From the Editor

by Craig Stark

#152, 3 January 2011

Happy New Year, booksellers! If 2010 was a good year for you - and many booksellers I know did quite well - I like your chances for an even better 2011. At BookThink, we will continue to emphasize what you need to do to grow your business well into the 21st century. An important growth strategy, of course, is to raise your ASP or average sale price. Easier said than done? Not at all. It can be as easy as culling low-dollar inventory - i.e., if you eliminate low-dollar books, sales of low-dollar books won't happen; and, in turn, won't lower your ASP. And - if you think that culling low-dollar inventory will do nothing more than lower your overall sales, you haven't studied BookThink's series, "How to Become a Full-Time Bookseller." This just might open your eyes to ASP magic.

Once culled, what to do with those books? Contributing Editor Kristian Strom has an idea for converting them to cash (or credit) in his monthly Selling on Amazon column.

Also, Pamela Palmer returns with her regular Top 10 on eBay column. Her preview: In the leadup to Christmas, eBay fiction top 10 was led by a signed 1st edition of Suttree. The Cormac McCarthy volume was way ahead of the pack, selling for more than double the sale price of #2. Others on the list ranged from a signed Conrad title to a 1922 Clement Woods book. The non-fiction list was headed by a signed limited edition of Paul McCartney's Blackbird Singing, followed by Easton Press' Long Walk to Freedom and a 1982 title by a college professor who believed the US government was taking control of her mind; the book was self published.

Chapter 4 of BookThink's Guide to Online Bookselling, "How to Make Money Selling Books While You Learn How to Sell Books: First Things First," was delivered to subscribers last week. This and next month's chapter show the beginning or struggling bookseller how to make early money - and thus buy time for learning what must be learned to succeed long-term in the trade. Subscriptions to this and BookThink's Bookseller Author Reports are currently available at the sale price of $49.99 each. Subscribe here.

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Questions or comments?
Contact the editor, Craig Stark

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