Update Announcements

by Craig Stark

#55, 14 November 2005

I'm delighted to announce a new BookThink columnist to you today - Guusje Moore. Guusje's specialty is children's books, and she brings a vast amount of experience to the task: she has been a children's librarian for over 30 years and an eBay seller, specializing in children's books, for 5. In her first column she'll take you on an exceptionally profitable trip to a hypothetical FOL sale. My first thought when I read this was: We're giving this away??? This should be a Gold Edition issue! Oh, well, you freeloaders get to reap the benefits this week - and maybe this will inspire you to take the plunge with one of our premium subscriptions.

Speaking of premium newsletters, I received an email from a subscriber this week who accused me (in good humor, I should add) of single-handedly destroying the market for a group of books we mentioned in issue #2 of 50/50. Since these are books I've been selling myself for years, I've had the dubious pleasure of watching values plunge myself, so much so that I'm now contemplating marketing them in groups instead of singly. Unfortunately, these books are dirt common, and prices pre-dating March of this year had been artificially high for as long as I can remember. There are several cookbooks that have taken hits that they haven't recovered from as well, but I should also point out that most of the titles we've featured in the Gold Edition and 50/50, if they've been affected at all, have bounced back from initial price reductions.

The reason I'm bringing this up isn't to apologize - and I won't apologize - but to remind you that there are aspects of bookselling that are time-sensitive, and if you sit on what you're doing today, you'll likely suffer for it tomorrow. The security for booksellers lies in continuously adding to one's storehouse of book knowledge. And this defines our mission at BookThink - to provide you with as much knowledge as we can. You have my word that we'll merrily continue to destroy niche markets in our premium newsletters, but if you stay with us and act on whatever knowledge you acquire immediately, you'll continue to grow your business notwithstanding.

Also, look for two additional columns soon - one on book repair and another on technical aspects of book photography, both written by specialists in the field. By the way, if you have expertise in a bookselling genre or other book-related topic that you don't see addressed in our newsletters - example: romance books - we're always looking for new writers. Payment is modest, but exposure of your business to tens of thousands of booksellers could be priceless. Not only that, we offer perqs. Write me.

There are several interesting letters to the editor this week, one of which is a report on the anomalous Time-Life auction reported in Pamela Palmer's Top Ten on eBay last month. Some good sleuthing.

Finally, Alibris announced a new Amazon seller program this week. Alas, the divorce will still take place this month, but Alibris will assist in the transition with a program that matches your pre-ISBN inventory with corresponding BASINs at Amazon - that is, if you participate in the program, a much greater percentage of your inventory will now appear at Amazon. More good news: it's free. The complete text of the announcement appears below. If you have any questions or comments, write me at editor@bookthink.com and I'll be happy to forward them to A.J.

Dear Alibris Seller,

Alibris is pleased to introduce our new Amazon.com Seller Program.

Bookselling is evolving and increasingly complex. We've designed a program that simplifies your Amazon.com inventory and order management. If you believe that 'time is money', then the Amazon.com Seller Program is right for you!

Tired of maintaining inventory files for multiple selling venues? Alibris can save you hours of Excel gyrations and BASIN matching eyestrain. Join the new Amazon.com Seller Program and your Alibris inventory is automatically sent to Amazon Marketplace under your branded account.

We use your list price-no more markups or minimums-and match your pre-ISBN books to the appropriate BASIN. When it's time to process orders, simply come to the Alibris Seller Hub where you can view, fill and print packing slips for both Alibris and Amazon Marketplace orders. It's that easy!

To participate in the new Amazon.com Seller Program you must have an active Amazon.com Pro Merchant Account with specific preference settings. Consequently, Amazon.com fees and pricing will apply. Please review our step by step instructions and detailed FAQ on how to create and set-up an Amazon.com Pro Merchant Account and participate in our Amazon.com Seller Program.

The Amazon.com Seller Program is FREE, in part, because an Amazon.com Pro Merchant account is not. And Alibris takes no commission on your Amazon Marketplace sales! As a result, you are responsible for customer service and returns for these orders.

The current Alibris Amazon.com program will end on November 18. Whether or not you're in our current program, you must be an Amazon.com Pro Merchant and opt-in to participate in the new Amazon.com Seller Program. Join today if you want to work smarter, not harder.

Alibris is committed to helping independent booksellers succeed in an increasingly competitive bookselling world. We will continue to grow our distribution channels, seek other partnerships, and deliver tools and innovations that benefit our premiere network of sellers.

Thank you for your patience and continuing patronage of Alibris.


A.J. Kohn
Director, Direct Marketing and Sales

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