Last year I decided that I wasn’t reading enough. I made it a goal to read at least 12 books in the year 2010. I got off to a great start and then fell behind. Work, work stress and overindulging in the internet. However, I was able to make up the difference and get back on track. I ended up reading 16 books in 2010.
- “Skinny Bastard” by Rory Freedman
- “Self Made Man” by Norah Vincent
- “The China Study” by Dr. T. Colin Campbell
- “Old Souls” by Tom Shroder
- “Sex At Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins Of Modern Sexuality” by Ryan and Jetha
- “A Guide To Personal Happiness” by Albert Ellis and Irving Becker
- “Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows” by Melanie Joy
- “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood
- “How Doctors Think” by Jerome Groopman M.D.
- “Green Tea The Secret For A Healthier Life” by Nadine Taylor
- “The Green Tea User’s Manual” by Helen Gustafson
- “The Year Of The Flood” by Margaret Atwood
- “Sun Certified Programmer For Java 6 Study Guide ” by Sierra and Bates
- “Eating Animals” by Jonathon Safran Foer
- “No More Mr. Nice Guy” by Dr. Robert Glover
- “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins
I’ve bought a few “ebooks” online. By “ebooks” I mean large PDF files organized like a book that an author did not go through any kind of publisher to get out to the public. A few have been good, a few have sucked. For the most part the quality hasn’t been all that different from real books I have bought off of Amazon.
Usually, I’ve bought these “books” off of a home-rolled web site the that the author has put up to promote her/his book.
One sales tactic I despise and that has caused me not to buy books is what I call the “pre-spam”.
It is enough for me to read a paragraph or two about a book before I decide to buy it.
However, authors who use the “pre-spam” technique will not give you that paragraph telling you about their book. Instead you will get web page after web page filled with multiple single sentences telling you something, but not much, about the book:
Will teach you how to really enjoy beer…
“Changed my life”, writes Sue….
Yada yada yada
What is worse, there will not be links to skip that crap and go right to the page where you can purchase the book. Not only are the authors making themselves look like flim-flam men, but they are also interfering with someone trying to buy their product. They are interfering with someone trying to give them money. Between that stupidity and the “pre-spam” I begin to wonder how good the book can be. After all, how good can it be if the author is resorting to the “pre-spam” to convince me to buy the book and how good can the book be if the author is stupid enough not to give a potential buyer a way to buy the book?
The other day I was in a group of volunteers helping a local non-profit organization catch up on it’s mailings. It was quite a fun evening. At the end of it we were pointed to a shelf of free books that the organization had gotten and were told to help ourselves. There was a pretty decent book on the topic of what the organization and the volunteers were working for. I recommended it to a volunteer I was talking to while I was working. She would not take it. Shocked, I asked her why. It was *FREE* after all.
She told me that the author had been a bit of curmudgeon with her online. That killed her interest for ever reading the book. I told her a bit about the book and how she might like it. She agreed. She still wasn’t interested in taking the book. Even if it was free.
I know for a fact that author has been working hard on promoting that book. The author has a significant online presence. I’ve seen a bit of what the woman referred to. My guess would be that the author, like a lot of people, got caught up in working too hard and has become a bit of a grouch.
The internet has been a game changer for many things. I think it has many benefits for authors. One of the things it has taken away is that an author can’t be a curmudgeon and sell as many books, at least not if that author insists on having an online presence.