Here's How I Turn 'Penny Book Duds' Into Solid Gold

Nearly every sourcing trip for used book sellers like me results in a few duds... that is, books which are selling for less than a dollar on Amazon. I seldom post books for sale on my Amazon Seller's Account for less than $14 anymore. But every once in awhile, I do purchase used books that don't fit that parameter.

Why? you ask.

Simple. I use the books myself. Since I'm usually only spending 25 cents per book I can pick up books on topics that appeal to me. It might compliment an e-book project I'm doing research on, or it might be on a history subject that interests me.

I usually figure that I might derive a few dollars worth of insight for just a quarter. So I toss those 'duds' into my shopping basket and take them home.

Recently I paid a little higher amount - a whopping two dollars! - to take home this complete set of speaker's and toastmaster's hardback library books, published quite awhile back by Jacob Braude.

I figured I could use the compilations of speech openings, human interest stories, toasts and remarks of famous people work for me in blog posts, of which I am guilty of avoiding like the plague!

I further figured that just one simple quote, story or common folk saying I stumbled across would help spark my blog writing.

Guess what?

I was right!

I was able to craft a simple blog post on another blog I publish for self-published authors, aimed at giving them inspiration to keep keeping on, even if their sales and writing production had gone off track. The post took me a few minutes to write. I gave credit to the who had written the quotes or provided the insights, of course; but having those little books near my laptop gave me the self-motivation and self-confidence to tackle an unpleasant task (one I had been putting off for over 3 months) to feeling good about myself for accomplishing something I'd wanted to try out for a long time.

No, I'm not going to plagerize anyone. Giving credit where credit is due is foremost in my mind. But as I thumbed through the topics, a message formed in my mind that needed to be sent to my audience, and the relevant quotes seemed to almost magically appear as I turned the pages.

Writing, editing and posting the blog entry was done within 30 minutes.

And, to add to that achievement, it inspired me to write THIS blog post entry to my audience here -- those who recycle and resell used books online -- to show what to do with little treasures you find but cannot resell in your usual channels.

Perhaps there are other ways (like writing self-help posts?) you make them earn their keep; or, maybe a good quality used book would make the perfect present to a friend or family member. I've seen plenty of 'how-to' or 'what-to-do' books in the 6 years I've been selling used books online that have become gifts to those who need a little help, a reminder to stay on the sunny side of the street, to those who need inspiration, or those who are deep into their own hobby who enjoy a new addition to their collections.

In closing, perhaps those little 'duds' we pass on when out sourcing used book inventory, are really little gems that might make life a little easier.

In any case, I've got 8 little helpers on my desk now that should keep me busy keeping my blogs updated. To me, that's solid gold! (p.s. -- this blog post only took me about 30 minutes to write as well, then about 5 minutes to edit the formatting and add the photo of the books from my smartphone.) So the question really is: is this a good option for you as well? Could you turn 'Penny Books' you've picked up over the years to use by re-purposing them, allowing them to give you ideas and inspiration to add to your own blog posts? I believe everyone can find 30 minutes a week to communicate with your readers, and this is an easy way to stay positive and prepared to get your good posts done quickly.

If you'd like to read the post that I wrote so quickly, and see how you might be able to do the same thing on your own website, blog or social media posts, click here: