From the Editor

by Craig Stark

5 July 2013

I don't have anything brilliant to say today by way of introducing the feature article. It's about my cat.

Here is the usual housekeeping stuff:

Chapter 14 of BookThink's Guide to Online Bookselling is nearing completion - a long chapter on sourcing inventory. I've done my best in previous chapters to downplay the importance of this, for some booksellers see this as a be all and end all to success. Perhaps if one had privileged access to an unlimited supply of high quality material at low prices (as if this had any basis in reality), one could succeed in bookselling without having to acquire much knowledge about it, but that "fortunate" person would be doing a heck of a lot of flipping to other, more knowledgeable dealers. Why? Because we're the teachers. We know how to identify what we have and explain its importance to collectors. This is where the real money is to be made, where real security is. Nonetheless, I will address the venues we will most likely find what we need to make things happen, also give some suggestions on how to get a leg up on competitors.

BookThink's Bookseller's Author Report #7, Margaret Mitchell, has been delivered to subscribers. Our Author Reports are available for purchase either by subscription at $49.99 for 12 issues or individually at $9.99 each. Note that new subscribers will receive all 7 issues published to date and 5 additional issues as they become available. Subscribe here here. Purchase the Margaret Mitchell report or any other Author Report here. Note that the Mitchell report also includes additional publishing history content, a marketing analysis with specific bookselling opportunities enumerated, and a complete bibliography of the first 15 printings of Gone With the Wind.

Chapter 13 of BookThink's Guide to Online Bookselling has been delivered to subscribers. This is a comprehensive, in-progress bookselling how-to available by subscription here. It's approximately half completed, and new subscribers will receive current and all remaining chapters as they are issued. Note: If you subscribed to the Gold Edition (now re-titled BookThink's Guide to Online Bookselling) in 2008 or earlier, you will need to purchase the guide to continue receiving chapters.

Chapter 13 is the second in a series of chapters on how to buy inventory, and it presents an inductive, statistical (and perhaps somewhat unusual) method for identifying flashpoints that point to value in the marketplace.

For those of you not familiar with the guide, a list of completed chapters may give you a better sense of what's going on:

1. Essential Book History for Booksellers

2. How Books Are Made

3. Why Bookselling?

4. How to Make Money Selling Books While You're Learning How to Sell Books: First Things First

5. How to Make Money Selling Books While You're Learning How to Sell Books: Closing the Gap on Your Competition

6. Trust: The Sine Qua Non of Bookselling

7. Getting Down to Business: Why Your ASP Will Make You or Break You

8. How to Identify First Editions: Books That Aren't, Part I

9. How to Identify First Editions: Books That Aren't, Part II

10. How to Identify First Editions: Books That Are, Part III

11. How to Identify First Editions: Books That Are, Part IV (The Essential Reference Library)

12. How to Buy Inventory: Part I, Building Hot Lists

13. How to Buy Inventory: Part II, Building Flashpoint Lists

Check out BookThink's new links page here.

BookThink's popular First Edition Library Checklist has been reformatted to PDF and now includes thumbnail photos of cover art for all FEL titles. The FEL, for those not familiar with it, is a series of extraordinarily faithful first edition facsimiles of over 100 notable publications, most of them issued with protective slipcases. Many are now out of print and all are enthusiastically collected. As booksellers, it pays for you to know of them and about them. Our checklist package includes a checklist of all 111 FEL titles, thumbnail images of cover art, indications of most and least valuable titles, indications of rarest and most common titles, detailed issue points (where applicable), explanatory notes, and the full text of Stan Shelley's superb, illustrated primer on the First Edition Library.

If you have purchased the earlier version (which was available in DOC and TXT formats), you can upgrade to the new version for $5. The price for first time buyers is $14.99. Either option can be exercised by clicking here.

BookThink's forum is up and running again. You can get to it by clicking this link.

Also, BookThink's complete Gold Edition is now available in PDF format. All 59 Gold Editions have been recently updated (and in some cases expanded) and combined into a PDF format e-book. A table of contents presents clickable report titles, and the entire document is searchable by keywords. The PDF format ensures 100% compatibility with all computers, tablets and smartphones, and it's easier than ever to take the Gold Edition with you on scouting trips. Purchase it here for $59.99.

Click here to see several sample pages. (And yes, we're working on converting and updating 50/50 and QMR as well.)

Important: If you have previously purchased a complete Gold Edition package, this e-book is available to you at no charge. Email me at for your copy. Also, if you have purchased any Gold Edition issues either singly or in groups at any time, we will subtract those purchases from the price of the e-book. Again, email me at and we will research your purchases and forward a discounted invoice reflecting them.

Finally, the entire BookThink output of Gold Editions, 50/50's and QMR's is available to purchase as a complete package here. Again, if you have previously purchased any issues, we will subtract these from the total, and once you purchase them, you will be entitled to any future updates at no additional cost.

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Contact the editor, Craig Stark

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