Amazon best sellers, Amazon Kindle, Books, E-books, fiction, GoodReads., Indie bookstores, Non-fiction, Summer reads for adults, Summer reads for children

Seven Ways to Build an Inexpensive Summer Reads list


                                                                   “Summertime and the living is easy…” 

Remember that 1935 Gershwin song from Porgy and Bess. Well the living may be easy but if you are a book lover summertime may be expensive. The prices for most traditionally published print books have climbed. E-books and the costs for download compared to print version is almost the same.

Amazon announced its ten best books of 2012 (as far as chosen by its book editors) and all ten on the list were from big-six publishers who set their own prices for the e-books. None was self-published.

Random House published most of the books and all are priced at $10.99 or above for the Kindle edition, a price underscored on the Amazon sell page that was “set by the publisher.” The prices range from $10.99 to $19.99. The average price on the list is $13.79. For many of the books on the list, the Kindle price is ranges from .99¢ to $6 cheaper than the print price.

If you’re like most booklovers, you will read 24+ books a year. More than that if you are an E-Book reader.

The average American reader comes in at 3-5 books annually. Pew Research found that the majority of print readers (54%) and readers of e-books (61%) prefer to purchase their own copies of these books. Bottom line:

                            Ave. price of book (13.79) x 24 books = $330.96 per year

                   Let’s break it down per quarter. Six books purchased for summer reads: 13.79 x 6= $82.74


I’m pinching pennies for a while (I have a huge trip of a lifetime coming up soon) so reading has to come cheaper for the next year.

Here are 7 ways to get some good inexpensive reads this summer:
  •  Only Indie every new book starts at $0. The first 15 downloads are free and every download after that is a penny more, up to a maximum of $7.98, a number chosen by the site’s founders in response to what they see as too-high e-book prices at other retailers. If a book isn’t downloaded for 24 hours, its price begins to slowly drop per an algorithm designed to take 100 days to bring the price back to $0.
  • Shakespeare series for students and general readers alike. 
  • e-Libro announced more than 48,000 Spanish-language e-books are available on millions of smart phones, tablets, and other devices using ebrary’s dedicated iOS and Android™ apps with Spanish language interfaces. They digitize more than 800 titles every month. 
  • Amazon’s Kindle Top 100-Best Sellers. There are loads of e-books under $9. If you haven’t gotten around to reading Hunger Games and trilogy they’re $5. Many more well reviewed (4 star+ with 50+ reviews) e-books at $2.99. OrAmazon’s Top 100 Free e-books.  I found 3 pretty interesting books on the list.
  • Good Reads has a recommendations site that has some great looking books.
  • Free sites  such as E-Book.net. 
  • Used books: Almost every independently owned bookstore has a shelf or more of gently read used books. For not so gently read try the thrift stores.
 I know I did not list going to the library or swapping books with friends (both good choices, but each have their downsides) as these are given ways to reduce costs. 

There may be more sites out there to get quality reads, so if you know any, please contribute your finds to the list. Maybe we can get to “10 Ways…”

Oh wait,  I didn’t list my favorite way to find good inexpensive reads:

Clean out the bookself and re-read a favorite or find the one you missed. 

Happy reading!


Books, E-books, E-readers, future of books, Future of Reading, Rachel Gardner

Storytelling and saving the Grandkids

(Mute the Jukebox below)

A post by Rachelle Gardner came through my blog box this morning. It was so cute I couldn’t resist talking about it some more. Rachelle asked “Do we miss the days when a book was just a book?” The responses came fast and furious this morning. The comments could be divided among the ‘real’ book camp , the ‘convenience’ contingent, and the ‘I love both worlds,’ group.

This had me thinking ten years into the future-hopefully when I become a grandma, or ‘Nana’ as my kids call their grandmothers-will my grandkids read/hear mainly e-books? Will they want to sit with me on the couch or their bed while I read them a story from an old print book? Will they ooh and ahh over colorful but one dimensional illustrations? Will their chubby toddler fingers have the dexterity to turn a page instead of swipe?

My teens/young adult kids speculate e-books will reign. All of them spend 95% of their reading time on iPhones, computers, and Kindles. This is where they get their world news, local news, community and social news (Twitter & FB). All of their friends in the 16-25 age range have similar reading habits.The only paper magazines they read are skateboard and music mag’s and that’s because they aren’t in an e-version yet. My college kid can’t wait for e-textbooks and neither can I since this translates to a more affordable cost for a book he won’t keep.

Although my kids read a lot of paper books growing up, they don’t seem to have an issue with joining the e-book world. So I have to speculate that they will read to their children from e-readers. In the next ten years the e-book will probably evolve to 3-D holographic illustrations, making it exciting, but eventually dulling the imagination.

They will tell their kids, my grandkids, how they had to dust the bookshelves for Nana and how she used to collect book markers. They will have to explain those too. But for now, I just hope my grandkids will love the written word and enjoy storytelling.

I still have my Companion Library of Classics that my mom bought in 1967, 44 years ago. They are in fairly good shape and I suppose they can last another ten years. Now, I must sign off, I have to go box them and a few other favorites up and save them for my future grandkids.

Now which favorites make it into the box? Which books would you choose to save for your grandkids or great grandkids?

2011 Best of Writing, E-books, Elements of Style, Future of Reading, Social Media platform, Strunk and White, Writing

2011 Best of Writing Articles and a Rap on Writing

The year is coming to a close and with it another chapter in the book of my writing life. The generosity of writer’s, agents, and publisher’s who blog have helped me shorten my learning curve and fuel my desire to continue writing into 2012.
  
To help prepare one in the endeavor of becoming a writer I’ve done a little research on the best articles on writing and publishing. In the writing world the ongoing debate of e-books versus traditional publishing, the future of reading, and building social media platforms seemed to dominate the writer’s landscape. With all of that information it’s easy to get overwhelmed. 


To quickly get a ‘lay of the land’ here are two links to the best of 2011 articles on writing. And for those who need tough love and ongoing assistance follow The Evil Editor. This site focuses on queries, synopses, and the beginning pages of a story. If you are a non-techie but want to learn and improve in social media, podcasting, and other tech advice for authors, go to Author Media.


Writer’s Digest assembled The 18 Most Popular Articles on Writing. They culled through 1,300 articles and found the most widely read articles on fiction and non-fiction writing tips, agenting, publishing, and writing query letters.


From Jane Friedman we have the 12 Must Read Articles of 2011.


For those who are visual and auditory learners, this post ends with a refresher on Strunk and White’s Elements of Style. In rap. (Turn off the juke box at the bottom unless you want a real music experience).

I hope you feel prepared to march forward and give your computer chair a twirl, hover your fingers over the keyboard, and begin writing on January 1, 2012. (Even if it’s at 11:00 p.m.). 

Amazon Prime, Barnes and Noble Nook Tablet, E-book sales, E-books, E-readers, Kindle Fire

Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet



Oh no, I just pre-ordered a Kindle Fire and now rumors say B&N will debut a new Nook tablet in just a few weeks . I skipped the regular Kindle in lieu of continuing to read “the good old-fashioned way,” until I tried Kindle on my phone. I’m not hooked, but it’s a great way to have books at your fingertips and in your pocket when you don’t want to carry around a one to three pound book in your purse. Plus I hate smudging up my books with the crap that makes its way into the depths of my bag, you know lipsticks, pens, cupcake crumbs. 

But back to the new Nook tablet. It’s about $69 more than the Fire that comes out on November 15, plus it has more memory and has goodies like Hulu. But it  looks like the FIre is still the better choice. Whew, I hate spending money and then finding something better for nearly the same price. 



I put a toe in the e-reader water because the e-book options and low prices are intriguing.This article on e-books tells the black and white story: adult hardcover and paperback sales are down 18% this year. The revenue from e-books has surpassed hardcover revenue this year. This makes for a tempting option to forego traditional “legacy” houses, the Big 6, and jump into the self-publishing world. The battle of opinions on both paths run wide and deep. 


The Wall Street Journal is heating up the debate with their plan to publish e-book bestsellers. Amazon is offering an e-book loan program for their Prime customers.These two items help push the envelop further in deciding whether to buy an e-reader or not and whether to enter the foray into publishing a book in e-reader format.


Everyday I’m tempted to go down the path of self-publishing but I have an agent who is looking at my two manuscripts. When the time comes for a thumbs up  or thumbs down, I’ll have to reevaluate my choices. Who knows, I may read my own novels on my Kindle Fire by next year.