Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Who Loves to Prowl Around in a Bookstore? How Do We Do That Online?"

Heeeelllllooooooo Seekerville,

Wow. Hasn't this been an exciting week?

Congratulations to all the winners we've had so far. Fun Fun Fun.

Sandra here. I love birthdays. Not only is it Seekerville's birthday, but today is my dh's birthday also. woo hoooo

Happy Birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to all. Happy birthday to you. (trust me you are blessed that this is cyber singing LOL)

And we have MORE presents so read on to the end to find out how to receive one.

This month we have been talking about CHANGE. That scary-----and exciting word.

Change is the buzz word for this century so far wouldn't you agree?

So let's talk bookstores. I hope your neighborhood isn't like mine with book stores closing left and right. And in a college town no less. What's up with that?

But the publishing world is changing along with everything else. Debut digital author Pam Hillman gave us a big sample of that yesterday in her post Tyndale's Digital First.

The changes we're seeing are distressful to me, but also exciting.

I'm mourning the demise of the bookstore, especially those with cozy corners and comfy chairs to sit in, drink coffee or tea and peruse the wares.

But I'm excited about the changes that ebooks are allowing, especially the expansion into sub genres before thought to be too risky to invest in expensive publication.

I'm mourning the advice from my bookstore manager and/or clerk, you know the one who knows the type of book you love and keeps their eye out for them. Or has read a new author and suggests you try them because his/her style is right up your alley.

But I'm excited about the social media that allows us to get opinions and recommendations from friends even if they live across the Rockies and over the Prairies.

I'm mourning the loss of the tactile joy of walking into a bookstore--the smells of old books, the crisp scent of new books, the feel of a hardbound in your hand, the pleasure of opening the flap to read the blurb, or seeing the smiling face of the author--sometimes like seeing an old friend because you've read every one of their books.

But I'm excited to be able to click on a website and read the latest updates from my favorite author. Not only is there the glamorous mug shot, but whole photo albums. How fun is that?

I'm mourning the loss of my favorite stores that sponsored wonderful autograph parties.

But I'm excited about the parties we still do have. Not only in bookstores like Tina and Mary had in Tulsa last weekend, but online when our books are featured on someone's blog. See the weekend edition for current blog parties.

I'm mourning the fact I can't stroll into our beach hut library, wiggle our toes in the warm sand and curl up in the hammock on Unpubbed Island and read all afternoon. I miss Captain Jack bringing a refreshing coconut spritzer and a box of tissues if the book is a tear jerker.

But I'm excited about our new bookstore in the village of Seekerville. We can gather there and share the exciting news of who has published their next novel and get review copies to discuss. Hey and Captain Jack drops in occasionally to chat and put his two cents worth in.

Pssst Hey Jack you did love Price of Victory didn't you? didn't you? Shhhh I won't tell.

So here's my question. With all the changes you see happening in your neighborhood with bookstores and publishing, how are we going to find our next novel to read? How are we going to get our next novel advertised? As Vince pointed out in yesterday's comments, how does a reader find your novel amongst the 700 on their Kindle? Or amongst the thousands in Amazon?

I would especially love to hear from those of you who do in fact prefer to shop online. How do you find the books you buy? What suggestions do you have as readers? How can we browse and find that next super gem to read?

Through these past years we have come up with marketing ideas here in Seekerville, but I'm really curious as to how the publishers are going to handle the marketing aspect of the new changes occurring faster than Captain Jack can wield his sword.

For those of you who comment we will have several drawings throughout the day. I happen to have a wonderful selection of autographed Seeker books you can choose from or you can choose one of my children's books. If you don't remember what is there, come to my bookstore on my website Children's Books By Sandy and look them over.

Captain Jack snuck in this morning and brought some island fare to keep us from getting homesick. There are platters of fresh fruit sprinkled with shredded coconut. Jack picked the coconuts yesterday. He sailed me back to the island to help him pick them.

He had his shipmates cooking up some sausage and gravy on fresh biscuits cooked over the fire.
I know Helen has coffee on, but I've brought carafes of Chocolate Velvet to add to the table. Maybe we can talk Carol into bringing some of her chocolate chip cookies.

I have cherry pies. Lots of them as that is what dh always orders on his birthday.


  1. I have less than 100 books on my Nook and Vince is right that it's hard to remember what you have on there. At the same time, I can scroll through it quickly and choose a book to begin reading.

    The best thing about eBooks is that you don't have to put getting someone's book on your to do list the next time you go to the store. You just think about it and then you get it.

  2. Hi Sandra and happy birthday to your DH!

    I myself don't really shop for books online even though I own a Kindle. I do love to make use of the suggestions that Amazon gives me based on my wishlist and previous purchases though and sometimes find out about new books from there. I also love blogging (go figure) it's the best for learning about new authors and books!

    XOXO~ Renee C.

  3. We lost our Borders last month, but we're looking forward to Books a Million moving in to the building next month, plus a new locally owned bookstore opening downtown before next spring.

    Yes, changes - but exciting ones!

    Happy Birthday to Sandra's hubby! I'm supplying Devil's Food cake to celebrate, because there's just no way to have too much chocolate!

  4. I don't have a bookstore where I live unless you count Walmart--sad. For many years, I worked at Christian book stores, so I unpacked and shelved the new books--dream job! So, I've been mainly an online shopper for years. But when I started inputting books into my Inspirational Historical Fiction Index, http://inspirationalhistoricalfiction.blogspot.com/
    I saw how many books I've missed the last handful of years in this genre!!! I've now made several purchases just by having to post books in my index. Stop on over if you're a Christian Historical reader--I have tons of books indexed by year, events, occupations, and themes, etc. It's my new online shopping center--didn't realize setting this site up would endanger my pocketbook, but I'm loving the new books I'm finding that I missed!

  5. We have three book stores Lifeway, Barnes & Noble and Hastings (not a complete bookstore, more music and videos). I have to admit I'll probably result to drastic measures if they take our B&N away. I'm talking sit-ins and what have you.

    You see I don't shop for shoes or purses or any of that kind of stuff. My ideal night on the town is walkig through the doors of a bookstore. I don't garage sell for furniture items or clothing, I shop for books. I love books. I have books from the late 1800s maybe even earlier. I would definitely mourn the loss of one of our bookstores.

    I do like the idea of loading the classics on the Kindle for my kids to read, it saves me from the frustration of them accidently losing their books.

  6. BTW, Melissa's index site is the bomb! (couldn't think of a better explanation. I've been looking for something like it for a long while and there it is.

  7. Yep, the coffee's ready. There's plenty, so have at it.

    My little town has no bookstory, and our little Wal Mart has a book section that's more like what you would find at a mini mart.

    So I do shop online. Amazon is a regular source. And, yes, I also utilize eBay. Looking for backlist books is the biggest advantage to these sites.

    I hit the bookstores when I visit my daughter. She hasn't indicated she's heard of any big ones closing.

    Change is a dirty word to me. I don't embrace it well. I resist---until forced to make a move. Looks like an e-reader is the next hurdle for me.


  8. Your books are absolutely darling!

    And a Happy Birthday to your DH!

    If I want a book and the only way I can buy it is on e-book (especially books on writing)
    I do, but, I still like it when I can print it.

    Thanks for your generosity,

    Jan K.

  9. Oh, and by the way I like the pictures of the bookstores. Of course they look so very inviting!

    Jan K.

  10. Hey there!
    Ohhhhhh I was SO sad when I found out our Borders was closing :( Then after Hurricane Irene it took over a month for the only used bookstore to reopen from the damage. I went in the other day only to find out that they had discarded their entire (even if it was small) Christian fiction section! I was SO mad!!! Anyway, I love, lvoe, love shopping in bookstores. I have a Kindle and I like it, especially for travelling, but there is NOTHING like shopping in a store for books in my opinion.
    I also love blogging, as Renee said! It has become a huge part of my life, but well....bookstores! C'mon! LOL!
    Anyway, thanks for joining us today in Seekerville :) Will try and be back later, but I need to head home to see my uncle, so we'll have to see :/

  11. When I moved from the big smoke to a small country town, the one thing I was really upset to leave was the big bookstores. Then the big bookstores all went under and closed, and I didn't feel so left out anymore! Even in Sydney, I don't think they have many of those big bookstores anymore, and the smaller ones are only stocking heavily discounted items. You can pick up great board books for the kids cheap, some other reference books but anything aside from the top 10 type fiction books, forget it.

    So I do all my book shopping online now, except for when my sister hits her local Christian bookstore and I get her to get things for me. I still only been buying print books online, but have started downloaded free ebooks to read on kindle for my smart phone (don't have an actual kindle yet). I've found them a great way to try out new authors. I haven't downloaded enough yet that the titles get "lost". Though I think a good way to combat that is to make sure you setup good "shelves" and assign books to those shelves as soon as you download. And a "to-read" shelf has to be the first you create!

    Otherwise, I am relying heavily on blogs now for recommendations on books to buy. Particularly when I find a blogger that has proven to have similar tastes to me, I'm likely then to trust their recommendation.

    I am still driven by the visual, and when Amazon pops up a book cover in front of me as a suggestion, I can be compelled to buy it!

    But absolutely, I miss walking into a bookstore and browsing those shelves.

  12. I'm not a huge fan of ebooks. I love curling up with a real book and love how they look on a shelf. I do however love shopping online for books, especially since they are cheaper than in a bookstore and I am a MAJOR cheapskate. I use Amazon's customers who bought this item also bought... to find books similar to ones I enjoy. Though half.com is my fav book-shopping place!

  13. I'm so glad you like the site, Christina! Thanks for the props. Unlike a bookstore, you can see all the books face out, I use to do that for my favorite authors when I worked retail :)Always made the books disappear faster.

    But I do love used bookstores! And library book sales, I am known to walk away with BAGS from there of things that I wouldn't spend my money on without a lot of thought. But when they are 50 cents to 2 dollars? I basically check my brain at the door at those places and just throw things in bags. But I do wonder why the Christian section is always so little. Do Christian fiction readers never let their books go or do the used book store owners refuse to buy them or are we just that tiny of a reading population? Anyone got a guess?

  14. I do what Abbi does sometimes, and use what Amazon suggests.
    But I also have Powell's City of Books hooked up several ways. I have a 'Daily Dose' which is a daily book review that comes to my e-mail. The good thing is that every day someone wins $20 credit if they use your review. Last month it was $250 grand prize! So, the more you review, the better chance they use one and you get a credit.

    Also, with Powell's they have some fun subscriptions where you can sign up for a book a month from a genre. Kind of like a book club- but the books are SIGNED. I got that as a gift at Christmas one year. I LOVE that person!
    We have several independant books stores and what I like is that after a while the owner knows all my kids' interests and he'll save, say, a great book on geology or birds or a certain author and e-mail me about it.
    Our HAstings is on my super bad list. They announced a midnight release party (which you can't do ONLINE) for the last Christopher Paolini book from the (Eragon) Inheritance Cycle. My 11 year old flipped out (she's been counting down the days for months).

    Then they canceled it for a Halo game that was releasing the same day. Really. A video game. We were crushed. And I'm ready to boycott. :(

  15. As for 'Eldest' the new book that's coming out on the 8th, Christopher Paolini is touring the country but only hitting cities about 8 hours from us. I've been going through my facebook friends to see who's close enough to be a groupie for us and stand in line! :D

  16. P.S. Powell's in Portland is SO BIG they hand you a map as you walk in. Seriously. And the rooms are color coded so you can figure out where you are. :)

  17. I ALMOST totally read Christian or inspirational books. CBD (Christian Book Distributors) is a good source. Christianbook.com. But Amazon and others are easier to navigate.

  18. Oh, I just love a good bookstore! The only big bookstore left in my home county was Borders...but you know what happened there. :( Yet somehow I still manage to fill up my TBR stack to a constant overflowing status! I have books from giveaways, gifts, and my own spending habits stored up, but I get most of my new books now for review purposes. Can I just say I love blogging??? :D

    But back to bookstores... I recently went to Ashland, Oregon for the Shakespeare Festival with my Shakespeare class (it was an absolutely wonderful trip!!!), and the morning before one we went to see Julius Caesar we got to walk around the cute town (with the sun shining and everything!). Of course, being English majors and such, we had to visit a bookstore! And, of course, I couldn't resist the siren call of the books...so I bought two! ;) So much fun!

    Like you, Sandra, I'm torn. Nothing beats a cozy bookstore and a book you can hold in your hand (thank goodness you can still buy physical copies of books online!), but I love the social media opportunities. :) I <3 my blogging friends!!


    P.S. Virginia, I go to school an hour south of Portland, and I got to visit Powell's my first semester (a couple of years ago). Talk about an experience! It's like a huge, block-long library - but you can buy the books for keeps! :D

  19. Hi- I live in South Africa so I love being able to go online and buy books for my Kindle. It means I don't have to wait months for the book to arrive, I don't have to worry about it getting lost in the mail, I don't have to pay import tax AND it costs me a lot less than a hard copy. The occasional title is not available here, but I've been able to buy most of the books that I've wanted.

    That being said, I love going into my local Bible Shops and browsing and choosing books.

    So I actually have the best of both worlds.

    I find my online books by picking out titles on blogs like this with author interviews etc. Then I go to Amazon and read the blurb and reviews to decide whether or not I want to buy the Kindle version.

  20. I haven't had fresh coconut for years. Yummo, I'm there for it...and the fresh fruit....heaven!

    I learn about most of the books I read by visiting blogs. I appreciate reading what others think of the book. They've taken the 'test drive' for me and I value & respect their opinions.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  21. Interesting post and discussion , Sandra.

    What I love about ebooks isthe instant gratification when I hear about a book. Like Walt mentioned, I can purchase and begin reading instantly. Love that.

    I also love the sample chapters that are available. My nook app is full of sample chapters. Most times I end up buying the whole book, but having the option to try it out first is a big plus.

    I mourn the demise of brick and mortar stores just becaue I'm so totally at home in a bookstore. DH and I have a standing Saturday bookstore date. My week is completely thrown off if I miss it.

  22. I forgot to mention that while ebooks are wonderful (especially when taking trips) I still love a book that I can hold and turn it's pages. I like being able to flip back a few pages if I want to clarify something. I've tried that with my Sony ereader and it's just not as convenient. I also love, love, love the smells of libraries and book stores. With all that said I'm a wishin' for a Nook or the new Kindle.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  23. Sandra, you're right about there being as many exciting new things as there are old ones passing away to mourn. Life is always about change. One of the scientific criteria of life is that the organism must be in a constant state of change. In other words changing contintinually. (I'm sure you knew this.) I always remind myself that we are supposed to be changing and growing always, but that change isn't always easy.

    Congrats on your children's books. I wrote one and it's in my file drawer somewhere. Kudos to you for the follow through and getting them published.

    The fresh fruit is just what I need this morning. Thanks for breakfast!

  24. Very nice post even i would say that whole blog is awesome.

  25. I went into my first Books-A-Million last year. I've been in Waldenbooks a few times, too. But the most part, I've been an online shopper for both books and movies.

    I have a hard time buying something I've never read or seen before. What if I don't like it and I've spent money that I could have put on something I did like? But you can't always get said objects from the library, and sometimes you're just sure you will love that book with the beautiful cover. So where to?

    Amazon.com-- I have been an avid customer of this online store for years. A lot of the time, the merchandise is on sale, which is a big selling point! They used to be super fast in shipping, too, and though they have slowed down pretty considerably in that area in my opinion, the merchandise does arrive in a timely manner (who can wait for the next Seeker book??), and in my experience, the merchandise is always in good shape.

    Don't think you can browse an online store for the next Great American Novel? Au contraire! The "Customers Who Bought this Item Also Bought..." is a wonderful browse-assisting tool. Start with a familiar author, see a beautiful cover. Click beautiful cover. Read about book. Add to TBR list. See another beautiful cover. Doesn't sound too interesting. Go back. Browse. Click beautiful cover with eye-catching title. Read summary. TBR with a star beside it.

    I love this way of browsing. Book stores are wonderful, and I too mourn the loss of this great thing. The smell, the eye-candy, the cozy feeling. Looking to your left and right and seeing that people can still read, and do in fact read an occasional book. A huge demise and downfall of human beings is how they carelessly abuse something until it's extinct. I hope tangible books and book stores don't make that sad, long list.

    And, of course, CBD is a wonderful online Christian book store.

  26. I forgot to mention that the "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought..." section is not limiting. I have spent 2+ hours browsing a variety of book that looked wonderful. As soon as you click on an item, you're given a whole new selection of books to browse. It's great. You can start in suspense and end up in westerns.

  27. Wow, I'm up at 4:30 am and so many comments. Some of you must be night owls.

    Walt, not only must you be a night owl, but you must be young also. How do you scroll through 100 titles and remember what each book is about from the title only? Do you have the Nook that shows covers?

    Great to know you can satisfy that wish list so quickly. So you get your wish list from friends or reading stuff on the Internet?

  28. Hi Renee, So you get your ideas from blogs? Are they blogs from reviewers or the actual authors?

  29. Jan, My hubby loves you. Devils Food chocolate cake. Are you kidding. We all love you for that. smile

    Interesting that new bookstores are going to replace the old. They must see the demand is still there.

  30. Good Morning, Sandy!

    Like, Helen, we haven't had any book stores close but I have noticed that the Barnes & Noble I love to go to in Sioux Falls has pared down their stock. Christian Fiction is about half the size it once was. : (

    However, I do shop on line quite a bit.

    I have a Nook but I probably don't even have 50 books on it yet. I do like it but I have so many "traditional" books on my shelf to read, I tend to grab those before I think of my Nook.

  31. Hi Sandra,

    I, too, miss going to the small corner bookstore and browsing through the shelves.

    But I have to agree with Walt the ease of getting on my Kindle and pressing a couple buttons and Voila there's the new Seeker book uploaded is fabulous.

    As for finding books, Amazon (much like the kindly bookstore owner) suggests authors and books based on what I search or purchase. This has helped me find many new authors. And unlike the corner bookstore they put some of their books online for free, so I can read a new author/new genre at no risk.

    So, like all change there's some good and some bad.

    Hope your dh has a happy birthday!


  32. MELISSA, What a SUPER site. Folks I'll put in a link.

    Melissa's Historical Fiction Index

    Thanks again Melissa for sharing.

    Sounds like a project for contemporary also.

  33. Christina, I"m soooooo with you. Who cares about shopping. Unless its a bookstore. Or writing supplies. I do love Staples and Office Max also. LOL

    Let's go shopping.

  34. Helen, thanks for the coffee.

    When you shop online, how do you find the books you want? do you already know the author you want?

    There are a lot of authors out there. How do you find the new ones?

  35. Thank you Janet. I think the artist of my picture books did a great job. His name is Jeff West and he just had his first baby.

  36. So Hannah, Does that mean you get your ideas for books to buy from blog tours?

    Sounds like blog tours are getting to be very important.

  37. Helen, What a great idea to set up shelves in your Kindle. I didn't know you could do that. And a To Be Read shelf sounds like a must.

    Interesting that covers still have that marketing appeal-even online.

  38. HI Abbi, We all probably have some "cheapskate" in us. Publishers and authors want us to buy their books at full price, but the reality is, we all have to budget.

    So bargain prices help sell books too. hmmmmm.

  39. Wow, Virginia, Powell City of Books sounds wonderful. I like the idea of the reviews coming in your email every day.

    Can you post the URL for that site. I bet some of our readers would love to hook into that as well.

  40. Mary Cline, I agree with you about navigating CBD's webpages. I try to support and use them, but often have so many problems I end up going back to Amazon.

  41. Hi Amber, Didn't you just love the Shakespeare Festival?

    That is soooooo fun. They have one every summer at Lake Tahoe also. I used to go with my mom. We'd take a picnic and sit on the sand dunes and chat with all the others in the audience before the play began. So fun.

  42. Sandy, happy birthday to your dh. My guy orders likes pie for his birthday, but his selection is always chocolate truffle pie. Decadent to be sure! Hope your man has a great day!

  43. I love this post, Sandra. You did a great job of showing the pluses of the new digital age. I do think it's sad, though, to see the book stores closing. So far one has closed in my area, that I know of. But we are still blessed with two Books-A-Million stores, two Barnes & Noble stores, and two Christian book stores.

    E-books are the wave of the future, and so far, I see that as a very positive thing for authors. As far as marketing, I will keep doing what I'm doing--interacting with people on facebook, doing blog interviews and posts, and giving away books as prizes on blogs, or to reviewers.

    I do have a question, Sandra. Is it possible to give away an e-book, and how do you do that?

  44. What a great post. The way you showed the things you're mourning and the things you're excited about.

    With young children, I don't have many opportunities to go into bookstores, although when I do, it's dangerous! There's a bookstore in Denver called The Tattered Cover, and it has floors of books of every kind. Their coffee shop is fun to sit in and put up my feet after I've perused everything they have. They are definitely a one-of-a-kind shop.

    That said, because of having young kiddos and not a lot of time (gotta write sometime, right?), I have begun doing more shopping on-line, usually at Amazon. I got Kindle earlier this year, and I like it, especially for travel. But, I also love having a book with cover and pages to hold in my hands.

    I usually select books from authors I know and have read befor. Although, as I "meet" authors on-line, I am reading more of their books too. So far, I haven't been too adventurous in trying authors I've never heard of.

  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

  46. Ruth Ann, I can definitely see where online ebook shopping helps you.

    So you find the reviews helpful? You are the first one to mention that. I read them also, not only for books but for any products I buy online.

  47. Hi Cindy W. So how do you select the blogs to get reviews from? Word of mouth? One blog leading to another?

    And that coconut is yummy isn't it? Captain Jack picked plenty to share.

  48. Morning Diana, Dust off that children's book. They are more difficult to get published than novels, but worth the effort. You just need to be persistent and patient.

    But you need that in all aspects of the publishing world.

  49. Hi Mary C. I LOVE your bookstore Saturday date with your DH. What a special guy. smile

    You're right about the sample chapter. That is what you do in a bookstore--read the first few pages to see if the writing style interests you. Something you can't do when shopping online unless they do offer the sample chapters.

    Great point.

  50. Sandra, I think change has hit just about all communities. In our town we only have 2 used book stores. (One of them is too expensive even for used books!)We had a bookstore in the mall but that closed not too long ago. I love bookstores. I could stay in there all day.

    I don't have a Kindle to purchase books but I do have the Kindle App on my computer so I can get them that way. (I just don't like to sit down and read my computer much at the time). I don't really buy a lot of books online (I take advantage of the freebies). But what makes me decide if I might want the book is the readers reviews. You can learn a whole lot about the book that way.

    Happy Birthday to your DH! I'll take a piece of that cherry pie to go with Helen's coffee!

  51. This is a great post on the times:

    It was the best of bookstores, it was the worst of bookstores...

    It was an age of light, it was a time of darkness...

    Sandra, wonderful credits and debits on change!

    And you sailed to the island with Jack, did you????

    And, um Ed??? You know: THAT CUTIE PIE HUSBAND OF YOURS?????

    Oh my stars, SCANDAL in Seekerville! Next thing you know they'll be doin' one of those tell-all books on the Seekers.

    (Wait, forget I said that, I don't want to PLANT A SEED in anyone's brain!!!)

    Walt, I like being able to just on-the-spot connect, too. But I'm still getting used to my Nook...

    Score: Nook - 10

    Ruthy - 1

    But I'll get better at it.

    I shop online most often. I hate that time pushes me to do that, but would I rather lose myself in a bookstore like in years past or write???


    But I also order from local bookstores and then have my virtual assistant pick things up for me because she's got more time than I do.

    So I try to boost local economy, but I do a lot of button clicking to shop these days and it's actually kind of "freeing".

    And I unromantically give GIFT CARDS LIKE CRAZY.

    I have never had a bride or groom or young mother tell me the unimaginative gift card was unwelcome, right? (big grin... money good... no need to exchange!)

    Helen, I'll help drag you, dear. In exchange for the coffee!

    Hannah! Waving from upstate!

    Renee, it's tricky, isn't it??? I was amazed at how Tulsa is booming with new growth. Coming from a stale market in upstate, their growth and construction was a sight for sore eyes!

  52. Hi Whitney, Thanks for taking us through the online browsing experience. I can see where that is "almost" like browsing in a bookstore.

    But I wonder how Amazon selects the lists. Is it really by customer who bought this also bought ........? Is it computerized by actual purchases? Or buy ad purchased? Just wondering.

    When I buy more than one book they are rarely related. Most of the time I'm buying gifts so they would be for different people with different tastes. So how accurate is that?

    But it is a useful tool. I agree. Often when you write a review they ask you to select other books you would recommend so that might be useful and maybe they use that for their selection.

  53. Hi Rose, So without a bookstore nearby, how do you select the books you buy online?

    How do you find out about the titles you want to read?

  54. Thanks Kirsten, So far dh is sleeping in. He loves to do that so for his birthday, I don't pester him. YET.

    Sounds like quite of few of you are relying on suggestions from similar purchases that Amazon gives you.

    When you read the free books offered by a new author, and you like that new author, do you look for their next book and buy it?

  55. Hi Jeanne T. Thanks and how fun to find another who loves pies instead of cakes. Chocolate truffle? Who wouldn't pick that. chuckle.

    I'm sure dh will have fun. That is his main job in our family. He is the one in charge of FUN. And he's great at it. He finds more fun, different and interesting things to do. I think one of his relatives down the road must have been an explorer like Daniel Boone. LOL

  56. Christina - You didn't mention one of my favorite bookstores in your town! Lloyd Zimmer Books and Maps on 6th Street. A FANTASTIC used book store, and his maps are wonderfully fascinating.

  57. Hi Melanie, Yes it is possible to give away ebooks. I have to admit, they are the least expensive way and also make it easier to give away internationally.

    You just go to the bookstore of your choice such as Amazon and order the ebook. When they ask for shipping address, you put in the email address of the person receiving the book.

    Now the book has to be offered in ebook form. If it is, then ordering ebooks is a great way to give away books.

    I agree with you. Publishing is going to become more and more digital. It would have done so earlier, but e readers needed to improve first. Since the new e readers became so much better, ebooks have taken off.

  58. Hi Patsy, Another who uses the reviews. Interesting. I didn't think about reviews being that important but it makes sense.

    I don't like it though when reviewers give away the story too much. I prefer they just give their opinion and maybe some samples of what they like about the book. But when they tell the whole story, I am not pleased.

  59. Sandra, happy birthday to your d/h! Happy birthday Seekerville!

    Thanks for sharing the positive and negative aspects of change. I, too, mourn my independent Inspy bookstore. The owner hosted my signings and kept my books on the shelves until they were out of print. I miss her smiling face and the store, but as you say, change is inevitable. I have a Kindle. Right now loaded with Pam's Stealing Jake and a word game. I'm either slow to accept change or that TBR stack of books keeps calling me. I should at least download my own eBooks. LOL

    Fun to have an island breakfast, but watch out for Jack. :-)


  60. It is a sad/sweet song you sing, ringing out the old and making way for the new. It is switching from the horse to the rocketship. There are times you like the slow faithful plod of the horse, kicking up plumbs of dust, steady and familiar.

    Looking forward, there is the advent of the new eBook era. The excitement and clamor to where no man has gone before.

    We are in a period of change. It is human nature to resist change. We cling to the old, embracing the new with tentativeness, dipping our toes first to see if the water is warm before we dive head first.

    I love children's books and would love to have some of yours.

  61. RUTHY HUSH. We aren't going to even go there with the "tell all about the Seekers" Don't forget, I have some great stories to tell on you. LOL

    And no worries about going to the island with Captain Jack. He happens to think Ed is a kick. After all they are both into FUN which makes them great friends.

    So Nook 10 and Ruthy 1. That sounds like the odds I would have.

    My 91 year old dad bought a Kindle so he could get the print enlarged enough to still read. He loves it. But sometimes he has the same odds as you and gets hung up. He calls me which is a laugh because my odds aren't much better. LOL

  62. Hi Janet, I almost used your picture of your first signing with the big bouquet of roses. It was so lovely, but it was late and I didn't think I could call you that late. smile

    Have fun learning about the Kindle.

  63. Elizabeth B. Wow, I can tell you're a writer. How poetic you are. I loved your analogy of horse to rocketship. Isn't that the way of it?

  64. Morning, Sandra! No Price of Victory in the give-away, huh? Hmm... Well, toss my name in the hat anyway. :-)

    How do I hear about books? I'm a bit of a recluse with my illness, so I don't do a lot of shopping. I LOVE bookstores with coffee shops!!!! It's one of the few things I treat myself to. A couple hours in a bookstore is like a day at the spa for me. I also check out what's at the library now and then.

    Other than that, I hear about books via word of mouth on-line. Facebook and Twitter and Seekerville and Goodreads. I don't do a lot of blog hopping. I don't check my favorite author websites often. I just get overwhelmed with so many sites to visit and not enough time and energy to keep up. Besides, I'm busy writing, right? Right! Right after I do the dishes, laundry, homeschooling, Social Network updates, cooking, running my teens every evening... Yeah! I haven't typed a single word in a week and I'm about to go a little luny over the fact.

    I do go for free Kindle reads. I'll check out that list for new books now and then, so I probably have a bunch of books in my tbr electronic pile in which I've never heard of or read the author.

    As to my favorite authors, I'd much rather hold their book in my hands. :D What can I say? I'm a paper freak! I love the paper with ink and an appealing in-color cover. I can curl up and hold it in my hands. I can place it on my shelf and look at it when I want.

    Books, good books can create warm memories. Those are the ones I want on my shelf where I can pull them down, look at them, touch them, smell them anytime I want.

    Right now my shelf is overflowing... clutter... not so warm a feeling there, but I love them just the same. :D

  65. I love ebooks. I love what they've done for my friends who write non-traditional books, and my friends who have epublished backlists.

    I also see ebooks as increasing revenue for authors over the long run. There were years when I never bought a new book, only used. At the time, it didn't occur to me that the author never received a 'cut' of that sale. With ebooks (pirating aside) hopefully authors will always receive a portion of the sale.

    At the same time, I felt like I was in a race to publish a book while I could still touch it, feel it, and put it on the shelf. I don't think the next generation will even care though!

  66. Thanks for telling me how to give away e-books, Sandra! That could save me a lot of time and postage! Although I don't think there's anything like holding a paperback book in your hands and looking at the gorgeous cover. :-)

    I still don't have an e-reader, but would love one. I've already got a collection of e-books stored on my computer for when I do get one. :-)

  67. I keep close tabs on Kindle's free downloads. Not because I'm cheap, but because it allows me to sample new or different authors. If I like them, then I will seek out their other books. But if I have to pay for that first try, I might pass over new in favor of old reliable.

  68. Wow, interesting post, Sandra. And Happy Birthday to DH!! I learned a lot...and from the comments, too. I love to read, but don't have Kindle yet...thinking about one. I pass my books on to church library (taking them 22 tomorrow). Thanks, also, for posting helpful links for us. Would love to be in the draw!

  69. Sandra,

    Sure, if I get a free read and like the author I'll become a devoted fan and start buying their books. But it's also nice if you end up reading their work and it's just not for you.


  70. How do I find the next novel to read? I used to flail around and wonder what to do about it when I needed my next book because I'm 20 miles from a loan-paper version-library OR a store carrying novels. Now, I join the blogs of my Seeker friends online (and other favorite Christian authors) and read about the latest in books available to read. Word of mouth, via word of page, travels fast in cyber space but us readers can count on the validity of it just as much as one used to trust a good firm handshake.

    I love seeing the addresses of other blogs out there so I can go "look" down their pages also. A quick link virtually takes me into a new world as the next blog, through the wires or air waves, has a distinct flavor and theme of it's own. You authors are SO CREATIVE and seeing your blogs with your own special touch makes us readers feel right at home as we browse your articles and posts.

    You might have guessed by now I do prefer online shopping. The expense of driving (gas and time on the feet) is the biggest reason. Plus I know where to go (within minutes instead of almost an hour round trip) to find books I can count on to be wholesome and exciting.

    I had to almost laugh at the question about finding the next gem to read because it seems lately when I read the next well-written adventure, I find that 'next gem' and realize I have stuck gold AGAIN, in that next new author I didn't know existed before your suggestions on your blogs.

    Thanks for the 'eats' Captain is sharing today. I think I'll drag my husband along to sample the fare (although the more I do book blogs and share about them with him, he is coming more willingly to 'taste' the goods). He has actually discovered some new favorite authors himself by books we read aloud together!

    Pam Williams
    cepjwms (at) wb4me (dot) com

  71. Busy day here today. Popping in to say hi though!

    And I have cookies.

    Have a great day Seekerville!

  72. Hey, SANDRA, fun post ... all those wonderful pics of bookstores tug at me to go sit in one with a cup of hazelnut coffee!!

    I have to admit, I was slow to purchase books online, but now that's the only way I do because it's just so DARN easy!! I don't have a Kindle, so if I do order books (a rarity since I get so many free ones to read and my publisher has a perk program where you get to select $150 of books a year!!!), I buy paperbacks. I have a personal library to boggle your mind, which includes LOTS more books in boxes that I haven't put on my bookshelf yet!

    I was the 2nd youngest of 13 kids, so to this day, buffets give me a tic in my eye and a nervous quiver in my stomach. I guess because 15 people grabbing for food all at once scared the living daylights out of me that there wouldn't be enough. To this day, I would much rather sit down to a meal I ordered than a buffet. And I am the SAME exact way with bookstores. I get overwhelmed in actual bookstores like Borders, etc. because there are so many books I want to read and so little money or time to do so. But if I buy a book online and it's delivered to my home? It's like a fine meal being delivered to my table that I can savor and enjoy.

    Oooo ... suddenly I'm hungry ... gotta go.


  73. Good morning, Sandra! You made some great points. It's sad to see changes but exciting as well with new opportunities.

    I usually buy in several ways:
    My auto buy authors
    by word of mouth recommendation
    author friends' books
    read excerpt that draws me in
    hear about a book on a blog or in a review
    Award winners/finalists (Rita, Christy, and Carol Awards)

    It's been years since I've regularly visited a bookstore just to browse. With young kids I never had time unless it was date night. So for the last 20 years, I almost always go in a store with a particular title I'm looking for. So I guess things aren't changing much for me.

  74. I mourn with you and I rejoice with you!

  75. I hated it when Borders closed because that was my favorite bookstore.

  76. Julie, Your editor sounds fantastic! I would love to pick out $150 worth of books per year!

  77. I haven't really tried a nook/kindle yet. I like the feeling of a bookstore, although i do still buy online because it is cheaper.

  78. I love, love, love the feel and look of a beautiful book cover! Nothing like it. And I can only imagine how the author feels!
    But, oh the room all those books take up in my house! To have them all in that little thin contraption and have all that space back...

  79. I should also add that sometimes I order online. And I also call my local indie bookstore and order from him. He gives everyone a bit of a discount off retail, which is nice.

  80. And another plus NO shipping and handling fees. I HATE paying for shipping and handling.

  81. Melissa, thanks for sharing your index!! That's fantastic!

  82. Donna, I'm with you. I will not pay shipping. I put things on my wish list or in my cart and wait until I have enough to go over $25. Or else I just call my local bookstore to order it for me.

  83. Great post Sandra! So sad to see the bookstores go, but so exciting to see all the new things that are happening!

    Julie, I so agree about bookstores being so overwhelming! The bookstore workers probably think I’m weird because I get SO excited whenever I see a new release from one of my favorite authors.

  84. I do have to say I have a kindle and it makes reading so much easier. I have a one year old and it easier to carry and easier to read around her. Also I love blog parties. I have met and found so many new authors. I have only been to one book signing, I refuse to go to a signing where I have to pay $30 more just to get the book signed, from a local author. I have only been to one book signing ever and I rarely see other authors that I read come where I am. Blog parties, Virtual signings, even the new kindlegraph give readers and authors alot more interaction and I really like that.

    Hilleary Peterson

  85. Really, really thought-provoking topic, Sandra!

    (Typing this in my office as I sit between two floor-to-ceiling bookcases jam-packed with everything from inspirational nonfiction to reference books to writing craft to my favorite fiction!)

    I love books. I've always dreamed of having my own in-home library, one room devoted to NOTHING but books (and one really comfy chair).

    Interestingly, I haven't used a library card in years. Why? Because I prefer to OWN the books I read so I can pick them up again any ol' time I'm in the mood.

  86. Great post Sandra (and Happy B'day to your hubby!!). ~ Well, since I'm rather "old-fashioned" and don't have an e-reader (although my husband does) I still prefer books I can hold and turn pages in. We also have a BIG Books-a-Million store 5 min. away (it's wonderful!) and I LOVE going there and just browsing and sipping coffee (which is a real treat, LOL---I don't do that very often). But my husband loves his Nook and has tried to "sell" me on the idea....maybe one day *sigh*. ~ Your husband might not like peaches, but just in case...I did bring along my Georgia Peach Shortcake with *real* whipped cream (it's like strawberry shortcake except with peaches). And I think I'll have a cup of your choc. velvet---YUM!! ~ Blessings, Patti Jo :)

  87. What a delightful discussion! Just checked out Melissa's historical blog and it's awesome. I just took a quick peak but I already found a couple of books that I've never heard of and now HAVE to read!!!

    Which brings me to the way I've merged online and real-life book shopping. I do all my book purchasing at a lovely family-owned Christian bookstore BUT I realize now that I rarely browse any more. I do my browsing online through blogs mostly and then pick the books up at the store. I'll have to make a point of picking up one non-researched book a visit!

    I'm so not an e-book reader. I tried to download a book on my poor laptop and gave her conniptions which she is just getting over now. Egads -- a month without a computer at home! I don't think I'll ever recover! But I got a lot of book reading done. :-)

  88. I own a Kindle--but guess what? I'm still loving buying and reading hardcopy books! So I dearly hope that bookstores won't be entirely a thing of the past. When you cross a bookstore threshold whether a big box store or a little local shop, it's MAGIC!

  89. Linnette, You made me chuckle with your clutter of tbr stack of books. I'm chuckling because I soooo relate.

    I'm taking a bunch of books to my RWA meeting for giveaways. I mean it just gets too overwheming sometimes.

    And I find if I clear out the books I've read, then I have room to buy more.

    PRICE OF VICTORY is definitely in the pile of giveaways today. Thanks for requesting it. smile

  90. Too many books? No such thing.

    I do, however, suffer from the problem of not enough bookshelves...

  91. Sherri S. I had to chuckle at your "race to be published in a paper book". How sweet. And I know what you are saying. The next generation probably won't even understand why we cluttered our shelves with books that collect dust.

    Our paper books will become antiques. hmmm.

    Just like 45 records. LOL

    I know some authors who used to be upset with used book sales, but I point out that is how I "discovered" authors I loved. There was a time I couldn't afford new books, but once I fell in love with an author I had discovered in the used book store, I couldn't wait and would buy new.

    I suspect free ebooks will have the same result.

  92. You're welcome Melanie.

    Some ebooks can be purchased on CD's and the CD box has the cover in it. Like music CD's. I've even seen authors autograph the CD covers like they do books.

  93. Good point Mindy. So I'm assuming that Kindle puts out a list of freebies? Sounds like it from some of the other comments.

    That is like having the sample chapters.

    But with so many free books out there, what makes you stop reading a freebie and going in and purchasing that author you decided you liked?

  94. Hey Jackie, I just took two boxes of books to church also. They have a great library.

    Good place to find reads also is the library.

  95. Hi Pamela J,

    Wow, I see your point. You can buy an extra book with the gas money you save. Good point.

    So I'm guessing you have found some great blogs where you get suggestions for the next book. I'm glad Seekerville is one of them because I do think our authors and friends have some great stuff.

    Feel free to share any other links you find exciting.

  96. Carol, You saved the day. Thanks for the cookies. I've been telling dh how delicious they were.

  97. Sandra, good post! Thanks! I like how you have some of the pros/cons. I'm with Helen... Resisting change on this whole ebook thing...

    THOUGH, I recently downloaded Kindle to my laptop and it's kinda nice. :)

    I don't buy a book full-price unless I REALLY want it. I head to the library or go to Amazon or ebay or Christianbooks.

    That being said, making friends here at Seekerville has introduced me to authors I would not have read on my own and I'm a fan now... So I've bought books I heard about here (and elsewhere) and tell others! So blogs and such definitely expand the reader-base!

    It's certainly an interesting time to be in the publishing industry.

    As an independently published author, getting the word out is the biggest challenge. The print run was smaller but still, letting enough people know so interest turns into a sale is key.


  98. Whoops!

    Sandra - tel your dh happy happy! Mine's was LAST week! ;D

  99. Hi Jules, Great analogy of a buffet and a single order. You're right. A book showing up in the mail is a true delight. Yummmmmm

    You are one savvy promoter so I always look at what you're doing for ideas. I like how you reward the reviewers. Have you noticed how many commenters use reviews to help make their decision to buy?

  100. I did mention the library, 20 miles away from where I live, just awhile ago but hadn't thought about our church library because it is in the process of being put together. I plan to take a bunch of my cherished novels there to share because I know they are wholesome for those who will read them.

    That IS a draw back to the kindle because no one I know has one so I can't share. Good reason to keep getting paper copies.

    Pam Williams
    cepjwms (at) wb4me (dot) com

  101. Whew!!!!!

    One hundred posts already.

    Talk about being overwhelmed.

    But happily so.

    So I'm going to announce some winners. We'll get more after the next hundred.

    And of course they will be announced in the Weekend Edition.

    Be sure and email your snail mail and email address so I can ask you which book you want.

    Winners for the first 100 are:


    Cindy W.

    Mary C.

    Jeanne T.

    Congrats to all of you.

    And remember all of you are in for the weekly prize and the month price of the notebook.

    Don't forget to call your library and ask for Price of Victory. Thanks- :)

  102. I have a Nook, but still read plenty of real paper books "in real life" as I call it. I feel very sad for those women (and let's face it, they are the ones who read inspirational romance after all) in smaller towns - no access to a Barnes and Noble or have an extinct Mom & Pop bookstore -- the older women who are avid readers but who don't use a computer, have no desire to use a computer or e-book device, who will now be shut out of reading entirely. I fear their only link will be through the local libraries and church libraries. So I would hope the industry tries to strengthen those outlets, and encourage mail order book purchases - back to the old days when Columbia House tapes were being sent via snail mail :-)each month. Free shipping from HQN and Barbour etc. would help these folks sign up for a subscription, I think.

  103. Sandra,

    I like both print and e-books and am pretty torn between them. I would usually rather read a paper book, but when I'm going to be gone at a sports event all day or am taking a trip, I like an iPad loaded with possible reading choices. I am on edge to keep track of it so it isn't stolen and am also afraid I'll mess up the screen or something, so more anxiety is involved.

    I like to read in bed (usually under the covers) while hubby sleeps, and an iPad is not snuggle-worthy. And my favorite thing is reading in the tub, on the rare occasion I get the chance. I don't take the iPad there.

    I recently cleared out the bookshelves and all the freed up space is great. I think a bit more about getting the print ones now.

    I'd like to win a book today. :)


  104. Julie, you made me laugh out loud! I read 2nd of 13 kids and thought, 'Were you the runt? The oldest kids always win!' Then I re-read it as 2nd YOUNGEST of 13. Yikes! I'm surprised you even survived! :D My husband is sencond OLDEST of 11 and he's got some stories to tell...

    But that reminds me of a sitter we had (one time, thank you) who set a big bowl of food in front of my (then) 4 kids and walked away. My kids had a great time, but let's say the littler ones didn't get a whole lot. Isn't that the sitter's meal plan weirdest thing??

    Yeah, we usually go for plates and utensils, but we're crazy that way.

  105. Hi Missy, Would love to take time this morning and sit in the Yankee Bell Cafe and chat with you and Ruthy about your latest book.

    Thanks for your list.

    Where do you get the excerpts from? The inside of books you've already purchased?

  106. Hi Sandra,

    This is the topic 'du jour', isn't it?

    I buy most of my books on line now because the Christian books are nowhere to be found in our one and only box name bookstore - CHAPTERS. And our city doesn't have a Christian book store or even a gift store. So I must order on line. I do however get some from the library - I request them and they come in from other branches.

    Still don't love ebooks, although I have a Sony reader. Maybe I would like a Kindle more.

    Nothing beats a good bookstore though or the feel of opening a new book!

    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

  107. Hi Ashley R.

    I know what you mean about Julie's opportunity to purchase $150 worth of books. Sweet.

  108. Oh, btw, Melissa - AWESOME blog! What a great way to look up books. How long did it take you to do that? All the categories and dates and places?

    Hats off to you!! Will be visiting you there a lot!


  109. Oh, I forgot the Powell's link!

    And Amber, isn't the Ashland festival AMAZING??? A teenage friend of mine got to go this year and he was blown away.


    If you scroll down a bit, on the left is the Daily Dose, and how to sign up!

  110. You don't think libraries will be next do you?

    sniffle: sob

  111. I agree with Mindy.

    (Imagine that, Obenhaus!!!)

    I loved sampling new authors at used bookstore prices. So a free download is a great thing...

    Because if I like it I'll go order every book the author wrote. I think I'm not alone in that passion!

    My hesitation in doing that with a new author, is that they don't have other books. Consumers like me can have short memories. That's part of why Love Inspired loves you to produce 2-3 books per year because building an audience takes some continuity.

    So if you give away a new author's first book, will the public remember them six months from now, or a year or more from now when they sell again?

    I do not know the answer to this question, I'm just taking up space. And dropping off cookies!!!!


  112. Hi Donna,

    I agree that the e-readers do save space in your house and especially in your suitcase when traveling.

    But I still want to know how you select and manage finding those titles.

  113. Libraries CANNOT be next.


    I have too many memories and too much angst at the VERY IDEA, Connealy.

    Shame on you.


  114. So far the bookstores around us have remained open...so we still get to browse...which I love. My husband & I also love online shopping at Amazon or CB where we can quickly browse and decide what we're looking for. Often it's helpful when Amazon has suggestions...but most often I browse by category like for instance my favorite is historical romance so I browse that and then read the product descriptions to decide if it "strikes my fancy!"
    Thanks for sharing today...I've been feeling a lot of the same things with the big CHANGES! I guess it's good to know that God works everything together for our good...even bookstores:)

    have a great day,

    lornafaith at gmail dot com

  115. Hi Sandra:

    I have 767 books on my Kindle as of this morning. But only 127 are downloaded and ready to read. The rest are ‘archived’. That means they don’t take up any room on my Kindle but can be download from Amazon at any time I’m online.

    It can be very hard to remember why I downloaded a book in the first place. Sometimes I know a book will only be free for a day or two and I want to ‘’buy” it just in case it turns out I want to read it later.

    Many times I’ve tried to buy a book on Amazon for my Kindle and Amazon, God bless them, flashed a notice saying that I already have bought that book! This has saved me some money. This often happens after I’ve read a review and really want to read the book right away and I don’t even realize that I already have the book.

    Another big advantage of eBooks. If I want a classic that is out of copyright, the odds are good I can get it right away for free. That will not happen in a book store.

    The paper book is not going to die because people didn’t like paper books. It is going to die because it will not be able to compete in the new world.

    BTW: Change is old news. Many decades ago there was a best seller called “Future Shock” that stated that change is so quick today that it is making many people literally sick. But then I like the French saying: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” We are still humans with all the same human needs.

    I think eBook marketing is going to be a matter of getting people to actually read your books. There are more good free books available to read than a person could read in a life time.

    People my buy your book or download it for free but if they don’t actually read it, they won’t be motivated to buy your next book and hopefully put you on their ‘auto-buy’ list.

    I think writing careers will be built by giving people reasons to have actually read your books. Not just download or buy them. A writer will want the largest growing ‘auto-buy’ list possible. This surely would be a great platform.

    Blog appearances, being group book club selections, and getting talked about are good reasons for someone to have read your book.

    To get readers to read a book, they need to be rewarded for reading every page of the way. Likewise, a smart marketing author will also provide a reward for having read the book.

    I need to write a blog on eBook marketing and the many ways you can reward a reader for having read you book.

    This is my posting for today. I have to get to the hospital. Linda had her knee replacement yesterday and she needs lots of TLC. I was there all day yesterday and all is going very well. We thank all who have offered their prayers.


  116. I love to find out about new authors and new books by browsing blogs and also reading the catalogs I get from Christian Book Distributors.

    I almost always research a book before buying it in an actual bookstore. I remember the good old days when I was a teenager and I would just peruse the Sweet Dreams and Starfire romances for an hour or so before making my selection. Always loved every single book. With grown-up books, I'm not guaranteed to love them so I study them before going to the store.

    The selection of books at my local brick-and-mortar store is dwindling and you have to place an order anyway. While I like supporting them, I like to save money, too, so I order most of my books from Amazon and CBD.

    Like somebody else here said, though, I don't shop for shoes, purses or clothes. My idea of fun is to go to a bookstore.

  117. I'm not sure libraries or paper books will ever be truly extinct - even though I love the e-readers portability, there's no substitute for a real live book in my hands. And when you're reading to children? I don't care, the e-books just don't cut it.

    And the free books for the Kindle? I'm with Ruthy - I use the opportunity to seek out new authors to read, or to try an author someone else has recommended. I've found some great new reads that way.

    But my favorite way to find new authors is through the on-line community. ACFW, blogs, (of course, Seekerville) and Goodreads have helped me find more new authors than I can ever hope to read!

  118. I don't have an e reader - yet - but a lot of the appeal of a bookstore is the cafe attached, esp with the Borders - sniff, sniff - stores. Meeting up with friends, chatting, looking at books, recommending books, buying books - a lovely way to spend an hour or two and see what's on the shelves. If I want a specific title I'll often buy on line because its cheaper.

  119. I don't have an e reader - yet - but a lot of the appeal of a bookstore is the cafe attached, esp with the Borders - sniff, sniff - stores. Meeting up with friends, chatting, looking at books, recommending books, buying books - a lovely way to spend an hour or two and see what's on the shelves. If I want a specific title I'll often buy on line because its cheaper.

  120. Hi Amanda, Bookstore personnel may think you're weird, but we certainly don't. :) We are delighted.

  121. Hi Hilleary, Interesting point. You're right, the books online are cheaper than one you buy full price at an autograph party.

    Each meeting of our local RWA, Desert Rose Chapter, they feature one of our own authors and we sell our books autographed and at a discount.

  122. Oh Virginia the Powell's bookstore sounds amazing!!! Unfortunately I live in Smalltown, Backwoods USA so I don't have a book store closer than 45 minutes away so I love Amazon and blogging to get me books!!!

    XOXO~ Renee C.

  123. Happy Birthday to your husband Sandra!

    Usually when I shop online for books I already know what I'm going to buy or I'm looking for something specific in a topic, genre, etc. I also like sales :)

    I'm lucky to live near a bookstore that I can roam through :)

    And I'm not scared about ebooks, I don't think they've come into their own. I think they will become like a graphic, almost movie like experience. Just check out what J.K. Rowlings is doing with Harry Potter to see what I mean. We as writers may have to expand on how we write or hire experts to add in digital stuff for us. Sounds fun to me though :)

    Eva Maria Hamilton at gmail dot com

  124. Now THAT shook me up... to tell all the blog addresses I go to. (not that I can't or won't share, but I'd leave some out and then be sad) I came up, just quickly, with SOME of them and the number totals 29 spots. (before my son changed my search engine for me, I had well over 200) I don't go to each one every day but with a quick click of the mouse can be transported to any of them.
    Most of them have books listed on the side lines AND web addresses to go to THEIR blogs. You can build up quite a list in just a little while where to look at more books available as well as learn more of authors themselves (that's half the fun). Here is two that lists many all the time to get anyone started: http://kdawnbyrd.blogspot.com/

    Pam Williams
    cepjwms (at) wb4me (dot) com

  125. Jan, I've never even heard of it! Hmmm. . . shows you how much I actually get out of the house. If there's one thing I love more than books it's maps! My mom said I used to stare at maps four hours on end when I was little, little. I remember loving them in school and I collect them now right along with all my pictures of old ships.
    Funny how I'm landlocked in Kansas. ;)

    Thank you for the heads up.

  126. Much of my book shopping is done online as it is more convenient with my schedule these days. But I do love to visit an actual bookstore! Especially if it has a coffeeshop. :) There's just something wonderful about looking at the books in person as opposed to online. I hate to see so many of them closing. I am glad though, for all the new options available to readers and writers, just wish it didn't affect the bookstores the way it has.

  127. Sandra, this may have already been asked but with so many comments my skimming hasn't seen it. What's it like writing children's books? And do you see children's books moving to digital? How would that work with illustrations, which seem to be just as important to children's book, too?

  128. Libraries are morphing to compete with the Digital Age. Our local library offers a variety of services to the community including: computer clinics, online services, art exhibitions, storybook hour and playrooms for kids, workshops on quilting, origami, aquarium societies, reading help, tutoring, brown bag lunch clubs to discuss favorite books, writing classes, poetry readings, author readings, art classes, cooking classes, teen coffee clutches, jugglers, rubic cube competitions, theme based summer reading programs, magicians, tax help--you name it--the library has it. We need to maintain libraries and help them adapt for the benefit of social interaction. In the wake of the Digital Age people tend to isolate themselves more and more.

  129. Hi Sandra! Yes I get my blogs from reviewers and from authors! One of my very favorite reviewers for learning about new and upcoming releases in Christian Fiction is Relz Reviewz. Let me tell you that girl is on the ball when it comes to new books!!!

    XOXO~ Renee C.

  130. I believe I CRIED in my blog comment, Ruthy!!!!!! So don't scold me about libraries, for heaven's sake.

    Scold SANDRA. She started this.

  131. books-a-million is cool , but i still miss borders!

  132. Just heard on the news that 2 girls in Russia were switched at birth 12 years ago. I got to wondering what it would feel like to find out that you had been switched at birth. What do you all think?

  133. What an interesting day at Seekerville....thanks for sharing links! Love it!! I don't live close to bookstores so really enjoy knowing about online books stuff!

  134. We have Life-Way, Books A Million, and Hastings in our town.

    My husband and I shop occasionally at all of these. We also have a mom & pop used book stores that's been around for years. Don't have a Kindle.

    I hate to admit, I don't read a lot of books. Maybe 1 -3 a month. Sometimes none.
    I'm trying to read more.

  135. Sandra said: But with so many free books out there, what makes you stop reading a freebie and going in and purchasing that author you decided you liked?

    Personally, if I finish a book by an author I really enjoy, especially if they're new to me, I'll immediately click over to the Kindle store on my IPad and look for more ofnthat author's work. I recently discovered two new faves and was thrilled to be able to move right from one story to the next.

  136. Sue, It took me more time than I had? :) I like procrastinating with making blogs. :) It's much faster if an author fills out the form for me, but I'd say, 408 books times um 10 minutes plus blog design is gah, about 100 hours. So 2 weeks of full time work? The new releases take me about 8 hours all together. So now that the back log is in, it will only take me a day of work once a month, I hope. :)

    I'm going to attempt to make a link show up like Sandra did, because I should know how to do this, it's just html coding right?
    My Historical Index

    Anyway, I just put up a facebook like button at the top of the page, hopefully that will make it easier to share.

  137. The university town where I live still has brick-and-mortar bookstores, including one that sells both new and used books. So I'm still able to buy books the old fashioned way, but I buy them online too. I find lots of new books through blogs and blog reviews. I also like Amazon's recommendations based on what I've bought or looked at. Even if I wanted to, I couldn't buy all the books I want to read, so I use the library, which is especially good for trying out new authors. I don't have a Kindle yet, but I want one. I've read ebooks on my laptop, but my eyes start to cross if they're longer than about 100 pages.

  138. Sandra! Oh, yay!!! I've been wanting to read that. Something about the parked bike just gets under my skin and makes me want to know what it's all about. :D

  139. Sandra! You mean you clean off your bookshelves? *mouth dropping open in shock* Hmm... I probably need to do that, too, actually. Only problem is, I find that the books that I are hiding or I give away? I end up re-buying them somehow. LOL That happened the first time I moved to SC. Most of my books were left in MO. I bought some books from BAM and when we went back to MO, suddenly I had duplicates. LOL

  140. My Garrison had his 6th birthday on a couple weeks ago and suddenly he's big enough to do school, to walk to the children's choir with his class without mom, big enough to sit in the front seat since he doesn't need his car-seat... He's big to do all kinds of thing! ;-)

  141. Sandra, wish dh the happiest of birthdays!

    I'm mourning with you on the demise of my beloved bookstores. I fell in love with books as my mom would drop me off in the mall bookstore when I was small and let me search through books while she ran an errand or two.

    She always buy the book I was reading, kinda paying for the babysitting : )

    BUT, I love my Kindle. I'm with Vince though. I have to find a way to remember all the titles I've downloaded. Thankfully, Amazon tells you on the book page you're thinking of downloading if you've downloaded it already.

    I miss my hut on the island...well, I miss Orlando and Jack hanging around...and the parties...

    Pass the fresh coconut please.

  142. Libraries?

    They will stay around for a while yet.

    They are getting on the e-band-wagon, though. Maybe it is a matter of time, Ruthy, but maybe it won't be in our lifetime.

    One can only hope. LOL

  143. oh, and Sandra you mentioned that the index would work well for contemporary too....I agree, but it won't be me! :) Feel free to go with it (or anyone else) I'll just stick with the time I put in the historical index! :)

  144. Myra, I know what you mean about in-home library. I guess my office qualifies, but I definitely need a librarian to organize it.

    Kind of like Vince's Kindle with 700 books, but how do you find them? LOL

  145. I miss not having a bookstore to go in and look at the different books out there. I used to go and look at the titles and read the beginning chapter to see if I was hooked into buying the book later. Now I rely on blogs that give book reviews and reading reviews at online sellers to see what other people thought about the book or I read the excerpt to see if the author's style of writing is something I like. When I do find a bookstore though, I do make sure that I stop by and take a look.

  146. Linette, Garrison is the name of my hero in one of my stories, it's also my maiden name. Love it!

  147. Patti Jo (Catmom) Hubby would never turn down peaches with whipped cream. He would call that fruit his healthy dose for the day. LOL.

    Thanks for offering. I had some and they are quite tasty.

    How funny that its your husband encouraging the ereader. Life is full of surprises.

    I love your CatMom title. I always tell people that "The dogs aren't ours, we're their people." I think of that every time I see CatMom.

    My friend Barbara Larriva (who was a guest awhile back) wrote a book called Seven Tales which is a book about her seven cats, each "tale" told from the viewpoint of each cat. And they all call her "Kittymom". So fun.

  148. I'm one of the small town people without a book store. I love to go to bookstores, even those in airports. But I do use Amazon more than anything because that's doable for me.
    I learn about new authors from blogs and Amazon suggestions and word of mouth.
    I do have a Kindle and enjoy the fact I can carry a lot of stories with me in a small package.
    Thanks for sharing today!
    Hope your DH has a great birthday!

  149. Kav, You are too funny. I can so relate to our poor computer. That's what I feel like half the time.

    How interesting that you read more with the computer down.

    It would be an interesting study to see how the computer impacts our actual reading time. hmmmmm

  150. I"m with you Glynna. MAGIC is the perfect word. Leave it to you to call it. smile

    p.s. Glynna always amazes me with her gift for words.

  151. Hi Susan, I can see why you need to order online if your store doesn't carry the books you want to read.

    So how do you decide which books to order?

    Melissa's blog does help. Maybe we need more of those kind of blogs.

  152. Happy Birthday KC. Did Mae give you special tail wags?

    You're so right and you would know. Getting the word out is the key. In any kind of marketing actually.

  153. Hi Jenna, Maybe older women will come to love e-books like my 91 year old dad did when he found they can enlarge the print so his worn out eyes can still read.

    Libraries are heavily used in times of economic depression. So the library market is good I think.

    some are cutting hours, but they are also upgrading to accommodate e-books. You can check out books in your Kindle from your library. (Ours does anyway so I'm sure all will be getting to that point.)

  154. Hi Cathy, I would think an iPad would be perfect under the covers. Wouldn't it be easier than trying to turn pages and hold a flashlight?

    How do you like your Ipad? I'm thinking of getting one as I love my mac.

  155. Thanks Virginia,

    Here is the link for Powells that she mentioned.


  156. Ruthy, Thanks for the cookies. They are right up there with Carol's. Yummy.

    I'm with you. We must shush Mary up.

    Libraries must remain.

    If they stay up with technology which they have been doing, I think they will be fine.

  157. Hi Lorna, You're the first one who said they simply browse through Amazon. That sounds daunting.

    But you did mention you select a genre so that narrows it down somewhat.

  158. Hi Vince, I laughed so when I read that Kindle lets you know you've already bought the book. That feature alone might make me decide to buy one. LOL

    Best wishes to you for taking good care of your wife. How sweet. TLC is always good. I'm glad to hear she is doing well.

    Write that book. We all need it.

  159. Hi Mary B.

    I forgot all about catalogs. That's always a great way to see what's out there.

    I wonder if publishers will send out catalogs online?

  160. ASHLEY ... Baker Books (mother company for both my publisher (Revell) and Mary's (Bethany House) is an INCREDIBLE house to be with, and I thank God every day for them.

    AMANDA ... I'm glad I'm not alone about the bookstores!! iiAnd I doubt they would think you're "weird" for getting excited over seeing your favorite authors' books!! After all, they WORK there, which means they have to be kind of crazy about books themselves, so I'm pretty sure nothing surprises them ... not even when a sweet, young thing makes frequent trips to her Borders to read a favorite book she can't afford to buy ... :) Right, Amber???


  161. I'm with you Jo, Sniff, sniff. Pass the tissues would you please?

    Jan, I agree. I don't think paper will ever actually go totally out. All our books will at least become antiques. smile

    The young people will look at a book and make comments like we do when we see a desk with feather pens and inkwells.

  162. Thanks, SANDRA, but I honestly never see myself as a "savvy promoter"!! But it's nice to know I fooled you ... :)

    VIRGINIA SAID: "Then I re-read it as 2nd YOUNGEST of 13. Yikes! I'm surprised you even survived!"

    LOL ... me too!! I was pretty skinny and wiry and a drama queen to boot, so trust me, I got WAY more ribbing than I did food ... :) And the babysitter story??? Man, I'd like to have seen pictures of that meal, girl!! Sure hope the sitter cleaned it up ... :)


  163. Wow, Eva Marie, you just scared me to death.

    Heeeeelp. I'm just getting used to the idea of an e-reader.

    Now I need to learn something else.

    But it does sound exciting.

  164. Thanks for sharing Pamela. K. Dawn Byrd was our guest last week. Check out last Friday's post.

    Here is a link to her site K. Dawn Byrd

  165. Hi Karen L. I love the coffee at bookstores too. I really like the bookstores that have gifts as well. I usually end up buying something special for those special occasions when you need something.

  166. This comment has been removed by the author.

  167. Hi Christina,

    I love writing picture books. My publisher was talking about putting them in ebook form. It would be easy to do since the art work is digital. But he hasn't yet. I'll let you know.

    Although, I think the fun of a picture book would be tough to do on an ebook. Most e readers don't have capability for the art. Of course IPad would be able to handle it.

  168. Elizabeth B. I love you. You are sooooooo right. Libraries are so important and we do need a place where we can gather and discuss books and art.

    Thank you for your comment. Hip hip hooray for your library. Mine is like that also.

  169. Mary, Mary, Mary, Please don't cry.

    There are some great comments about libraries.

    I think they will keep up with the times better than we individuals will. LOL

  170. Jackie S Thanks for commenting.

    You too, Connie Queen.

    Reading online counts as reading. smile

  171. Hey Melissa it worked. Great going.

    Wow, that's a lot of hours. But you must have enjoyed doing it. I would love perusing all those books.

  172. See Mary, Melanie still uses the library. That's a good way to try out new authors.

    Anyone tried Price of Victory yet from their library? Please go ask them to get it for you. smiling

    Linnette, I'm tickled you like the cover. It does grow on you. Kind of fun and romantic as well.

    And yes, I do clear those shelves. But in a way it makes my problem worse. Remember the verse in the Bible that says if you give, you will receive more. Oh my. That definitely happens with books at my house.

  173. Linnette, Give Garrison a hug from all of us.

  174. Melissa, you're site is awesome! I'm now a follower. I LOVE historicals more than anything so I think you have a great thing going!

    XOXO~ Renee C.

  175. Audra, What a stitch your mother is, putting you in the bookstore and buying a book for babysitting. I'm still chuckling.

    Tell me about missing the island. I mean those peaceful days of simply worrying about "if" you'll get published. LOL

    And Jack. I miss him too.

    He and Ed are off galavanting around and finding mischief I'm sure. Like I said earlier, they are both experts at having fun.

  176. Hi Cynthia, Yes, it is fun to stop into those bookstores.

    When I'm traveling, I always look for the bookstore in town and then feel like I'm amongst friends when I go in.

  177. I love my Kindle. Love it. And me, the one who's a sucker for a good cover. Yes, I love my b&w Kindle.

    Do you know that with a Kindle you can read at the same time you're making fudge??? Or anything else where you have to stand at the stove and stir for five minutes straight. I like making fudge and all that, but staring at the boiling goo is rather boring. So my Kindle keeps me company now.

    As for how I find books, I find blogs to be a good resource. I have a couple that I look at, one religiously because I've learned to trust her recommendations. And I keep a spreadsheet of all the books that sound good to me so that I'm ready come birthdays and Christmas. (And random days in between.)

    This is probably the writer in me, but there are certain houses whose fiction I really like so I'll either go to their websites from time to time or subscribe to their fiction newsletters.

    I used to hit a bookstores once every couple weeks, just to browse. But four years ago we moved, and the closest book store is now thirty minutes away. I've found I can fill my desire for browsing at my library (they lend e-books, you know, so they're not going away)and I browse through good book review sites and feel like I haven't missed a thing.

  178. I love walking around a bookstore. Pulling books from the shelf and flipping through them. Then sitting down and scouring them. Seeing if I like the author and want to buy the book.
    I do that when I can.

    What I like about going online is how the books are laid out there for me on the page. Covers facing me. I hit on the book that takes me to a place where I can learn more about the book and read reviews. I can also read a sample and decide if I want to buy the book from the privacy of my own living room.

    What I also like is hunting for the free books and sales.

  179. Forgot to add that I like the fact that they're starting to exchange books online as well.

  180. Since there aren't any bookstores near us I count on Amazon to browse for books. I'm so thankful that the kindle version can be downloaded to my computer. I love how easy it is to find your favorite genre.

    When I was young and lived in the 'big' city I loved to go to bookstores and I'm still a big fan of libraries but times are changing.

  181. so not looking forward to gender & culture class tonight. this woman is beyond BORING!!!!!!!

  182. I have always loved books and bookstores. I know a lot of them are closing but I you can still find used book stores around! We have lived in 6 states and one of the first things I do after moving in is find the book stores! It doesn't matter if it's Walmart, Target, used book stores or Barnes & Nobles! I just have to be around books! We have a great used book store in my area that now carries new books too. The employees there are fabulous! I also love online book places like Amazon or Betterworld.com because you can find anything you want! We recently moved to a very small town where there are NO stores so online is the way to go for me unless I have going into the "big city" 45 miles away :)

    Valri westernaz@msn.com

  183. I don't really have a book store where I live except Walmart and Kroger and your choices are slim there. I do shop at Amazon some and do have a Kindle which is nice but you kind of loose books on it not even sure what I have on it right now. The only problem I have with the Kindle is I can't loan my books to my sister because she doesn't have a kindle.

  184. I am one of those people who said I'd never have an e-reader...And then I got one for Christmas and it's changed how I read and what I read. Someone was talking earlier about setting up 'shelves' on their Kindle. I guess I have the same thing as I have set up categories that allow me to keep track of each genre, and I also made a category that holds 'books read.' Frankly, it's all a matter of space. I've moved to a smaller house, so I just don't have the shelf space I used to have.

    I am extremely lucky to be near a town that has an amazing and healthy independent bookstore. I attend at least one book signing there a month. Last month I met Carolyn Kennedy. That was a once in a lifetime experience. I do spend more on books at this store, but I feel like I've gotten so much out of it over the years as far as exposure to some wonderful authors and titles. So it's a trade off for me.

    I'm also a loyal Amazon fan because many years ago I was searching for an out of print book and had exhausted every source I could imagine. I tried Amazon and they said they would look for it and let me know 'when' they found it. When a year passed, I thought, "Right...they're going to look for it! Haha!" Well, two and a half years later, I received an email from them announcing they'd found a copy and it was only $12.50! I bought it thinking that at that price it would be a mess when it arrived, but it was in very fine condition, just as they'd promised me. I was a happy camper and they got my loyalty from that transaction!


  185. did everyone see the article on yahoo about what disney characters would look like as real people? here's the link.

  186. Great topic!

    I love print books, and I'm sad that so many brick-and-mortar stores are closing.

    That said...I live an hour from a bookstore, so even before there were ebooks to be had, I rarely, rarely went in a bookstore.

    And when I did go to the "city", my family was with me, and an hour in a bookstore would do them fine, so even then I never got to just STAY forEVER like I wanted to do.

    I ordered books online even then, or checked them out at the library, and/or traded with friends.

  187. Great topic!

    I love print books, and I'm sad that so many brick-and-mortar stores are closing.

    That said...I live an hour from a bookstore, so even before there were ebooks to be had, I rarely, rarely went in a bookstore.

    And when I did go to the "city", my family was with me, and an hour in a bookstore would do them fine, so even then I never got to just STAY forEVER like I wanted to do.

    I ordered books online even then, or checked them out at the library, and/or traded with friends.

  188. I HAVE found a way to remember all the titles I've downloaded. It might be tedious to start with if you haven't begun and have a list of books already downloaded on your kindle. I opened a new spread sheet document and type the book name, skip a column, then enter the Author name, last name first. Then I sorted alphabetically the author, then the book name, so I can look them up to see if I have that book yet.

    I actually carry a printed copy of that list with me wherever I go so at a glance I can find the next author or book I want to read and know whether it is on my home pc or on the kindle. (on the printed list, I have it color coded as to where to find it) If I'm away from home... no problem. I just move it to the kindle and sit down and enjoy.

    But, as someone mentioned above, Amazon does remind you if you've bought that book already, which is handy.

    Pam Williams
    cepjwms (at) wb4me (dot) com

  189. Oh, Melissa, I forgot about Wal Mart. Duh!

    Wal Mart is 20 miles away, and I go every few weeks, and I make a point of checking out the books there.

    Years ago, my local grocery store had a rack of books, and they stocked Harlequins. This was before the Love Inspired line opened. They took the rack out at least 10 years ago.

  190. Agree with Christina...Love your Historical Index site, Melissa!

  191. There are now book stores where I live except maybe Walmart and Kroger if that counts. I do shop at Amazon because I have a Kindle and its nice getting book right away. The problem with the Kindle is I can't loan my books to my sister because she doesn't have a Kindle.

  192. Hi all Im in the Big smoke so not online very often at all.
    i was walking down the mall and saw the borders store closed here but then I saw a new big bookshop open as well. I tend to buy alot of books online both from america and the Aussie Christian bookshop as our local one is limited. I do buy some ebooks also.
    I got quite a few books at the big christian bookstore here this week. (as Julie will tell you I got her book) Got one of Ruthy's and Myra's also.
    I love my kindle its easy to take away but love books too.

  193. Hi Sandra,
    You asked how I chose which blogs to follow. Initially, I read an authors blog and she was going to be featured on another blog with a giveaway. I went to that blog and found they followed other blogs so I started following A LOT of blogs, but after several months I found my favorite blogs to follow and stick with them. I also like to go to the Publishers Websites and see what is new there.

    More coconut would be awesome!!! :)

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  194. I see I was one of the winner's in the first 100. Thank you so very much!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  195. Hey Sally, Fudge sounds delicious. Do you have any on hand? hint hint. And reading a Kindle while you cook. Love it.

    And a spreadsheet of books you've read. Are you related to Pam Hillman? I can't even imagine such a thing. I could read another whole book in the time it would take me to figure out how to do one. LOL

    I'm impressed. Thanks for sharing.