From The Editor

by Craig Stark

#93, 23 April 2007

Where were you when Harry Potter burst onto the scene in the late 1990s? Busily buying up first printings at retail prices to resell years later for thousands? Probably not. In retrospect, it might be obvious why J.K. Rowling's first efforts made such a big splash, but I doubt that few booksellers had the prescience to see it in time.

Gold Edition subscribers are aware that we've been suggesting techniques for the early, in-time identification of the hot book in recent months. By no means are they foolproof; still, they can greatly increase your chances of success. There are two associated points worth noting: One, even though Potters don't come along every day, there are plenty of titles that can still prove profitable on a smaller scale if you get in at the starting bell, and, two, you don't always have to get in early to realize profits. Often, you can arrive somewhat late and still manage to score.

I'm bringing this up by way of introducing a new BookThink columnist, Claire Main, who suggests one such title for your consideration in her first article - Panama Oxridge's Justin Thyme. Claire is the Managing Director of UK-based Doodled Books, Ltd., a store specializing in books bearing author's doodles. She stops short of prophesying that Oxridge will reach Rowling heights but presents a solid case nonetheless for investing in limited, doodled first printings of this intriguing book - the first, by the way, in a planned 4-part Tartan of Thyme series. Claire also interviews the reclusive author - a personage so reclusive, in fact, that his or her name has yet to be revealed. Post-interview intrigue ensues, including the delivery of a plain brown package containing a chocolate high heel! Look for more UK New Collectibles columns soon.

A few Gold Edition announcements.

Part IV, the final instalment in the series "Bookselling on the Cutting Edge: The Hot Book," will be delivered at the end of this month. If you're not yet a subscriber, note that new subscriptions will be started with Part I to make purchasing back issues unnecessary. Get it done here.

Also, next up for the Gold Edition will be another multi-part series: "How to Specialize in Bookselling." This may be your key to long-term success as a bookseller. Look for Part I in May.

At long last, after multiple requests, BookThink T-shirts are coming! More details should be available next week.

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