Old Books, Their Care and Preservation

As a dealer in used and antiquarian books, I am often asked how best to care for old books. This short article will explain some simple procedures to protect your books (old or new) from harm.

The general rule of thumb is to treat your books like children.

GIVE THEM A HOME. Most important, in books or kids, is that they have a comfortable home. For books, this means in a climate-controlled room-not the porch, not the shop or outbuilding, not the unfinished attic or basement or garage, not an unheated storage unit. You don’t want the books to experience extremes of temperature, nor do you want the temperature to fluctuate wildly during the day.

Keeping books on bookshelves is ideal because it is more likely that you’ll pick up the book and start reading it! Be sure to place the bookshelf so that it is out of direct sunlight, or else your spines will fade. Also, if you are a smoker, try keeping your books in a room that you infrequently smoke in. Although the odor will eventually go away, the discoloration to the covers and pages is more difficult to remove.

Scheduling Your Book Project

“Where will I ever find the time to write my book?” or simply, “How long does it take to write a book?” is a good question authors often ask themselves. The first-time author may feel overwhelmed just trying to decide where to begin, and even the seasoned author can find beginning each new book to be a challenge.

First of all, let me say that I know hardly any author who has not found that writing a book ends up taking a lot longer than was initially planned, but I also know that few things can leave a person with such a sense of accomplishment as writing a book. However long the writing and production take, it will be worth it if you spend the time being serious about the process, you allow yourself to be inspired, and you produce a quality product in the end.

To make what feels overwhelming seem more manageable, we can break down writing and producing a book into a series of steps that give an idea of the order and time needed for each step in the process.

Come Up with an Idea (a few minutes to a

How to Choose a Children’s Book, Parts 1 and 2 – Subjective Appeal is Not Optional


It goes without saying that a child’s engagement with good books is important and valuable in the child’s development. Not only can reading good books expand a child’s cognitive abilities, but it can also spur a child’s emotional, moral, and spiritual development. However, a quick visit to one of the big online or brick-and-mortar book retailers is enough to make you realize there are zillions of children’s books. Some of these books are good, but many are not. So, if you are looking to buy a book for a child, you are left with a question: “How do I choose a good children’s book?”

In this article I will present the first two parts of a multi-part article series that I hope can go some way toward answering that question in a general way, such that after reading the series (or part of it) you will be more equipped to choose a children’s book, even if you do not have access to reviews or recommendations. I have chosen to write on this topic in a series of articles since I hope to treat the topic in some depth.

The roadmap for

Marketing Your Book – Making Your Book’s Message Clear

Everything used to market a book, whether it’s the cover, the website, marketing pieces, or the words out of the author’s mouth, need to send a clear message about what the book is about. Too many authors forget that their purpose is to spread their message and sell books when it comes to presenting their book to the public. Following are a few examples of mixed messages authors send in different areas of their marketing and how an author can instead make his or her book’s message clear.

The Front Cover

The front cover of your book is your biggest marketing tool. No one is going to read the back cover, or anything else you write about your book, unless the front cover grabs his or her attention. The front cover must, in one image, not only convey what the book is about, but show that the book’s subject is interesting. Mixed messages from book covers can badly hurt book sales. For example, if your book is about overcoming fear, a photo of something fearful like a grizzly bear is not going to convey the message, even though it may convey the “fear” part. A

Tips to Pre-Sell Before You Publish Your Book

Pre-selling books is a great marketing strategy to build anticipation for books and to get paid while you work rather than after the work is completed. By pre-selling, I mean two things:

  1. Making readers want to buy your book before it has been printed.
  2. Selling copies of the book before it is printed.

Authors can start selling their books as soon as they have the idea for one. While that may be extreme in some cases, many authors have done so by keeping journals or blogs on their website about the evolution of their book, ideas, drafts, stumbling blocks, all of which may interest readers and keep them coming back for more information including to find out the date the book will go on sale. For an already established author, this strategy of pre-selling as soon as the book idea originates may work very well. For other authors, it may be better to wait until you at least have a complete draft or until you are ready to send the book to be printed, since even if you are just waiting for the printing, it may give you a full month or two to market your

What Is An E-Book? – The Industry and the Future

E-books have evolved in their short history to a point where most online surfers have heard of them and understand the different formats. The key to e-books is that they are electronic versions of books and do not require printed versions, but can be available in hard copy form if the publisher chooses. Many self-published writers are finding e-books to be a simple way to express their ideas without the costs and barriers involved with traditional publishing. Amazon has been a leader in the industry with its Kindle reader while Apple has challenged the platform with its iPad, which downloads e-books from the iBookstore.

The main reason for making an e-book can be summed up by efficiency. An e-book doesn’t get lost like a physical book and doesn’t have the problems of torn pages or a worn cover. From a cost perspective, there is no longer any reason to spend a fortune on cutting down a forest to create thousands of copies of a book without knowing if it will sell. In the old world, books might be out of stock if they did sell, requiring new pressings, whereas in the new world e-books are never

How to Earn Money Writing and Selling Books

If you want to work from home writing books, then it’s important that you know how to do it. And you need to do it quickly. Writing is a numbers game which means the more books you write, the more you can earn.

And more importantly than that, you have to market your books to the right people and at the right time. There’s a saying that it’s easier to sell a mediocre product with great marketing than to sell a great product with mediocre marketing. So get your marketing right, and you can increase your sales with no extra work needed.

But how do you do it? How do you know what to write and who to sell it to?

Well, let’s start with the three most important things.

Keep writing. You can’t work as a self-published author if you don’t write. You need to write books and lots of them. And not only that, the way to sell more books is to write a series. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing fiction or non-fiction if it’s a series of books, and you’ve advertised your other books in the back of each

Top Ten Reasons Why Your Book Marketing Strategy Is Not Working

The publishing business has changed dramatically in the past few years. Today, nearly anyone can publish a book it seems. Hundreds of thousands of new books hit the shelves every year. But very few people are successful at all in regards to marketing their books, with the average number of sales being around 200 over the life of the author. Marketing books is a real challenge for many people. In my work with hundreds of authors, I have identified 10 primary reasons why a book marketing strategy may fail.


Today the Internet is the primary source of information for book buyers. But even those who buy books in the ‘real’ world use the Internet to do research before buying in the real world.

Book buyers, while doing their research, will NOT search by your name or your book’s title. They will instead search using a very generic phrase like ‘children’s book’ or ‘thriller’ or ‘spy novel’.

It is a fact that hardly anyone goes beyond page three of search engine results. Authors who hope to be visible to the book buying public must be on one

Is Your “Old” Book Valuable?

Some old books are valuable, some are just old! How do you tell? There are several factors which determine if a book is worth money to a collector. Here are some tips to guide you:

Age does not make a book valuable. At least , not age alone. Some books can be a hundred years old and not bring much, others need only be a few decades old to bring a nice return. The importance of what the book relates, it’s physical condition, and demand also count for much. In general, when it comes to age, look for books printed before 1501, English books printed before 1641, books printed in the Americas before 1801, and books printed west of the Mississippi before 1850.

Condition is key! A book’s physical appearance and its completeness make a huge difference. Is the binding tight? The cover intact? Pages clear? All these things a more will help determine value when rating a books condition. In general, the better a book’s physical condition, the more it will be worth. A rating of “fine” is given to a book which is complete and shows very little or no wear. Loose pages

Inculcate Reading Habits in Children

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. ~Charles W. Eliot

Charles Eliot had his facts right. Anyone who has befriended the written word would never be lonely. All booklovers know that they can live several lives, travel innumerable places and do myriad things through their books. You get to see the perspective of another person and find out that you are not the absolute authority on the topic.

Today our living rooms have been invaded by the television and computer. Children spend all the free time glued to either of them.

Books teach a lot to the kids. They expand their vocabularies, helping them later in life. The command of the language increases many fold. It gives a boost to the child’s imagination, letting the mind reach the unthinkable and increasing the creativity. Reading about many things vastly improves the child knowledge store. Say for instance you learn more about Africa but reading an interesting story