Update Announcements

by Craig Stark

#104, 1 October 2007

Point counterpoint today, but it's all gold. First up is our Empirical Bookman, Jaime Frontero, presenting three gold nuggets of bookselling wisdom and an interesting caveat on the "hot book." As always, Jaime should be read carefully - so don't rush through this - and keep it to refer back to.

Second, UK Editor Claire Main returns with another analysis of - what else? - a "hot book," this time G.P. Taylor's Mariah Mundi, a gripping adventure that includes a magic casket capable of turning anything into gold. And there's some potential gold awaiting booksellers who pay heed to Claire's investment advice. Claire also had the distinct privilege of interviewing the author, who is presently on tour, and the result appears today as well.

Several weeks ago I mentioned that I'd come into possession of a small collection of like-new Heritage Press titles in their original shipping boxes, dust jackets, etc., most of them over 60 years old and all of them in stunningly fine condition. In the spirit of furthering my bookselling education, I thought it might be interesting to test the collecting waters by running an eBay auction on one of them - specifically, The Seven Voyages of Sinbad. (This book, by the way, in VG to F condition with a slipcase can usually be snagged for under $10.)

Anyway, I launched an auction on September 20 with an opening bid of $.01. Apart from a few friends and associates, I didn't tell anybody about it, hoping that a more or less objective result might be obtained. It closed earlier today at $51.01. There was a total of 89 views, 13 watchers, and 7 bids - pretty good activity for a common title - and the final value wasn't bad either.

What does this mean? eBay is unpredictable at best, so it's difficult to say anything definitive - and it's easy to get carried away when a single outcome seems unusually good. (I think this one is.) At best it means that there is at least some collector interest in Heritage Press titles in this condition, but I'd like to see a few more auctions with similar books under my belt before I suggest anything else. Look for another report soon! Oh - and you can see the auction here.

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