Friday, 28 December 2012

Raison D'Etre

This may be a dull post to get things going but it by way of an explanatory note to put some context in place.

We’ve been in our current house for about 4 years – moved back up north from the Southlands mainly due to a decent job offer (made when ‘between jobs’). The missus gave up her job and didn’t want to try and get into the local office up here, partly because it was a bit of a trek and partly because she’d been doing the same thing since leaving school.

A combination of some crappy temp jobs and our attempts to create life (a baby not  Frankenstein) was leaving her stressed so I researched ‘home business opportunities’ and an online Amazon / ebay type thing seemed the most doable… and it worked for a while, we made some good purchases to set the business going and things went well but then ‘big’ players moved into the Amazon marketplace, hovering up stock and selling it dirt cheap using automated low pricing software with the advantage of being able to secure average weight postage pricing through Royal Mail by selling in bulk… so something that would cost us 4 or 5 pound to post would cost them a quid, hence they could still make money from a penny sale (with that £2.80 Amazon add on for postage). So sales started to dry up a little and then along came Matthew to put a stop to any hopes of putting time and effort into making this thing work.

We’re still hanging on with Amazon and I get stuff listed on ebay when I get the chance but I have a stack of stock in the garage and in the loft, much of it would only fit the 1p bracket so not even worth listing. I’ve been donating to charity shops, selling some via car boot and small lots on local free ads but it’s a slow process and I’m loathe to sell to someone who’ll be able to do the bulk thing, which is where ‘Books by Bike’ comes into play.

I got back into cycling last year when we moved office to one about 4 miles as the crow flies from my house and I started commuting by bike. I’m back cycling fairly regularly but using a lot of the same routes. I had the idea of cycling books to people a while ago (I don’t claim it’s unique – I’ve since found others who’ve tried it) and this seems to be a win – win: I get to cycle some new routes, my book pile goes down and some folk get free books.

So the goal is I’ll list some free books on G+ , Twitter and wherever else. People who live locally will want them and I’ll take them there when I get the chance (hopefully sooner rather than later). I’m hoping I might get some stories, meet some interesting people and get to know the area better and if all else fails I’ll get some fresh air.

Rules to follow… because if we didn’t have rules, where would we be? France (with apologies to Al Murray)

UPDATE - I'll be doing a charity thing on this that I haven't quite finalised - want to link into Key103 toy appeal for next Xmas if they're doing it again

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