Monthly Archives: December 2014

The Crazy World of Book Buying

December 29, 2014

Today I read an article about John Hailman’s latest book, “The Search for Good Wine.” Hailman is a fascinating individual. He’s a former federal prosecutor, syndicated food, wine and travel columnist, law school professor and a graduate of my alma mater, Millsaps College. I’ve read one of his previous books, “From Midnight to Guntown.” Having a slightly above average interest in wine and having just returned from a week in Burgundy, France I just had to get Hailman’s book on wine. Another influence was that he was a Mississippian. Hmm… a Mississippian and wine. That just doesn’t seem to go together, does it? Alas, another reason to order the book. Off I went online in search of places to order the book. Being that today is the week after Christmas the thought of a good deal entered my mind.

My first online stop was the website of University Press, the book’s publisher. It listed the price as $29.95 (cloth), plus $2.62 tax and $7.50 for shipping, for a  total of $40.07.

Next was Amazon.com, which offered a variety of prices. They were as follows:
Hardcover (?) version for $22.19, plus $4.98 shipping = $27.17;
“New” – 34 from $16.86, plus $3.99 shipping = $20.85;
“Used” – 10 from $15.11, plus $3.99 shipping = $19.10; and
Kindle edition for $16.49.

Further searching revealed that Target.com offered the book for $9.19, plus $2.79 shipping and $.84 tax, for a total of $12.82.

Finally, I checked my local independent bookstore, Lemuria Books, and discovered that it had the book in stock at a price of $29.95, plus tax of $3.97, for a total of $32.34. However, there was something special about this copy of the book. It was a signed, first edition. Because I live about a mile from this bookstore I did not consider shipping costs.

So there it is. My choices are to buy the physical book online, where the price range is from $12.82 to $40.07, delivered to my doorstep or drive a mile and pay$32.34 for a signed first edition. And of course there is the Kindle edition, which is a click away for $16.49.

The crazy, fascinating world of book buying.

 

YFS Best Small Business Books of 2014

One of the weekly business shows that I record for later viewing is Your Business, with J.J. Ramberberg. . It’s all about small business and is a program I recommend for small business owners and anyone thinking about going into business for themselves. This past week Ramberg referenced the YSF Magazine‘s (the YSF stands for Young, Fabulous and Self-Employed) Best Small Business Books of 2014. GOOD TO GREAT is a classic, and one I refer to often in my college class. Now I have four more to add to my reading list. Here’s the list:

1. #GIRLBOSS, by Sophia Amoruso
2. BUSINESS MODEL GENERATION: A Handbook for Visionaries,Game Changers and Challengers, byAlexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur
3. DO IT! MARKETING: 77 Instant-Action Ideas to Boost Sales, Maximize Profits, and Crush Your Competition, by David Newman
4. GOOD TO GREAT: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t, by Jim Collins
5. HOOKED: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, by Nir Eyal

Coming to you from France

 

This column is coming to you from France, where my wife and I are on vacation. Each place we go I am asking as many people we deal with as possible if they have ever heard of Mississippi and what they might know of it.

After 10 days and numerous conversations it is obvious that very few of them really haven’t the slightest impression or idea about the Magnolia State. At least there are no negative images. One Parisian sidewalk artist asked if Mississippi was in Australia. A restaurant server said that “Mark Twain” was the first thing that came to mind when he heard the term, Mississippi.

While in Beaune (pronounced Bone), France, which is the wine capital of the Burgundy region and where wine reigns supreme, we had the opportunity to (more…) 

Q & A About the Writing Life

What were your goals when you started writing?

My writing goals when I began writing were very simple: Write an advice column every week. That’s because a newspaper asked me to write about a subject that I was considered to be an expert. I still write a bi-weekly column in a business publication. After a few years, a local chamber of commerce asked me to write a novella and set it in their community. They wanted to have an unusual marketing piece. The novella was very heavy on setting. Ideally, a reader would want to visit the places in the community after reading the novel. That was a paid assignment that eventually led to nine other short novels set in towns around Mississippi.

What are your goals now?

(1) write two novels and have them published within the next six months.
(2) write and publish two advice books, one on the subject of leadership and one on the subject of economic/community development.

What pays the bills now?

Writing, teaching and consulting.

What advice would you give young authors hoping to make a career out of writing?

If you are going to make a career out of writing you need to remember that you are writing for your customers (readers). Although writing for oneself sounds good, that is not what pays the bills. Understand that there is a blend of writing about what you like and what the reader wants. If you’re lucky those two things will be the same.

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Thanks to Bob Clary, Community Manager, Webucator and Google Analytics/AdWords Trainer for the questions.
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