an editor to assess your work. But your inner critic will never offer anything useful, and you’ll waste your time focusing on the wrong things.
  2. It undermines you. If you keep thinking that you’re not as good as you could/should be, or telling yourself that you suck, then even if you don’t really believe it, eventually it will chip away at your confidence. Before long you’ll be second-guessing everything you produce– and might even end up too stressed to finish a project. If you do manage to complete something, your eroded confidence in your abilities will make it impossible to pitch your work to anyone or promote it. If you’re not convinced your work is great, how are you going to convince anyone else?
  3. You might end up believing it. There’s nothing wrong with choosing not to pursue your creative skills as a career, as long as you’re doing it for the right reasons. Unfortunately I’ve known too many talented people who’ve quit because they convinced themselves they weren’t all that good. Even worse, most stopped being creative for fun too, and that’s truly a shame. The world is better with your art/writing/music/whatever in it, and to let your inner critic convince you that you shouldn’t bother is a loss for everybody. No one is inspired by accountants, no matter how awesome they are at their job (apologies to all the amazing accountants I know), but that photo or poem or sketch you shared with friends or on social media could get someone through a bad day, or encourage them to start creating.

How should you deal with your inner critic?

An article on the Brockton Writers Series site suggests mindfully addressing your inner critic. The author offers some good suggestions, such as waiting the emotions out (they will pass) or agreeing with your inner critic and going forward anyway (for example, you’d say something like: “I should just quit now…and I will go ahead and write another paragraph.” Basically: acknowledge your inner critic, and then do your thing anyway. In other words: ignore it.

What’s important at the end of the day is to keep at it, no matter what that nagging voice in the back of your head tells you. Whether you’re creative for love or money, go ahead and ignore your inner critic. Or tell it off. Or sit and have a polite conversation with it– whatever you need to do. As long as you don’t believe it.

How do you deal with your inner critic? Share in the comments.

And while you’re here, don’t forget to download my books:

Aspasia S. Bissas books: Love Lies Bleeding, Blood Magic, Tooth & Claw, book, books, free book, free books, freebies, freebie, free ebook, free ebooks, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, dark romance, historical fiction, gothic fiction, gothic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, horror, dark reads, indie author, indie fiction, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords (all formats), Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Blood Magic: Smashwords (all formats), Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: Smashwords (all formats), Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

If you prefer paperback, use this link to order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

6 More Writing Tips from Writers

6 More Writing Tips from Writers, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Writing is an act of perpetual improvement; the more you do it, the better you’ll become. But to really master your craft requires effort beyond regular practice. Luckily writers are some of the most generous people around when it comes to offering advice. Maybe a little too generous, though, as the amount of advice available can be overwhelming. To help you cut through the noise, I’ve gathered a few of the best tips on how we can all keep improving…

Get Feedback

It’s scary to show your work to other people, but unless you’re writing for yourself and only yourself, you need to know what readers think. Leah Mol suggests that, instead of asking something general (“did you like it/what did you think?”), ask readers to keep track of the places where they got bored, where things didn’t make sense, or whether there was anything they’d like more of. I would also add not to take any negative comments personally.

Just Write

6 More Writing Tips from Writers, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com

Cut It Out

“Say you finish a draft of a story and it’s 2,786 words long. Tell yourself it now needs to be 2,500 words long and cannot be a word longer. While the new word count is completely arbitrary, it really forces you to go back through the work and be as choosy as possible, tightening it as much as you can.” –Hollie Adams

“Progress doesn’t always mean more words on the page. Some of my most productive sessions are spent in a frenzy of cutting, chopping, and downsizing, so that I actually end up with less material. Chances are there’s a lot of scaffolding and guff hanging around your first draft which you should get rid of to produce a cleaner, more powerful work.” -Richard Joseph

Live a Little

It can be difficult finding time to write, so it seems counter-intuitive that taking time away from the keyboard is actually good for your writing. While imagination and research have their place, they aren’t a substitute for personal experience (think of the difference in taking a virtual tour versus seeing the same place in person). Staying home is necessary right now, but once it’s safe, get out into the world. See, listen, try, do. Pay attention and take notes. The more you experience for yourself, the better your writing will be.

Be Passionate

6 More Writing Tips from Writers, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com

Don’t Stress Yourself

“Don’t be too hard on yourself. Writing is hard, and made only harder when you feel pressure to comply with rules or follow tips. Write in your mind, if you don’t have the time to write on paper. Plan your stories. Visualize them. Tell them to yourself and others. Stow them away for when you do have the time. And never beat yourself up for not writing, because the negativity will infect your voice.” -Aga Maksimowska

Above all else, remember that writing is hard, so be kind to yourself. Are there any writing tips that have helped you? Share in the comments…

Looking for your next read? Get my books:

Love Lies Bleeding by Aspasia S. Bissas, Blood Magic by Aspasia S. Bissas, Tooth & Claw by Aspasia S. Bissas, books, free books, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, gothic, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
Blood Magic: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
Tooth & Claw: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

If you prefer a good paperback to an ebook, use this link to order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

Want more writing tips? Check out my other posts on the subject:

6 Writing Tips from Writers

Writers’ Advice on Writing

10 Authors on Not Quitting

Should You Write What You Know?

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

6 Writing Tips from Writers

One good thing about being a writer is that you can always be better. While it might be a little disheartening to know that you’ll never be as good as you could be, it’s also comforting to realize that no matter what kind of writer you are, you can always improve. That striving to be better is also what keeps things interesting. The amount of writing advice out there can be overwhelming, though, so I’ve gathered a few of the best tips on how we can all keep improving.

Know your characters as well as you know your best friends

Have you ever heard an author say they were going to write one thing, but their character had other ideas? That’s because smart authors know their characters so well, those characters are essentially real people. Knowing everything about a character (including details that will never make it into the story) helps you write about them, adds depth, and makes them more interesting to readers.

Do what works for you

“If you are a writer who thrives under routine, who has their writing time at 6 a.m. or forces themselves to write a page a day, that’s great. But if you write when you feel like it, mull over ideas in your head for days, weeks or even months before putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, that’s just as valid.” –Zalika Reid-Benta

Find the ‘write” time

Everyone seems to have a particular time of day (or night) when they’re at their most creative. Find your creative time and try to arrange your schedule so that’s when you can focus on writing.

6 writing tips from writers, blog post, writers, writing, writing tips, writing hacks, writing advice, time, clock, alarm clock, old fashioned alarm clock, blog, how to be a better writer, writers' advice, authors' advice, aspasiasbissas.com
Photo by Krivec Ales on Pexels.com

Know when to stop

“The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you are writing a novel you will never be stuck.” –Ernest Hemingway

Take Note

If you’re away from your keyboard and come up with an idea or think of something you want to add to your story, write it down immediately. You think you’ll remember that perfect description for the sound of the breeze through autumn leaves, but you won’t (and there’s no worse feeling than knowing you had something great and forgot it). Keep a notebook with you, or take notes on your phone (I like to send myself emails).

Keep at it:

What other writing tips have helped you? Share in the comments…

Looking for your next read? Download my books…

Love Lies Bleeding by Aspasia S. Bissas, Blood Magic by Aspasia S. Bissas, Tooth & Claw by Aspasia S. Bissas, books, free books, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, gothic, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
Blood Magic: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
Tooth & Claw: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

If you prefer a good paperback to an ebook, order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas