From the Editor

by Craig Stark

28 April 2014

First published on October 21, 1940, Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls remains enthusiastically collected to this day, nearly 74 years later, as does, for that matter, most any Hemingway title. But there are several things that make this particular novel a topic of special interest for booksellers. First, if we get out much, it's something we bump into a lot - huge numbers of copies were printed at the outset - so happily there are frequent opportunities to cash in. But there also seems to be some confusion, perhaps widespread, about how to identify First Editions - or in at least some cases, not so much confusion as an occasion for deliberate misrepresentation. Today's feature article examines the complexities and attempts to clarify things.

So - this kitchen sink sale has proven to be pretty popular, so I've decided to hold it over and give it a spot in BookThink's Store. Here's the deal: You get everything for $179.99, subscriptions to BookThink's Guide to Online Bookselling and BookThink's Author Reports along with all complete report packages - all Gold Editions, all 50/50's and all Quarterly Market Reports - and any revisions/updates to these reports as they are completed. The subscriptions include all current chapters and reports and additional chapters and reports as they are issued. This is a ton of bookselling content that, if applied, will pay for itself quickly and generate income for years to come. Click here to purchase it, and everything will be emailed to you as attachments within 24 hours.

Note to subscribers: Chapter 15 of BookThink's Guide to Online Bookselling has been delivered. If you didn't receive your copy, please check your spam folder first. If it's not there, email me at and I'll send it to you ASAP. 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

14. How to Buy Inventory: Part III, An Introduction to Sourcing Inventory

15. How to Buy Inventory: Part IV, An eBay Buying Tutorial

Purchase a subscription 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 here.

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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