Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Virtual Book Tour & #Giveaway for A Bookmarked Death by Judi Culbertson

Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Book Tour, presented by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, for A Bookmarked Death by Judi Culbertson.  Please leave a comment or question for Judi to let her know you stopped by.  You can enter her tour wide giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You can also follow all of the tour stops by clicking on the tour banner above.  The more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning. 

What Makes a Book Valuable by Judi Culbertson

Time was, any mystery considered worth reading had to educate its readers in an area they knew nothing about: Egyptian burial rituals or university customs or how to make a felt hat.  Books would go on for pages at a time about esoterica or the geography of a remote village.  Now the teaching factor has been toned down.  You can still learn about Amish life or the method used to identify  soil samples or the intricacies of catering a brunch for a hundred people, but it is worked more cleverly into the story. 

When I read fiction, besides being entertained, part of me likes to feel that I am finding out about a whole new milieu or getting an inside look at an unusual career.  So when I began writing my Secondhand Prose mystery series, I wanted people to experience how it feels to get up very early to get to a book sale, preparing yourself for the cut-throat competition, and anticipating what wonderful treasures you might find in a basement carton.  I wanted to let readers experience interacting with a group of some decidedly odd characters.  Most of all I wanted to draw readers into the world of rare books and tell them things I wish I’d known when I started selling.  

If you’re impatient to know what some of these are, here’s a crash course:  

Just because a book is old doesn’t make it valuable.  A copy of A Tale of Two Cities from 1859 that has been reprinted as part of a set of Dickens is worth only about $3.49.  If it were a first printing, of course, that would be different, but the farther away from its original printing a book gets, the less financial value it has. And a forgotten novel that was a best seller in the 1930s may just seem dated eighty years later.

By contrast, newer books can be valuable if you buy them while their authors are still unknown.  Most people wish they had had a crystal ball telling them that the first edition of Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone in its dust jacket would sell for around $1,500.  I once had to sign a book for a collector in Texas who bought every first mystery and had it autographed, figuring that the odds were that at least a few of their authors would take off.

Notice I mentioned the Harry Potter book in dust jacket.  Up to 90% of a book’s value can lie in the dust jacket.  Collectors demand it.  The jacket gives a clue as to whether a book is a first printing, not just a first edition.  There should not be reviews quoted on the back or seals from literary awards. As a bookseller, I cringed when I heard about someone who threw away the dust jacket as soon as he finished a book, so that he would know that he had read it. Arrgh.

And don’t just give away your childhood books.  Hardcovers are best, with the dust jacket if possible. Even ex libris (library copies) have some value, since not too many parents in the 1940s or 1950s bought their children hardcover books.  First editions of Dr. Seuss, Laura Ingalls Wilder, E.B. White and many others are worth serious money.

The more specific non-fiction books are, the better.  Lionel Trains of the 1930s will always be more in demand than Dolls of the World because the former will have more valuable information.

I believe that despite the popularity of e-books, there will always be a demand for physical books, both as collectibles and as favorites that we can reach out and hold.  As the title of one novel points out, “Books do furnish a room.” 

The best of them help to furnish a life.

by Judi Culbertson
A Delhi Laine Mystery, Book 4
Publisher: Witness Impulse (HarperCollins Publishers)
Release Date:  March 31, 2015
Genre:  Cozy Mystery – 262 Pages
ISBN:  9780062365149

Purchase Links:  AmazonB&N | Kobo 

About the book:

For the first time in nearly twenty years, Delhi Laine’s family is whole. But that doesn’t mean everything is back to normal. With no proof to condemn her daughter’s kidnappers, Delhi’s family is forced to share Elisa with her “adopted” parents.

But when they suddenly perish in a mysterious house fire, Elisa is heartbroken…and Delhi’s husband, Colin, is charged with their murder.  Delhi knows it’s up to her to prove his innocence, but the deeper she digs, the more it becomes evident that nothing is as it seems.

When Elisa goes missing, Delhi fears her nightmare may be repeating itself. If she can’t clear Colin’s name and find Elisa again, there may not be another chance. Twenty years ago she lost her daughter…if she fails now, she might lose everything—and everyone—she holds dear.

About This Author

Judi Culbertson draws on her experience as a used-and-rare book dealer, social worker, and world traveler to create her bibliophile mysteries. No stranger to cemeteries, she also co-authored five illustrated guides with her husband, Tom Randall, starting with Permanent Parisians. She lives in Port Jefferson, New York, with her family.

Author Links:

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1 comment:

  1. What an interesting post. So right about the teaching factor. I do want to learn something new but don't want to feel as if I am reading a textbook. Thanks for the giveaway.