From The Editor

by Craig Stark

#111, 31 December 2007

Traditionally, this is the time of year we give thanks to our readers, and thankfully there are more of them this year than ever before. We truly appreciate your support, especially those of you who take time out to give us feedback, both pro and con. Please keep it coming. We learn a great deal from our failings but also like to know when we get something right (so we can keep doing it!).

I'd also like to thank three special groups of people. First, our writers. Yes, we pay them, but I must tell you that our compensation falls far short of what it should be. The time, energy and ability necessary to write a good article or conduct an interview are not inconsiderable. These are people who love writing for its own sake and - don't forget this - are fearlessly generous sharing what they know about books and bookselling. This is the principle that BookThink was founded on: We aren't competitors; we're colleagues in an honorable profession.

Second, our forum moderators. Our compensation for them is even more pathetic, and, given that this is essentially a thankless job that usually elicits feedback only when somebody isn't happy, there's all the more reason to let them know we appreciate them. The best moderators - like ours - are nearly invisible. They work most often behind the scenes, solving problems without drawing attention to contributors or themselves. Which reminds me - I'd like to thank our major forum contributors as well. These are the ones with large posting numbers next to their names. Many of them contribute advice and support daily and have helped build BookThink's forum into one of the safest, most informative resources on the internet.

Finally, there are several others who contribute to BookThink in other important ways, whether it's posting breaking news, maintaining our MySpace page, or building and maintaining our links page. Many thanks go out to them as well.

Ok - today's newsletter. Steve Weber is here to talk about something that will help kick off the next Gold Edition. His article, "Grow Your Business by Keeping Customers Happy," addresses a topic that, though always important to our profession, has taken on much more significance as the online bookselling environment becomes increasingly populated with booksellers who, for one reason or another, don't do the things necessary to establish trust with buyers. Now, more than ever, buyers will pay a premium to sellers they know or perceive to be trustworthy. To this end, Steve offers some important suggestions for building trust on Amazon Marketplace.

Pamela Palmer contributes another Top 10 on eBay as well. In her words: "September was a typical month in many ways - Rowling, King, The Hobbit, Alcoholics Anonymous. But strange things happened too. A non-fiction top ten auction disappeared from eBay after Freud's Sbornik Psychoanalytickych Praci sold with 36 bids. And then there was the Antiquarian & Collectible top 5 seller. After selling a Plath/Hughes signed book to a novice buyer, the seller changed names and went to private feedback."

One more thing, and I'm done. This is the final reminder: All BookThink e-publications are 25% off (including Gold Edition and QMR subscriptions and back issues), but time is running out fast. You'll need to take advantage of this before midnight, Eastern Standard Time, December 31. If your subscriptions are current, you may still take advantage of this sale by advancing them forward another year. It all happens here.

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