Saturday, March 28, 2009

How "green" is your book?


Today we're pleased to host Sunday guest Killer Liz Jasper, an award-winning mystery author and avid eBook reader. Liz is blogging this month for All Romance eBooks' Go Green/Read e Campaign.




How green is your book, Dracula?

Earlier this week Michelle Gagnon blogged about Internet promotion for authors. The fact that I'm guest blogging here today is a good illustration of another common type of internet promo: authors popping in on one another's blogs to "meet" new readers. The fact that I'm mentioning this supports another of her very good points: that it's a small world in the author community. I know two of the bloggers here at The Kill Zone--Kathryn Lilley invited me here today. (Nonetheless, I'm using Michelle's name at the top of my blog because I've seen her shoot a Glock. Okay, it was at a gun range for a Sisters In Crime event, but still. Girl's got aim.)

I am spending my promotional time guest blogging rather than Twittering (not that an author can't do that simultaneously) or updating my MySpace and Facebook pages because I hate doing those things. Hold on did I type that out loud? Ahem. What I meant to write is that I'm a Go Green/Read-E (book) ambassador. Which means I'm blogging to help promote ebooks as an eco-conscious alternative to the traditional paper book format.

Being green is important. Especially if, like me, you live in the sort of city where if you forget to bring your own, reusable, organic ink, fair trade, recycled material grocery bags to the supermarket, the collective laser beam of guilt focused on you is so awful you find yourself buying a fresh new set of reusable bags. To add to the pile you have at home big enough to form into a meditation yurt in the backyard.

However, as I researched things like how many trees a reader would save if he/she read 20 books and two newspapers electronically (one tree a year, which adds up to a lot of forests given all the readers in the world) I ran across a study that had already done this. (If you'd like to run across it, too, head for: http://tinyurl.com/cwj86y


Fortunately, my native eco-sensitivity awarded me plenty of time to ponder what else I could blog about. I thought long and hard during my eighteen trips back and forth from car to kitchen to unload groceries. ("You're out of reusable grocery bags? Someone's been buying them all up? Who would do that? Of course I don’t want plastic ones. Just load everything back to the cart.") And what I realized, during a break on trip ten to protect the Chunky Monkey by carefully siphoning off the melty bits with a soup spoon, what I really should be assessing is my own contribution to global warming. Forget the paper versus electronic publishing format debate. What about the book itself?

As an eco-conscious paranormal mystery writer, what I need to know is this: Are vampires bad for the environment?

Think about it. Unless they have the bad fortune to collide chest first with a sharp stake or (in my books) step out into a lovely, sunny, existence-ending day, they live forever. Longer than Styrofoam. Or Twinkies. Or broccoli on my niece's plate (unless I happen to look away, in which case the stalks magically disappear in a puff of air that curiously also makes the light fixtures above the table swing…).

It seems pretty obvious Vampires take up more than their fair share of resources, don't you think?

Well…

On the plus side, and this is a big plus they don't eat human food. And if you ever read the statistics about what's trashing our environment, the resources we use to grow food are a big part. There's methane from cattle (a discreet way of saying cow farts) polluting our air, fertilizer polluting our streams, etc. etc. Major eco points for Dracula!

Also on the plus side, the undead don't commute. Not in cars anyways. Granted any vampire worth his sex symbol status will own a nice set of wheels, but it's not as if he's stuck in rush-hour traffic every day. No vampire with the least bit of brains would spend an hour or two a day battling road rage on the freeway when he could just turn into a bat and fly where he needs to go. (I assume any technology that would allow him to drive a car during daylight hours could also be used to protect his batty little wings. Excuse me. Very sexy, uber-masculine man-vamp wings.)





This is sounding pretty good for a vampire's carbon footprint, except for the fact that for most vampires, one person equals one meal. Tsk. Tsk. Really, vampires of the world, do you have any idea how much it takes to get a pretty young maiden to eighteen in this country? In purely financial terms, estimates range from $38,027 to $104,532. Do you know how many McDonald's Happy Meals the average eighteen year old has eaten? I don't, but I imagine it's a lot. Let's face it, puberty, is one long Fry Emergency. In cow farts alone, the cost of producing one young maiden must be astronomical. No wonder cow methane is such a big pollutant!



Clearly, vampires need to get on board with the eco message of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. I know it will be hard--like telling a writer to lay off the chocolate near a deadline. But it's important! Everyone must do their part. Including readers, especially, it seems, those who like vampire stories. Why not do your part to help the planet and make you next book an ebook!


You can find out more about the Go Green/Read e Campaign at http://www.gogreenreade.com/. To learn more about Liz Jasper and to read excerpts and reviews of her books, visit her website at http://www.lizjasper.com/.

You can find Liz Jasper's Underdead mysteries and thousands of other eBooks on-line at www.allromanceebooks.com.


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Stay tuned for upcoming guest appearances at the Kill Zone:
April 5 P.D. Martin
April 12 Eric Stone

16 comments:

  1. Welcome, Liz! Way back when, I had a crush on Barnabus from Dark Shadows (looking back, I'll never know why). Come to think of it...did Barnabus eat? Certainly I can't imagine him going to the loo! And of course, a vampire's mission is to turn the rest of us into undead "greenies" too, right?

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  2. Wow, I never thought of vampires as eco-sensitive but I see now. They are really just a seriously caring bunch of earth loving, blood sucking, human devouring, nice guys.

    er, yeah.

    My favourite vampire was that guy from Forever Knight...if I were to be a vampire, I'd want to be like him.
    Oh and by the way Liz I am an e-book and podcast audiobook dude too. No waste makes...uh
    no...waste..

    Yeah. Sorry for stuttering there, just heard that my little home town of Anchorage AK is getting about half an inch of volcanic ash dumped on us over the next few hours from Mt. Redoubt. The air outside smells like sulphur. Guess hell hasn't frozen over yet.

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  3. Liz, you make a good argument for ebooks. We've had a number of discussions here particularly revolving around devices like the Kindle. It's usually the device, not the ebook concept, that gets more thumbs down than up. But I don't think any writer will deny that ebooks are a growing segment of the publishing world. And the fact that they contribute to the green movement is a big plus.

    As for vampires, at least you'll never be turned off by their garlic breath. :-)

    Thanks for being our guest today.

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  4. GREAT. I'm doing my part. A lot of my books have been pulped for reuse as baby diaper stuffing.

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  5. p.s. Liz, that teenie-bopper vampire at the top of the post looks like she's enjoying herself as she's about to rip out someone's throat!

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  6. Welcome, Liz! Great post. We're pretty serious environmentalists in our family (although I feel you about the reusable bags- my new trick is keeping a stack of conference giveaway bags in my car for grocery trips, I have over twenty after all. And yet from time to time, I still find myself bagless at the store...)
    I just downloaded the Kindle app to my iphone, and wow. It's pretty amazing having a book on hand whenever and wherever.

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  7. Thanks for having me here, Kathryn. I had a facebook friend suggest vampires would be more green if they only sucked the blood of organic produce eating vegans.

    Hi Basil, hang in there with the ash. I'm glad you see how Vampires have an unfair rep. Here's hoping they never find out lest they want you doing pr for them permanantly.

    Hi Joe, it's interesting you mention the focus on ebook readers. I didn't realize until a few weeks ago when giving a SinC talk about ebooks that a lot of people think you can't read them if you don't buy a $300 device. And just say no to garlic breath.

    John, one word: Eeew. J/K. What I want to know is do the diapers crinkle?

    Hey Michelle, how is the kindle app on the iphone? And how is it reading on your iphone screen?

    Cheers, Liz

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  8. Liz ~~ I don't think e laughed so hard in ages. The comment - In cow farts alone, the cost of producing one young maiden must be astronomical - still has be holding my sides. I'll go green or purple or blue as long as you keep blogging and writing somewhere! You go!

    Cheers ~~ Mary B :-)

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  9. Liz,
    Your books are wonderful reads - in ebook or print format. Your sense of humor manages to shine through no matter what you do.

    Kat

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  10. Liz,

    Wonderful blog! A meaningful message disguised as an entertaining laugh out loud blog.

    I do have to admit, I'm still a paper chaser, though. We don't even have e-readers in the UK yet. Or not that I've seen anyway.

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  11. Thanks for stopping by Liz! I'm an ebook luddite but I still think it's the way to go...like John I'm sure many of my books end up as pulp:) but in other ways I do try to be green!

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  12. Liz - I loved the part about your niece's broccoli disappearing at the same time the light fixture above the table swings. Too funny! Very thought-provoking post about going green.

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  13. Hi Mary, glad you're on board with the very serious issue cow farts. I'm sure enviromentalists world wide are going to take this measure and run with i.

    Hi Kat, v. glad I made you laugh.

    Helen, the long arm of Amazon will come find you all soon, not to worry.

    Hi Clare, I think you've given me my next blog topic--101 ways to use paper pulp.

    Sheila, when we were kids, my sister and I tossed peas into the lamps. Found one years later, small and wrinkled... We about died laughing.

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  14. oh, no! I have two young maidens reaching age 18 in my house. That's a butt load of cow farts right there. Then again, if I had boys, they'd be adding their own farts to the mix and we can't have that, can we?

    great blog, Liz! thanks for starting my week off with a laugh!

    (And I am proud to say I e-read!!)

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  15. oh, duh. that's me above. Jen McAndrews. evidently I've forgotten to log out of the LIRW account. *sigh* must be monday...

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  16. Hey Jen McAndrews, glad the blog gave you a laugh to start your week. : ) Liz

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