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The BookThinker Newsletter

ISSN 1547-9501

#73, 17 July 2006

BookThink Update
24 July 2006>>>

Special Supplement to The BookThinker, #73 Update
How To Beat The eBay Stores Fee Increase
15 Strategies to Consider

Based on the email I've received and notes that have been posted in BookThink's forum and elsewhere over the last few days, it's clear that there aren't many booksellers who are happy about the recent eBay stores fees increase. What took many of us by surprise wasn't that there was an increase - we're accustomed to this - but that it was so punitive. Store items listed at $25 and over, for example, could previously be listed at $.02 a month. That fee will now skyrocket to $.10 - a 5-fold increase. Believe it or not, however, there are some of us who are ok this, and I'm one of them - at least tentatively. I'll explain why and also offer 15 suggestions for beating them.



Update Announcements


Buying and Selling Children's Books
There's No Business Like Show Business

Guusje Moore dances onto the BookThink stage today, and the theme song is children's books with a show biz angle - and a special emphasis on ballet. As always, key authors in the genre are identified and flashpoints abound. Speaking of flashpoints, Guusje also illustrates a pattern in books with special value: The best ones often possess two or more flashpoints.


Book Repair for BookThinkers
Repairing Split Hinges and Gutters

Also back is Book Repair Editor Gail Altman, this time to show how to repair books with two of the more common problems booksellers encounter - split hinges and cracked spines. Sometimes it makes sense to replace the endpapers and/or recase the book; sometimes not. Gail presents two damaged books that require the simpler repairs. Fast and cheap!

From the Editor
Important announcements for BookThinker readers.

BookThink's Author Profiles
Kangaroos to Climate Change
An Interview with Dr. Tim Flannery

Point - counterpoint: Last week we took you to Biltmore Estate - civilization in excess? Perhaps. This week we're off to the distinctly more primitive jungles of New Guinea with renowned explorer, conservationist, and yes, best selling author Tim Flannery. Tim, who's been huffing and puffing on a whirlwind speaking tour in the United States this year, recently caught his breath and visited with BookThink's Catherine Petruccione. Topics range from exotic black-and-white tree kangaroos to climate change - and it's all unusually thought-provoking stuff.

Can Amazon Sellers Rely on Email?
Selling on Amazon

A question: Has email become easier or more difficult for you to use in the past year or so? On the vital and more specific question of buyer/seller communication, most booksellers would agree that it's gotten considerably more difficult. BookThink's Steve Weber looks at some revolting email-related developments at Amazon this week, and the questions he raises are vitally important ones for booksellers to ponder.


Introducing .... BookHunt
Software Designed for
Buying Inventory Online

The bookselling theme we pound the hardest at BookThink is this: Sell better books. Agreed, some of you don't live in inventory rich areas, and this may be easier said than done. One solution I've suggested is to start buying some of your inventory online. After all, where are most of the best books located? For most booksellers, however, especially those new to the business, buying online is significantly more difficult than buying books in the field. Or was until now. Software developer Ian Ashbury has come to the rescue. Ian has designed a tool for BookThink that will greatly enhance your ability to not only locate inventory online but also save you countless hours you otherwise would've spent slogging through listings at eBay. It's called BookHunt, and here's more information.

50/50 Issue #14
Now Available

Issue #14 of 50/50 is now available for purchase; its focus is "See The Light" Subscribe today here.


Gold Edition #28
How To Become a Full-Time Bookseller
Part VI: How To Move Inventory
Issue #28 of the Gold Edition is now available for purchase. This is Part VI of a six-part series on How to Become a Full-Time Bookseller Purchase now.



BookThink Consulting - Phase I
BookThink's eBay Critique

NEW! Are your eBay auction presentations lacking that certain something? Are you frustrated with listing high quality items again and again and not getting top prices for them? If so, BookThink's new consulting service, eBay Critique, may be the answer. eBay Critique consists of two elements - one, a detailed analysis of your existing eBay auctions identifying specific problem areas; and two, suggestions for improvements. Primary areas of concern include image quality, presentation layout and textual content. Read our FAQ for more details and get started today.

Previous BookThinker Update -

BookThink Update
10 July 2006>>>

Update Announcements



George Vanderbilt's Library
A Dream Realized
An Interview with Suzanne Durham

Today we're off to George W. Vanderbilt's Biltmore Estate in the mountains of North Carolina. Why? Well, there's a library there, and if you haven't seen it, perhaps we can inspire you to visit. It's inconceivable to me that anybody with an affection for books wouldn't be deeply moved by the experience. We'll make a number of stops along the way, first meeting with Special Collections Manager Suzanne Durham. Suzanne has been cataloging the Library collection since 2003 and is certainly the most informed person on its present contents.

The Library at Biltmore
A Brief History

Next up is Biltmore aficionado Todd Walker. Todd has held a Biltmore season pass since 1991 and, having met with difficulties over the years obtaining information about the Estate, set out on his own to collect/discover whatever he could - and of course continued to question staff members on his visits! To date, he's amassed over 1,000 documents and 100s of photographs, some of which he's generously shared with us. Happily, Todd has also contributed an article for BookThink - a brief history of the library.




Contrived Nature
Landscape Architecture & Its Role at Biltmore House

On our third stop, BookThink's Pamela Palmer will take us on a tour of the grounds - and don't for a moment think that this has nothing to do with books. Does the name Frederick Law Olmsted mean anything to you? Legendary landscape architect Olmsted designed the Biltmore grounds, also New York City's Central Park, and wrote numerous travel books. Pam's tour, complete with photographs, will give you a profound appreciation for his work and illustrate why vintage landscape architecture books are such a hot bookselling niche.


Denizens of Biltmore
The Cast

Finally, for those interested in Biltmore personalities, Pam has also compiled a cast of characters with photographs and brief biographies.


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