From the Editor

by Craig Stark

#59, 2 January 2006

This year at BookThink we're going to make a serious effort to explain exactly what it takes to make a full-time living at bookselling. So many of you seem to have your sights set on ultimately taking the plunge but, for one reason or another, remain part-time booksellers. We've had some good discussions about this in the forum. I think that most of us agree that moving from part-time to full-time necessarily entails more than simply doing more of what you're already doing. Sure, it'd be foolish not to stay with stuff that's worked for you in the past, but what if reverse economies of scale come into play when you make the change? What if, for example, you're already covering most of the bookscouting bases in your area as a part-time bookseller? Acquiring full-time inventory may require that you to look further afield, increasing the cost of acquisition; or it may mean that you'll have to look for inventory in different ways, perhaps even by altering your perceptions of what constitutes a book - a topic I've discussed previously in several Gold Editions.

This month I'm going to be looking at altered bookselling perceptions in two places: here, briefly, in the BookThinker newsletter, and also in January's Gold Edition - the first of a two-part series on selling book lots. Before I get to these, however, I think it's important to discuss what I believe no full-time bookseller can succeed without: an ability to extract and apply bookselling principles from the raw data of sales.

Also in today's issue, Science Fiction Editor Timothy Doyle departs from his usual focus on adult fiction and explores the realm of children's science fiction.

A note to 50/50 subscribers. Issue #1 of BookThink's 50/50 was published in January of last year; charter subscriptions have therefore expired with the December 2005 issue. To date, renewal notices have been sent only to those who subscribed prior to January 1, 2005. We'll be sending the remaining (2005) renewal notices out shortly. Also, please keep in mind that, if you subscribed before issue #2 was published in March of last year, you will also be receiving a renewal notice - that is, subscriptions were initiated with the current issue (#1), not the issue (#2) following the date of your payment. If for some reason you didn't receive issue #1, let me know, and we'll simply extend your subscription one issue forward.

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Contact the editor, Craig Stark

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