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The BookThinker Newsletter

ISSN 1547-9501

#75, 14 July 2006

BookThink Update
21 August 2006>>>

Update Announcements





Putting A Face on Faceless Venues
An Interview with
Biblio's Kevin Donaldson

There are business models, and there are business models. Some enterprises use the build-it-and-they-will-come approach, focusing their efforts more on product or service than profit. Others take a different, more aggressive approach, devoting considerable energy and resources to producing profit, sometimes at the expense of product (or service). I don't know whether booksellers hold such a thing as a general perception about the venues they trust their inventories with, but I'm guessing that many of you would say that the dominant players are interested entirely too much in profit, entirely too little in those responsible for generating it - booksellers. It's easy to feel neglected or mistreated when you're competing with tens of thousands of faceless booksellers and fees keep going up and up.

Whatever your perception, I strongly suspect that Media Editor Catherine Petruccione's interview with Biblio's Kevin Donaldson will alter it. Shortly after speaking with Kevin, Cathy wrote me and said: "If the good guy ever wins, Biblio should do just fine." Her "good guy" perception was based on Biblio's unusually bookseller-friendly (and customer-friendly) business model. Funny thing, it's producing sales too, often at the high end, and if you're disenchanted with the big guys, Biblio may be a viable, long-term solution.

From the Editor
Important announcements for BookThinker readers.

A Heritage Press Retrospective
"How These Books Came to Be"

Michael Bussacco owns one of the largest collections of Heritage Press editions and associated ephemera in the US and, like other collectors who came before him, was initially frustrated by the dearth of information available on this venerable niche - not a single bibliography, for example, let alone a complete checklist of titles. Fortunately, he stepped up to the plate some years ago and did collectors a favor: He wrote a Heritage Press bibliography and checklist himself. He's also written a retrospective for today's BookThinker which includes some valuable information on issue variations and a complete list of published series as well.



Buying and Selling Heritage Books
A Primer

In my early scouting days, I recall purchasing numerous Heritage Press titles. What wasn't to like? The bindings exuded noticeably more quality than the average bear, they were typically issued in slipcases, and published titles included many of the greatest books ever written. And illustrators? Well, there were flashpoints in spades. Alas, I also recall being disappointed many times after researching my finds at home, and often I would add them to my discard pile, especially if the slipcase and/or the laid-in Sandglass explanatory brochure was absent. At one point, I stopped buying HPs altogether. As it turned out, this was a mistake - and I've since resumed. There are in fact significant bookselling opportunities with HPs, especially if you adopt the right strategies. My primer on buying and selling the Heritage Press, which explains some of them, appears in today's issue.

A Review of AMan Pro
Selling On Amazon

Steve Weber recently registered at AMPro for a free 21-day trial. AMPro is a complete listing, pricing and order management system for Amazon Marketplace sellers. At $49.99 a month, it ain't cheap, but it's so feature-rich that it can produce big savings for active Marketplace sellers - in dollars and time. Read Steve's detailed review here.

50/50 Issue #15
Now Available

Issue #15 of 50/50 is now available for purchase; its focus is "Fish, Fur and Game Shows." Subscribe today here.


Gold Edition #29
How To Become a Full-Time Bookseller
Part VII: Timely Tools of the Trade
Issue #29 of the Gold Edition is now available for purchase. This is Part VII of a seven-part series on How to Become a Full-Time Bookseller Purchase now.

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.



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
7 August 2006>>>

Update Announcements

Putting A Face on Faceless Venues
An Interview with Alibris' A.J. Kohn

BookThink introduces a series of interviews with major bookselling venue spokesmen today that we hope will not only put a human face on these corporate entities but also address some of your more pressing concerns. First up is Alibris. Media Editor Catherine Petruccione recently spoke to Alibris' Director of Direct Marketing and Sales A.J. Kohn, and A.J., in my opinion, was extraordinarily candid and thorough in addressing some hard questions that I know have been on many booksellers' minds. I think you'll come away from this with a much different perception of Alibris - and a decidedly more human one.





Top 10 on eBay
June 2006

Pamela Palmer's Top Ten on eBay, June 2006, appears today. What's noteworthy about this month's list is that it contains a book that you may have seen mentioned in BookThink's forum last month: Tom Doak's The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses - a modern cult phenomenon, it is.

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