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Book/Author Crossing

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  #1  
Old 10-20-2008, 07:42 AM
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Default Book/Author Crossing


I've often wondered what it would be like to just self-publish a book and send it off as a Book Crossing book (not the one I've decided to target agents/small publishers with, though. One of my less important ones.) where a book gets dropped off at certain places, picked up by random people, read, and passed on to a different place. I think it's a cool idea.

What do people think of this: Author Crossing

Yes, it's a self-publishing place, but it looks interesting.

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Old 10-20-2008, 08:07 AM
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The Author Crossing place looks interesting indeed. I can't see any cons, but then, I only looked at the front page. I'm sure there are some downsides. No such thing as a free lunch. I'm not looking to publish a book right now, but if I was, I'd be probably be researching things like that faster than a starving weasel in a box of glazed doughnuts.

That Book Crossing thing is something I've heard of before. Sounds like a great idea! If I ever come across one of those I'll be sure to sign up and track it about. Maybe I'll even leave a book somewhere sometime. It looks like a great way for bookworms all over to band together.
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Old 10-20-2008, 09:07 AM
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I don't think I understand the Book Crossing idea. Do you leave an actual book somewhere in the hopes that it will be read? How would you know if it was? And what prevents anyone from taking and keeping such a book, or throwing it away. Obviously, I am very confused so if anyone can enlighten me, I would be most grateful.
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Old 10-20-2008, 09:31 AM
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Here are the FAQs for it. I suppose you do always risk losing the book or having it thrown away, etc. Still, might be a good way to get a book out, if you aren't looking for the money side of it. I'm sure there have to be die-hard readers still out there looking for new things to read.
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Old 10-20-2008, 10:09 AM
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Well, I didn't read all of the FAQ, there are far too many, but the long and the short of it is that you leave a book and hope for the best. Hmm. Don't think this idea floats my boat. My books are precious to me, and some are nigh on impossible to replace. Besides, I'd rather send them to a charity or take them down to my local bookstore (which does a thriving business in second hand books), knowing that they will wind up with someone who wants them. The notion of some ruffian misusing one is too dreadful. (I really need to stop anthropomorphising!) But I suppose it's one way of getting one's work out into the world. (How weird, though, to think that one's books could wind up better travelled than their original owner.)
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Old 10-20-2008, 10:34 AM
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Book Crossing isn't for everyone, I know. It's mostly for people to pass along extra books that they don't need or want anymore, to offer them exposure to different people and get different people exposed to a different types of books. I suppose I'm just too trusting in thinking that everyone values the written word as much as writers/dedicated readers do. Not everyone does. Lol.

I do agree that it's much better to give them to a library or a local bookstore, where they'll be given or sold to people looking for them. But what if they don't get sold in the case of a bookstore? What does the bookstore do with an old book, one they can't return for any money back? Hopefully not discard it.
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Last edited by Devon; 10-20-2008 at 10:46 AM..
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Old 10-20-2008, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Devon View Post
I do agree that it's much better to give them to a library or a local bookstore, where they'll be given or sold to people looking for them. But what if they don't get sold in the case of a bookstore? What does the bookstore do with an old book, one they can't return for any money back? Hopefully not discard it.
Oh, I know! I can't bear to think about it.

Back when I was young (and I'm talking maybe thirty years ago), I remember there was a bookshop near my flat that sold second-hand books. They had this great scheme where you bought the book for a set percentage of its cover price. Then, when you'd finished reading it, you could bring it back and get a portion of your money back! This meant they stamped all their books, so they knew if they were theirs or not, but whenever we got some money back, we spent it again buying more books. You could also bring in 'brand new' books that you'd bought but didn't want to keep/read again, and they would buy them from you for something like half the cover value. I suppose there isn't enough money in that sort of thing to cover the rent of most shops these days, which is a shame. It was an excellent way for people on limited incomes, ie students and older people, to buy and read plenty of books without paying top whack. And lots of the books were fairly recent.

Mind you, I can also remember a great shop where we could go buy second-hand jeans for about a fiver (when they used to cost 15 to 30 on average new). Since stone-washed hadn't been invented yet, it meant you got new jeans already broken in, which suited us scruffy rock'n'roll types better than the stiff new ones our parents wore.

Better stop before SW comes along and tells me to take myself back to the Baffled Old People thread! Lol.
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Old 10-22-2008, 04:18 AM
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I think it's great, really, for those who want to get out... they normally get dejected by all the hardship it takes to get out... this could help, but I haven't read the FAQ yet, so...
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Old 10-26-2008, 01:44 PM
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One way to get your writing seen is to write excerpts on your novel. On the other hand, even give a chapter or two away with an address where they can buy it if they want to read on.

That way you get seen and have a better chance of making money. Even at a self publishing place. Marketing strategies are important for the writing business.
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:38 PM
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Devon,

If one was to implement this technique
it would advantageous to be in the midst
of your target audience.

For example, attend a book club conference
pertaining to your niche and leave a book
within that company.

So something like this would be more valueable
than on a bus, train, or movie theater.

Continue to make it happen!

Won't Be Denied,
C.F. Jackson
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Old 10-30-2008, 10:22 AM
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One of the biggest myths in the employment arena is that education is the key to getting a good job. That is false. Although, education is obviously a big contributing factor, the two main keys are: experience and networking.

Let's say that someone has just finished their two-year degree for a specific field, such as a paralegal. That person goes out and applies to numerous law firms, with a resume that has an exceptional school record and a list of previous part time employment at different places. They waitressed for two years during college. They worked at the grocery store in their home town for three years during high school... They will be passed up for the job, for the OTHER applicant, who does NOT have the degree. Why? Because that applicant worked for a year and a half as a legal secretary. OR maybe it's because the other applicant knows someone who already works there and had a "good word put in for them."

Either way, they have the job and you don't. The fact that under your "Previous Employment" heading on your resume has no legal field work listed, has made you invisible to the HR manager.

The only way to get yourself noticed after that is to take positions in that field, no matter how "below you" or menial they may seem. Two years making copies at the local courthouse will seem a lot more relevant than serving tables at the cafe across the street.

So, in my roundabout spiel, what I'm getting at is that I definitely think that anything you can do in the writing field, no matter how silly or unsure you are about it - is another thing to put on that writer's resume. Plus, it's always fun to imagine who is reading your story - the journey of your book traveling from place to place.
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Old 10-30-2008, 10:32 AM
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Plus, it's always fun to imagine who is reading your story - the journey of your book traveling from place to place.
Oh, you wouldn't have to imagine it, people could actually go to the book crossing site, put in the book crossing number they find on the inside cover and leave comments, where they found the book, what they thought of it, etc.
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:54 AM
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Yeah, Q, I don't quite get the book crossing idea either. I my reading world, that's how EVERYTHING works. Used books float into my hands and out on their way. Maids give me books that tourists left in hotel rooms, I exchange books in lobby "libraries", I search freebie bins, a trade two for one, swap with people at the ferry terminal.
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Old 10-30-2008, 12:06 PM
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It's a nice idea - for a nice world. Maybe I'm just too cynical, but I grew up in a city where if it wasn't nailed down, someone would steal it (and if they had time to rip it up from the floor, they'd have the nailed-down stuff as well).

Although these books are left around, so wouldn't technically be stolen, if someone decided to keep a book...well, that's the end of its circulation. Maybe I'm too possessive, but if it was my book, I'd want to know that it would stay out there, being continually shared, and not added to someone else's private library. On the other hand, when I give books away to charity shops or second-hand book dealers, I don't worry about them. I've written them off, and don't care who reads them or what they think of them.

Back to the idea of self-publishing and releasing one's words this way, I simply couldn't. While it would be pleasant to know that people were reading, and hopefully enjoying, what I'd written, I would absolutely detest the idea that my book was thrown into a dustbin like so much garbage, or kicked to death in a game of impromptu football on the way home from school.

If anyone does give this a go, it would be interesting to hear what happens, but that someone won't be me.
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Old 10-30-2008, 05:06 PM
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Meanwhile, how does this Author Crossings work? Do they charge you to publish?

Anything that starts out asking me to register with information BEFORE giving me the skinny gets me suspicious right off the bat.
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Old 10-30-2008, 06:23 PM
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Here are a couple of links to it. I'll let you judge for yourself.

Author Crossing 1
Author Crossing 2
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Old 10-30-2008, 06:51 PM
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Saw that. Find them VERY unforthcoming about actual numbers for costs and prices.

It could be good, but the site makes me very nervous and I get tired of poking around to one link after another trying to get a straight answer instead of glowing generalities.

Like who prints the books? How much to the books cost to purchase? How much to their services cost? And stuff like that.
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Old 10-30-2008, 07:06 PM
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It could be good, but the site makes me very nervous and I get tired of poking around to one link after another trying to get a straight answer instead of glowing generalities.
You have a very good point there.
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Old 10-30-2008, 07:59 PM
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Did you register? Maybe you can get some information?

Or not :-)
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Old 10-30-2008, 08:03 PM
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No, I haven't registered. Nor have I had a chance yet to really dig to understand what it's all about. On the surface it seemed like a neat idea, but now that you brought up the whole notion of the vagueness of their approach, you've gotten me questioning it. Lol.
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Old 10-31-2008, 04:34 AM
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Do you suppose it's another scam to do would-be writers out of money? With the advent of self-publishing, the whole vanity press thing has had the rug pulled out from under its feet. Suppose those sort of folk have to find new ways to tempt writers to part with their dosh. Oh, I am so cyncial!
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Old 10-31-2008, 04:58 AM
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Lol. No, just realistic. One of these days, when I have some spare time on my hands, I'm going to comb through the site and see what's what.
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Old 10-31-2008, 05:12 AM
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Well, it could be all above-board and just on the expensive side, hence the reticence to talk dollars. Afraid I'm inclined the think the worst unless proved otherwise about things like this (although I can be quite optimistic about other things!). If it does provide a useful service, it would be good to know that.
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Old 02-02-2009, 03:51 AM
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Hmm, having a brief look at this author crossing thing fills me with dubious thoughts. Publishing a book cannot be an easy process no matter how you do it, and having it touted as simple makes me rather sceptical. It does not look like a winning idea to me, even if they use digital presses and you sell a few copies...
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:14 AM
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I haven't checked out the Author Crossing place yet, but I'm already itching to dust off a few old books and put them "out in the wild". It just seems like such a... cool? Awesome? Something thing to do.

I'm not familiar at all with self-publishing so I can't judge the second site. To Devon (though this is mighty old and you've probably made up your mind already), I'd do it just for the heck of it. Sure, it probably costs a lot of money but hey, it'll be fun to watch it turn up all over the place. I think that'd make it worth my money.
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Old 02-02-2009, 08:07 AM
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Publishing a book cannot be an easy process no matter how you do it, and having it touted as simple makes me rather sceptical. It does not look like a winning idea to me, even if they use digital presses and you sell a few copies...
Well, you can publish a book on lulu with about 30 minutes work and no skils of any kind.
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Old 02-12-2009, 03:38 AM
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Hi Lin, very true. I suppose anyone can publish any old crap on Lulu. Anyone who cares to finance their own self-publication can do it, but the trick is to sell copies and make some of your money back. Give me 6 months and I'll let you know exactly how hard it is!
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:31 AM
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Well, actually I've known that for many years now.

But the point is publishing is simple and free these days.

The point is NOT... any old crap on lulu
You can publish any old crap by any means you want. That's a very lame response.
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Old 02-12-2009, 09:57 AM
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I've sent out three books on the Book Crossing network. I have no idea what happened to them (I guess I'll log in and see). Thought it was a fun little promo idea, but like Lin, that is how I find most of the books I read. I guess if I was in a dry book town it might prove useful, but for now I just rummage around the dollar bin at my local used bookstore. However, it would be cool to see just where the book you are reading has traveled. Sometimes the used books I read have old bookmarks in them from distant bookstores; always a neat treat.
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