Update Announcements

by Craig Stark

#95, 28 May 2007

If you read Contributing Editor Claire Main's column when it was delivered on April 27, you had just enough time to grab first printings of Panama Oxridge's Justin Thyme.

Inside of two days, it was sold out, and Interrobang's publisher Robin Garnet was compelled to order a second printing a month early. Bookseller's who scored a copy or more will likely be pocketing a nice profit sometime soon. More details appear on the Justin Thyme website.

Identifying potentially profitable books in advance of (or shortly following) their release can be a risky game, and Claire realizes that nobody can always get this right, let alone predict the next Harry Potter. Nevertheless, it'll be fun keeping score in the coming months, and we at BookThink wish her and you the best of luck - continuing this week with her second recommended title, Julian H. Lewis's The Magic Lantern of Kimbustan. Read why Claire chose this book in her article "UK Bookselling: The Magic Light of Success Shines on Julian H. Lewis," and find out more about the author in Claire's exclusive interview with Lewis.

Thanks to all who offered their comments and suggestions for Brenna Hopkins, who recently launched her new column "Report from Beginnersville: The Adventures of a Clueless Bookseller." Look for her next instalment soon - which, by the way, will include your advice for her. Also, an especially generous subscriber (and bookseller) offered to send Brenna a copy of a ca. 1990s guide to book collecting that she says is especially helpful for beginners. I wasn't aware of this book until now, so I'll take a look at it soon and, if it's all she says it is, review it in the BookThinker. And don't worry; there are plenty of copies out there!

I haven't mentioned BookThink's inventory search software - BookHunt - recently, but if you've been having trouble locating the books you need to build a strong inventory, BookHunt can help you find a steady supply of them online. There are significant advantages to this approach:

  1. The most important advantage you'll have as an online buyer is the ability to thoroughly research a title before you buy it, all but eliminating buying mistakes. True, some of this can be done in the field (e.g., via field lookup devices), but when you're contemplating purchasing a book for $20, $50 or more, in-depth research will often be necessary.

  2. If you're like me, most of your bookscouting takes place in a relatively small geographical area. Title variety, therefore, is necessarily limited to what you happen upon, and specializing is effectively impossible. Not so online. There's no end to what's available, and if you have a keen interest in a particular niche, you can focus some or all of your efforts on it, become a specialist in any field that appeals to you. Look for more on the topic of specializing in the next Gold Edition.

  3. Another advantage is time. If you're not leaving home, you'll have a lot more time to spend scouting - in fact, all of your buying time will be directed at scouting, none of it wasted on driving or waiting in lines.

  4. Finally, it's a lot cheaper to operate a computer than it is a vehicle - especially now. This savings alone will more than offset the disadvantage of paying postage on your online purchase.

BookHunt is offered with a 30-day money-back guarantee at only $19.99 and can be bundled with BookThink's Gold Edition series, "How to Buy Inventory Online," for an addition $10. Purchase it here.

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