Going Postal about Book Postage?

The Problem: You look for a book on a book retail website. You send your order to the “Shopping Cart”. But what’s this? A delivery charge rises up on your screen like monster looming over the horizon. And the size of the thing!

‘Bother!’ You say. (You might say other words entirely and at some length, but this is a bear-friendly web-den.) And you change your mind about buying that book in print because the delivery cost has trampled over all your hopes. Is there another way? Why, yes. Read on.

Our Post Bear, Scottie, goes postal over particular postage problems of his own

BOOK SHOPS. Beating dinosaur sized postal costs Tip One: Visit your friendly local book shop. The book might be in stock, and if not the staff can order it in for you. This is good for everyone: you get your book, the book shop people take note that readers want this book and they consider getting more in, they stay in business, and in turn that means you can return there to book-bathe whenever you want to.

(‘Book-bathe’? you ask. Well, you’ve heard of how nature-bathing is good for the soul? So is book-bathing. You simply wander around places with lots of books and you start to feel better right away. That is also why staff in a bookshop are friendly and helpful: they get to book-bathe all day long … But I digress. Where was I? Oh yes, Tip Two.)

LIBRARIES. Beating Godzilla sized postal costs Tip Two. Visit your local library (where the staff are friendly because of all their book bathing). Reasons this is good: If you can borrow the book, you pay for neither the book nor postage; in Australia and some other countries the author still gets a fee for each borrowing (very small, but still a fee); and if book is not there, you can ask the staff to consider adding it to their stock. That is good for you, the library, the publisher and the author. Also, just by going to your library you are participating in your local community. All sorts of activities happen there. Maybe you’ll get involved in some.

SHOP AROUND. Beating road train sized postal costs Tip Three: Shop around with OTHER on-line retailers! Don’t stick with, for instance, ‘A-Far-Too-Powerful-Retailer-Named-After-A-River’ if it is gouging you more than it is serving you. There are other retailers, some listed at the end of this post. Several supply the book you want with free postage so long as it is within your particular country or region. One retailer does not charge ‘shipping’ or postage costs at all. Consider BookDepository.

Our Scotland the Brave shops shops around.

SPEND MORE. Beating fuel tanker sized postal costs Tip Four: This tip requires you to exercise restraint to a degree you did not know you had. You have to wait, yes, wait until three or four books of the books you want become available at a fair price. Then, you send them to the ‘Shopping Cart’ together. This often, but not always, gains you a waiver on the postage costs. Good things about this: you get more than one book and you save on postage. Not-good things about this: You have to spend more money than you probably meant to. And when the books do arrive, the To-Be-Read-Pile of books in your room gets so high that it topples over and buries you under hundreds of stories and your family doesn’t find your body for days because they just assumed you were reading your way through them all.

EBOOKS. Beating mammoth sized postal costs Tip Five. Go digital. Sadly, this means you will miss out on the pleasures of holding the book itself, enjoying its particular weight and texture, slipping your battered old book marks between the pages, shelving it in your favourite way (by colour, by height, by author, by subject, oh the possibilities), ostentatiously opening it up to read on the public transport, lending it to a good friend, seriously wondering about the ‘goodness’ of that friend when the book is not returned … But I digress. The thing is, there are no postage costs with them.

Your Challenge: Beat the postage monsters. You can do this, really you can.

Have a practice with getting your paws on Dreamy Days and Random Naps without postage costs. Like all of Mawson’s picture books for frazzled grownups (and by the time you have gone up against the postage monster you will be frazzled, believe me) this one is available all over the world including through:
 Amazon everywhere, at Amazon Australia (where Mawson sleepily lives), AbeBooks, Ad Libris,  Barnes and Noble (USA), Booklubben, Bookshop.org (Recommenced by me because it supports bookshops), Casa Bahia (Brazil), Dymocks and Booktopia (Australia), Desert Cart (several regions), Fa Saxo (Denmark),Linnaeus Boekhandel, Loot (South Africa), Mas Americanas (Brazil), McNally Jackson (New York), Mighty Ape (New Zealand), Pontio Frio (Brazil), Rahva Rahmat (Estonia, yes, Estonia – this bear gets around), Walmart (USA), Google Books, WH Smith ( UK), and more.
Hopefully, at one of these you will beat the postage monsters. Otherwise, back to the library! Our publisher is Odyssey Books.

Your host, Mark, is Mawson Bear’s Guardian, photographer, editor, blundering typist, chocolates fetcher and cushions re-arranger. Baffled Bear Books ABN: 4787910119.

Your review is welcome in a writer’s neighbourhood

Each review is wanted,
Each review is good,
Your review is welcome
In a writer’s neighbourhood.

Mawson Bear’s Guardian Mark speaks: As you know, our Mawson is a Writer-Bear. His brand new book is called Dreamy Days and Random Naps. It’s about slowing down, indulging in big dreams of a grand world, and resting on cushions. Just perfect for all the tired daydream-believers who want to give themselves permission to relax for little while – or even longer. Could this be you?

I’m sure many frazzled grownups would enjoy escaping for a peaceful half hour into this cosy world – If only they knew about it. And this is the same for every writer: if only readers knew about their books!

Writers need your help. Yes, YOUR help: When you are quiet sort of writer (or a quiet writer-bear) it is not easy to be heard out there in the wide world. Only YOU, the all-powerful reader, can help. You can post your own review about a book on one of the book-retailer websites. Now don’t be alarmed by the word ‘review’. An essay is not required or wanted, rather just a few words about what you think of the book and what you liked.

How to do it: Go to your chosen book retailer. Search for the book title, or author name, or ISBN number. Here are some retailers: Amazon and Good ReadsBarnes and Noble (USA), and Booktopia (Australia) and Library Thing . (There are more listed below.)
After you find the book, scroll down to the field headed ‘Leave A Review’, or ‘Write Your Own Review’.
If you haven’t before used that book retailer you need to register to do so. This does take a couple of minutes of bother, I know, but then comes the fun.

Smiting at the Star Ratings. With all the power of your mighty keyboard, bash at the ratings. If you are an excitable sort of person, or if you love the book, keep on smiting. Smite Thrice!!! Smite Fourfold!!!! And, yea even unto Five times!!!!!  

Our Scotland the Brave charges at the ratings and smites for all he is worth.

You can post your review on other sites too: Having tasted your awesome power, why stop there? You can copy and paste your review to any other on-line retailer, as many as you like, depending on how mighty waxeth your smiting arm that day.

Other ways to help writers that cost nothing: Look at the reviews left by other readers and click the “helpful” or “like’ buttons. Share the links about that book all over the place. You can look at the writer’s other titles too and if you are not able to buy one just now, add to a ‘Wish List.’ On GoodReads add it to “Want to read’ list. These small actions tell the websites’ algorithms that people are taking notice of the book. It all adds up. And up. And UP. And it means lots of people will fall in love with our Dreamy Days and Random Naps (and the other books you review, of course) just like you. All writers will be grateful for these things which you can do in a jiffy.

Can you help with Mawson’s Dreamy Days and Random Naps?

Please let me know if you would like to do a review for Dreamy Days and Random NapsI can send you a PDF version. Short remarks are fine. It is, after all, a little book. Or just bash away at those star ratings.

Where to find Dreamy Days and Random Naps

Dreamy Days and Random Naps is at Amazon everywhere, at Amazon Australia (where Mawson sleepily lives), at BookDepository, at Barnes and Noble, at Dymocks, at Booktopia, at Walmart, at AbeBooks, at Loot (South Africa), Mighty Ape (New Zealand), Google Books, at Booklubben, and at Bookshop.org, and more. Our publisher is Odyssey Books.

Reviews of Mawson’s books on GoodReads.

It's a Bright World to Feel Lost In It’s a Bright World to Feel Lost In
reviews: 26
ratings: 34 (avg rating 4.32)
She Ran Away From Love She Ran Away From Love
reviews: 27
ratings: 33 (avg rating 4.30)
Dreamy Days and Random Naps Dreamy Days and Random Naps
reviews: 23
ratings: 26 (avg rating 4.38)

Your host, Mark, is Mawson Bear’s Guardian, photographer, editor, blundering typist, chocolates fetcher and cushions re-arranger. Baffled Bear Books ABN: 4787910119.

Who is this Writer-Bear named Mawson? He is a pondering author for our befuddled times

Do you sometimes feel a bit muddled about, well, Things ?

Sometimes rather ruffled when Things just go and, well, Happen ?

Sometimes feel confused one moment and completely baffled the next?

It’s not easy being Grownup. All this business of having to be sophisticated and industrious all day long! It just wears you down. But when you arrive in Mawson’s cosy world, the frazzled reader can flop down among the cushions and relax. Make your world a world of calm, for a little while anyway.

Listen to the quiet

Dreamy Days and Random Naps is Mawson’s latest little book stuffed with happy moments. If you are a daydream believer in a world still bright despite everything, then this book is for you.

Here you can find the answers to just about nothing at all. You can forget you ever had questions anyway. Mawson and his friends are befuddled about most things most of the time – just like so many of us. And that’s all right.

In She Ran Away From Love, by Mawson, his little friend Frilly feels hopelessly baffled by Big Questions. But does she give up? No! She sets out on a quest. See where it takes her.

‘Writing about love, dreams, happiness, and finding your own identity is all found within this short happy book.‘ Review on Amazon UK.

And in his first book, It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In , Mawson attempts to put into words that mysterious feeling of Feeling Lost.

35128781

It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In” is a book about optimism, searching for new adventures and making the most of life and love’. Review on GoodReads by Debbie Young, author of the Sophie Sayer Mysteries.

Our publisher is OdysseyBooks where you can find fun and beautiful books with pictures for grownups.

Where to find Mawson’s Books: At Amazon everywhere, including at Amazon India, and at Amazon Australia (where Mawson Lives), Amazon UK and Amazon France, among others.

Reviews of Mawson’s Books at GoodReads.

It's a Bright World to Feel Lost In It’s a Bright World to Feel Lost In
reviews: 26
ratings: 34 (avg rating 4.32)
She Ran Away From Love She Ran Away From Love
reviews: 27
ratings: 33 (avg rating 4.30)
Dreamy Days and Random Naps Dreamy Days and Random Naps
reviews: 23
ratings: 26 (avg rating 4.38)

If you would rather not use Amazon, Mawson’s book are all over the place. Try BookDepository, or Barnes and Noble, or Dymocks, or at Booktopia, and soon to be at more.

You are at Mark’s blog, Baffled Bear Books. Mark is guardian and hapless typist for Mawson Bear, Ponderer of Baffling Things and one of this bright world’s few published bears. Baffled Bear Books ABN: 4787910119

Your Review is Very Welcome in a Writer’s Neighbourhood

Did you know, Fellow Baffled Ones and Gentlebears, that you can leave reviews of books? You don’t have to be a formal reviewer. You can just plonk down what you think about a book. You can say a lot or say a little. It would be so wonderful if you do some reviews.

Each review is wanted,
Each review is good,
Your review is welcome
In a writer’s neighbourhood.

Why your help matters:  In these days of (shudder) Algorithms all forms of recognition for a book matter. They are all noted. They all add up. Likes, Shares, Mentions, Clicks on buttons that say ‘Helpful’- they all get taken into account by these (shudder) Algorithms. But the most helpful thing of all is a REVIEW.

YOUR review matters so much that I would send every reviewer a block of chocolate* if I could, smudged by tears of gratitude. Your review not only tells other purchasers of Grand Books about (cough) mine, but they also jump up the rankings and the visibility and all that sort of thing.

It’s easy, really it is:  Some reviews kindly given for It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In have been only a line. Two lines. A few more lines. Click here to see examples, real reviews on Amazon dot Com.

Mightyreader

It’s fun to have a bash: If you are stuck for something to say, simply bash away on the star ratings. They all get counted by those (shudder) algorithms. Here Sir Scotland The Brave shows how to stab most valiantly at the ratings.

Where to do reviews: With most of your favourite retailers: Amazon or Goodreads or Barnes and Noble or Dymocks or Booktopia or LibraryThing or Walmart. Mawson Bear’s books are at all these retailers – this bear gets around!

Click Like: While you are at these websites, you can also run your eye down the page to the reviews left by other fine people, and click on the  ‘Helpful’ or ‘Like’ buttons beneath them.

The awesome power of ‘playing’ on your device:  Every Share, Like and Mention on your social media helps; yes, the (shudder) algorithms note it all.  Keep them coming and Mawson’s books, and the books of all writers, can keep bravely going out into the wide bright world.

Writer-Bears love reviews too: Mawson’s own books are She Ran Away From Love and It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In. Soon, he will also bring you a book on a subject dear to every dreamy, imaginative reader (that surely means you!) It’s called Dreamy Days and Random Naps. It’s not quite ready yet. More news soon.

*I was thinking 78% dark choc with chunks of macadamia and hints of chilli.

You have wandered into the blog by Mark, guardian and photographer for Mawson Bear, one of this bright world’s very few Writer-Bears. Mawson wrote She Ran Away From Love and It’s A Bright world To Feel Lost In.

A Writer-Bear is Interviewed: Mawson meets author Elisabeth Foster

Elisabeth Foster, author of the wonderful books Esme’s Wish and Esme’s Gift kindly interviewed Mawson Bear on her website about his picture books for grownups. Here is the start of Elisabeth’s interview.

‘It’s easy to feel lost and alone in this fast-moving world, and comfort can come from unexpected places. In Mawson Bear’s picture book for adults we meet a wise old bear who offers simple advice that goes straight to the heart. The following interview is with Mawson himself. I have never interviewed a bear before and I was rather nervous but Mawson soon put me at ease, just the way he does for readers in It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In.

Can you tell us what inspired you, Mawson, to go on this Bear adventure?

We bears feel, deep down in our stuffing, that when all the naps are snoozed and the words are said, everything is still grand. That’s why we are such a comfort. But so many people forget this. Many people go down, down, into doubts and worry. They even forget all about us bears. So I pondered one day, between naps, that it would be grand to sort of say comforting things in little books for people.

Plonk a paw here to read the rest of the interview at the website of Elisabeth Foster, author of the wonderful book Esme’s Wish and Esme’s Gift.

Mawson’s first book is called It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In: You can plonk your paw here to read it for FREE on Kindle Unlimited in some Amazon regions. And you can buy the Kindle at a 75% discount! Find the print edition there too or see it at Book Depository (free shipping all over the world).

Mawson’ second book is called She Ran Away From Love: Plonk paws here to read it for FREE on Kindle Unlimited at some Amazon regions. The Kindle to buy is marked down 75%! It is also at Book Depository (with free shipping all over the world).

And read about author Elisabeth Foster’s books on these links here: Esme’s Wish and Esme’s Gift . If you love Nim’s Island and the Chronicles of Narnia you will enjoy Esme’s adventures. Certainly Mawson loves them.

You have wandered into Baffled Bear Books, a blog by Mark, guardian and photographer for Mawson Bear, one of this bright world’s very few Writer-Bears. Mawson wrote She Ran Away From Love and It’s A Bright world To Feel Lost In.

Some of the best philosophers are bears: Introducing Mawson Bear

Here is some of the text of an interview by Rachel Nightingale, author of The Tales of Tarya, of Mark, Mawson Bear’s Guardian.

Mawson is the proud author of It’s a bright world to feel lost in, published by Publisher Obscura. This is a beautiful philosophical book in the vein of The blue day book by Bradley Trevor Grieve. It is the perfect sort of book to buy as a stocking stuffer or Kris Kringle for someone who likes to muse about life, and who hasn’t lost their sense of whimsy. Mawson ‘s second book is She Ran Away From Love.’

Which writer or writers opened your eyes to the magic of storytelling and why?

‘When young I devoured books by many authors but when it comes to the magic they brought me, I will list those by C.S Lewis (Narnia), Issac Asimov (Sci Fi), and Rosemary Sutcliffe (historical fiction).’

Like most readers, what I sought was to be transported from this world.  With these writers I could be in Norman England winning back a castle during a school break, in the woods of Narnia on a rainy Sunday, or fleeing rogue robots during a long car ride.

What is your greatest magical power as a writer?

‘Shyly he says, ‘I listen to the bears’.

Poets, actors, composers, painters, ‘artistic people’, all speak reluctantly about the heart of creativity. They proffer vague expressions like ‘feeling inspired’, ‘being guided’, ‘trusting the muse’, ‘entering into the role’. What does this mean? I think it’s about listening for ‘something’. Now, this ‘something’ cannot not be analysed or modelled on a flow chart. It’s very shy, and it needs to trust you to respect it. I think the greatest magical power of a writer is to gently –don’t startle it –gently reach out for this ‘something’, gain it’s trust; and then to let characters and story flow on from there.

I listen to my bears. I never know when I’ll hear in a voice as quiet as can be imagined the best ponders framed in the best words; and these are ideas and words that I myself did not have in mind, really I didn’t. When I don’t listen but just grind on, my writing is not right: the voice feels wrong, the images don’t flow, and it is not satisfying’.

For the rest of the interview please visit Rachel Nightingale’s website.

While you are there be sure to read more about the books by this novelist, playright, performer and thespian. Rachel ponders much about the power of story and fantasy in our lives. At her website you can learn more about the Commedia dell’Arte, an inspiration for The Tales of Tarya.

My review of The Harlequins Riddle, the first of those tales, is right here. Columbine’s Tale, Book two of the series, and Book Three, Pierrots’ Song are also out now, published by  Odyssey Books.

The Tales of Tarya is now available at Amazon as a complete Kindle Set!

You are at Mark’s blog called Baffled Bear Books. Mark is a bibliophile, dark coffee tragic, and the guardian and blundering typist for Mawson Bear,  one of this bright world’s few published bears.

Who is this Writer-Bear named Mawson? He is a pondering author for our befuddled times

Do you sometimes feel a bit muddled about, well, Things ?

Sometimes rather ruffled when Things just go and, well, Happen ?

Sometimes feel confused one moment and completely baffled the next?

Listen to the quiet

It’s not easy being Grownup. All this business of having to be sophisticated and industrious all day long! It just wears you down. But when you arrive in Mawson’s cosy world, the frazzled reader can flop down among the cushions and relax.

Here you can find the answers to just about nothing at all. You can forget you ever had questions anyway.

FlopAmongCushions

Mawson and his friends are befuddled about most things most of the time – just like so many of us. And that’s all right.

She Ran Away From Love, the latest book by Mawson, is all about his friend Frilly feeling hopelessly baffled by Big Questions.

Frilly front cover.png

‘A brilliant children’s picture book that does well to pick you up from a bad day. Writing about love, dreams, happiness, and finding your own identity is all found within this short happy book.‘ Review on Amazon UK.

And in his first book, It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In , Mawson attempts to put into words that mysterious feeling of Feeling Lost.

35128781

It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In” is a book about optimism, searching for new adventures and making the most of life and love’. Review on GoodReads by Debbie Young, author of the Sophie Sayer Mysteries.

Our publisher is OdysseyBooks where you can find fun and beautiful books with pictures for grownups.

You are at Mark’s blog, Baffled Bear Books. Mark is guardian and hapless typist for Mawson Bear, Ponderer of Baffling Things and one of this bright world’s few published bears. Baffled Bear Books ABN: 4787910119

Books With Pictures In Them: Of course they are for Grownups

Everyone loves pictures. Seen the ‘motion pictures’ lately? Watched the telly? Got prints up on your walls? Of course! We crave pictures. Why then the bizarre notion that Books With Pictures In Them are only for little people?

Illustrated books are for GROWNUPS too. And when you buy such a book you get to enjoy the skill and craft of the writer and also of the artist. It’s a two for the price of one sort of purchase when you look at it that way.

In this post I present such books that have made their way into my shelves. Call them what you will: Picture books, Pictorial books, Illustrated Books, Graphic Books, Comics, Managa. There are books where the pictures themselves are almost the whole of the story, and books where the pictures supplement the story.

Makeshift Galaxy is an illustrated story about love, sacrifice and survival, and published by Odyssey Books. The lush full page illustrations perhaps supplement this sparely told story, or perhaps are the story. Here is my review. Stocked at Abebooks.com, and Book Depository, and Amazon .

Tash 2720

Octopus and Family by Annabell Lee, also from Odyssey Books, has a lot of fun with octopi, as you can see from my review here, and moreover it is one to hide from your little ones rather than give to them.

Octopus Family
Octopus and Family by Annabelle Lee

Now Only Freaks Turn Things Into Bones by Steff Green and Bree Roldan is indeed intended for little ones and contains a strong message about bullying. Still, why not enjoy these illustrations yourself as well. More about it in my review here.

SteffGreen Freaks 3036

The Ashes of Olympus Trilogy by Julian Barr is an example of Books With Some Pictures In Them. The line drawings help create the mood of early times and fear of the gods.

asheswayhomejulianbarr 2765
The Way Home, Ashes of Olympus, by Julian Barr, takes place in the dawn of western history, among the early Greeks and peoples of Italy

The Last Hero is a discworld novel collaboration by Paul Kidby with Terry Pratchett. While most of Sir Terry’s novels became a delight to artists to work with after their first publication, only this one as far as I know, that was created as a collaboration.

The Truth is a Cave in The Black Mountains is another collaboration, this one between Neil Gaiman, who began the story as a verbal presentation – to Grownups- and then, with Eddie Campbell, expanded it. Personally, I would not give this to a little person; it’s as dark as the mountain it refers to.

Pictorial 5 3191

More about Eric by Shaun Tan in a future post. And as for It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In , well this is a story of longing, loss and hope, told through images of teddy bears. It was pondered by Mawson, one of this bright world’s few published writer-bears.

Mark is guardian for Mawson, one of this bright world’s few published bears. He is the writer-bear of It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In