BN set to Sell Self Published Books….What!?

Barnes and Noble has made a pretty significant decision. They’ve decided to sell self published books in their stores. It’s quite the turnaround for the company. I know from personal experience. When I self published my book three years ago I went into my local BN store inquiring about the potential to sell my book there. They obviously said no. But now, hmm.

The shift in policy comes with some fairly hefty requirements. First, the book must be self published through Nook Press. Which is BN’s self publishing arm, but definitely not a favorite of any author I’ve interacted with because the Kindle and iBooks have all but killed the Nook. I’m not sure if they require exclusivity, but I can’t imagine it being beneficial to only sell your book on Nook. The Nook is dead. Plain and simple.

Second, the company requires the titles to sell a certain number of copies in either print or digital formats. It’s 500 for one format and 1000 for the other. If your book meets the sales requirements and has been published through Nook Press, then hooray! You could have your book on a shelf at a BN store. But remember that their shelf space is extremely limited and sought after. There’s no guarantee here.

What do you think of BN deciding to give some self published authors the opportunity to sell their books in their stores. I’m not particularly optimistic. I think the sales numbers are the absolute bottom, but I imagine an author having sell many more copies of their books to actually reach the shelf.

Top Five Wednesday: Books That Need a Sequel

Today’s topic is standalone books that NEED a sequel. But it’s time we take a trip down memory lane.

I first began buying my own books in high school and college. I know at that point in time I’d started reading a handful of series, but I always tried finding standalones. At the library. At the bookstore. Or online. I’d search for hours to find a standalone I wanted to read. I often successfully found one. I discovered several of my favorite authors this way.

But as time has passed on I’ve had to change up my strategy. Now whenever I happen to be looking for something new I’m searching for the first book in a new series. This isn’t inherently worse, just different.

All this to say that once upon a time I wanted to read as many standalone novels as I could, but now I’m reading a million series at once. I’ve never read a solid standalone I felt needed a sequel. Not once. And some of the best books I’ve ever read have been standalones.

So my answer to today’s topic is simple: A good standalone shouldn’t need a sequel. What do you think!?

It’s That Time Again!

It only happens three times each year. What am I talking about? COUPON WEEK at your local Half Price Books!

Different districts and regions have different weeks for their coupon sales, but I imagine most will be in July at some point because annual sales are annual sales, and there are more to plan and execute.

Anyway, down here in Houston coupon week is THIS week. Which means if you’re on the HPB mailing list, then you’ve already gotten your coupons for the week. If you’re not, then visit your local store and sign up!

For those of you eyeing that latest bestseller, the coupons work on those too! Think about this. Let’s say you want the newest John Sanford book. The retail price is probably $28. Which means the regular 20% off price drops you down nearly $6. Which means Amazon is still cheaper. But you’ve lucked out and someone has sold back their copy to HPB. Now the price is only $14. But you walk in with your 50% off coupon on Sunday and that NYT bestseller suddenly dropped down to $7! You see!? Magic! Go, go!

On The Martian

I finally got around to seeing what all the buzz was about. Matt Damon is nothing short of great in the movie, although I can’t speak for the scientific accuracy of any of the things done in the movie.

Also, I’d meant to read the book (which I own) before watching the movie, but things happen. Now maybe I’ll go ahead and do that.

Have you seen or read The Martian? Your thoughts?

Barbershop Books

People generally have a regular schedule by which they get their haircut, right? I used to. For the longest time I’d get my haircut every three weeks. Then it was once a month. And now, well, I discovered the beauty of wearing a hat.

Barbershop Books is an initiative aimed at kids who aren’t exposed to books on a regular basis. It started in New York City and has since spread to other parts of the country. The barbershops have a select number of books for children to read each time they go in for a trim. Which I think is much better than the terrible magazine selection available where I go. Exposing kids to books as much as possible doesn’t seem like a bad idea to me.

Have you seen this initiative in action in your area?

Can’t Know Them All

I’m pretty well read, right? But obviously I’m not one of those individuals who reads hundreds of books a year. I’ve also worked in a bookstore for the last 11 months. I’m aware of a great number of books and authors, whether I’ve read them or not. During the course of my work responsibilities and my own reading I still discover new books and authors on a regular basis. Which is one of the things that makes being a reader so great. It’s an established fact that as humans there will always be books we simply won’t have time to read during our lifetime. It’s interesting to see this play out every time I discover a new book or author I was previously unaware of. And sure maybe I won’t be interested in most of the books I discover through someone at my store or through a tangent internet search, but there are always plenty that fall right into my wheelhouse.

This post is meant to show how great it is to have the freedom to discover and read whatever we like. Because many people around the world do not have the ability to do so.

Do you have any stories about how you first discovered a favorite author of yours?

Top Five Wednesday: Books Outside my Comfort Zone

Today’s Top Five Wednesday topic is the best books I’ve read outside my comfort zone, which is definitely mystery. I probably had 6-7 books in mind when I came up with my list, but I ultimately stuck with the required five books. I’ve actually talked about all five books at some point either on here or in previous videos, so there really should be no surprise ¬†this time around.

Now watch: It’s quick!

What are the best books you’ve read that fell outside your literary comfort zone?

Elie Wiesel has Died

Elie Wiesel died yesterday at the age of 87. I immediately realized there are countless ways to describe this man. Survivor. Activist. Advocate. Nobel Laureate. Author. And the list goes on and on. He impacted the world and affected people like few before him ever have. Today the light shining over humanity is just a little bit dimmer than yesterday because we’ve lost one of our greatest voices.

Elie Wiesel will not be forgotten, not in my lifetime and hopefully not ever.

I said yesterday I wouldn’t share any more videos from the new channel on here, but I didn’t anticipate such a force (and author) dying. So here are my full thoughts on the life and death of Elie Wiesel:

Saturday Selects: Current Events

Saturday Selects is a series of posts I usually write on the first Saturday of each month to discuss topics outside the general bookish theme of the blog. Today I’m talking current events. Kind of.

I’ve wanted an outlet to discuss all kinds of different things for some time now. There are things going on in the world that I feel NEED to be discussed and addressed. Just like my opinions, my voice is only mine. But this is something I feel very strongly about. Which is how I came up with Talking Today. Talking Today is the name of my new YouTube channel. I’ve made several videos already, and chose not to share them here because I know y’all don’t come here for that.

The goal of the channel is to discuss current topics of interest. That’s it. There are no other limitations.

This is the introductory video:

I’ve also done videos on the Brexit vote, on Lionel Messi’s retirement from international soccer, and on the sit-in staged by Democrats in the US House of Representatives.

I will not be sharing any more future videos from this channel on here. I know y’all come here to read about books, but I also know from previous experience that many of y’all are interested in currents events too. It’d be nice if you watch and think maybe this is something you can get into, but I understand if you don’t.