The 99 Cent Valentine

heart-of-paper-381225-mIs anyone else outraged by the price of greeting cards? They’re made of paper, for heaven’s sake, and printed with crummy poems and photos of kittens wearing cupid wings…and someone will THROW THEM AWAY two days later. So I ask you:

WHY DO CARDS COST $4.99? And more importantly, why do we continue to send them?

Sure, I have a few that people gave me over the years (just to prove they cared). But the majority I receive go right into the recycling bin. Yes, even the ones my husband gives me on Valentine’s Day. I’m not heartless. It’s just that I’m already burdened with too much stuff, and I’m running out of places to keep it. (Hey, empty mayonnaise jars and scrap lumber may come in handy one day.) Besides the wasted money, there’s the wasted resources on assembling, printing, shipping, etc. Between keeping a tree or getting a greeting card, I’ll choose the tree every time.

The alternative is the e-card. But nothing shows how little you care than sending a link to a dancing bear (really? you shouldn’t have…). That’s why I’d like to propose a new tradition, one that won’t put you in the poorhouse if you’ve got a big mailing list:

This Valentine’s Day, send an ebook instead of card.

If you think about it, this is a pretty progressive (if not brilliant) idea. Consider the following:

  1. Ebooks cost less than most greeting cards (especially when you consider postage)
  2. Novels and short stories took the author a lot longer to craft than a lousy kitten poem – and your recipient will enjoy them longer.
  3. If you choose the right ebook for the right person, it feels more personal than a dancing bear.
  4. This unconventional “Valentine” has staying power – most people keep ebooks for months, if not years.
  5. You can send them last minute – like today or tomorrow.
  6. Ebooks are a green choice.

So how does it work? Simply go to Amazon, browse until you find a fab book, then click on the “Give as a Gift” link (right under the 1-Click button). From there, enter your recipient’s email address, type in a heart-felt note, and hit send.

TTH FINAL Jan 26You can start right here, with my book, The Tell-Tail Heart. (You knew this was coming, didn’t you?) For a limited time, it’s on sale for 99 cents. (FYI: This is the second of four February offers.) Send it off to cat lovers, Edgar Allan Poe lovers, mystery lovers, historical lovers…well, any lovers. 🙂 It’s been hailed by reviewers as “original” and “unique” and “a fun read.”

Don’t fancy a mystery? How about Rumi: The Book of Love, a collection of love poems from the famous mystic. It’s only $3.99!

Or for kids, Pete the Cat: Valentine’s Day is Cool. It’s only $2.99!

So be a sweetheart and ditch the greeting cards this year. Give them something they’ll treasure for weeks and months to come.



Dear Reader: Lest I be accused of not offering a balanced view of Valentine’s Day cards, I submit this post by my dear friend, Ellen Rothberg. She LOVES greeting cards.

6 thoughts on “The 99 Cent Valentine

  1. I will take the book over a card any day. I have received books from my husband for Valentine’s Day because he knows my priorities – Books, flowers and food in that order 😀

  2. Pingback: Eight Things That Cost More Than A Book (Or, The Economics of Book Selling) | Monica Shaughnessy

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