Tips for entertaining + book update!!
No "tire-bouchon"? + How to open a bottle of wine with a BOOK! (video)

culotte de cheval + new "prix amical" for book!

Do my thighs look big? Some would be surprised French women ask themselves this question. But three months till summertime and, truth is, the French--men, women, and even children--are already dieting! They're talking about it at the picnic table, in the school yard, and in programs on T.V. 

The other day I overhead the term "culotte de cheval" and guessed the subject was fashion (as in "riding pants are out this season"). How wrong I was...

culotte de cheval (kew-lowt-deuh-shuh-vahl)

    : jodphur thighs

Back home we call it "pears." A person whose weight settles below the belt is considered "pear-shaped."

What about you? Where do you store your extra? Sur les cuisses (on the thighs) or on the belly (le bidou, as little kids say)? For me it's my middle--or anywhere, actually. I try not to focus on weight, for, as a dear friends says, what you focus on increases :-)

Today I am focusing on reader satisfaction--a much better place to center one's attention! My new book is already arriving in mailboxes! And the funny thing is I have not seen a copy of it yet (having only read the PDF format).

Because you will be seeing my book before I see it, can you please tell me: how does it look? How are you enjoying the photo-filled stories? Did you notice the puzzle in the back--and the interview? That's new, too!

If you enjoy the book, please consider rating First French Essais here on Amazon. It will be a great help to my book. Thanks in advance and I look forward to reading your book review! 

                     First wildflower bouquet of the season!

 A Day in a FRENCH Life... by Kristin Espinasse

Finally, "Un Prix Amical!"

Thank you very much for purchasing my First French Essais. The rumble you made while rushing for my book propelled it--to no. 38 on Amazon's Top 100!

If you only knew how many years I've spent, eyes glued to Amazon's Bestsellers page. I watched Twilight hit the charts, then Eato, Prayo, Lovo (translated, it seemed, into a bajillion languages!). And when Shades of Gray lounged like a slut at no. 1, I threw my arms in the air. Help me God! How could a prude like me ever make it to the bestsellers? Without a big publisher? Without a G-string?

And yet I dreamed... One day... maybe one day....

Years passed and THE DAY CAME! What a thrill to hit my computer's refresh button and see my rank finally appear--straight at the top!

But this morning First French Essais tumbled off the list...

...and Amazon slashed my book's price by 40%!!!

As book rank and price radically shifted, I felt both excited... and terrible! On the one hand my book now had the friendly price I'd tried so hard to get, but on the other hand my most faithful and supportive readers--those who purchased during the book launch--did not benefit from a prix amical, or friendly price.

If only writers were mindreaders! I could not know, when pricing my book, that Amazon would sharply undercut it, within 48 hours! Surprised to wake up and find my book selling for $13.50 instead of $22.50, I was amazed at how little control one has, finally, when "self" publishing.  

Let's go behind the scenes and see why:

When an author publishes her book, via Amazon's "print on demand" service, she sets the price based on page number and format--and how much she wants or needs to earn per book.

Because my book is 150 pages & full-color, the minimum price I could set it for was $18.50. But at this price, my royalties would be zero! 

...To make 0.5 cents per book, I would need to set the price at $19
... to make .65 cents per book... I'd have to sell it for $20

But this was no where near where I wanted to price my book! My goal being to offer a full-color book at $15 (a price that seems friendly to all, author included!).

Only at $15, my earnings would be $-2.35! Would I actually have to pay Amazon? 

What if I bought an inventory of books? Would the printer then lower the production cost? How about if I reduced page number? Or removed some color photos? Or did cartwheels? 

I tried every which way to lower the price for readers. Nothing doing! To make a return on my book, I would need to set the price over $20. And one more thing...

In order to make my book available to libraries and booksellers (or anywhere other than Amazon), I would have to set the minimum price at $28! (Get outta here!)

I finally settled on $22.50. For this price I would lose sales to certain countries, making a few cents in others, like England and France (for the latter I make a whopping 0.12 centimes per book!). I would also lose the chance to work with libraries, but could still earn slightly more than a publisher would pay me. And isn't that, after all, the goal of self-publishing? 

It is one goal of self-publishing. The bigger goal is to write what you want to write--and not what a publisher tells you to! But without a major publisher, one who who can buy 25,000 books and resell them at a cheaper price), I am at the mercy of Amazon (my printer).

Sunday morning I watched as Amazon threw me to the lions--or what I feared would be lions once my readers learned the current price of my book!! What to do now?

"Tell the whole story," Mom encouraged, as she always does. "People will understand. You must never be afraid to tell your story."

*    *    * 

To those who paid the higher price, I am terribly sorry. I tried my best to get you the prix amical. But some things are out of one's control (a lesson I learn daily). Considering the life of a book, please know your purchase has given my First French Essais the healthy start every newborn needs!

Shane cook2
Shane Cook, a reader in Texas, is the first to have received the book--as far as I know. Even I have not seen the actual product! I asked Shane to take pictures, so I could rest assured that the spine and covers were as they appeared online. Thank you, Shane! What a relief!

Shane cook
 ... And here is the back, as photographed by Shane. One detail, I just noticed, had escaped me: the note at the bottom of the polaroid. Thanks, Tami, at TLC Graphics, for the delightful caption!

A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

Ways to contribute:
1.Zelle®, The best way to donate and there are no transaction fees. Zelle to [email protected]

2.Paypal or credit card
Or purchase my book for a friend and so help them discover this free weekly journal.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Tim Averill

T'inquietes pas!

Diana Sapera

Hi Kristin!

I have read your blog regularly for the past 7 years since my high school French teacher introduced it to my class. I love it! I can't wait to get my copy of your latest book in the mail. I'm sorry things were rough with Amazon, but rest assured you didn't lose a follower in the US.


My copy has just been delivered! The photos are lovely...great colours. I'm in my office,so will have to wait to read it later.Don't worry about the pricing,it's good value and, of course, unique.

Bon courage!

Sevahn Merian from Michigan


Do not worry about the slightly higher price some of your fans paid. That is why we are your fans. We love you! Plus, at least for me, as long as we are healthy and have love in our hearts, we are rich. You always show love in your writing, and it's all about love (and lovely books, like yours)! Have a great day, and once again, felicitations!

Rebecca Q. T. in Baltimore

Dear Kristin,

I noticed the #38 (!!!) and the price drop too, but please rest assured that none of your loyal readers would ever blame you for a price drop on Amazon that is clearly out of your control. No apology or explanation necessary! How could we expect you to anticipate price fluctuations due to Amazon's mysterious pricing algorithms? Pish posh. I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of my copy but am afraid with St Patrick's Day snow here it may take an extra day or two. It's too bad your book can't make its way to libraries or retail stores--it is such a charming book that would, I think, be right at home on a whimsically curated display shelf at Anthropologie. Congratulations on this wonderful accomplishment, and thank you for sharing your stories with us.

Carol Carney

I know your book will be priceless! I can't wait to get my copy! Don't worry!
You can't control the weather or Amazon!
All best,
Carol Carney
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Linda Roll

Not to worry. What matters is the pleasure of reading your book.

Meanwhile, Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Pat from Oregon

Although I havn't yet ordered your book, procrastination is my middle name, I plan to buy several-for myself and friends. I had no idea how the system worked or I would have purchased them last week. So sorry. Your original price was absolutely fair. Thank you for letting us how how self-publishing works. Will you now actually owe money? Tell us it isn't so. Incroyable.

Marianne Rankin

The $22.50 price you set for your book is certainly not unreasonable. I used to work part-time in a bookstore, and for what a reader is getting, this price is quite competitive. I've seen (and bought, though rarely), books without any pictures that cost more. I wonder, if your book does well, if a publisher would ever pick it up, so it would appear in bookstores and libraries. Or maybe this one will do so well that you could offer your next book (I'm sure there will be one) to a publishing house, instead of self-publishing; the publisher would set whatever price it thought appropriate, and you might get more royalties.

Rest assured that your readers don't mind having paid more for the book. When you produced a smaller book, with anecdotes from summer 2009, that also had color pictures, I thought it was a great value. I expect that your latest one, which is supposed to be delivered in the next day or two, to be equally good - and I'd rather pay more and get the color pictures.

Surely you know by now that although we - or at least I - want the book because of what it teaches us about French language and culture, we buy it partly because it's YOUR book. Not only does your reputation precede you, we look forward to the vignettes about your family and your unique insights on a range of subjects.

For me, one of the chief reasons to buy a book by a given author is that one has read other books by that person, and liked them. I've read whole series by certain writers because the first one made a good impression.

Here's hoping that after this bit of lull, your book will rise again on the Amazon charts, and they might even raise the price again.

Particularly since you so generously share on French Word-A-Day, anything extra we might have spent on the book is more than compensated by what we have gained from reading FWAD.

Thanks again!

Cheryl Black

I must admit when I saw the original price of the book I hesitated for just a moment. But then I reminded myself how many beautiful words and pictures I have enjoyed from you FOR FREE! I have received my copy and have only had a chance to thumb through it but I know I will enjoy it when I have time! As far as the price drop goes it was interesting to hear your explanation. Long ago I quit trying to understand Amazon! Usually what happens to me is I procrastinate on buying an item and then the price JUMPS by a huge margin. Keep up the good work. No chance this reader will be angry or stop following your writings!:)


I usually keep a strict policy to NOT buy a new book until I have finished my current one. I broke that rule for your book today and ordered a copy!

Kristin Espinasse

Rachael, thank you for breaking your rule. I appreciate it.

Pat, good question. I will indeed earn royaties for Rachaels purchase, and anyone who buys at the new, lower price. Once I set the price, Amazon guarantees my earnings per book (giving themselves leeway to earn more by selling volumes at lower price)

One possibility for me now, would be to bet on Amazons tendency to undercut prices.... For example, I could now raise the price to $28--and make the book available to libraries and bookstores-- and hope Amazon would merelyraise the price to 15 or 18-- still a competitive or fair price, as Marianne pointed out.

Overall, could bea very good outcome, for both readers and writer -- especially if I can get my book into libraries and bookstores!


Don't worry about the price drop; it happens all the time on Amazon. Most of us have bought something from them and then seen the price fall; we know it's Amazon's doing, not the author!

Tonya in Arkansas

I just thought I'd mention one thing regarding the heavy, upper-leg/hip thing. We call THEM "Thunder-Thighs".

Cynthia Lewis (Eastern Shore of Maryland)

Here on the coast of Maryland we have had yet another snow storm during the night and awoke to a white wonderland. Now if only I had your book to read by the fire (quite a difference between snow and your first lovely bouquet of wildflowers)! The pleasure which I will get from reading your latest book will far exceed the price which I paid on the first day of issue and I'm certain all of your readers will feel the same not to worry. My congratulations.

Kathy en Californie

To readers on Facebook, you can like the Amazon page about the new book so it will show on your FB page. Maybe that's our next step in this campaign!
Kristin, I didn't have any idea about how the pricing worked. Thanks for the explanation. No worries about pricing it fairly!
Bonne continuation!


I was surprised and disappointed that the book I received did not have the French translation (on the opposing page),as the sample on your blog did.

Does the book with the French translation exist? Can I exchange this book for that one?

I will contact Amazon also.


Rose Johnson

Kristin, no need at all to apologize. It is what it is. The price on my devotional, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea, gets moved up and down too. I never know if it's my publisher who is pulling the strings or Amazon. The pricing decision was out of my hands from the start. But we writers love to write, and it is always a joy to share our lives, our hopes and our dreams through words with our readers. You keep us inspired! Keep writing. Your words are priceless.

Kristine, dallas

Thank you for the education behind self-publishing. Those who love you work will buy regardless of the price. Pas de soucis!


Sorry about my last comment that the book did not have the French translation. I reread the blog about the translation and realized it's only the last chapter that's translated, and it is.

Je suis désolé!

Kristin Espinasse

Barbara, I am sorry for the confusion. I mentioned, in a previous post (loufoque) that one chapter would be translated. Here's that mention and the explanation:

"Moments before my book was to go into publication I had an inspiration! Why not translate the very last chapter about the man on the cover of the book? This would be a double cadeau! One, readers would enjoy reading an all French chapter and, two, the hero of the chapter would be able to understand what is being said about him (Mr. Farjon does not speak English)."


My book should arrive today, and I am eagerly looking forward to reading it by the fire on this cold "limping-into-spring" day. I have no problem with paying the original price if it was a help to you in any way. I love your blog and am always thrilled to see the latest issue in my mailbox. Keep up the good work, Kristin. You are loved and appreciated by many.

Nan Morrissette

Your book, all of your books, are priceless.
We love you.
We love your words.
We love your spirit.
From Nan in rainy, thunder-y central Florida.

Kristin Espinasse

Thanks, Barbara. Just saw your note. Phew! :-)



As always you have exceeded my expectations on sharing the truth of your life. I wonder if I could have ever gone into the ´detail´of the workings of Amazon and the plight of a young author facing the giant. You knocked this lesson out of the ballpark and I am once again so proud of you for not just sweeping all of this insight under the rug and not sharing the details. I know how hard it is to actually write todays story with all of the precise numbers involved. Wow!!! You have just climbed up the ladder another step on your journey, I know you have learned a lot from this chapter in your life. I am sure a lot of your fans will have advice also that will help you in the future.

I also want to say - I love Marianne Rankin - she has been one of your greatest supporters over the years and I always look forward to her comments.

Cynthia Lewis is also one of my very favorite comment ors - I always feel great after reading her words.

Oh Kristi you are so lucky to have all of these beautiful friends who stand up for you always and make my job so much easier.

One day you will be blessed financially - you have chosen on of the hardest paths to realize monetary satisfaction, Thank God that is not the reason you pour your heart out to all of us, the great part is that God continues to bless you with your wonderful husband and children and your friends here at French Word-A-Day. Your readers are truly your family.

I love you Honey



Kristin Espinasse



I am so glad I purchased your book and, without your asking me to, I might not have done it so quickly. Thank you for being so brave as to put yourself 'out there' for us to see and enjoy. We are your fans! Also, thank you for explaining how book publishing actually works. I had no idea.

Judi Miller

Like some others, I noticed the price when I bought your book on the launch day, and thought it a bit high just because Amazon always seems to 'undercut' prices. But, let me tell you, it did not make me pause for more than a nano-second as I thought if I can give you back a wee gift for all you have given me, then this is just perfect. Bam, hit the Buy Now!!! Yes. I am sitting in a bookstore at my daughter's university in MS and I am just so anxious to get back to her house this evening and see if your book isn't sitting on her front porch. I hope, I hope! I had it sent here instead of to my home in CA, as I just can't wait to read it and 'see' it!!!

Ed Klinenberg

Hi Kristin,
When I saw your note encouraging your fans to buy your new book the first day it was available, I immediately bought it online. Why would a fan not want to help you??? So I was glad to do it. OK, now you tell us that Amazon immediately dropped the price rather dramatically. Big deal. I won't miss those few dollars...and I'll probably forget about it soon. Meanwhile, when the book arrives soon, I will be among the first to enjoy reading it and learning more details about how you have turned a long-ago dream into a complete life meme avec des enfants, des amis Francais partout, and des gens comme moi qui sont aussi des Francophones depuis leurs jeunesses. So don't worry too much about disgruntled readers feeling bad because they missed getting a bigger bargain by helping you hit that Top 100 List! Pas grande chose.
-Ed Klinenberg in Menlo Park, CA

Karen from Phoenix

My book should be arriving today and I can't wait to look through it. I never hesitate to buy any book of yours. That is so nice of you to be concerned about those who bought at the higher price. I truly believe we all did that because it was you. You give of yourself through this blog and for that I know I am grateful.


catharine ewart-touzot

I think a lot of us bought on line right away and I suspect we will all love your book regardless of the son is a major amazon buyer/player so I am well aware of their price reductions..he waits for them, I decide how much I want the item and decide if I want to play the wait and see game. Glad to have the education on self publishing and glad that you are assured of some monetary return for your excellent work. We have all enjoyed your text and photographs for years..and to have it in bookcase form is a treat indeed.


I would have paid the $28.00 to get you in US libraries...

Kristin Espinasse

Thanks, Ed, and to all who have left such amazing words of support (beginning, today, with Tims message). I read and appreciate every single word. I am so touched to know that a high school student continues to read my blog, 7 years after her teacher made the blog assigned reading, and I am moved to see another reader ask Forget the price drop. How can we help you?

Though I do not mention each persons name when responding to these comments, I am grateful to each person! (Always nervous to leave somebody out... so best not to try to address each note!) Mille mercis for your generous words!

David Navarre

I'd never have known! Very interesting to learn the ins-and-outs of self-publishing with Amazon. Now I can pass on the knowledge to some of the historians I know that are interested in getting their works published.

I don't mind the few extra dollars. The joy of buying it on the first day was well-worth it!

Dawn Johnson

Ce n'est pas grave! I am excited to receive my copy today or tomorrow. I look forward to the pictures and having it to complete my set. In the big picture, it is just a few dollars. I appreciate you sharing the story about the pricing. Everybody will understand. You won't lose any fans over this. Bonne journee!!


Eagerly awaiting my book. At whatever the price - your work is worth every penny.
Je suis de tour coeur avec toi.....

Sandy Vann

What a joy to read your mom and all of your readers wonderful, supportive comments comme toujours cherie. You enlightened us with the details of self publishing today, as all of your posts do with words of inspiration. Mille mercis to you Kristin and a very Happy St. Patricks Day to bless you along your path.


My book has not yet arrived in my mailbox, but I was glad to pay Amazon's original price for it. Sorry that you aren't making much money on it. Don't get discouraged; keep writing.


Our dear Kristi,
That you even wrote today's post not only speaks volumes for your character,but also reminds us again how privileged we are to share in your life.
I received my wonderful book on the 15th(Amazon shipped it quickly...had ordered it on the day you wrote about it).We had just returned home from a tiring trip,and reading your words was like a balm to raise my spirits. It's beautiful,Kristi,interesting, and easy to
read (both typeset and content),with wonderful pictures..A few dollars difference in prices is not going to make an iota of difference to anyone. Your writing is a gift to us all.
Love, Natalia XO

Lorrie Kazan

What I was taught is not to expect to make money on your books, or even make your money back. The book gives you credibility. Most people with contracts make about $1/bk and unless you're in the elite, you don't have an advance and fancy hotel book tour.

We certainly hear about people who are making money self-publishing, usually includes vampires or shades of gray but not always.

John Locke has a great ebook on how he made $$ publishing. Twitter relationships, are one of the keys.

We all love you and love your books. You make a difference every day. Love, Lorrie (written fast because I should be working, so not re-read for clarity and grammar.)

For what it's worth, The Great Gatsby was considered a failure during Fitzgerald's lifetime because of it's poor sales.


A dream come true is worth the price
And honesty is always nice
The price I paid rewarded twice
Years of "French Word A Day - A generous slice!


I went to Amazon to order the paperback...not the Kindle version. It's not an easy find! The site kept giving me "Blossoming in Provence."

It took three tries but I bought it! I can't wait for it to arrive.


How about I buy the book at the current price and send the extra direct to you? Congratulations on your hard work.

Irene Thomas

I must reiterate what has been said above. Please no explanations are needed. I have enjoyed your blog for a few years now; used your information and references for my trip to France last year; and all this free of charge. I appreciate the effort you make to do your blog each time. Those of us who buy books, understand that we are going to pay $20 or so per copy which we may keep for a lifetime. I can't wait to receive your book soon.

Kristin Espinasse

Sharon, No worries (thanks for thinking of it, though). My price earned per book is not affected by Amazons price cut. Amazon does not give a lot of leeway in the beginning, but royalties, once set, are secured. Now... if I want to earn more per book I could raise the price. We will see. Meantime, I am thrilled with the current price, which is very reader-friendly. Now to remember this lesson and price my book accordingly the next time! Those readers who want to help launch the book, will have the option to do so. Other readers can wait for a better price. Either way, purchasing my books are a great help to getting the word out about these stories which I love to share!


I'm slow to order your new book and was hoping to be able to get it through my local independent bookstore instead. I've called them and they do not think they can get it though, so I may be forced back to Amazon and at the lower price. I wanted to pay more!
Bonne chance,

Holly K

Think of all the poor folks whom you are depriving of the pleasure of reading your book by NOT pricing it at $28 so the libraries can get it. Next time go for the Library rate, you're worth it!!
Remember what Suze Orman says about not putting yourself on sale "girlfriend"!!


Dear Kristin:
I just ordered your book today. I wanted it SO badly on the day of release, but my budget would not allow it no matter how I tried to tweak it and how many different ways I tried to look at it. So the price drop was wondrous for me, and I would imagine I am not the only one in my particular bateau. :) You are a dear to have gone into that detailed explanation, and also for alerting your readers that there was, indeed, a price-drop. A real blessing for the procrastinators and for those whose PayPal accounts are pretty sparse! It felt good to hop on over and purchase, rather than waiting on the Kindle version (which is how I do most of my reading!). Now I am excited to join the first-day buyers and have your book on its way to my door! Merci beaucoup!

Betsy (Massachusetts)

Kristin, your fans have better ideas than to have you fuss with Amazon! To recap their words, we go directly our sites and "like" this fantastic book (mine arrived today...glorious, Kristin!!). Then we each buy an extra copy (Amazon's low price today day helps) to either donate to our local library or to head straight to Anthropologie or our local Francophone shop to "help" them create a spring window display with your book snuggled in among their items. In all cases, your publicity would be underway! In the meantime, I'm snuggled down with your book, a late afternoon tea, and a big smile. Thank you for years of free smiles.

Barbara Kornfield

Not to worry about the price. I bought it because I have enjoyed your wonderful stories, photos, and French lessons. And it came today.

And it's great! What fun to read about your adventures. I love your writing style - it seems like you write the way you speak. The pictures are very nice - not as bright as on the computer, but they still capture the essence of Provence.

Merci mille fois.

Trina, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA


Such lovely words you wrote: "Considering the life of a book, please know your purchase has given my First French Essais the healthy start every newborn needs!"

Though I can't imagine that anyone would have blamed you for the price difference, Jules gave you wise advice to tell the story, and you told it so well. It is interesting to know the process.

As I see it (or in my humble opinion, as people say) the price drop appears exactly because your book's sales are up! It seems that other booksellers do the same - discount best sellers to reach a wider audience and earn more on volume. I am glad to hear that their price reduction means no reduction to you!

Questions: are you saying libraries are now unable to shelf any book that is priced under $28? Am I missing something there? I am sure my local library has a copy of Words in a French Life. In fact, I believe that is how I was first introduced to you.


Dear Kristin, I enjoy your French Word-a-Day so much and have bought your first book. I intend to buy the most recent as well. I have a friend who published her book of poetry (French and English) on Amazon last year and is getting just pennies, literally, from each one! Amazon is making money, be assured! We need to figure out a way around this. It simply isn't fair. By the way, I would have been perfectly happy to pay $22.50, or more! Keep up the good work! Rebecca

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristin,
I haven't received my copy yet but I agree with Tim, t'inquietes pas! Your price was not unreasonable at all and if some people get the book at a discount now, good for them! :-)

Kitty Wilson-P

Kristi, your candour is always such a refreshing wonder. I cannot imagine any one of us who follows you here ever holding back from supporting your book at its original price as set by you.

I don't know yet what Amazon Canada or Chapters.Indigo here will set as its cost; I only know I will grab as many copies as I can to share as blessings with my near'n'dear.

Joanne Polner

We just purchased the last Amazon copy posted today, Monday, 17 March. Purchase was completed at about 10:50 PM; delivery is guaranteed for Thursday, 20 March. Bon!

Merci, Kristin, pour nous montrer toujours comment tu fais preuve de courage en donnant au monde la vie. En fait, tu nous donnes des cadeaux. Grand merci!



Just chiming in to reiterate what all the others have said. I purchased the first day and don't regret it a bit! I am jealous that so many others have received their copies already or will in the next day or two! My copy apparently won't arrive until the end of the week or beginning of next! I can't wait! (I'm getting all 3 of your books! :D Yayyyy!)

Oh, . . . and regarding a little extra on the thighs . . . we called them saddlebags! :)

Wendy Haynes

Hi Kristin, Take heart, I am more than happy to have paid full price for you book, to support your enthusiasm and the many hours and much heart you have put into this work of love. As a fellow self publisher I opted out very early from Amazon selling paperbacks as it was costing me money by the time I paid for postage from Australia. I set up my own sales from my - for books on beautiful wedding, naming and funeral ceremonies! (It is a challenge, but yes, you have to let everyone now about your book, at every opportunity. We want to know!

Nancy,                     Cambridge

There is never a need to apologize for what amazon does, and most people are happy to give a start to a new book, for I cannot imagine a world without good books, and our choices for sales are our votes for what we want to see published and available in the world. Thank you for talking about the giant's mysterious appetite to control their vendors; the more the public knows, perhaps it can be used to better the advantage of the little folk. For my book sold by them, they pay .25 less than what I paid to print it, PLUS I have to pay for postage to send the item to them. Recently, they have wanted me to send each book individually, when I could send 3 together for the same price postage, so my book has been out of stock for a while. Being out of stock actually is a benefit for me, because I sell more off my website that way. I offer free shipping, and can sign the books personally, also. This may be possible for you also, but a little tricky selling in two countries (you'd need someone in the US willing to do this for you). You might think about getting some of the lower price books yourself for book talks... Also, my book is in libraries (at 18.95) and as a school librarian, I never consider the price when placing my orders. Maybe that is another of amazon's rules? Good luck; it takes courage.

Caro Feely

Dear Kristin

I signed up for your newsletter a good few months ago and really enjoyed your blog posts, then I bought your Blossoming in Provence and loved it and I landed up going through a link one day and realised that Jean Marc was a biodynamic winegrower which is what we are ... serendipity. I just ordered your latest book on and can't wait read it.

We are an hour and 10 mins from Bordeaux city. Apart from inviting you to visit us I want to ask you a favour.

My second book is due out in July 2014. I wondered if you would consider receiving an advance copy sampler of the first 6 chapters to read and give a short review? (if so please let me know were a postal address to send it.)

As a fellow writer I found your post today really interesting. Congratulations on your sales for that first day. wow! watch out shades of grey.

I look forward to hearing from you. Many thanks in advance.

another of your fans, Caro Feely (you can reach me at caro at feelywines dot com)

John Patte

The comments concerning dieting are disconcerting, to say the least ... "... three months till summertime and, truth is, the French--men, women, and even children--are already dieting! As a parent of a daughter with a eating disorder, I think this thinking is extremely dangerous, potentially life-threatening. Let's talk about fitness and exercise instead.

Kristin Espinasse

Trina, Thank you very much for your thoughts! Re libraries, it depends on the publisher. This 28 dollar rule is set by CreateSpace (Amazons Print on Demand company). It would seem libraries could go around this, by ordering from Amazon. (Maybe that is Amazons plan?)

Julie Farrar

First a comment about culotte de cheval (one French phrase I hope to forget). I'm currently doing a 3-week magic detox/jumpstart diet that a French friend sent me. I'm making progress and have more energy (I should with all the greens I'm eating). But it also gives me insight into the tremendous self-disciple French women have when it comes to eating. I'm eating plenty of food, but no sugar or bread or caffeine at all. But it's my own lack of discipline that got me here. Those French women know something about eating healthy.

Now, about your book. Thanks for explaining how Amazon works. I had no problem paying the original price because that's what books with photographs cost. Most authors, big or small, are at the mercy of the Amazon behemoth. However, that thing about "library price" was really crazy. I would hope that libraries, since they serve the public good, would pay less for everything.

I would follow the suggestion someone made earlier and if the price drops again (or if they'll sell at bulk price) that you buy many to have on hand so you sell them a little higher at book signings, etc.

Georgia from Northern CA

Dear Kristin,

I join so many others in saying that paying the first price is not an issue. I want to support you for all the fine posts you have shared throughout the years! It is always a pleasure to open your blog! You never fail to brighten my spirits or give me cause to pander something I had not thought of before!

So I bought a hard copy of your book for a friend and will be buying an e-copy for myself when it becomes available as well!

BTW, I will look forward to a day when I can come to your book signing in Northern CA! Is there any chance?

Trina, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

Thanks for the update, Kristin. They do make it complicated, don't they?

Duncan Raymond

I was happy to pay the higher price--I am supporting an artist! And a tour guide and a sort of a friend, one who is living a dream every francophile has, and doing it with style.

Leisa Smith

You are #4 on Amazon Kristi!!! Can't wait for the Kindle edition here in Australia, and we are all supporting you in this new adventure- you already give so much to us! Leisa x

Lucia Shaeffer


I bought the book at the 'prix amical' price, but even if your book was $30 bucs, I would have bought anyways. You are a breath of fresh air. I read your blog everyday sometimes 2 or 3 times. Love the pictures you take -- I guess I had mentioned to you that I oil paint your pictures, just to practice, no worries, I am not going to commercialized them.

Your stories and culture comparison are delightful. Also, it is fun to learn and realize the similarities between the French culture and Brazilian culture. They are so close.

thank you for the great books and for being part of my jouney of learning French.

Lots of success!!!

Elizabeth Mandell

I was pleased to pay whatever price. I did not buy it because I thought it would be a bargain. No. I bought it, like many others, in order to support you and because I wanted to to read it.
Thank you for sharing your life with us.
I love the cover.


I was happy to support your work at whatever price, in appreciation for the many lovely stories and feelings you have shared with us, your faithful readers via your blog.

Chris Allin

Finally... your new book has arrived! I ordered so many books ( to give to my friends) that I qualified for free shipping, and it took ...forever~
It is beautiful, from the cover, to the layout, to the colorful pictures, to the tender stories and sentiments. The chapter for Mr. Farjon brought tears to my eyes. Yet another wonderful gift you have given to your readers, Kristin. Thank you...

Marianne Rankin

My copy has arrived, and I've been reading a story or two before bed each night - rationing it; probably when I've read through it, I'll read it again. It's well made, with good-quality paper. I suppose many books today are made with recycled paper, which is good, but the paper in your book is better, which ensures the quality of the photos.

I don't know if libraries have a policy on what they pay for books. Judging by our local library, I don't think so. I'm sure there are books that cost at least $28 there. What I've noticed, though, in the past couple of years or so, is that books are being replaced by CDs. I occasionally check out CDs to listen to in the car, but don't consider them quite the equivalent of books; the percentage of books vs. CDs keeps shrinking. That would be more of a concern for me than the price, because yours is still a "real" book.

Sarah Tauber

I feel a kindred spirit. My cousin (Georgia Howe) sent me your link. We have a few things in common. I just published my first book in December 2013, a memoir. I have a website, and my tagline is "On being happy again". What you talk about re Amazon is so interesting to me. My book is on there as well. Don't think it has a rating yet. I will check out your book. You sound delightful and wise. My book is "For Dear Life". Best of luck to you! p.s. I used to speak French fluently - have forgotten a lot. It's a beautiful language.

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