Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Blind Hope: An Unwanted Dog and the Woman She Rescued (Paperback)

Blind Hope: An Unwanted Dog and the Woman She Rescued (Paperback)

The author, Kim Meeder and Laurie Sacher, a team leader at Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch are impressive, strong, and insightful women.

As a dog lover, I thoroughly enjoyed this real life story of Laurie and her dog, Mia.
I was amazed at the lessons Laurie learned from her blind dog. Laurie's willingness to accept the teachings, says as much for Laurie as it does for her dog.

Laurie frequently applies the observations she makes about her beloved Mia to her relationship with God. As her love for Mia grows so does her connection to God. A few of her inspirational quotes include:

- "God is with us, whether we are running away from Him or to Him."
- "I desperately needed my own light, my own relationship with God."
- "Just like Mia chose to trust me, it was time for me to choose to trust God."
- 'How many times will I have to walk back and scoop you up before you simply learn to walk with me?"
- "It's not possible for God's light, His truth to fill the space within my heart that's already full of me."

Kim is an excellent writer. I found the book easy to read but profound. This is one of the most inspirational books I've read.

I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
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Friday, December 10, 2010

The Car Lot: Sleuth & Scribe Book 2

I'm so excited. My new book "THE CAR LOT" is already available for sale on my publisher's site.

The Car Lot: Sleuth & Scribe Book 2

"When Jane finds her father's crumpled body on the carpet in his office at the used car dealership, she is convinced he was murdered, although the police believe it was a heart attack. Jane hires a private detective; Mike; Deke, his dog; and Alice, a mystery writer, to prove her theory. All of the employees at the car lot, including Jane, have a motive and it's up to the sleuth and scribe to uncover which of them had a strong enough reason to kill the boss, if indeed he was killed. "

Monday, December 6, 2010

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mary Russel

I just signed up to write for Suite 101. This is the text from my profile page.

Mary Russel

Mary Russel
Contributing Writer

Mary Russel started writing in grade school, when she had a poem published by Highlights, a children's magazine. As an adult, Mary has been writing business, lifestyle, dog, and craft articles for Associated Content and Seed, a division of AOL, web content, and resumes.

In an effort to make sense of an unhappy early childhood as a foster child, Mary Russel started writing her first book in 1997. A First Chapters contest on motivated her to complete it in 2007. Friends, she met on Gather, inspired her to write her first published children's book, Flickertail & Paint, Barnyard Sleuths.

Rudolph, A Child's Love Story is based on Mary's early childhood. Although it is the story of a foster child and an adopted child, she hopes it will help all children learn to accept themselves.

Mary has also been busy with revising Sleuth & Scribe, a three-five (still undecided) book, cozy mystery series for ages 13 and over. The first two books of the series "The Cold Case" and "The Car Lot"will be published in 2011. Her published books are also available for less on her own website where you can have them autographed.

Her novels in progress are "The Hexagon Murders" and "The Steamer Trunk". "Steamer" covers five generations starting from 1908 until present time.
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Book samples for book lovers. I just added my three published books to this site. Readers are able to read sample chapters from books before they buy.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

No more Freedom of Speech on the Internet?

"Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather."

John Perry Barlow, "A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace"

Think this quote is melodramatic? Well, Homeland Security has just seized 70+ Websites for Copyright and Trademark Violations without any warning and without due process. Yes, pirating has become a huge problem on the Internet but I'm concerned with all of the site seizures without due process. What's next? If the government doesn't like what you say, will your site be next?

Please feel free to discuss your concerns here.
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Final Act of Love

Every morning, for 14 years, Patches ran around the outside of the house three times. This morning she threw herself into the activity until she was just a brown streak but after her run she fell to the ground. Her eyes were unfocused and she seemed disoriented. She struggled to get up but each time she collapsed.

Sadly, Mary picked her up and took her to the vet. As the vet injected the shot, Mary sobbed. Although she knew there was nothing more she could do for her old and loyal friend, she felt like she was betraying a trust.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Dymo LabelWriter 450 Duo is so fun & easy to use

The bookplate of Sir John ForrestImage via Wikipedia

I received my Dymo LabelWriter 450 Duo from BzzAgent yesterday and I found it easy to setup. The software is fun and easy to use. It is going to be so convenient to be able to print one or many labels at once and I just love that I never have to buy any expensive ink.

The labels are available in a wide variety of sizes and can be used in so many ways. I have already printed up address labels for envelopes and shipping labels for packages.

i am looking forward to also making my own bookplates for customers who purchase my books on sites other than my website.

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Rudolph, A Child's Love Story to be Released

My husband took me out to a lovely lunch at my favorite restaurant Salty's in Fond du Lac today to celebrate Rudolph.

The official release date for my second book, Rudolph, a Child's Love Story, is November 9th,2010. Although it has been available on my publisher's site and my own website for some time now, as of Nov. 9, it should also be available on Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Borders. You should also be able to order it through any book store. You can also ask for it from your local library. Although they will most likely not have it, they should be able to order it. Rudolph is appropriate for ages 8 and over.

The above is also for Flickertail & Paint, Barnyard Sleuths, my first published book: release date April, 2010. Flickertail is also appropriate for ages 8 and over.

Sleuth & Scribe Book 1: The Cold Case will soon be available for purchase on my site, (probably within the next two weeks). I have ordered advance copies and will be happy to autograph them. Currently, I have no official release date on The Cold Case but it will most likely be released in December or January. cold Case is appropriate for ages 13 and over and is considered a Cozy Mystery.

I will be thrilled to autograph all books purchased from my website.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Review From Floyd the Dog on Rudolph, a Child's Love Story

An intriguing story. The problems of a child's perception of acceptance versus rejection are delicately explored in a relatively joyful part one and ruthlessly exposed in the contrasting second part. Rudolph is the symbolic vessel of the continuity of love.

Be sure to check out Floyd's website to sign up for a free animal story every month.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sleuth & Scribe Book 1: The Cold Case by Mary Russel NOW AVAILABLE

Wow my third book is already available on my publisher's site!!!

That was fast!

Sleuth & Scribe Book 1: The Cold Case by Mary Russel

Product Details

ISBN: 978-1-4512-3598-2

# Pages: 86 pages

Dimensions: 6x9

Format: Softback

Product Description
"Containing no graphic violence or sex, no profanity, and likeable main characters, the Sleuth & Scribe series is safe for children and fun to read for adults who enjoy cozy mysteries. In 1969, the body of a young woman was found at the bottom of a fire escape. It was Mike Holden's first case. The police, eventually, decided it was an accident but Mike was never convinced it wasn't murder.

Forty years later, an old memory causes Mike to reopen the case. Follow Mike as the Sleuth, Alice as the Scribe, and Mike's dog, Deke as they chase down old leads and historic memories of the Weather Underground, the Vietnam War, and the Peace Corps in Thailand."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Cold Case

         The book cover for my first murder mystery coming soon.

Containing no graphic violence or sex, no profanity, and likable
main characters, the Sleuth & Scribe series is safe for
children and fun to read for adults who enjoy cozy mysteries.
In 1969, the body of a young woman was found at the bottom
of a fire escape. It was Mike Holden’s first case. The police,
eventually, decided it was an accident but Mike was never
convinced it wasn’t murder.
Forty years later, an old memory causes Mike to reopen the
Follow Mike as the Sleuth, Alice as the Scribe, and Mike’s
dog, Deke as they chase down old leads and historic memories
of the Weather Underground, the Vietnam War, and the Peace
Corps in Thailand.
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Monday, October 18, 2010

Flickertail & Paint in the Case of the Missing Turkey

Chefs preparing a seafood paella in Playa del ...Image via Wikipedia

A Thanksgiving Caper with Flickertail, the Llama and Paint, the Horse
While Flickertail was visiting Paint, the Feldstein Inn down the road from Paint's barn was overflowing with guests on Thanksgiving. Usually the inn only served breakfast but these guests were chefs and they chose the
Feldstein Inn for their annual Thanksgiving cookoff. Each chef's dish or dessert would be judged and awarded a possible ribbon. The ribbons represented a great deal of prestige which translated into extra business for the winning chefs.

With so many cooks in the kitchen things got a bit chaotic and the turkey was somehow misplaced.

The chefs looked in all the obvious places like the freeezer, the refrigerator, the kitchen counter, the dining room table, the microwave, and the oven with no success.

"Our friends and the judges will be arriving in less than six hours. How can we possibly have Thanksgiving without the turkey?"

"There's a famous horse and llama detective team on the neighbors' farm," said the inn keeper. "I'll go get them."

"Do you think one of the chefs hid the turkey on purpose to sabatoge another chef from winning the ribbon?" Flickertail asked Paint on the way to the Feldstein Inn.

"Well, let's find out."

When the detectives entered the kitchen Paint asked, "Which of you is responsible for preparing the turkey?"

"We all are but Three Feathers, who also dances with turkeys, oversees the turkey preparations."

"Is there a head chef?"

One of the chefs stepped forward. "I am."

"What's your name?"


"OK Bill. Have you finished preparing your dish yet?"


"Fine, then let's talk out here on the porch."

As Bill, Flickertail, and Paint prepared to be seated, Paint noticed an odd odor. "There's a fowl odor in here."

"You mean it smells bad?" asked Bill.

"No, I mean it smells like fowl."

The three of them sniffed every nook and cranny trying to determine where the odor originated.

Flickertail found some bones including the wish bone. "Maybe we should wish for the rest of the turkey to suddenly appear."

Robin Williams appeared as a genie. "I was just sleeping off the tryptophan and I'm in a foul mood. What do you want?"

"Since when do wishbones conjure up genies?"

"Things are tough all over. The genie union can't afford magic lamps anymore. You only get one wish and you cannot wish for more wishes."

"What happened to the other two?"

"As I said, blame it on the economy."

"Someone or something ate the turkey. We need a 20 pounder."

"Do you want the bird in hand or in the bush?"

"Well, a bird in hand is worth two in the bush so the bird in hand."

"Say abracadbra!"


"Were you expecting hocus pocus? No particular reason. I just like the way it sounds. Besides I'm in charge of this llama and pony show."


The turkey appeared and Robin disappeared.
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Facebook | My Photos - just for fun

Facebook | My Photos - just for fun

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Flickertail and Paint in the Weeping Willow

Sequoia sempervirens in Redwood National ParkImage via Wikipedia

Flickertail the Llama and Paint the Horse were watching TV when they saw an ad for an auto insurance company. It talked about a driver hitting a tree and mentioned how to get information from the other driver.
“I’m blaming the tree,” said Flickertail. “It should have barked out a warning.”
“At the very least, it should have planted itself in a different location,” agreed Paint.
“What kind of a vehicle do you suppose the tree was driving?”
“I don’t know but it had a trunk.”
“Maybe it was a Subaru Forester.”
“I’ll bet the other driver was a Forest Ranger.”
“It did happen in a National Forest Park.”
“Do you think the tree suffered from any broken limbs?”
“I think the tree should be charged with inattentive standing.”
“The tree was ticketed with paper from a former cousin who happened to be hit on Woodlawn Drive.”
“I guess the driver couldn’t see the forest for the tree.”
“I hope the tree told the other driver to leaf it alone.”

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Excerpt from Sleuth & Scribe Book 3: The Bed & Breakfast

As Tim became an adult, he understood he didn’t have the wherewithal or desire to own and control a utopia himself. However, he was not about to give up on his dream. Recently, a group of men who had read his books had approached him about donating his money to Ned Williams, a political figure they had groomed to take over the country. Tim was assured his utopia would be realized through Williams.

“What do I get in return?”

“You get to see the fruition of a life long dream.”

Tim wasn’t sure that was enough. “I want to meet this guy, first.”

Ned reminded Tim of a robot. He spoke and acted without emotion.

“So you want to make this country a purely socialist panacea? How do you intend to do that?” asked Tim.

“Actually, we want to go much further than that. We want world socialism, eventually but we’ll begin with the US. We’ll start with the kindergarten through college students first. The schools are already teaching a socialist agenda and we will ramp up that indoctrination. This demographic is easiest to convince because they already believe capitalism is heartless. Also young people, just out of school, tend to be poor and the idea of sharing the wealth appeals to them.”

“What about their parents? How will you reach them?’

“We already have the majority of people under 35 on our side. It’s the people over 35 that will be the hardest to reach. This is the age group most business owners and wealthy people fall into. We all know business owners and the greedy rich lack compassion. We hope we won’t need to take them over by force. We will start by ‘nudging’ them with covert threats. If that doesn’t work, we’ll simply apply executive order to take over and control entire industries. We can do it so stealthily and quickly, they won’t even know what hit them.

And, of course, we don’t have to worry about the elderly. They love their Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. All socialistic programs.

And, we won’t have any problem with financing all of this. Of course, there are people like you who are sympathetic to the cause and willing to donate. There are always the taxpayers. They’ll object to the increase in taxes, but there is really not much they can do about it. We’ll just take the money under the guise of fees or programs that serve a dual purpose of getting more of their money for their own good and of controlling them at the same time. And then there are the organizations we control. People donate to them because they help the poor, the ill, the elderly, and the environment. All good causes but also a front for our agenda of collapsing the present economy to make way for our system.”

Tim interrupted. “Who is this ‘we’ you keep referring to?”

“I have a group of like-minded people who will be helping me to put all of this in place. I have promised them positions as my czars. Some people will say our ideas are radical. But in the end, we’ll convince them. Gradually, we will introduce them to new ideas, by manipulating the facts, until they accept what seemed implausible.”

“You seem pretty sure you are going to win.”

Ned laughed. “Very sure.”

Being aware of the many “fixed” elections in recent years, Tim didn’t feel the need to pursue that line of questioning any further.

“So what’s in it for me?” he asked.

Ned knew he had Tim where he wanted him. He sat back, relaxed, and smiled. Everybody could be bought. You just had to figure out what it took for them to sell their souls. He was pretty sure he had Tim pegged but first he had to appeal to Tim’s vanity.

“I’ve read all of your papers and books on your plans for a socialistic Utopia. I was very impressed with how well thought out they were. We share many of the same goals. Your vision is compatible with mine. I’m capable of helping you to realize everything you want to accomplish but on a much grander scale. I’m also prepared to offer you a position as one of my czars.”

Tim’s eyes lit up and Ned knew he had scored a hit.

“I’ll have my lawyer and my accountant work out all of the details, with transferring funds and writing up a contract.”

When Ned stood, so did Tim. They shook hands and Ned said, “The future of our country and indeed, the entire world depends on visionaries like us. The time is never been better or more advantageous for us to take our positions in this new world we have so carefully planned. Welcome aboard.”
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Hope Chest

American bride in a Contemporary Western Weddi...Image via Wikipedia
A cedar box of dreams
A promise of love and security
Treasured pieces of life

Framed, pressed flowers
High school yearbooks
Hand embroidered linens

Old family photographs
Mom’s wedding dress
A wedding ring quilt

Gathered together for another
To make her home homier
For her to pass on
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Monday, October 4, 2010

Flickertail & Paint in a Halloween Party

Apple bobbingImage via Wikipedia

“Have you decided what kind of a costume you will wear to Mary’s and Tom’s Halloween Party?’ The barnyard was abuzz with the animals’ party plans.

Since G.G. stood for Grey Ghost, she thought it would be appropriate for her to wear a ghost costume but in grey rather than the traditional white. Everyone agreed she would be really scary. She would blend in with the shadows and with her soft cat-feet no one would hear her sneak up on them. She could get so close she could tickle them with her whiskers and purr or meow. “You can bet that’ll make most of the guests scream,” said William, the Turkey.

“Are you going as a turkey?” asked G.G.

“No, too dangerous. Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I thought I’d go as a huge rat. Nobody’d eat a rat for Thanksgiving.”

“I would.” G.G. licked her mouth.

“You can’t go as a rat. I’m going as a rat,” said Rollie.

“What kind of a disguise is that? You ARE a rat,” said William.

“Exactly, nobody would ever think I’d go as myself.”

“Your odor will give you away.” G.G. grinned like the Cheshire Cat.

“Are you implying that I stink like a dirty rat?”

“You smell like food to me.”

“Everything smells like food to you.”

“Are you calling me a fat Cat, you bozo! Maybe you should go as a clown, Rollie.”

“Has anyone heard what the house dogs, Cookie and Coco are going as?” asked Paint the Horse.

“Probably humans,” giggled Rollie. “Mary and Tom treat them like human babies.”

“I heard Randy, the Ram and Sheila, the Sheep are going as a couple,” gossiped Gladys, the Goose.

“A couple of what?” asked Rollie.

“She’s going as Little Red Riding Hood and he’s going to dress as a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

“Are you going as Mother Goose?” quipped Rollie.

“Why not? I heard Carla the Cow is going as a bull.”

“Hey Flickertail, are you going as a wooly bully? Or maybe the Dali Lama? Oh, I know. I’ll bet you’re going as a Ramma Ramma Ding Dong.” Rollie rolled on the ground with laughter.

Flickertail laughed too. “Maybe I’ll go as a Bahama Llama,” he said.

“You and Paint should go as Sherlock and Dr. Watson,” suggested G.G.

Flickertail shook his head. “Too elementary.”

“What about Poirot and Captain Hastings?” said G.G.

“I rather liked Mrs. Oliver in Halloween Party,” exclaimed Henrietta, the Hen. “If you two go as Poirot and Hastings, I’ll be Mrs. Oliver.”

“What a clever idea!” said Paint. “We could all dress as characters from Halloween Party and reenact it.”

“Who wants to be the teenaged girl who was drowned while she was bobbing for apples in a house called The Apples, because she claimed she saw a murder?”

“Oooh me. I’ll be Joyce,” G.G. volunteered.

“Hastings wasn’t in Halloween Party,” Flickertail pointed out. “You’ll have to be Superintendent Spence, Paint.”

“No problem,” agreed Paint.

 “I’ll be Leopold Reynolds, Joyce’s brother, who was also murdered when he tried to blackmail the killer,” said William the Turkey.

“I want to be Olga. I get to inherit Mrs. Llwellyn Smyth’s money when she adds a codicil and disinherits the Drakes,” said Gladys the Goose.

“You do recall that Olga’s goose is cooked and she never gets to see any of that money, right?” G.G. reminded her.

“I’ll be the forger, Lesley Ferrier, who tries to make it look like Olga forged the codicil,” said Frank the Ferret.”

“I’ll be Rowena Drake,” said Mallory the Duck. “At least, I’ll be one of the few main characters who isn’t killed.”

“I’ll be Michael Garfield. I get to create a magical sunken garden. I’ve always wanted to do something creative with dirt.”  Rollie laughed manically.

“You are a dirty rat, after all.” G.G. shook her head. “I knew it.”

“Is everyone willing to take the time to rehearse until Halloween?” asked Flickertail. 

Everyone agreed and the barnyard was full of props, apples, and animals for the next several days. They all busied themselves building backdrops, while Mary and Tom tried to guess what they were up to. When Mary finally asked Flickertail, he just smiled and said, “You’ll see.”

There was much excitement in the barnyard the night of the Halloween Party. Every animal, including Cookie and Coco, had roles in the play. None of the humans knew what to expect, but afterward everyone in attendance agreed it was a Halloween Party they would never forget. 

Mary made a comment about how many of the characters “bought the farm.” Almost everyone decided to stay away from apples for awhile.

And like Mrs. Oliver, many adopted dates as their new favorite snack, at least temporarily.
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Great News!!!

My shipment of Rudolph, a Child's Love Story just arrived and is available for immediate purchase. Signed copies can be shipped within two business days. Plenty of time for Christmas gifts.

Mary Russel's Children's Books

Mary Russel's Children's Books

Preorder your signed copy of Rudolph, a Child's Love Story to ensure delivery by Christmas.

When 10 year old Becky learns her family isn’t her birth family, she has a difficult time accepting it. She feels betrayed by her birth mother and she wonders what she did to cause her mother to give her up. An adopted friend tells her that the difference between being adopted and foster is that he has a forever home while her birth mother can take her away from her foster family at any time.
Feeling insecure and frightened, Becky asks her foster mother why they haven’t adopted her.

Or order a signed copy of Flickertaill & Paint, Barnyard Sleuths while they are still $9.95 plus $3 US shipping.

Flickertail the llama & Paint the horse are peace keepers and peace lovers. They understand the value of teamwork, love, and friendship. They believe in helping others. Join them in the fun and antics as they solve various barnyard mysteries and help their friends find solutions to a variety of problems in this anthology of heartwarming and sometimes funny tales.

Both books make great Christmas gifts for the 8-12 year olds on your list.
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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Flickertail & Paint in the New Shoes

Today the world's most widely available shoe: ...Image via Wikipedia
“I need to buy two pairs of shoes,” Flickertail, the Llama said to Paint, the Horse. “Maybe they will help to motivate me to get some exercise. My llama wool suit is getting a bit tight."

Paint looked at him skeptically. “Loafers or work boots?”
“I thought I’d get some athletic shoes.”
Flickertail went to an old fashioned shoe store, where the clerk fit him for the right size and neatly tied the laces for him. Satisfied with how they looked and felt, Flickertail paid for them and left still wearing the shoes. 
He proceeded with the rest of the day as he normally did, at his desk on the computer.
At the end of the day he prepared for bed but when it came time to remove his shoes he could not reach over his protruding stomach to untie the laces.
“Sit down,” said Paint.  “I’ll untie them for you. You do realize that you will actually have to be athletic, right?  They’re not called athletic shoes because they do all of the work.”
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Friday, September 24, 2010

Flickertail & Paint in the Case of the Old Blue Shoe

Flickertail the llama and Paint the horse were walking in the field in back of Flickertail’s barn. Paint noticed a ratty old blue shoe. “I wonder how that shoe ended up there.”

“Maybe the Old Woman in the Shoe lost her home.”

“Or maybe someone tread too hard on Elvis Presley’s blue suede shoes.”

“A lost, lonely sole?”

“Perhaps someone threw the shoes out because they hurt their feet. You know, the agony of de feet.”

This is written with sole-felt apologies to Bobby Vinton, Elvis Presley, and Jim McKay and also with the intention of shoeing away your blues.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Promotional T-Shirts

I just got the t-shirt that I designed on Zazzle from my book cover. The one in my lap is a free t-shirt that I got from Vistaprint.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Peaceful Death

She died in her sleep last night, leaving a grieving husband to explain to friends and family that she died peacefully.


A small child stood in the middle of a vast empty room. A robot appeared suddenly and started chasing her. Terrified, she looked for a way to escape and saw 100 previously unnoticed doors. She ran frantically to the closest door and another robot entered the room. With each door she opened, she released yet another robot, until the room was filled with robots each trying to grab her. Her screams awoke her.

It was the first of a lifetime of nightmares some remembered, some best forgotten, each vivid, colorful and frightening. Beloved pets morphed into demons. Trusted and loved people tried to kill her. She dreamt the usual dreams of flying and falling. But for every nightmare she woke before harm befell her.

Last night she never woke up.

Friday, September 17, 2010

What are softcover books and why are they priced higher than paperbacks?

Since I was used to paying less than $10 for paperback books, I was really shocked at the price my publisher placed on my newly published books. Wondering if I was really that out of touch on prices, I did some research and was quite surprised by what I learned.

What are softcover books and why are they priced higher than paperbacks?
These terms are often used interchangeably. However, some publishers, including mine, use the term softcover to refer to what is also known as trade paperback. These books are generally larger than the standard mass market paperback and the paper is a higher quality. Softcover or trade paperbacks are priced higher (around $17-$25) for fiction and higher for nonfiction, than standard mass market paperbacks but not quite as high as hardcovers.
Flickertail & Paint, Barnyard Sleuths and Rudolph, a Child’s Love Story are both softcover/trade paperbacks and measure 6” x 9”.