From The Editor

by Craig Stark

#68, 7 May 2006

There's been some interest expressed in publishing item numbers for books which appear in Pamela Palmer's Top Ten on eBay. Our policy at BookThink both in newsletters and on the forum has been to keep seller's identities private unless permission is otherwise granted. Anybody who has visited other forums and observed what often happens when item numbers are posted knows exactly why we don't let it happen here. It usually ain't pretty.

As most of you probably know, you can search a listing on eBay for 90 days after the auction closes if you have the item number. If you don't have it, you can go back only two weeks (via keyword searches). Also, if you know the seller's ID, you can view feedback history and click into the item numbers that have received feedback (though not the ones that haven't). Pam has been careful to leave any information out of her reports that would allow readers to gain access after the two-week window has closed, and of course we're careful to publish these reports well after that same two-week period.

We realize that this policy has a downside. It prevents those who have a genuine, educational interest from learning more about the items discussed in the reports or how they were presented. Mindful of this, we're going to make - rather, try making - lists of item numbers available by email, privately, for those who email a request to me at If this too becomes an administrative nightmare, we might have to rethink it, but for the time being, we're willing to accommodate you. Fair warning: These lists are copyrighted material and are subject to the same restrictions detailed in our subscriber's agreement.

If we see or have knowledge that these lists have been posted elsewhere for public viewing - even once - we will immediately and permanently terminate any and all access to them. Our overriding focus is to protect the sellers.

Science Fiction Editor Timothy Doyle has delivered, in my opinion, one of his best efforts for today's BookThinker. The topic is the Secret History book. If you don't know what an SHB is, you'll have to read the article, but I will tell you that flashpoints abound.

Also, I'd like to welcome yet another BookThink writer today - Steve Weber. Some of you may recognize Steve as the author of The Home-Based Bookstore, a nuts-and-bolts guide to starting an online bookselling business. Steve also knows his Amazon stuff, and that's where he comes into play at BookThink. A new monthly column, "Selling Books on Amazon," begins today. I think you'll find his advice valuable.

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