<<< Continued from previous page

EDITION STATE. In Part I of this series I discussed grouping Stephen King first printings in dust jackets. In general, this is an effective strategy for much modern fiction.

FORMAT. Children's books again. Chapter books, picture books, pop-up books, early readers, etc. - all are effective criteria for grouping.

GENRE. Like author groupings, you'll likely be using this approach a lot, but don't get sloppy. Broad genres like Science Fiction, Romance, Mystery, and Fantasy split into numerous sub-genres, and it's far more effective to focus more narrowly because readers don't often stray from them.

HISTORICAL ERA. Collectors love these kinds of groupings. A Civil War collector, for example, will often have an interest in books published between 1860 and 1865 (even fiction) because they are likely associated with the war. I've also had good luck with targeting specific years, say, 1959, and putting a nostalgia-laden group of books, magazines and ephemera together. It makes a great anniversary or birthday present.

ILLUSTRATOR (OR PHOTOGRAPHER). We've listed many collectible illustrators and photographers in past Gold Editions and 50/50s. Some of them (like Norman Rockwell) have published their work in so many books and periodicals that grouping them can happen more often than you might think. Also, if the illustrator or photographer is intensely collectible, small groupings of 3 or 5 or so can work remarkably well.

LANGUAGE. For those of you who sometimes have trouble figuring out what to do with foreign-language books that make it into your inventory, grouping them can sometimes solve lots of problems. What I've happily discovered is that your grouping focus doesn't usually need to be as tight as it does with English-language books. For example, a grouping of Spanish psychology books will often do fine; whereas a similar English-language lot would probably tank. Speaking of Spanish-language books, they will generally perform better on US-based venues than other languages.

PUBLISHER. Lots of possibilities here, many of which we've featured in past issues. Easton Press, Franklin Press, FEL, Folio Society, Heritage Press, Lakeside Press, etc.

PARTIAL SERIES. Another work horse. Complete is nice but hardly necessary. Collectors are forever looking for broken series book lots that will fill gaps in their collections and/or upgrade existing copies.

SIZE. I don't know anybody who collects big books, thin books, etc., but miniature or near-miniature books are collectible largely on the basis of their size, not their content.

TOPIC. Endless variations here - another well you should be going to again.

TYPEFACE. Large-print books make very effective groups.

VALUES. Not the monetary value of books, but the values they espouse. Many home schoolers, for example, are vitally interested in exposing their children to traditional Christian values and will often seek literature, textbooks, etc., that reflect them, even if it means purchasing books a century or more old.

Want to read more articles by
BookThink's Editor in Chief Craig Stark?
Click here.


Comment Comment Comment Comment Comment Comment Comment Comment Comment