5 Useful Tips for a Desert Safari

The vast lands of a desert can make a perfect tourist destination for a fun and action packed desert safari. They involve plenty of sports and adventure activities, such as dune bashing, camel riding, quad biking and sand boarding. Additionally, there is the opportunity to experience traditional activities like henna painting, falconry, and watching local dance forms at the campsite.A desert safari can take place during the day, but will be very hot at certain times of the year with the temperature reaching up to 55° C. However, a more relaxed tour experience is possible at night when the climate conditions are more comfortable.However, there are plenty of things to consider in the process of getting prepared for a desert safari. Here are a few tips to make the all-round experience a lot more fun and comfortable:Wear comfortable clothes


The preferred clothing for the desert safari is casual, loose and comfortable. This is likely to include clothes like cotton shirts, pants or shorts. The preferred footwear is sandals, flip-flops or other open shoes. There will be plenty of activities that involve being out in the sand, so open shoes are important to avoid issues with sand constantly getting in the closed shoes. Also, it will benefit to limit the amount of jewelry worn.Additionally, it is worth considering the tour activities when deciding on the clothing. For instance, if a camel ride is likely to be a major part of the tour it can benefit to wear the long pants for the most comfortable experience.Take notice of the instructorsThe desert safari can include a variety of rough and adventurous activities, so it is important to listen to the instructor. For instance, the dune bashing activity is certain to quite rough. If the guidelines are followed there is no reason why everyone shouldn’t stay safe and have a fun time. The adventures on the steep dunes will be fun and exhilarating, but is best to simply relax and let the skilled driver take control.Pack the right suppliesIt is not necessary to pack much for the desert safari, but a few useful items to consider include sunscreen, sunglasses and a light jacket. If planning a night tour, the desert temperature will be noticeable cooler in the evening. Also, the sunglasses will not only help to block the sunlight, but will prevent the sand getting into the eyes. Sunscreen is an obvious item on a desert tour to shield your body from the intense desert rays and minimize the risk of burned skin.Choose the right time


The preferred time to visit a desert region is during the months of November to March. A desert safari will be a lot more comfortable in the winter months. The temperature will be a lot cooler later in the day. Also, it will be possible to catch a striking sunset. However, the winter months are the major tourist season, so it will be necessary to expect more crowds and more competition to book the activities.Pack a cameraThere will be plenty of photo opportunities on a desert safari. Even though many will think the desert and sand dunes are simply a hot and barren place, there are in fact plenty of wonderful views that can take your breath away. Also, it will benefit to pack an extra battery to ensure the desired number of photos can be taken. One of the great things to capture will be the many different reptile and mammal species.

Book Marketing Techniques: Those That Backfire

Authors need to promote their books, but there’s a right and a wrong way to market, and wanting to sell a book is no excuse for not retaining your manners. No one likes a pushy salesman. Here are some examples of ways I’ve seen authors try to sell their books that have been a total turn-off for me. Authors, make sure you aren’t using these techniques. I’ve listed them in order from what are, in my opinion, least to most annoying.

Lying about Your Book’s Greatness

I’ve seen authors lie about how wonderful their books are in several ways.

  1. Having non-credible book endorsements, both on their websites and books’ back covers. By non-credible, I mean having an endorsement signed by “A.K. in Hawaii” or “A Teacher in San Diego.” If these people don’t want to give their names, they probably don’t support your book enough to want to stand by their comments, and they aren’t going to convince me that your book is worth reading. At the very least, you want full names, and a blurb from Tom Smith isn’t going to mean much to me anyway, unless you’ve written a book about healthcare and he’s Dr. Tom Smith from the Cancer Treatment Center of Miami, or something along those lines. If you can’t get experts on your book’s topic or celebrities or other authors to endorse your book, you’re better off just not including any testimonials so it doesn’t look like false promotion.
  2. False testimonials. Yes, I’ve seen false testimonials and heard authors tell me about them. “A.K. in Hawaii” might be the author’s next door neighbor, a real person who really read the book, but he might just as well be someone the author made up. I know of one author who had a comment page on his website, and about once a week, he would post a comment under a false name raving about his book to try to convince his website visitors how popular and wonderful his book was. The sad thing is that this author’s book truly was terrible, full of grammar mistakes and typos and badly printed, so anyone who read the book knew those comments had to be lies or written by completely crazy people.

Showing Off Your Big Ego

Too many authors try to promote themselves in ridiculous ways by writing on their websites how their book is a “must read” and contains the answer to all the reader’s problems. If you have to tell readers that, they aren’t going to believe you. Go find some legitimate testimonials from reliable people who will say those things about your book. You are not qualified to judge your own book because you have a vested interest in it.

The worst example of authors showing their egos that I’ve seen is when they post book reviews for themselves on Amazon and other online bookstores, and of course, they give their books five stars and brag about how great their books are. When I see an author give himself a five-star review, I realize the author is clueless about what is legitimate as a review; he hasn’t done his homework about the publishing industry, and he is trying to use trickery to sell his book. Not only will I not buy the book, but if there’s an option to vote on the review, I will always vote that it was not helpful.

Being In Your Face and Violating Personal Space

No one likes to have his or her personal space violated. However, not everyone has yet learned that the Internet also contains personal space for people. It’s one thing to have your book for sale on your website, at online bookstores, to promote it at websites for book promotion, or to buy Internet ads. It’s another thing to invade other online users’ personal space.

Here are some book marketing efforts I’ve experienced online that have been a total turn-off for me.

  1. Repetitive and Unwanted Emails. I’ve had this happen more times than I can count. Somehow an author finds my email address and adds it to his email list and I start hearing from him every couple of days about all his book events and why I should buy his book. Even if I want to be on the person’s email list, sending me an email every couple of days is irritating. An email once a month or even once a week isn’t that bad, but I have other things to do than read about your book events on the East Coast when I live in Texas, and I am not going to hop on a plane to attend your book signing, especially if I’ve already read your book and had it signed. And if you’ve added me to your email list without my permission, well, technically, that’s illegal.
  2. Sending Friend Requests at Social Media Sites Solely to Promote Your Book. If people are interested in your book, they will request to be your friend at a social media site. Instead of spam friend requests, take out a Facebook ad that will be targeted toward the people most likely to read your book. It might cost you a little more money, but it will save you time online and provide you with far better results.
  3. Posting Book Covers on Other People’s Walls. My “Wall” is not the place to promote your book. My friends are not posting on my Wall so they can find out about your book. Get off my Wall!
  4. Messaging. No one likes junk mail, so don’t send me a message about how great your book is and how I can buy it. I only want messages from my real friends.
  5. Chatting. This one I especially find irritating. One day I was on Facebook, and an author, whom I didn’t know and who had already sent me three messages trying to tell me how great his book was and to let me know I could get it on Kindle for just $2.99, sent me a chat message about his book. If I don’t reply to your message, I sure don’t want to chat with you. I politely ignored him and logged off Facebook rather than tell him to quit harassing me. I wasn’t going to engage in an argument with him. But let’s be clear-I’m on Facebook to chat with my real friends. Not to read your book.

Sadly, space violations don’t only happen online. I was once at a book festival where an author made a point of going up to people walking by her booth with a set of headphones and quickly placing them over her victims’ ears before they could object so they could listen to her audio book. When I saw what was going on, I quickly turned down the nearest aisle and avoided that side of the room for the rest of the time I was there. I’ve also stopped to look at books at festivals where authors have said things such as “Why don’t you buy this book?” and “What can I do to get you to buy my book?” You can let me be is what you can do. Tell me about the book if you like, give me a chance to read the back cover, and then I’ll buy or move on. I don’t need a pushy sales pitch.

Have you ever met an author who behaves in these ways? I sure have-too many times. Perhaps you are even one of those authors. Hopefully, now you know better. Let’s face it-guerrilla book promotion doesn’t work when you act like you have a gorilla’s manners. Connect with your readers, but do it on their terms, without being pushy or rude. Be friendly, be straightforward, but also be willing to take “No” for an answer. When you are polite, you always make a better impression on your potential readers.

Promoting Your “Amazon Published” Book or eBook Online

You’ve just gone through the work and the excitement of completing your first book or e-book and you are ready to showcase it to the world. Now, you have to get the word out and try to get some buyers for it. This by the way, is just as strenuous if not even more so than writing the book in the first place. You will realize soon enough that you have to dig deep within yourself to market what you have created to others to make the sales. One author I know when once asked how his books managed to sell so well said. “It’s easy. Write it, put it in a place where people can buy it, and then promote the heck out of it for about 3 years.”

In this article I don’t plan to discuss the myriad of things you can do outside of the Internet to promote your creation such as book signings, getting a table at trade fairs to showcase your book and give away autographed copies, trying to get retailers to sell it (if you’ve created a bound version of it), etc. The tips provided below are written to help you get maximum publicity for your book or e-book online.

Let’s start with building your online selling strategy. Where will you put your book to sell it?

The most popular choice on the Internet is Amazon. This is a very good first step for many books, particularly e-books. Amazon owns Kindle Books, the defacto leader in E-Book marketing and distribution. The whole world has heard of Kindle and there are literally millions of Kindle Readers out there that people can use to read your e-book not to mention that Kindle book reading software is available for computers, tablets and even mobile devices – so it is very easy to distribute and make your creation accessible to others. Amazon also owns “Create Space”, a second entity that can turn your E-book into a bound book that can also be sold on Amazon-Kindle and through distributors globally. If you want to “pay-market” your book through Amazon? You can do that as well through building one of their economically priced advertising campaigns.

Going through this process also gets you an ASIN number for your book or an ISBN number for your book if you wish to go that route (needed for selling hard-copy books through Create Space but not for e-books just sold on Amazon-Kindle). You can enroll your book as well into the Kindle KDP Select program which is like an online library that people pay a monthly subscription to and you can get additional royalty payments for your book from here – based on number of pages read. You can also get promotional banners from Amazon that you can put on your website or blogsite and even send in e-mails to people to further promote your book.

Bottom line is that starting out, Amazon – Kindle has a lot to offer a new self-publisher. You can literally get your book out there in under a week and start making money from it if people purchase it.

But you will need to do further work to get your book to actually sell and start earning you revenues. Your book will get onto Amazon OK, but it has to be seen and desired in order for you to make sales. There are books that have sat there for years without any sales at all so don’t think your done once you get your book published and onto the site. You have to help the sales happen by promoting it. So below is a list of things you should also be doing yourself online to get people to your Amazon purchased page to buy your book.

  • Be sure you build out your Author profiles on Amazon Central and on book review sites such as “Good Reads”. On Good Reads, also be sure to get your book into their “Listopia” program – so learn how to do that. Find other similar Author sites and get your name out there as well.
  • Consider getting out an online press release on your book as well. Make sure it has back links to where people can view and purchase your book. Take a look at “Reddit” as one possible site for this.
  • Promote your book on different social media platforms such as Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, etc.
  • Consider building a YouTube channel and creating a promotional video for your book with linkbacks to where your book can be purchased.
  • Create your own “Author” blog-site to further promote your book. Traverse the Internet to get linkbacks to your site or book through guest posting, article writing, etc.
  • Get an automated e-mail marketing and autoresponder system in place and use it to help promote your book – build your e-mail subscriber lists!
  • Consider getting a podcast series going on iTunes where you can have “podcast discussions” about the content of your book. FYI – Once you get some of these built, stick an image of your book in front of them and upload these to your YouTube channel as well as “Video Podcasts”.
  • Keep posting and guest posting and getting yourself out there with people. The more people that know about you and your book, the better your sales will be. Build relationship bridges with other authors (EzineArticles and Good Reads are good places to do this), with book reviewers, people knowledgeable in your “book space”, etc. Get known out there.
  • Build a Facebook business page for your book and put your author “Good Reads” button onto your Facebook pages that can bring people back to your Author page at GoodReads. Promote your book on Facebook using the “Boost Post” feature – this is a very economical marketing platform with great targeting capabilities.
  • Be sure to get on Google+ and build out your profile there. Then, search for and join several communities relating to your topic area and also relating to other authors – become a positive content contributor to these communities.

In summary, if you can get through all the above steps for promoting your book online, you will be well on your way of starting to build the base needed to start earning revenues for your book. Best of luck to you in your writing career.

How To Collect Books For Fun OR Profit

Before you start to seriously go out and buy books, you need to learn some terminology and become familiar with book publishing and production process. For example, while most people think of book collecting only in terms of the final product as it appeared in the bookstore, there are other elements of a book that are more valuable, more elusive, and more heavily collected. Plus, the more you know about the history of books and how books are constructed, the more finely tuned your critical senses will be, and the more you’ll appreciate finding a truly good book. This article is an attempt to educate and provide you with resources to get you started in book collecting.

For the collector, there are three primary things to consider when buying a book: EDITION, CONDITION and SCARCITY in this condition and edition.

Understanding these areas is the different between success and failure, between being able to build a collection of treasures and an assortment of reading copies, between being able to collect and sell for money, or just going out and buying a lot of worthless books.

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Parts of a Book

*Cover- To put something over or upon, as to protect, conceal or enclose. Dustcover.

*Spine-The back part of the book and it faces outward when you shelf the book right.

*Title Page- The page at the beginning of the book, usually containing the title of the book and the names of the author and publisher.

*Copyright Page-Where the copyright date is found.

*Dedication Page-Its the place where the author dedicates the book to someone.

*Table of Contents-A list of the books contents, arranged by chapter, section, subsection, Etc…

*Forward- An introduction by person other than the author, and it is usually a famous person..

*Text (or Body)-The actual words of the book

*Glossary-A list of hard words with their meanings often printed in the back of the book.

*Bibliography- A list of books, articles, etc. Used or referred by the author at the end of the book.

*Index-A list of subjects and names in alphabetical order at the end of the book.

*ISBN-International Standard Book Numbers–is a ten digit number that uniquely identifies books and look-like products published internationally.

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Getting Started

The used and collectible book market divides into three neat categories:reading copy, antiquarian, and modern first edition.

*Reading Copies

Are books you can take to the beach or into a bathtub. They’re the largest part of the book market, and they’re everywhere. If you buy a book with anything in mind other than collecting, you’re buying a reading copy.

*Antiquarian

Antiquarian book lovers seek out classic old volumes—editions of Scott, Wordsworth, the Bay Psalm Book, examples of fine printing and binding from centuries past.

*Modern Firsts

Modern first edition collectors tend to limit themselves to this century, to the writers who have defined the times we live in, such as Steinbeck, Hemingway, and Faulkner.

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Taking Stock

The first step to being a good book scout is to take a look at your own bookshelves at home.

This is going to be your opening stock, so take a minute to appraise what you own. Do you have a lot of paperbacks with cracked spines and tattered covers? Or do you have a nice selection of good hardbacks neatly care for, books you brought as soon as they came out? The fact that you own books at all shows that you’re a lover of books, which is the first step to becoming a serious collector.

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First Edition or Printing

So, obviously, you’ve got to learn how to identify first editions to avoid making costly mistakes. After all, if you think it’s a first and you turn out to be wrong after paying a premium. The problem is, nearly every publisher has its own method of identified first editions. You can memorize the policies of every single publisher in the history of the book trade, and even then you’ll make mistakes, because all of the rules have exceptions. On my shelves, and on on the shelves of every collector I know, there are at least a few books that looked like a first of first, but turn out later to be plain old books instead.

As general rule, there are two things to look for right off the bat:a statement of edition, or a number line.

The statement of edition is exactly that: on the copyright page, the book says “FIRST EDITION” or “SECOND EDITION” or FIFTY-THIRD EDITION.” Or if not “edition” it will say “printing”. With lots of publishers that’s all you’ll need to find.

Unfortunately, some publishers don’t remove the edition slug from subsequent printings; or sometimes a book club edition will state that it’s a first; or sometimes there’s nothing stated at all.

The next thing to look for is the number line. This is a sequence of numbers which, on the first, usually go from 1 to 10 (some publishers will go 1 to 5 and then the five years around the year of publication: for example, 123459495969798); it may be in order, or it may start with 1 on the left, the 2 on the right, and so forth, with the 10 in the middle. Look for the 1. On every publisher employing a number line except Random House, a number line with a 1 is a first edition. Random House, just to be sure that no one can ever be sure, use a 2 on the number line and the “FIRST EDITION” slug.

There are some publishers who indicate a first edition by not indicating it. If you don’t see anything that says it’s a second or third edition, then it must be a first. There are other publisher who code the information into the book somewhere, but it isn’t always easy to find.

Those three checks will help you identify most books from most publishers, but not all.

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Points

These little differences, about where the photographs should be, wrong lines printed in the book, etc., are known as points.

The easiest way to start learning points is the obvious one: pay close attention to the better price guides, which rarely fail to list the major points. Never just look at the price, look at the entire entry.

Because points are so vital, it’s time to introduce one of themes of this article: to collect successfully, it is important to specialize to a large extent. You are never going to learn the full field of points, of every single detail differing in every single book. In the comfort of a used book shop, maybe the owner has time to run back to check twenty reference books to research points.

But you are standing in the store, looking at the book, and you’re not sure, you’re on your own. If you’re specialized, you’ve got a better chance of coming up with the right answer. This is not to say you should never go out of your field; but in your field, go for depth. Learn everything you can. If you’re a science fiction fan, a modern lit fan, a devotee of travels and voyages, there are specialized bibliographies and reference books you can use to track down and discover new points.If you’re interested in children’s books, study the authors, and pay attention to every detail of the book in your hand.

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Condition

We’ eve looked at the details of the edition; now it’s time to look at the details of condition. You can own a copy of the rarest book in the world, and if the boards are off, the hinges sprung, if there’s writing and foxing on the pages and heavy water damage along the edges, all you got is a lump of worthless paper. For a first edition book to be collectible, there is nothing that affects the price as much as condition. Even the rarest first, if trashed, is just trash, not a collectible book.

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Dust Jackets/Dust Wrappers

It is the condition of the dust jacket that determines the largest percentage of the book’s price—-some dealers estimate as much as 80%—-and so this is where you should start grading. A wonderful book without a dust cover is just a reading copy. Collectors want prime dust jackets.

That’s what they see first, that’s what’s displayed on the shelf, so the dust jacket should be treated like cash money.

When grading a book, look at the dust jacket first, and then move on to the book itself. When you look at catalogs, you’ll see most dealers will give one grade for the book itself, and another for the dust jacket. The whole package is important, but the dust jacket has priority. Without exception for books produced in the last 40 years, there is nothing more important for the book’s value than the dust jacket.

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Grading

Grades are given in descending order: Very Fine, Fine, Near Fine, Very Good, Poor.

* Very Fine–A book that is in perfect condition There are no sign that the book has every been read. The dust jacket is bright and shiny as it was the day it came off the press. No signs of rubbing, bumping, chips, dents, dings, or creases. Book should be tight, creaks with you open it and does not fall open to any particular page of section. No ownership marks on any of the book.

* Fine–It is a small step down. A tiny bump or two is allowed. The book may have been read, but very carefully. The dust jacket has lost some of its sheen, bit it is still intact, with no tears or chips in it.

* Very Good–A book that is physically intact, dust cover on and reasonably unmarred. A book that has some basic flaws. These are the books on most people shelves. The dust jacket may have rubbing, a tear or two and a couple chips. It could be sun-faded.

* Good–A Book in reading condition only. Dust jacket will have serious problems–Large chips, tears, and price clipping (were someone cup the price tag off) are to be expected. Book may have stains, hinges torn loose from spine.

* Poor–The final condition before the recycle bin

* Library Markings: There is one other thing that makes a book worthless:library markings. These may be a stamp with the library’s name on it, the glue from a return-card pocket, or stickers on the dust jacket.

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Book Scouting

To be a good book scout, you have to keep your eyes open at all times. Never drive by a place that might have books for sale. You can find books at Book Auctions, Garage Sales, Estate Sales, PTA Auctions, Antique Stores, Book Fairs, Thrift Shops, Goodwill, etc.

Tools to use when you are Book Scouting.

*Price Guides:

1. Allen and Patricia Ahearn’s Collected Books:The Guide to Values.
2. Book Prices:Used and Rare
3. Mandeville’s Used Book Price Guide

These three guides will cover a good percentage of the book market.

*Online Websites:

1. Addall
2. Abebooks

These two sites are great for founding and getting prices on books.

*Dealer Catalogs

A supply of dealer catalogs can teach you more about the currency book market and current prices than anything else.

Never, ever throw a price guide or a catalog away. Updates do not always have the same books. You may often find yourself scrambling through a stack of material, looking for what year a particular book first showed up. With some practice, it’s not that difficult to prorate the market and update material yourself, and the old guides are a valuable source of information. Beside which, watching how the guides change can teach you how the market has changed, and whether the prices you’re paying or asking are fair. Pricing a book is an art form in and of itself and one you can never be entirely sure of.

* Editions and Points Guides

1. Edward N. Zempel and Linda A. Verkler’s First Editions

2. A Pocket Guide to the Identification of First Editions

I recommend owning both guides.

*Books about Collecting Books

1. Modern Book Collecting By Robert Wilson

2. Understanding Book Collecting by Grant Uden

3. How to buy Rare Books by William Rees-Mogg

All three books are excellent in getting you started.

*Book Buying Tools

1. Scoul Pal– Check out their scanner system that adapts to any cell phone. Scanner are simple and easy to use. You just scan the barcode containing the ISBN or UPC number and ScoutPal will present concise results, including a summary of market prices and quantities, sales rank, editions and availability, and used/new/collectible details.

2. AsellerTool– Check out their scanner system too.

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Spotting Trends and Picking Authors

Like all other fields, the book market moves in cycles.There is more short-term money in spotting trends than there is in buying classic writers, but there is also a lot more risk. Trends come and go, while the classic authors more slowly but steadily.

Which is one of the reasons why it’s important, even in books you’re planning to deal, to buy things you like. There is no telling when you’ll get struck with them. If you are a collector, simply buy what you love. You can never go wrong doing that. Dealers have to look at things a bit differently.

What you must remember is that all hot books have their day, and that day almost invariably comes to an end, sooner or later. If you’re buying a book for resale, not just for collecting, it’s important that you constantly monitor the price guides and the catalogs for fluctuations in value.

When picking authors watch for cycles. Watch for books in new categories. Some writers have a strong enough visions that they are indefinable, and these writers tend to to be especially collectible in their early works. Tom Clancy is one.

So watch for what’s new, for who’s on the cutting edge, because even if you look at classic collectible books, you’ll see that those authors, too, were pushing the envelope. That’s what’s made them worthwhile for so long: Hemingway’s restrained prose; Steinbeck’s social consciousness. T. S. Eliot reinvented poetry, as did Allen Ginsberg. That’s why their books are still sought after, still read and discussed.

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Signed Editions

There is nothing as lovely as an autographed book. It has a special feel that cannot be matched by any other copy. This copy was in the author’s hand, before it came to you.

Signed copies are always at a premium. Everybody wants a copy of a book that has passed through the hands of a favorite author.

There are two kinds of signed books. Limited editions, which were produced to be signed. Signed trade editions are the copies that fans and hopeful dealers have taken up to the author and gotten signed themselves.

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The above information, if apply, will give you a great start to your book collecting hobby or book dealing.