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How to Read My Books Free September 25, 2010

Posted by Ronica Stromberg in Uncategorized.
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Occasionally someone will say to me, “I’d love to read [insert title of one of my books]. Can you lend me a copy?”

Other authors tell me this happens to them also. (It’s a no-no in the industry.)

What the person asking the question probably doesn’t realize is that authors pay for their books. Many authors can buy their books at a discount (usually about 40 percent, minus shipping costs). This discount gives authors the chance to profit if they sell their books themselves. However, most people are unwilling to buy used or damaged books for full price, so if authors lend out their books, they will likely suffer a financial loss.

A better way to read an author’s books free is to request them at your local library. Most libraries offer inter-library loans, or if a book isn’t available from other libraries, librarians may order the books. All of my books are available in libraries around the nation and can be ordered through bookstores, off Amazon, or, in the case of my latest two books (A Shadow in the Dark and Living It Up to Live It Down), directly from the publisher, Royal Fireworks Press.

I order other authors’ books through inter-library loans frequently. I may have to wait a few weeks for the books to get in, but I have plenty of books on my shelves at home to keep me busy until then. I get to read a book free, I’ve indirectly supported an author, and I’ve supported the work of libraries. A win for all.


Writing for Today’s Child September 12, 2010

Posted by Ronica Stromberg in Uncategorized.
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This past summer my son in elementary school spent a Saturday visiting a friend in a small town. When he came home, he said, “It was so great! You could drive your bike all over town, and there were kids everywhere. Everybody knew everybody, and nobody cared that we were just a couple of kids running around by ourselves. Mom, we should move there!”

We haven’t moved, but I understand what he was saying. I spent most of my childhood in towns like that. We live in a large city now, and I rarely see children outside playing. Children live in our neighborhood, but they spend most of their time either inside, at day care, or in organized sports–not in unstructured play unaccompanied by adults.

Recently, one of my friends received feedback from a New York editor about a children’s book she had written. The editor basically said, “This sounds as if it was written in the fifties. Today’s children don’t roam around unsupervised the way they used to.”

From what I’ve seen in the cities I’ve lived in (Kansas City, Lincoln, and Des Moines), this rings true, but as my son saw this past summer, some small towns still offer children autonomy. Once my son experienced it, he wanted to move!

All of which makes me think perhaps the New York publisher should have published my friend’s book. If children have never experienced the carefree living of a small town, they might, at the very least,  like to read about it. Isn’t that what books are supposed to do, open another world?