writing observations

The Joys and Perils of Owning a Paperback Book

UPDATE: As of this morning, I have sold two copies of my book, and had one person borrow it with their Amazon Prime account. Yay! Baby steps, my friends, baby steps. And as you can see, my makeover of this blog is ongoing.

Recently I was looking through my bookcase. It’s a real, raw wood one that I’m not sure you can get anywhere anymore. Over the years, there have been books that have been “keepers” as well as ones that had a temporary place on the shelf until I would trade them in or donate them to Goodwill. One of the ones that I kept, for some reason, was this one:

pearl in the mist book cover

Pearl in the Mist, Book 2 of The Landry Series, by V.C. Andrews

The foil on the cover is a bonus. I don’t think you can get anything like this anymore, even if Pearl in the Mist is actually still in print. One thing you really can’t get with an ebook is this:
inside of pearl in the mist cover

The peek-a-boo cover, exclusively available with paperback books.

Yes, I suppose one could upload two covers… Although I’ve never seen this as an option. Oh, I know, you’d probably insert the picture right into the text of the book. I’m not sure. I’d have to try it for myself. Anyway, I used to LOVE this when I was reading V.C. Andrews’ books, and would go out of my way to find ones that had this kind of cover, usually the first edition in paperback.
But there’s a price to pay for the glitz… I opened the book and was shocked by what I saw:
inside back cover

Look, they even gave you a cool bookmark that you could detach from the back cover for free!

When I did this:
inside back cover opened completely

Terrible acid burning!

I am not certain whether it was only that I kept it in a raw wooden bookcase. For most of its life the book was in a climate controlled (air conditioned and heated) environment, was not put out in the sun… But this is what happens to many of the mass-market paperback books. This copy was $6.50 full retail price back in the day (copyright 1994) so even by 20 years ago standards, that’s pretty expensive! Was this book published with cheaper paper made with a lot of wood pulp? For $6.50 you’d think you’d get at least paper that had the acid buffered out of it.
Now, of course, if I wanted a permanent copy of this book, I’d get the ebook version, fancy covers be damned. The ebook, so long as I own something on which to read it, will be there forever. All my paperbacks will eventually suffer the same fate as Pearl in the Mist.
Just something I thought about.

Posted by SB James in Older Blog Posts, 4 comments

Here is the Cover for My New Book!

The Inventor's Son Cover

The Inventor’s Son Cover

I was hoping to get a feeling of this being like an old fashioned book cover rather than the ones we see all the time with photoshopped images on them.
I’ve uploaded the book to Amazon. As of right this second it’s still “in review” but I previewed it (to death) last night and everything looked good there.
I hope that from the cover it’s fairly evident that it’s a Steampunk book… I’m experimenting as much as I am writing. I remember years ago when I was in art class, I was working on a project that everyone else was doing. I had started making my sketches different than the other students, and suddenly, I got nervous, so I changed it to make my sketches look like everyone else. When it came time for the teacher to look at what we were doing, he looked at mine and said, “Well, you were going to do something different, but I’m disappointed that you ended up doing what everyone else did.” I took those words to heart.
Sorry if my thoughts seem a little disjointed; I’ve been up all night after hitting that “Save and Publish” button. Gonna make myself some coffee and then start doing my make over of this page as well as my Twitter, Facebook (yeah, just made the page yesterday, sigh) and all that…
If you’ve got any opinions, please let me know what you think!

Posted by SB James in The SB James Author and Artist Blog, 3 comments