Update Announcements

by Craig Stark

#68, 15 May 2006

The First Edition Library is one of the more remarkable publishing phenomena to surface in recent years. Contrary to what one might assume from the name, FELs aren't first editions at all but unusually faithful facsimiles of original first editions of notable books, so faithful that, unless you take a close look at some rather unobtrusive publisher's designations, you might be fooled into thinking you have the real thing. The good news for booksellers is that FELs are both relatively common and enthusiastically collected. Values for some titles exceed $100, and a few may top $500 or $600. Look for FEL values to continue to increase, especially those titles which are now out of print.

In the process of researching an article on the series, I met Stan Shelley, who was marketing a checklist of FEL titles. I asked him if we could review the checklist for BookThink, and, since I hadn't been able to dig up much information on FELs myself, I invited him to write an article as well. The result is an unusually informative piece that appears in today's BookThinker.

Also, you won't have to go far for Stan's checklist. BookThink is now its sole distributor, and it can be ordered here for $9.99.

The price includes a checklist of all 112 FEL titles, indications of most and least valuable titles, indications of rarest and most common titles, detailed issue points (where applicable), explanatory notes, and the full text of Stan's article. Should any updates be necessary, there will be no additional charge. The checklist will be available as a .doc or .txt file. Please specify your preference when ordering and allow 48 hours for email delivery. If you're an FEL collector, this checklist is a must, but I recommend it highly to serious booksellers too. Many FEL titles surface on scouting trips, and it'll help to know your stuff.

An excerpt from May's Gold Edition also appears today, probably the first one ever in the BookThinker. This isn't to give you non-subscriber's a peek at what we do; rather, it's to offer some general information on book values that may be helpful to keep in mind when you run into somebody who thinks their books are worth more than you're willing to pay. I've titled this "BookThink's Ten Most Common Myths about Book Vales," and yes, the implication is that these aren't the only ones - not by a long shot.

Speaking of the Gold Edition, the May issue, Part V of "How to Become a Full-Time Bookseller," was delivered last week along with the promised Moe Report - a compilation of the best and brightest flashpoints mined by Mary Moe from over 11,000 BookThink forum pages. Mary has also promised to update this report periodically as more flashpoints appear in the forum. Please note that, from this date forward, all new subscribers will also receive this report as a complimentary gift. And a reminder: New Gold Edition subscriptions will begin with Part I (issue #23) of the current series on full-time bookselling. Subscribe here.

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