Thursday, August 16, 2012

More unusual things found in books

I've found uncounted number of items used as bookmarks. In a recent post, I write about one of the more unusual, a marriage license.  Maybe it was an unhappy union? If so, I wonder if I'll ever find the certificate of divorce anytime soon.

A week or so ago, I was riffling through another book when a bookmark fell out.

Now, I'm not old enough to remember when hosiery sold for a buck a pair and I sure didn't know what Service Weight meant. Of course, I had to look it up. 

After stumbling over google's search results -- and finding a lot of information about service weight in regard to plumbing, I finally found a rather unusual site (But then, isn't the web full of unusual sites?) that explained it.h

Apparently, service weight refers to the fabric, which is 60 and 70 deniers. Hmmm. What, then, is a denier? Back to the google board which sent me to wikipedia where I discovered a denier is a unit of linear mass density of fibers.

The postcard, which was addressed and featured a printed stamp, was a sales pitch from a Philadelphia store, Bryans Ladies Shoes and Hosiery.

Certainly not as unusual (interesting) as the marriage license but more educational,

Saturday, August 4, 2012

No free books

I know. Current wisdom advises indie writers to offer readers free copies of their eBooks. The purpose, I suppose, is to introduce readers to the writers in hopes that the style, plotting, characters and all the factors that make for a good novel, will entice readers to buy the writer's next book.

I guess this is sort of similar to going to a used book store or a thrift shop and picking up a book by an unknown writer. The difference is, in the beginning, what that less expensive tome came off the press, somebody paid for it.

It didn't start off being free.

So, why should an eBook start off being free?

Anybody can get a taste of a writer's work because books available for your kindle (or kindle for the PC) can be previewed. You get a set number of pages from the beginning of a book just by pressing a button. If that's not enough copy for decision making then I don't know what is.

I think the first question an author should ask is "How much is my book worth?" If the answer is zero, nada, nothing, if all that hard work was just to have a name under a title, then my advice is to keep the darned thing on your hard drive. If it's free, that's exactly what it's worth.

I think the only free copies that should be out there are the classics, the out-of-copyright works, especially those that are required reading for school kids.

Writers have a tough enough go at making money.

I know this is harsh thinking but the electronic reader isn't going to go away. People are still going to download books. Granted, with the current economy, readers are likely going to be very choosy about what they purchase.

My take? Get rid of the free eBook. Get out there and promote yourself and your work. Don't know how? Check out the eBooks written specifically for you.

I recommend Robert Kroese's $2.99 work (shown at left).  It's not the best but it's better than some of the others I've looked at.

You'd have to do it if you had a major publisher putting your stuff on paper and in stores.

Oh, and by the way, I was going to try the John Locke book but I downloaded a preview of one of Locke's Donavan Creed novels before deciding whether or not to purchase one or more.And, when I read the reviews of the book, I opted for this one,

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