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C04“We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our own swimsuits and towels. We assumed it be included in the price.”

I don't know about you, but even if the park DID provide swimsuits, I don't think I'd wear one. Even if it has been washed fifty times over, how many other bodies have worn it?

***

So what do you think about when you see the price for something? Everybody has a personal opinion on if a product or service is too expensive. It all comes down to what we think is worth the money.

Years ago I went with my dad to a model train fair. We visited many booths and displays and saw a lot of pretty good stuff. At one booth, a guy was hawking a product one used when creating scenery. I can't recall exactly what it did (a special glue or foam to connect pieces of material to make construction easier and more realistic) but the bottle cost around forty dollars. Now, dad has been into model trains for decades so he was attracted. I thought the price was a bit much, but dad ended up buying a bottle and found the product worked pretty good.

I guess I'm the same with books. I used to be a big eBay purchaser and until the site went to strictly Paypal payments I would shop a lot. The problem I found was that several sellers were ripoff artists. I know book prices have increased and today you shell out close to nine or ten dollars for a paperback in the store. I used to have a bit of an OCD complex where I wouldn't buy a book unless it was in pristine condition. Then I realized I was missing out on a lot of books because of my standards. (However, I still read with the book open only far enoughto read the words without cracking the spine. I'm also glad that dad does the same when he borrows some of my books.) However, back then books ranged from four to six dollars.

Anyway, I shopped on eBay because I could peruse used books and older books no longer in the stores. I saw some pretty good deals and thought the money spent was justified. However, I thought a lot sellers were cheats because the book itself may have cost anywhere from 99 cents to four dollars but the shipping was always four-six dollars, or more. So, I would have ended up paying new-book price for something years old. No way. I knew it didn't cost six dollars to ship a book.

Today, with Amazon and other online stores it's a bit easier, in one sense to be able to shop around. The liability is, there are various ways to buy books, to get the one you want for the right price may require a lot of time. And with the explosion of eBooks and especially with self-published books, the old warning of BUYER BEWARE is so important.

I'm not against self-published books. I know authors who have gone this route and their books are just fine. However, in my book reviews, I have run across so many more that were not. It's not difficult to recognize a self-published book at times because of the poor quality of the plot and all of the errors of grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. No self-respecting editor or publisher would allow that crap to get published.

I must correct myself by saying...some do. That's one of the downsides to small indie publishers. Not saying the big six doesn't put out crap, but some of these small publishers are so close to fly-by-night outfits, it ain't funny. That is why writers must do their homework before submitting. Check out the company as thoroughly as possible before submitting or accepting an offer.

Quality counts. It doesn't matter if the price for a book is less than a buck, if the story is awful, the writing is amateurish, and/or the editing is noticeably bad, then you've wasted your money.

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