From the Editor

by Craig Stark

#61, 30 January 2006

Another Top Ten on eBay starts things off this week, and if you haven't been seeing patterns in these reports yet, you haven't been paying attention. Author J.K. Rowling surfaces once again, as does Philip Pullman, and there's no shortage of AA big books.

At BookThink we devote a lot of time and effort to discussing the "what" of bookselling - namely, what books to sell. More than anything else, your inventory is what will make you or break you as a bookseller. However, there's also a "how" that matters too, and in some circumstances it matters so much that it can also make or break you. Consider textbooks. I think most of us recognize only too well that there are selling problems peculiar to textbooks that don't plague other kinds of books. Perhaps these problems, all of which are endlessly (and sometimes heatedly) discussed on book forums, dissuade you from selling them yourself. If so, it's a shame because many resalable textbooks are both relatively easy to find and potentially very profitable. Which brings me to Teresa Kopec. Teresa, a textbook seller herself, has put together a set of guidelines that, if followed, would head off most if not all of the problems that typically arise. We've titled this "Selling Textbooks: A BookThink Primer," and I think you'll agree that it's a keeper.

#9 of BookThink's 50/50 - a special children's books issue - was delivered Tuesday evening, January 20. If you didn't get yours, write me at and I'll resend it. Also, there's still time to take advantage of BookThink's special subscription offer before the price increase, but you'll need to act quickly. Subscribe to either or both newsletters at $20 each annually. Deadline: January 31, 2006. If you're already a subscriber, you have the option of extending your present subscriptions 12 issues at the same rate. No need to click a special link. Purchase one or both subscriptions anywhere on the website (or click this link, and we'll take care of the extensions.

Finally, beginning March 1, Biblio will be offering a new billing option for booksellers - a choice of the two following billing options:

Option A: A monthly commission of 15% (all commissions will be eligible for fulfillment discounts.) $40 maximum commission per item sold - $0.50 cent minimum commission per item sold.

Option B: A flat 7.5% commission in addition to a flat monthly fee based on the following fee schedule, (all commissions and the listing fee will be eligible for fulfillment discounts.) $40 maximum commission per item sold - $0.50 cent minimum commission per item sold.

Flat monthly fees as follows (applicable to Option B only):

Number of Books Listed = Monthly Fee

0 - 10,000 = $10 per month
10,000 - 20,000 = $15 per month
20,000 - 30,000 = $20 per month
30,000 - 40,000 = $25 per month
each additional 10,000 books = $5.00 per month

EDITOR'S NOTE: You may recall me mentioning that I parked some inventory at Biblio a few months ago. I'm happy to report that sales are happening there - and in fact this past month has been my best yet. True, these sales aren't at Albris, Amazon or Abebooks levels yet, but several factors bode well, I think, for Biblio's future. One, if you aren't a believer yet, you can opt for commission-only billing - that is, it costs you absolutely nothing to list your inventory. Two, post-sale fees are significantly lower than those of the other three major venues, so when sales happen, they happen more profitably. And three, Biblio is presently the fastest growing online bookselling venue, and this wouldn't be happening if buyers weren't showing up in greater and greater numbers.

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