Blog Update

As regular readers will be aware, the site has recently undergone quite a few changes. First, I switched from a free blogging platform to a paid hosting site in order to add affiliate links. Well, that backfired on me in a big way. It’s a long, boring story about the greed of politicians and big companies, but the bottom line is that Amazon has banned Colorado from participating in their affiliate program. This I knew, but until recently there had been a work around. Amazon, being the clever folks they are, closed the loophole, which I DIDN’T know, so that means my Amazon affiliate links…don’t actually affiliate (by far the vast majority of traffic out of the site is to the Amazon pages). I have decided to leave them in for now a) as a courtesy to my readers and b) in the hopes that soon Amazon will reinstate their Colorado affiliate program (there is currently legislation wending its way through the CO state government that might help). All my other links still affiliate though. This leads to the second change, which is the creation of the Lector’s Books Store, which I’m REALLY excited about. (By the way, If you see any of the designs there that you like and want to see them customized or on different products, let me know and I’ll see what I can do!) I’m hoping that will replace some of the lost income from the Amazon links and I can cover my costs for running the blog. So, I know the question on everyone’s mind is: how can I support the site? Well, not really, but I’m pretending.

  1. Keep reading! Otherwise instead of being a crazy lady talking to other people in public, I’m just a crazy lady talking to myself in public.
  2. All other things being equal, if you decide to buy any of the books or movies mentioned, please consider getting them from Barnes & Noble. I know, I have a Kindle too (though I was seriously considering switching to a Nook to show my Displeasure, with a capital D, with Amazon). But if you were thinking of buying a physical book or movie, and the prices are equal, buying it through Barnes & Noble helps the site. You get free express shipping if you are a member.
  3. Check out  my store! I appreciate everyone who has done so!

So that’s enough navel-gazing/complaining for a while. I’m hoping that this will be the last meta-blog post for a very long time. No news, as they say, tends to be good news.

I wanted to say again, that I appreciate everyone who stops in to read and/or comment – fellow book lovers really are the best!

 

Is the Barnes and Noble Membership worth it?

So, is the Barnes and Noble Membership worth it? Well, it depends on you! It currently costs $25 per year. The main benefits are that you get 40% off hardbacks and 10% off just about everything else in the store, and online you get free shipping – generally two days. It is important to emphasize that the general discount doesn’t apply to your online purchases. When I first started looking into it a couple of years ago, I thought there was absolutely no way that it was going to be worth the money. I do almost all of my book buying and reading electronically (and I don’t have a Nook, I’m a Kindle lady) and when I do buy books, I don’t buy hardbacks because I find them difficult to hold.

However, I was tempted by the initial “lots of coupons!” offer, and so I just went for it. I actually had a hard time getting those initial coupons (I can’t remember if I ever did or not), which annoyed me right off the bat, so I kept careful track that year of what I saved with the membership to see if it would end up being a better deal for me or not – and it definitely was. I had been thinking that I’d need to end up spending $250 a year (10% of $250 is the $25 the membership cost) in order to come out ahead, which is not necessarily the case, as you’ll see below.

There ended up being three reasons why the membership works well for me.

  1. Many of the people on my “gift list” for holidays and birthdays are readers. I am of an age where many of my friends and family have babies or young children, and I love giving books to kids. Not just because they’re fun to shop for, either! Also, many of my immediate family members like to get books for Christmas and birthdays. So I still end up buying physical books, just often not for myself, unless you count the books I get for my baby.
  2. Coupons. Being a member means you fairly frequently get emailed coupons. Often they will be 20% off, but I’ve had up to 40% off single items before. If you go into the store, your member discount generally (not always – but it will tell you on the coupon) gives you an additional ten percent off that. (Math side note. If you get 20% off an item, then 10% off that, the total percentage off ends up being 28% off, not 30% off). If everything you bought was using a 20% off coupon, with the 10% member discount, now all you have to buy is $89.29 worth of books in a year to come out ahead (28% of $89.29 is just over $25). Shoot, I can do that without even breaking a sweat.
  3. Free Express Shipping. I care less about the “Express” part than the “Free” part. The “Free” part means that if you see great sales online (which often is the case) you can grab the deals without having your savings eaten up by shipping.  This, combined with the coupons members get, means that I have been able to buy some of the books and movies I’d been wanting for a while for pretty cheap. I bought the Percy Jackson series for under $5 a book, and the Harry Potter series for under $6 a book, and the Lord of the Rings movies for under $5 per movie (though at this point in time, that should be fairly standard), and the Harry Potter set for about $6-$7 per movie, just by waiting for them to go on sale and getting free shipping. A side note about the movies is that I VERY rarely buy them, but now the only place I buy movies is B&N because I can usually get great deals if I’m patient. I’ve also gotten some great deals on board games.

So, in a nutshell, for me it has continued to be worth the $25 a year, because of the three reasons above.

Get a membership here.

What about you? Are you or have you been a Barnes and Noble member? Did you get your money’s worth out of it? Did you stop reading when you saw math?

*If you use these links to make a purchase, Lector’s Books may receive a small commission. This will not affect your price or purchasing experience in any way.

 

My Weekend

I had a very busy weekend!

First, I’d like to thank my webmaster/brother extraordinaire who helped  transferred my blog platform for me because I’m mostly technologically incompetent. I’m very pleased with the changes (most of which are behind the scenes) although I’m still learning the new system and may have to tweak things a little. For example, I have no idea if my subscriber list managed to transfer over or how to check if that was the case or not. Sigh. To the Google!

Second, I ACTUALLY GOT TO MEET LINDSAY BUROKER! My little fangirl self just about died of joy. I have to say that she was very kind and gracious throughout our chat, and is just as fun to hang out with as you would expect from her writing. Seriously, how often in your lifetime do you get to meet one of your favorite authors of all time over drinks from Starbucks? For a reminder of why I was so excited to meet her, see my review of her Emperor’s Edge series here

So, all in all, it was a VERY good weekend.

Changes, they are a-coming

Instead of your regularly scheduled Family Fridays post, I’d like to share with you some changes that are coming. I’ve decided to change my blogging platform in order to allow more flexibility with the blog, as well as hopefully start including some affiliate links (more on this later). My hope is that during the transition period, you won’t really notice – maybe the blog will look a little different, and hopefully commenting will be easier, but your general user experience shouldn’t change too much. I’ve never done this before, so I can’t guarantee anything, and once I get the blog transitioned over, I’ll be able to share more details about it all.

As for the affiliate links, I’m hoping this will be a win-win situation. An affiliate link means that I will link directly to a product page on Amazon or Barnes and Noble, and if you choose to buy, then I will get a percentage of the sale (it doesn’t change your price or buying experience in any way). I’m hoping this will improve the reader’s experience by making it easier to buy books or movies that interest them, and I’m hoping it will improve this blogger’s experience by providing some funding for the site. Honestly, if I can cover the cost of running the blog, I’ll be ecstatic. If I can start to fund some of the books I buy for the blog, I’ll be over the moon. I’m planning on including links to Kindle e-books, Nook e-books, and then Amazon and Barnes and Noble paperbacks. If there is another format (iBooks, Kobo, etc) that you want to see included, drop me an email and I’ll throw that in as well.

So that’s what will (hopefully) be coming at some point over the weekend. I’d like to thank everyone for their support with the blog so far. It’s been a really fun journey!

Last Look Proofreading now available!

To celebrate the launch of my new proofreading service, Last Look Proofreading, I’m giving away three novel-length proofreads. To enter, simply leave a comment below with your vote for the most cringe-worthy typo/writing error (mine is affect/effect) before 6:00 Mountain Time on Friday, May 10th. I will randomly select three comments and notify the winners by email (so you must leave a valid email address). I will proofread a manuscript of your choosing (it can be unpublished or published, if you want to release an updated edition). Check out this page  to learn more about Last Look Proofreading.

Email me at LectorsBooks@Gmail.com with any questions, and good luck!

Update: I forgot to say that comments need to be moderated manually, so if your comment doesn’t show up immediately, don’t panic! It should be up by the end of the day, at least.

Update: Contest now closed. Thanks to everyone who participated! Winners are Allan, Agnes, and P. Creeden.

Books I’m waiting (im)patiently for

Hokay so….yet again, epic fail on regular posting. But I’m back now, and instead of making promises, we’ll just see how long it lasts.

There are three books coming out in the soon-ish timeframe that I’m really excited about, so without further ado here are MORE things that I have to wait patiently for (besides the arrival of my child).

1. Blood and Betrayal – Emperor’s Edge series number 5 is due out early September, and is probably the book that I’m the most excited about. I mean, book 4 ended on a cliffhanger, so I think it’s understandable. Plus this is my favorite currently-being-written series. (See my series review here)

2. Next planned release is Timekeeper, the sequel to Timepiece (review here). It should be out by late September, but the release date has been pushed back once already, so we’ll see if it actually hits shelves (my kindle) on time.

3. Last up is The Mark of Athena, due out Oct 2. This is the third book in Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series, which I cannot believe I have not yet reviewed (spoiler alert: Strongly Recommended). The Heroes of Olympus series is the continuation and expansion of his Percy Jackson series (spoiler alert: also Strongly Recommended. There’s a movie. I can review that right here: “Don’t watch it.”)

While waiting very, very patiently for these books to come out, I’ve been rereading some old favorites, AND I have several books on my “need to read” list. More on that later…

News and a promise

For the three of you out there who read my blog, I just wanted to give an update on the blog and where I see it going. I’ve not posted much in the past few months (yes, that is a huge understatement) because I’ve got some things going on in the real world that have made it difficult. The biggest thing is that I’m pregnant, which I’m very excited about, but with the  morning sickness (it’s not as fun as it looks in the movies) and the exhaustion (going to bed at 7:30 p.m. does not really lend itself to evenings spent curled up with a book) I just haven’t been doing a whole lot of reading.

BUT! This is my public declaration to you and to myself that I’m going to get back in the habit of reading and blogging. I don’t see this becoming a Mommy Blog at all, but I may start including some children’s book reviews, especially in the sci fi/fantasy/mystery categories. There are so many great kid’s books out there (one of my favorite things about being pregnant is that I have an excuse to start actually acquiring some. Ok, “lots” not “some”.) and many of the books I read at a young age helped pique my interest in both mysteries and sci fi/fantasy.

So that’s where I see things going, and I’m hoping to get on track to post maybe once a week or so. Let me know if there are any book reviews you’d like to see up on earlier rather than later!