Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Art of Buying Books Part 1

This an informational post about buying books. The how to's, the where's, and the why's.
In case you didn't know, I'm a shopper. I live for a bargain and will go to extreme lengths to get one. Yesterday for example, I called 20 nail places in my area - yes 20 (with the help of friends I might add) - to get find the prices for a french manicures! I ended up saving $5 and have a beautiful manicure (that should last for about...1 day ;p).

So I do the same for books, I make my dollar to stretch out as far as it can possibly go. This usually means hours on the computer researching.

This post will be part 1, and I'm going to focus on amazon!

For this example we will use the universally known book, Twilight.

So you go to amazon and in the search bar you type in Twilight, then click on the book you should come to a screen like the one below, now lets look at the closeup.

I know this is a little blurry, but at the top you will the name of the book and then below the name of the author, which if you click on you can get information about the author and links of all the books they have written. Below that there is the rating of the book.

Now see the gold star, that's the juicy stuff. The number with the line crossed through it is the list price of the book, basically the price you would have to pay at a barns n nobles, or standard book store. Below in red is the amazon price, and then below that is the amount of money you are saving.

At the very bottom of that picture are little blue words, with red next to them, that my friends, is the jackpot! The first set of blue words says the # of new (BRAND NEW) books they have for you to buy, from different sellers. That just means that sellers outside of amazon will ship you the book but amazon handles everything (paying, confirmation, shipping etc). The blue next to it is the lowest price available, in this case it is $4.99.

Next to that is the same things, but in this case it is used books. The lowest price for a used book at the moment is... $ 0.96! Wow! The third blew lettering is collectables, which may mean a first edition, a signed copy. Who knows.

Oh look I can make it bigger now! Anyways, I clicked on the "Used books" in blue, and it brought me to this page. Starting from the left you see the price of the book, then next to that the condition of the book, it ranges from poor to like new. Then you see a description of the seller, they're percentage of - hmm how do I say this - "trustiness"? Consistency? Good rep?

You can also buy the book straight from this page and add it to your cart.

Now lets back up, imagine we are back to the main page, (The first picture). Below the second picture on this post, right under the "new", "used", "collectible"; there is a box.

Most people miss this box but it's really quite valuable. This box shows you all of the formats of the book that amazon carries, and then the price of the book that amazon charges. The highlighted one is the one that you are currently viewing. Sometime though, if the book is in hardback, people might be selling it (you know the whole blue # thing I was going over) for even less than the paper back, so it's always good to check out both forms of the book.

Now if you scroll down the page you will eventually see a section like this:

This is a list links that the book has been tagged with, view above; vampire, fantasy, love, teen, etc. The list goes on, and on. In the lower right hand corner it says "see all 431 tags. That will show you all of the tags.

I'm going to click on the Young Adult tag. It brings you to this page (The page is the same for all the tags, the content just changes.)




Up top in the red circle there is the title of the product description, then in blue: products, discussions, lists & guides, images, and contributors. Click on products.

Now, the pictures you see are all the products (books) tagged with "young adult" you can narrow the search over on the left hand side bar.

I narrowed it to paranormal romance and got 36 pages of results. Now each cover image (like the one below) comes with the name, author, they show you the price amazon offers (ex: buy new), and then the lowest price you can get if you buy used. This, in my opinion, is an easier way to scroll through books, to see what the best price will be on amazon. There are 15 books to a page.


Sometimes when you scroll your mouse over the image you get a short description of the book, sometimes not. But you will get more info. If you click on the title it will send you back to the regular amazon page for that book.

As far as shipping goes, if you spend $25 dollars on things amazon specifically is selling, shipping is free. Regular shipping costs apply for other sellers but it is usually $4 or under.

So this concludes The Art of Buying Books Part 1. Hopefully I will have part 2 up tomorrow, but these are very time consuming so we shall see. I think it might be another weekend post.

But, I do promise some more reviews this week, I know it was pretty lax this past one.

Happy shopping!

-M.

Monday, February 22, 2010

!Winners!

Winners, winners, we have winners!

The winner for Secret Society by Tom Dolby is.... S.F. Robertson!

The winner for Explorer X-Alpha is WillowRaven!

S.F. I will email you shortly!

Willow Raven, the publisher's for Explorer X-Alpha will contact you for details!

So congrats! For everyone else, good luck next time!

-M.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Last Chance Apology!

Hi everyone!

I'm sorry for the lack of posts lately, I've been swamped with school and then I was just on a ski vacation with no internet connection.

Anywho, I've got two contests up and I haven't selected a winner! Oh my!

So, I'm extending the deadline until 3pm tomorrow!

Here's your last chance to win Secret Society by Tom Dobly

and

Explorer X-Alpha by LM Preston!

March will have a special contest so keep your eyes open! (not peeled because who can really 'peel' their eyes?)

-M.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove

The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove
by Lauren Kate


# of pages: 248
Age range: 14+
Rating: 3/5

A steamy Southern beauty makes one fatal mistake
Natalie Hargrove would kill to be her high school’s Palmetto Princess. But her boyfriend Mike King doesn’t share her dream and risks losing the honor of Palmetto Prince to Natalie’s nemesis, Justin Balmer. So she convinces Mike to help play a prank on Justin. . . one that goes terribly wrong. They tie him to the front of the church after a party—when they arrive the next morning, Justin is dead.
From blackmail to buried desire, dark secrets to darker deeds, Natalie unravels. She never should’ve messed with fate. Fate is the one thing more twisted than Natalie Hargrove.

First let me say that I love Lauren Kate. After reading Fallen, who couldn't love her? So I was ready to try her other novel even though I was aware that it had quite a challenge to level up to my high standards that came after reading Fallen.

Don't get me wrong, I thought Lauren did an excellent job successfully portraying good characterization, voice, mood, and writing that was effective for the novel...but... I just couldn't stand Natalie. Every move she made had me reeling. I couldn't believe the things she did and her motives to be on top, this took "petty" to a whole new level.

I guess you could say I'm not a huge fan of the "popular-mean girl" type, and Natalie was the paradigm of that. When you combine Natalie with the plot, the book just didn't work for me. It seemed so unrealistic.

However, the reason I gave it 3/5 was because as I mentioned earlier, Lauren's methods were used correctly to effectively develop the story, and she gets bonus points for a shocking ending and suspenseful novel. This could definitely be a great book for someone else, just not me.

But don't let this hold you back, please go ahead and check it out! If you liked this book you may be interested in:

Deadly Little Secret: Laurie Faria Stolarz
Devoured: Amanda Marrone
Blue Bloods: Melissa De La Cruz
Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood: Eileen Cook
Pretty Little Liars: Sara Shepard

Visit Lauren Kate here


-M

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Buying Books?

So you want to splurge on some fantastic new YA books, but you don't have the cash?

Here are some simple solutions.

1.) Sell your old electronics at Gazelle.com Gazelle lets you type in your electronic, and then they show you an image of it and you click on certain buttons saying if it's damaged, has a charger, etc. Then they will tell you what they will pay for it, and if you want to sell, they'll ship you a box with pre-paid postage free of charge and then either give you your money via bill, paypal, or gift card. It's also ecofriendly!

2.) Sell old books at Chegg.com, $40 for a text book and $10 dollars for more novels. You will be paid via a visa gift card, and for every book you buy, sell or rent, they will plant a tree.

3.) Turn in loose change! TD Banks Penny Arcade lets you turn in loose change for quick cash at no cost. And you can also do this at most grocery stores but they will charge you about 9 cents per dollar, unless you redeem your coins for a gift card instead of cash and then there is no fee.

For those of you who find this intimation eerily familiar I got it out of a Seventeen magazine. :)

**4.) There's always ebay.

Hope this helps!

-M

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Darklight

Darklight
by Lesley Livingston

# of pages: 320
Age range: 13+
Rating: 3.5/5





Faerie can't lie . . . or can they?

Much has changed since autumn, when Kelley Winslow learned she was a Faerie princess, fell in love with changeling guard Sonny Flannery, and saved the mortal realm from the ravages of the Wild Hunt. Now Kelley is stuck in New York City, rehearsing Romeo and Juliet and missing Sonny more with every stage kiss, while Sonny has been forced back to the Otherworld and into a deadly game of cat and mouse with the remaining Hunters and Queen Mabh herself.

When a terrifying encounter sends Kelley tumbling into the Otherworld, her reunion with Sonny is joyful but destined to be cut short. An ancient, hidden magick is stirring, and a dangerous new enemy is willing to risk everything to claim that power. Caught in a web of Faerie deception and shifting allegiances, Kelley and Sonny must tread carefully, for each next step could topple a kingdom . . . or tear them apart.

I was really excited to read this because I loved the first book in the series, Wondrous Strange. For whatever reason though, I just didn't get into the sequel as much as I would have hoped. Sure there was the same great writing and deep characters but I kind of got lost in the plot, I felt as though there was never a true climax.

The book started with Kelley and Sonny in separate places but they were soon reunited, just not the way I would have hoped. We do get to see a new side of sonny, one even he doesn't know about. That, I will admit was a new exciting part of the story that I quite enjoyed.

Don't get me wrong I really did enjoy this book, but I just wasn't as wrapped up in it as I was in the previous novel. The characters were still fresh, the writing still fabulous, and the plot still thick. But I'm hoping the next book will have more of...hmm...that spark so to speak that the first one had.

If you liked this series be sure to check out:

Captivate by Carrie Jones
The Dark Divineby Bree Despain
Fallen by Lauren Kate
Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater
Fairy Tale by Cyn Balog
Intertwined by Gena Showalter
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Check out Lesley Livingston here

-M.