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The BookThinker Newsletter


ISSN 1547-9501

125, 14 July 2008

BookThink Update
21 July 2008>>>


Update Announcements

 


The Blind Men and the Elephant
An Interview with Nebraska Book Company

Last week I spoke with Barry Major, Chief Operating Officer of Nebraska Book Company, and Nate Rempe, Vice President of Internet Strategy. We discussed many of the problems that booksellers have been reporting on book forums during the past months. Read the interview here.


Selling on Amazon
Who's Afraid of Nebraska Books?

If you have even glanced at the Amazon forums over the last month and a half, you've seen this name everywhere. Never have there been so many threads focusing on this one book company: Nebraska Books. Never has there been such mass hysteria and screams of "Don't sell to them!" "Cancel! Cancel!" which brings to mind "The sky is falling!" And yet Nebraska Books (aka Tyson Motsinger as buyer) has been a valued customer of mine. I have completed several dozen solid transactions with them. They are my best repeat customer. Read more here.

 

 

From the Editor
Important announcements for BookThinker readers.

The Accidental Antiquarian
Bookseller Catalogues
Why They are Important
Part I

Before I became an antiquarian bookseller, I thought long and hard about being an antiquarian bookseller. I read all I could find on the topic, and I listened to as many antiquarian booksellers as I could get to talk to me about the trade. I noticed one thing early on. Whether or not they had open shops, most successful booksellers issued print catalogues - compilations of books or collections for sale. Read more here.

QMR Book of the Week
Where the Old West Stayed Young

Ranch histories in themselves are in reliable, sometimes intense demand; throw some celebrity bad guys into the mix, and it gets better. Our QMR book of the week, John Rolfe Burroughs' Where the Old West Stayed Young, has both and more, including a fascinating illustration of why things that should be black and white aren't always. Even outlaws, that is, are sometimes gray. In the case of Brown's Park many of them integrated themselves into the community, at least to some extent, and were tolerated. Read more here.

 

Gold Edition Quotation of the Week
Big Money in Money Books
Part I: The Classics

Investment books show us how to make money. Or attempt to. Most of them, unfortunately, either don't deliver on this promise or, at some point in time, stop delivering. Some actually do get the job done, however, and a few continue to do so over time, sometimes for decades. Like many other bookselling niches, investment books are most likely to have resale value when significant - in this case money-producing - content is present. Some titles are collected as well, but these may not or may not need to meet content value criteria. Read more here.

 
Gold Edition #51
How To Use Publishers'
Back Lists For Arbitrage
Part II: Case Study #2

In this issue Editor in Chief Craig Stark examines another publisher that provides numerous opportunities for arbitrage. Purchase now.

 

Opportunities for Booksellers
in a Faltering Economy
Also Some Related Advice
on How to Save Money

Need a $50 sale today? List four or five Foxfire books. What's that? You have ten of them? How about $150 instead? All 13? We're getting close to a car payment now. There's a reason Foxfires are doing so well now. Many Americans are feeling the pinch, and these books are packed with survival skills and lots of do-it-yourself how-to, not to mention advice on simple living. This is knowledge that can save you money, perhaps make you money. The good news for booksellers is that these things pop up everywhere. I reserve a space on one of my shelves for them, and when I accumulate a run (which doesn't take long), up they go on eBay. Ka-ching.

Buying and Selling Ephemera
The Top Ten Reasons to Profit from Ephemera (in a Tough Economy)

First - the bad news. You can't pick up a newspaper or turn on a news show without being inundated by headlines of economic woes. The burst of the housing bubble has given way to the subprime mortgage meltdown and the worst credit crisis in America since the 1930s. Turmoil in the financial sector has affected all areas of our economy. A crisis of confidence has overshadowed freewheeling investors, who now operate in a climate of fear and apprehension. We consumers are left to cope with ever-rising gas prices and exorbitant grocery bills, while our homes are losing value and our credit sources are choked.

 

 

Scanning Solutions for Booksellers
The 3/4" Edge Scanner Ain't So Bad

Zero edge scanners, the type you can lay books partially open on and scan to the inside margins without damaging them, are either expensive or, in the case of the Plustek OptiBook 3600, not especially well made, let alone adequately supported by the manufacturer. If there's an industry standard, it seems to be the " edge scanner. They're typically cheap, more than satisfactory for most of our needs, and some of them have edges that are flush with the scanner bed. The latter is an important feature because it allows you to safely scan a surprisingly large number of books up to or beyond their inner margins.

Professor Booknoodle's Scrapbook
Vacuum Head

It was around seven-thirty of an evening and I was relaxing - enjoying a postprandial whiskey and, coincidentally, engrossed in a periodical of some repute, when I heard the door open below, and the sound of footsteps on the stairway leading to my study. I recognized the tread as that of my friend William Deckle, fellow bibliophile and collector dementia of books on dentistry. I knew this visit boded news of his latest acquisition.

Previous BookThink Update >>>>>>>

BookThink Update
7 July 2008>>>

Update Announcements

Selling on Alternate Venues
Selling on eCrater

eCrater is a very simple selling platform. Once you learn how things work in your administrative tools, the going will be easy, but there are little quirks about the site that you will have to get used to. Since there is no html coding involved in using eCrater, your time will not be spent creating much more than the ads themselves and uploading the image files of your books. Use what is provided for you and save your creative energy for promoting your store because you will definitely need it when the time comes. Read more here.

QMR Book of the Week
The Book of Tiki

Here's a familiar pattern: Something culturally hot from 1950s and 1960s now enjoys a sort of renaissance as collectors pay ridiculous prices for what was essentially written off as junk by the 1970s. Well, it pays for booksellers to keep up on this stuff - in this case the Tiki phenomenon, which has been as hot as molten lava in recent years. Read more here.




 
Gold Edition Quotation of the Week
Bible Mania

Question: when scouting, what book do you come across more than any other? Easy. The Bible. By far. It can pop up anywhere, especially at thrift shops, church sales and estate sales - in fact, even when there are no other books in sight, there's still a good chance you'll come across a Bible. Somewhere. But - how many booksellers actually sell them? Hard to say, but from what I've observed, it ain't many, despite the fact that it can be a consistently (and sometimes very) profitable niche. Read more here.

First Edition Guides: General

  • 20th Century First Edition Fiction: A Price and Identification Guide
    2008 Edition, Thomas Lee

    Buy it at BookThink

  • American First Editions, Merle Johnson, revised and enlarged by Jacob Blanck (Fourth Edition)
    Buy it at Abebooks or Amazon

  • Author Price Guides, Allen and Patricia Ahearn (4 vols.; also available for individual authors; also issued as complete set on CD; 174 authors to date. Note: Some issued in looseleaf binder so determine contents before buying.)
    Buy it at Amazon - vol. 1, 1990 or Amazon - vol. 2, 1998 or Abebooks

  • A Bibliographical Introduction to Seventy-Five Modern American Authors, Gary M. Lepper
    Buy it at Abebooks or Amazon

  • Bibliography of American Literature, Jacob Blanck (9 Volumes)
    Buy it at Abebooks or Amazon

  • Bibliotheca Americana: Dictionary of Books Relating to America From its Discovery to the Present Time, Joseph Sabin (29 Volumes or 2-Volume Microprint)
    Buy it at Abebooks or Amazon

  • The Book Collector's Handbook of Values, Van Allen Bradley (1982-1983 Edition)
    Buy it at Abebooks or Amazon

  • Collected Books, Allen and Patricia Ahearn
    Buy it at Abebooks or Amazon

  • First Editions: A Guide to Identification, Edward N. Zempel and Linda A. Verkler
    Buy it at Abebooks or Amazon

  • First Printings of American Authors, Matthew J. Bruccoli (5 Volumes)
    Buy it at Abebooks or Amazon

  • Guide to First Edition Prices 2008/9, R.B. Russell
    Buy it at Abebooks or Amazon

  • Modern British Authors, B.D. Cutler and Villa Stiles
    Buy it at Abebooks or Amazon

  • Modern First Editions: Points and Values, Gilbert H. Fabes and William A. Foyle (First, Second and Third Series)
    Buy it at Abebooks or Amazon

  • Pocket Guide to the Identification of First Editions, Bill McBride
    Buy it at Abebooks or Amazon

  • Points of Issue: A Compendium of Points of Issue of Books by 19th - 20th Century Authors, Bill McBride
    Buy it at Abebooks or Amazon

  • Wright Howes: The Final Edition (of U.S.iana)
    Buy it at Abebooks or Amazon

Other Books

  • The Performing Arts: A Guide to the Reference Literature
    Buy it at Amazon

  • My Name in Books : A Guide to Character Names in Children's Literature
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks

  • Make Mine a Mystery: A Reader's Guide to Mystery and Detective Fiction
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks

  • Introduction to Bibliography and Reference Work
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks

  • International Bibliography of Discographies
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks

  • Index to Black American Writers in Collective Biographies
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks

  • Graphic Novels: A Bibliographic Guide to Book-Length Comics
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks

  • Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Literature: A Genre Guide
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks

  • Fine Arts: A Bibliographic Guide to Basic Reference Works, Histories, and Handbooks: Second Edition
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks

  • Fantasy Authors: A Research Guide
    Buy it at Abebooks

  • Encyclopedic directory of ethnic newspapers and periodicals in the United States
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks

  • Applied and Decorative Arts: A Bibliographic Guide to Basic Reference Works, Histories, and Handbooks
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks

  • American Popular Culture: A Guide to the Reference Literature
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks

  • Read the High Country: Guide to Western Books and Films
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks b>

  • American Military History: A Guide to Reference and Information Sources
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks

  • Murder in Retrospect: A Selective Guide to Historical Mystery Fiction
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks

  • Children's Books About Religion
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks

  • A Guide to Field Guides: Identifying the Natural History of North America
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks

  • Anatomy of Wonder: A Critical Guide to Science Fiction, Fifth Edition
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks

  • Children's Authors and Illustrators Too Good to Miss: Biographical Sketches and Bibliographies
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks

  • Christian Fiction: A Guide to the Genre
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks

  • The Bookmark Book
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks

  • Fantasy Literature for Children and Young Adults: An Annotated Bibliography, Fourth Edition
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks

  • Reference Guide to Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks

  • 100 Most Popular Picture Book Authors and Illustrators: Biographical Sketches and Bibliographies
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks

  • The Newbery Companion: Booktalk and Related Materials for Newbery Medal and Honor Books
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks

  • Reader's Adviser : Vol.1 The Best Reference Works, British Literature & American Literature
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks

  • Children's Book Award Handbook
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks

  • The Entrepreneur's Information Sourcebook: Charting the Path to Small Business Success
    Buy it at
    Amazon or Abebooks

  • 100 Most Popular African American Authors: Biographical Sketches and Bibliographies
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks

  • Graphic Novels: A Genre Guide to Comic Books, Manga, and More
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks

  • Quotation Index to Children's Literature
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks

  • Reference and Research Guide to Mystery and Detective Fiction Second Edition
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks

  • Fluent in Fantasy: A Guide to Reading Interests
    Buy it at Amazon or Abebooks

Above is a sample of the Editor's Hot Picks.
Click here to see all of them.

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