Books

As you know, the book was fun for us to do and continues to be.  Glad we did it.  We may even do another (feel free to suggest a topic because Sal does not want to do OTG ll). But here’s the reason for the title of the blog: books may be going the way of the Dodo.

We sell our books on Amazon.  Not from preference so much as from chintziness.  To ‘market’ a book is expensive and we are a niche market at best and are not likely to ever sell more than 1000 books or so.  Well, we may do a bit better…we have sold 500 so far this year so 1000 is do-able before the bloom goes off the rose.  Maybe.

We are marketing challenged.  Since our ‘take’ is $2.50 to $3.00, there is not much left to market with.  So, we leave it on the Amazon website (and my own) and leave it at that. Like I said, ‘fun’.

By the way, even tho we get more of the selling price if you order direct from us, you pay way, way more because of shipping.  Living remote means higher shipping charges.  If, in a moment of weakness, you are inclined to buy the book, I recommend Kindle first (cheapest) and Amazon second given the cost.  Seriously – our ‘cut’ is so small there is no real advantage for anyone (you or us) buying direct. Thanks, anyway.

But part of the fun is watching the numbers.  When we started, we sold maybe 30 books in a month.  Maybe.  We have not exceeded that number yet.  Thirty is a good month.  Do the math – that’s almost $100.00 to us.  Woohoo!  Which is fine.  No problem.  We’re good.

But here’s the punchline: month one sold maybe ten KINDLE e-books.  Month two: maybe 20.  In this, the sixth month, we will sell maybe 120 (we are at 106 on the 25th).  Every month has had more e-book sales.  By a considerable margin.  In fact, June did not even sell 30 paper books (ten, I think).

What does that say?  Who knows?

But here’s another take on the subject: there are a few independent book stores I pass in my travels (which is amazing since I hardly travel at all anymore).  And I have to go to the big smoke for a day or two in a few weeks so I’ll pass them.  I phoned ahead to see if they wanted to carry any of our books.  I make it easy.  I deliver.  Consignment.  No hard sell. “Sorry. We are closing our doors.  We have ‘going out of business’ signs on the window. We’re done.”  I called three such stores and all three said that they were closing or for sale.

From my limited, narrow point of view, hard, hold-in-your-hand books are going the way of the Dodo. Certainly the little independent book store is.  Reading is not.   But paper books on shelves in stores in little towns definitely are.

Which reminds me:  the other day I heard on the radio (of all places) that “…..some people are still rooted in the old ways of e-mail and blogging!”……………(sigh)………………..

……………I am having trouble with that, too.

7 thoughts on “Books

  1. The BC Department of Education aims to have all books used in schools available in electronic forms. It aims for BYOD students(bring their own devices) and in theory institutional costs are reduced. High school libraries are being gutted as the perception grows that print forms are passé. The future of school libraries is as a work space with book themed wallpaper and personal computing devices. Any electronic book purchased by a library may be circulated thirty-five times then a new e-book must be purchased. Some print books circulate hundreds of times.

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    • Interesting. Not a good prognosis for the ‘printed page’ tho. I think there is a revolution happening and we are on the trailing edge of the way it was. No idea of how it will be. Sal and I just had tea and talked some more. “There is no point in even printing more than 100 for friends and promotion, really. I guess we just have to figure out a way to promote e-books.”
      “But I don’t wanna promote. I jus’ wanna write. Maybe guys who write will just send in their work to that great computer in the sky and that’s it?”
      “I don’t think so. I think we have to get a Twitter account. And Facebook.”
      “I’d rather stop writing.”

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      • Increasingly youth get their news from social media. How many cat videos are needed to reach satiety? Much of the stuff circulating on Facebook is uber right wing and deeply misinformed. Such as Michele Obama is a race baiter. Conjure with that.

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  2. Hi you two,
    There is a small but sharp little book store in Maderia that is all about local authors, I would like to see your book available there, its not far, maybe I could bring them a box full as I get my own copy from you….

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    • Hi, Glen. Thanks. Nice to hear from you again. If you want one, we’ll send you one. Just give me the address. We’ll include an invoice with it. My wife says that the total is close to $25.00 (includes shipping and taxes). Takes about a week. I will look up the ‘sharp’ little big store in Maderia….Madeira Park…right?

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      • Maderia Park, that’s right. As for my own book, I hope to arrange to meet you, as i am on scheduled days off July 17th. Should be on the Sunshine Coast soon after, and would really like to take the sailboat up too see you two….

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