Update Announcements

by Craig Stark

#54, 24 October 2005

Collecting Mystery & Detective Fiction is back today. Contributing Editor Pamela Palmer looks at one of the heavyweights in this genre - James Bond creator Ian Fleming. Lots of bookselling potential here.

Also, a brief update on the Alibris/Amazon connection. As most of you know by now, the divorce will be final in November, and Alibris sellers will no longer have the option of listing their inventories on Amazon - that is, if you wish to list on Amazon, you must now register at Amazon. For those with significant inventories, this might mean taking the Pro Merchant plunge at $39.99 monthly (at present, the first two months are half price). Ouch.

Before the negotiations ended between Amazon and Alibris, I decided to offer myself up as a guinea pig - register as a new Pro Merchant seller at Amazon - with the intention of reporting on how the transition would go in case Amazon ultimately axed the Alibris partner program. I anticipated that my direct Amazon sales would probably replace most of my indirect (via Alibris) sales, though I assumed this would be tempered somewhat because I was starting out with 0 feedback. Also, I recalled that, when I cancelled my previous Pro Merchant account and began using Alibris' partner program at Amazon, my Amazon sales dropped somewhat but not hugely, and of course this drop was more than offset by the sales I began to get directly from Alibris, not to mention Barnes & Noble. So - I also assumed that my total Amazon sales would probably increase to some extent once I got out from under the Alibris umbrella and returned as an Amazon seller, largely because of the negative impact of Alibris' less than stellar group feedback. Thirdly, I assumed that my Alibris sales would drop a significant amount.

Well, the first assumption was correct. I lost most (but not all) of my indirect Amazon sales almost immediately. However, much to my surprise, the second and third assumptions were dead wrong. My direct Amazon sales took off like a rocket, instantly. In the three weeks since I've registered, I've already doubled the total number of my indirect Amazon sales from the previous month! I have to assume that the Alibris feedback/name impact on Amazon had been much more negative than I'd suspected. Surprisingly, however, my Alibris sales during the same three-week period have increased as well, perhaps because we're moving into a busier period? Who knows. In any case, I'm delighted to report that the transition was not only painless, but it appears as though my overall fixed-price-venue income for October will be double what it was for September. And I thought I'd been content with September sales!

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