Monthly Archives: October 2010

A Duct Tape Kindle Cover…

Duct tape is a versatile and useful substance, from temporary repairs to leaky hoses, (garden and engine) to mending torn jeans, canvas, holding interior parts in place on POS cars and trucks, removing cat fur from clothing, repairing book bindings and making book-covers, keeping assorted things and people properly restrained. Oh, yeah, and even occasionally sealing duct work. There was an old joke around the boatyard that all you needed for most repairs were two things: duct tape and a BFH. (For those unfamiliar with the term, a BFH is a ‘Big F#cking Hammer.) The theory was simple: If it wouldn’t move, hit it with the BFH. If it wouldn’t stay put, use some duct tape… or hit it with the BFH, depending on what ‘it’ was.

Everything you need to make a duct tape kindle cover

Everything you need to make a duct tape kindle cover

I’d like to add to that list of uses creating a duct tape Kindle cover. It’s not for me; actually, a friend asked if I’d make her one. I’m taking a moment out from a much bigger and far more complicated project on the boat (which doesn’t involve duct tape; posts to follow,) to do this. And while I can attest that making a duct tape Kindle cover is not a difficult process, I figured I’d add it to the list of DIY kindle covers I’ve featured on my blog as one more option.

Step 1: These poly file folders are still an excellent starting point, as Command Strips hold to them superbly but let you remove the Kindle at any time. Cut the folder to a size that will easily cover your Kindle. You can use scissors, though I prefer cutting with a straight edge and razor on a cutting board. This folder has holes in it for clipping inside a binder, so I placed some tape on the inside to cover them and keep the tape adhesive from sticking to the Kindle once tape is added to the outside.

Step 2: Lay the folder flat on the cutting board and begin taping. I told you it’s not complicated. If the tape goes down crooked you can pull it up and straighten it. Lay the tape beyond the edges, which will make it easier to lay each row neatly, then simply trim the excess with a razor or scissors.

cutting the duct tape

Cutting the duct tape

Step 3: While duct tape has a silvery charm all its own I’ve come to appreciate an even better substance… Gorilla tape. Think of it as duct tape on steroids. While duct tape will eventually wear and break down when exposed to sun and rain, Gorilla tape is weatherproof, stickier, tougher and all around amazing. I’ve actually used Gorilla tape to wrap dock-lines as chafe gear before hurricanes, and found it still holding strong a year later. On this cover I’ve chosen to trim the edges with some Gorilla tape both for added toughness and style. To lay it straight a few discreet guide marks are a great help; once Gorilla tape goes down you won’t find it willing to move so you want to get it right the first time. Now, just attach your Kindle with some Command Strips and you’re good to go!

duct tape kindle cover

duct tape kindle cover – complete

There you have it. A duct tape Kindle cover. Stylish, simple and cheap. What more could you want?

But if you are looking for more cover ideas, check these out!

Fun, easy (and Cheap) NO-SEW KINDLE COVERS

by Evie Grundler

Would you like a beautiful new one-of-a-kind Kindle cover, but without spending lots of money, and without needing to sew? Then look no further! I’ve put together four super-cheap books that show, step-by-step, just how easily you can create your own stylish, one-of-kind covers, simply and inexpensively, using materials you already have and easy-to-find supplies. Make your covers as stylish, playful, elegant, or rugged as you’d like.

These covers are really quite simple and easy to create — all you need are the basic crafting skills you learned in kindergarten. Over 200 photos accompany detailed descriptions guiding you through every step of the process, and these covers can be as simple or complex as you’d like.

The possibilities are endless—your only limit is your imagination. And they aren’t just for Kindles — these customizable designs work for all models of e-Readers and tablets, so once you’ve made your own, you can create wonderful personalized and unique gifts for family and friends as well.

VOLUME 1 – THE SUPER-EASY COVERS, guides you through every step from start to finish to make A Super-Simple, Ultra-Cheap DIY Kindle Cover, A Duct Tape Kindle Cover, The Padded Placemat Cover, and The “Phone Book” Stealth Cover. Only $0.99

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VOLUME 2 – THE SLIGHTLY MORE CHALLENGING (BUT STILL SUPER EASY) COVERS, guides you through every step from start to finish to make The Upcycled Hardcover, An Old Jeans Ipad (Or Other Device) Sleeve, A Durable Yet Elegant Fabric Cover, and A Stand-Up Cover. Only $0.99

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VOLUME 3 – THE SILLY AND ADORABLE PLUSH KITTY-CAT COVERS guides you through every step from start to finish to make a Kindle cover like no other. And if you’re looking to give a younger Kindle reader a one-of-a-kind gift, what could be more amusing and unique than their own plush cover. Instructions show how you can add a strap, so it can be carried like a shoulder bag as well.

Make Your Own Kindle Cover - VOLUME 3 - THE SILLY AND ADORABLE PLUSH KITTY-CAT COVERS (Fun, Easy, (And Cheap) No-Sew Kindle Covers For The Frugal Do-It-Yourselfer) [Kindle Edition], diy kindle cover, make your own kindle cover, easy to make kindle cover, no sew kindle cover, kindel cover, make my own kindle cover, funny cat kindle cover, cheap kindle cover

And finally, for only $1.99, you can get all the tutorials listed above in NINE DESIGNS – LIMITLESS VARIATIONS.

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I’ll take ‘Odd Place Names’ for $400…

“Meaning 2-shelled, the name of this New Jersey town goes back to its oyster industry days”

What is Bivalve?

A kind reader emailed me the other day; he’d recently finished my book and was amused when my main character’s home town was in fact the answer to a question on the October 25th episode of Jeopardy. Once a bustling center of commerce, Bivalve exists today as a virtual ghost town, beautiful and serene as nature has gradually reclaimed much of the marshy shoreline. It was the ideal setting for the start of Last Exit In New Jersey, perfect not only geographically but also as just the sort of place Hazel Moran would proudly call home, which says something both for Bivalve and for Hazel. Bivalve is so utterly Jersey while being removed from all that is Jersey… while still being in New Jersey. I’ve often remarked that I plan to retire to Bivalve; one day I’m heading the boat down to Bivalve and I’m not coming back!

Anyhow, there you have it. Read a non-socially redeeming mystery thriller about some nice and not so nice folks from New Jersey, you may just learn some fascinating facts, including ones that could ultimately win you money on a nationally televised game show!

Things that make me HAPPY!!!



Ebook pricing, sales and the value of readers…

Yes, folks, I cut the price on Last Exit In New Jersey. Oh did I cut the price, all the way down to $0.99!

Why? At $2.99, which isn’t high by any measure, sales had been respectable, steady and building. But I’d gotten to thinking, and decided to try a bit of an experiment. My costs are no different no matter the price I set. However, based on Amazon’s royalties structure if I set my price below $2.99 my royalties would drop from 70% to 35%. Translated, that means at $0.99 it takes 5.8 sales to equal the royalties of one sale at $2.99. Still, if the lower price attracted more readers  I had the potential to gain more fans who might just tell some friends about this new book they enjoyed. So long as my sales rose at least six to one, I would still come out ahead in the long run.

The flip side of this is the ‘perceived value’ issue. There are many authors out there who insist they’ve offered up their hearts, souls, blood, sweat and tears, years of their lives, relationships, sanity, you name it, to the altar of their craft. Their writing is the embodiment of all they have sacrificed. Surely this is worth more than the price of a cheeseburger on the value menu and readers will respect that. Moreover, readers, seeing a bargain-priced book will automatically assume the author lacked confidence in their work. It had crossed my mind that readers might get that impression, but as I said, this was just an experiment. I’m extremely confident in my book. The cover (first impression) is sharp and the title memorable and unique. The blurb (second impression) is professional and intriguing, and the book itself (final impression) delivers a story filled with great characters, genuine dialog and a plot that doesn’t let up from page one to the end, all well written and precisely edited. It’s not to say I didn’t put my heart and soul etc. into my work, but in my opinion the best writing in the world is nothing if no one ever reads it. Readers (at least my potential readers) aren’t judging books based upon the level of suffering that went into their creation – they’re looking to be entertained.  I’d love to see my writing career take off and pave the way for future books and limitless cruising time, but that has to start somewhere and for now I’ll be happy to see my book sales buy some boat parts. The bottom line: Nothing is set in stone. I’d see how things went and then decide whether this was a win or fail. I could always change the price back.

I’m happy to report that it didn’t take long to see results. In fact, literally overnight my sales increased to more than ten times what they’d been. Ten to one. The math is easy. Ten times more exposure to new readers, ten times more potential fans, ten times more chances for word of mouth to spread. That easily makes up the difference in per-book royalties and then some. My rank on Amazon skyrocketed, which in turn makes it easier for more readers to find my book in the first place. It’s fun seeing the sales number rise, knowing there are so many more people out there reading my work. In making my book more affordable to readers I’ve gained a larger audience and, in the end, higher overall earnings. I think it’s a win-win for everyone. Might some of those readers still bought my book at the higher price? Perhaps. But it’s just as likely others might not. They’d be missing out on a great book and I’d be missing out on a potential new fan.

I was discussing this in a forum last night, and Lexi Revellian, a writer from the UK, reported seeing much the same results after trying the same thing with her novel, REMIX. She said it perfectly when she wrote: “Readers are taking a chance on a new author. Let’s make it less of a decision for them.”

My choice in pricing doesn’t mean I put any less value on my work, only that I put greater value on my readers.

And the winner is…

Yes, folks, today’s the big day. The day I go to, type in the total number of entries I’ve had for my “Only In New Jersey” Kindle Cover giveaway, hit the ‘generate’ button, and announce the lucky winner!

I’m delighted to report this month I’ve had record traffic on my blog. I’ve also had my best month so far, sales-wise, for Last Exit In New Jersey. As my daughter would put it, I’m one happy panda. However…. due to underwhelming interest, I’ve received a total of… brace yourselves… THREE entries.

I guess a cover made of convertible roof fabric and a New Jersey license plate isn’t exactly everyone’s cup of tea. But for three of you it is, and what great odds! So, with no further ado, here it is…

Here’s a closer view…

There you have it. Entry number three. Congratulations Lindsay! I’ll be emailing you directly, and thank you all for participating!