Back from my almost 3-week vacation. Little internet access. Pure bliss.
I had planned to post a killer back-from-vacation essay, but, of course, the pressure to do so makes writing hard. Instead, a very prosaic one.
In the months since the economic meltdown of Fall 2008, there have been loads of articles in the mainstream press about how to make extra money. They all sound pretty much the same. One common tip: Sell your books. Common variation: Be a book scout. This advice is followed by a tip to sell to cash4books.net, because you can often sell a book you bought for a quarter at a yard sale for $5.25.
As it happens, this advice, as well as the example, comes from the cash4books website, which also features a picture of the successful proprietors and their adorable baby.
I typed in a few isbns for a test run, and cash4books wanted nary a one.
So, in a public service mood, I checked out a current and desirable textbook: the Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume 1. The book is not for sale, folks.
But if I were selling it, here are the options:
Amazon: The lowest price is $40.00. You would have to pay 15%, plus a dollar in fees. Then you'd have to pack and ship. You'd get $3.99 for shipping from Amazon, which probably would cover this bulky tome. Maybe add insurance in case it got lost.
Barnes and Noble: $25.85 cash. They provide a prepaid mailing label! Pack and ship! Easy-Peasy.
Powells: I remember old Mr. Powell bringing a big cart of books to the Reed College campus in the early 70s. A much-beloved store. But they only offer $11.00 in cash and a teeny bit more in virtual credit... They also provide a prepaid shipping label.
cash4books: In spite of the great press these folks get, they only offer $14.46.
I have a beef with these journalists. First, do they take all the info from company publicity? Do they check anything out?
A lot of people must be taking their advice, because I see a lot of book scouts caressing the books at the thrifts with their cellphones.
And, once again, you can't buy my book because it has my precious teaching notes in it.