From The Editor

by Craig Stark

#74, 31 July 2006

Any of you recall this from Gail Altman's article last week?

If the pages are very brown and crisp, the book probably isn't a good candidate for repair because the repaired area will be too strong for the book and could cause pages to be damaged further.

That's right; sometimes repairs can be too strong if the material repaired is significantly weaker than what it's been repaired with. You may recognize this as a near universal principle - and I know from first hand experience that it's true when working with wood. Also recall the biblical parable:

Matt 9:16 No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse.

And don't forget the parable that immediately follows this, warning against putting new wine in old bottles. What does this have to do with bookselling? We're revisiting the topic of Old and New School bookselling this week, and it's Science Fiction Editor Tim Doyle's turn to take a whack at it. Should New School booksellers put their "new wine" in "old bottles"? Sell their books the old way? Well, New School booksellers necessarily imply the presence of New School Buyers, right? Will these buyers even understand the Old School approach? Lots of interesting questions to look at here, but ultimately it comes down to a familiar, fundamental one: What's the best way to get my books sold?

Also, History Editor Bill Klimon returns today with Part II of his series on magic books. What makes today's article especially important is his illustration of an important bookselling principle: If you're having trouble finding books in a hot niche, sometimes it pays off to examine books that are more typically associated with other niches but have overlapping content. In music, of course, this is called a crossover hit. Here's a related BookThinker article.


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Questions or comments?
Contact the editor, Craig Stark

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