Selling my Book and Dealing with Amazon

Okay, I’m trying to do all the right things to make my book a success, but it ain’t easy.

I signed up with the Advantage Amazon program, where I can have Amazon list my book and give me a Author’s page.  Fine.  Then I got my first order for a book, but the way the order graph is formatted, I couldn’t tell whether they wanted me to send them a carton of 20 books, or just one book.  Since Amazon takes 55% of the book’s price, it seemed to me more cost effective to send them a carton of books.  Then they’d have some in stock and I would have paid only 1 shipping fee for 20 books.

Nope, they want me to store the books at my house and send them 1 at time.  Seriously?  That means I would get $2.83 total for each of my books priced at $12.95.  Hardly worth the effort. So I’m going to quit Advantage Amazon and go for a different marketing strategy they have.  If only I could find how to get access to it.

Anyway, enough whining. I also am developing an Author’s page at Goodreads.  We’ll see how that goes.

In the meantime, I did sell some books during our musical house concert last night.  Better than nothing, huh?

Okay, so this post is about getting from point A to point Z.


Adele! Singing Sensation

Ally Azzarelli

Adele Laurie Blue Adkins is living proof to believe your mother when she says you can be whatever you want to be.  Born into a poor family in a not-so-nice part of London, England, the aspiring singer grew up knowing that singing was her thing.  She listened to musicians as diverse as the Spice Girls, Etta James, Pink, and Shingai Shoniwa.  By the time Adele was fourteen, she knew that singing and performing were what she’d do as her career.  Her big break came when she was still in school.  A friend posted on MySpace three songs Adele had recorded for a class project. About a year later a big U.K. record label signed her as a client. Her music career was quickly on its way.  She’s won many awards in her young life, including an Academy Award for the theme song for the recent James Bond movie, Skyfall.  It’s hard to tell for what age range this book is intended, because the language reads like a chapter book, but the discussion of Adele’s private life and loves seems to target middle-graders.  Though it’s a bit pricey, teachers may find it a good beginning for discussing careers and passions.  It does appear to be the first of a series entitled “Sizzling Celebrities.”

BIBLIO: 2014, Enslow Publishers, Inc., Ages ?, $23.93

REVIEWER: Sarah Maury Swan

FORMAT: Middle Reader

ISBN: 978-0-7660-4172-1

ISBN: 978-0-4644-0283-8

ISBN: 978-0-4645-1178-0

ISBN: 978-0-7660-5807-1


PB & J Hooray!

Janet Nolan

Illustrated by Julia Patton

Unless you come up from another country, you’ve probably had at least a bite of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich during your life.  But where did the ingredients come from?  The grocery store, yes, but how did they get there?  By truck, yes, but where did the trucks get them?  From bakeries and factories, of course, but how did they get there?  From farms, naturally, but how did they get there? Farmers grew the crops that give us peanuts, grain for flour, and vines with grapes to make the jelly.  After all that time and effort, what do you get?  A peanut butter and jelly sandwich, made with stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth smooth or crunch-with-your-teeth chunky p b and sweet jelly, is just the best, especially with a cold glass of milk.  Told with simple, but fun, language this is a good book for introducing children to where we get our food from.  And the illustrations add to the cheeriness.  Teachers could use this book to discuss what goes into growing and processing food.

BIBLIO:  2014, Albert Whitman & Company, Ages 5 to 7, $16.99.

REVIEWER: Sarah Maury Swan

FORMAT: Picture Book

ISBN: 978-0-8075-6397-7




Gordon Korman

Griffin Bing, The Man with the Plan, and his buddies have yet another problem to solve, well make that at least three problems to solve.  But they’ve solved other problems which are told in other volumes of this series, “The Swindle Mysteries.” This time they must figure out how to sneak around their snarly new neighbor’s fence that blocks off their shortcut to school.  Then they need to help friend Savannah stop her Doberman, Luther, from chasing a backfiring truck that makes it’s rounds two or three times a week.  Finally, they need to come up with a science project for school.  Griffin usually comes up with the ideas for the group, but this time shy Melissa comes up with her own plan.  Melissa’s plan successfully stops Luther from running after the truck, but Griffin’s plan continually has a troublesome side effect. As intended it does dampen the noise of a vacuum cleaner, but it also shuts down the power for all nearby machinery.  In the meantime, Griffin’s arch rival has come up with a foolproof device to continually supply prepared food.  Along the way, the friends discover their new neighbor is afraid the Government is after him and when he learns Melissa’s device is missing, he becomes an ally. Lots of silly fun in this book as it shows that cooperation is a good thing.  At the end of the book everybody discovers that Luther is not chasing the truck, just the mouse hood ornament.

BIBLIO: 2015, Scholastic Press/Scholastic Inc., Ages 8 to 10, $16.99.

REVIEWER: Sarah Maury Swan

FORMAT: Middle Reader

ISBN: 978-0-545-70935-4

So follow your dreams and eventually the right things will happen.  Or at least we all hope so.






2 thoughts on “Selling my Book and Dealing with Amazon

  1. Sarah,
    Thanks for sharing your experiences with marketing as you go. I enjoyed the variety of these reviews too. Some summers, Vacation Bible School at our church collects PB&J for a local food pantry. I would love to see a display of PB&J books. I am imagining a picnic basket full. Also, the Swindle Mysteries sounds interesting.

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