I used to re-sell my used paperbacks on Amazon. Sometimes I still do. But, for most books, the profits aren’t very good because so many people are selling books for a penny or two, hoping to make a pittance on volume by taking a cut of the amount Amazon allows for shipping. Then, too, you have to buy mailers or boxes and rush to the post office within two days of getting a SHIP NOW e-mail from Amazon. Selling books on eBay has similar hassles and low profits unless you have something out of print and/or rare.
There’s a used book store in town that takes in used books IF you want to use the value they assign to them and apply that against a purchase in the store. The thing is, if the store is selling used books, I’ve probably already read them.
If you have an eagle eye, you’ve noticed the Operation Paperback logo on the right-hand side of this blog. Anyone can sign up and either donate money or become a shipper, all of this to give our troops books to read. When I was in the Navy, I would have welcomed an occasional box of books from people who cared that I was sitting on a ship in the Gulf of Tonkin with time between watches to use up.
Operation Paperback was founded in 1999 and since then has shipped 2.2 million books around the world and to veterans and their families in the U.S. In my case, I participate in the program via my publisher Thomas-Jacob Publishing. This means that when Melinda runs out of books she’s been stashing under the bed, I send her a few boxes to add to her collection. Then she ships them out to people who are looking for the genres I send.
The literary fiction I read isn’t in high demand. But the Tom Clancy/James Patterson kinds of books are. So, she gets all these because they’re not the kinds of books that lend themselves to reading them multiple times. I mailed her two boxes of books this morning, and snuck in a batch from Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series. Think of them as cops and robbers with a wizard in the mix!
It’s amazing how much space paperback and hardback books take up in my den. So, I’m happy to have a good place to send those I’ve read. It sure beats throwing them in the trash! And, since I think it’s a crime to dog-ear or scribble in books, mine have no bent pages because I use bookmarks. And, as we used to advertise on eBay, my books come from a smoke-free environment. Of course, it’s possible my books smell like fried chicken, steak or beef stew.