From the Editor

by Craig Stark

#27, 20 September 2004

The fall bookselling season has begun. If you had a slow summer, there's a good chance things will pick up for you now. If they don't, don't blame the market. It's very much alive and kicking for the right books, may in fact be stronger this year, and good money can still be made in this business.

Now and again I have to remind myself that the primary reason we publish this newsletter isn't to talk about bookselling or collecting, or even books as books, as much as I like doing it; no, it's to help you become better at what you do, whether it's selling books or collecting them. If you're struggling, please consider availing yourself of the resources available at BookThink. They are considerable, growing by the moment, and specifically conceived to help.

The BookThink forum, in my opinion, is a great but underused resource. Statistics show us that most users prefer to lurk and not participate. I understand that it's human nature to be reluctant to ask for help, to put yourself in a vulnerable position, also human nature to be reluctant to offer help if it means sharing information that you've worked hard to acquire. And, frankly, it takes time to write notes, and sometimes there just isn't time. Still, I think forum participation is a good investment, whether you're giving or receiving; and often in the process of giving help, you'll receive unanticipated help yourself by way of clarifying your thinking, gaining additional insight in the actual writing process, or receiving feedback from others. As forums go, ours is an especially friendly and decent one. The fact that it's moderated may help discourage problem users, but I think it's ultimately a good place because our users are actually friendly and decent people.

By the way, as a sort of ongoing, irregular project, I'll be posting useful resources in the forum from now on. Click here for a current example.

Finally, if for any reason forum participation just doesn't work for you, please feel free to email me, Pam or Tim with your questions and comments. I get many, many emails that begin with the phrase "I hate to trouble you" or "sorry to bother you." I may not be able to answer everything immediately, but I get to it sooner or later, and truly, it's no trouble at all. The fact that we can help in any way validates this entire project and gives us the incentive to go on doing it. Our contact information is on the AboutUs page.

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