From The Editor

by Craig Stark

#98, 2 July 2007

1. Most of the content we publish at BookThink is selected for its potential usefulness to booksellers - more specifically, to improve their profits. If there's a mission here, this is it: We want to help you make money at bookselling. However, there are times when it's helpful, maybe even high time, to put some of this in perspective, to showcase things that are so aptly expressed, so moving, that making your next bookselling buck has to take a back seat to something that we should pause to be reminded of.

Today, we're pleased to publish a personal essay penned by a life-long antiquarian bookseller. I first came across this, in a slightly different form, on a booksellers' forum a month or so ago, and it was simply too good to not broadcast to booksellers everywhere. Meanwhile, its author, Jaime Frontero, graciously agreed to share it with our readers and expand a few points that clarified the piece even further. Enough said; please do read this, "The Dead-Guy Buy," and recognize the heartbreak that many of us have surely experienced.

BookThink's new Ephemera Editor Michele Behan gets her "ephemeral" feet wet this week with a detailed look at real photo postcards - their history, who collects them and why, valuation, etc. - and closes with an emphasis on a timely topic: RPPCs with a patriotic theme, often with a Fourth of July focus. By the way, look for Part II of Michele's series on anthologies in a few weeks.

2. There's still time to register for the Columbus, Ohio sellers conference featured here several weeks ago. Details:

"You're invited to the First Annual Midwest Sellers Conference on August 18th & 19th, 2007 in Columbus, Ohio! This event is specifically for online sellers - primarily booksellers. We'll have roundtable discussions plus guest speakers who share business relationship techniques, small business tax specifics and more information to help improve your business. We'll also have a Vendor Gallery featuring services and products for online sellers. Registration is limited for this inaugural event. Use keyword "bookthink" to enjoy the early registration fee of $75 until July 12th, 2007. Visit our Yahoo group for registration, program & hotel information."

3. In case you missed our Breaking Bookselling News from NewsBlog post on this, here's some good news for BookThinkers who followed Contributing Editor Claire Main's advice on Justin Thyme:

"Justin Thyme Sells for 1000 on eBay!

My Associate Editor assures me that BookThink can occasionally make news as well as report on it! With that in mind, I'd like to share an update from BookThink's Contributing Editor Claire Main on the subject of her April 2007 article on Justin Thyme and interview with author Panama Oxridge:

"Recently on eBay a book-plated copy of Justin Thyme sold for 1000. This is amazing considering that it's a self published book. Prices for most of the signed first editions of Justin Thyme have shot up in value since this happened. In fact, most BookThinkers who bought the signed, lined and dated copies at around 25-35 from the author are now looking at books worth 70-90."

Were you one of those BookThinkers who cashed in on this?

More Justin Thyme news here:

And Claire's articles on BookThink:

It's Only a Matter of "Thyme" Before This Title Is on Everyone's Bookshelf

Interview with Panama Oxridge.

Look for Claire's upcoming article on The Highfield Mole, soon to be released as Tunnels by Chicken House, a major UK publisher, and interview with authors Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams - exclusively on BookThink."

4. Next, if you're wondering where we moved the purchase banner for Thomas Lee's new - and highly recommended - guide to first edition fiction, look on the far right column of BookThink's home page. Or simply purchase it from BookThink's Store (for the lowest price anywhere).

5. Content and friends (over 200 now) are continuing to build on MySpace. Visit BookThink on MySpace.

6. Finally, I receive perhaps a half dozen or so emails every month asking for us to re-send previously purchased back issues that have been lost, usually after a computer crashes or in the process of transferring data to a new one. Some of these emails are downright apologetic, as if it's a lot of trouble or against our policy or something for us to accommodate you. Believe me, it's not. This is content you have purchased, and it will be made available to you as long as we're alive and kicking. If you've been hesitant to contact us about missing issues, fire away. Write me at

If you liked this article, Digg it!

 Subscribe in a reader