From the Editor

by Craig Stark

#154, 21 February 2011

The World Book Market, a bookselling cooperative, was founded in 2004 by a small group of booksellers, among them Aussie bookseller Guy Weller, known to many online booksellers as "Mr. Pickwick in Oz." In seven years, WBM has grown to over 70 members worldwide. Previously, its powerful, bookseller-designed database application was available to members only, but that will change beginning February 28, when it will be publicly offered as freeware. To learn more about this tool as well as WBM, I recently contacted Guy, and today's interview is the result. Though not a man of few words, Guy is not somebody who wastes words either. I think you'll find him both informative and insightful.

Also today - Pamela Palmer's Top 10 on eBay. Her preview: In December, the top 10 fiction category included authors ranging from Jane Austen to Neil Gaiman. In addition, regulars such as Fleming, O'Connor, Pynchon, and Meyer made appearances. Coming in at #1 in the non-fiction group was Gen. Carl von Clausewitz 3-volume set On War, made particularly special because it came from the library of T.E. Lawrence. A 1935 Japanese karate book came in second, followed by an unredacted copy of Dark Heart, the Taschen publication Kate Moss, and 4 late-19th century volumes on chess, among others. The Antiquarian and Collectible list was dominated by US sellers and contained both Best Offer and auction sales. Picasso, Wilfred Owen, Seigfried Sassoon, and Mark Twain were included in the top 5.

Finally, Chapter 5 of BookThink's Guide to Online Bookselling will be sent to subscribers tonight. Here is a brief preview:

How to Make Money Selling Books While You Learn How to Sell Books: Closing the Gap on Your Competition

Ready to make some money? The first thing you're going to have to face is your competition. In case you haven't noticed, it's stiff. They know more than you do, maybe lots more. Their knowledge isn't just about books; it's also about how to find them. And - often the "how to find them" has something to do with who they know. And you? If you're at square one, you probably don't know anybody who can help you, don't know where to start looking, and, even if you somehow found yourself face to face with an entire library of books, you might not have a clue what to grab. Worse, you're starting this biz at a time when droves of booksellers are getting out. Even experienced booksellers. It isn't just the competition; books themselves and the people who buy them are going away. Maybe.

All of this may be true - and I wouldn't blame you if you felt discouraged - but if there wasn't a way through this, I wouldn't be writing about it. You see, there's something else you should know about your competition that changes everything: They're lazy. By "lazy," I don't mean that most booksellers don't do the day-to-day stuff it takes to run their businesses. Some of these lazy booksellers work obscene hours. No, what I'm talking about here is a different type of laziness, the kind that seeks the path of least resistance. As pointed out previously, this usually takes one of two forms: They do the easy stuff, and/or they do what they've always done (and somehow expect the same results to extend indefinitely) - which are often one and the same!

You can close the gap on your competition by taking advantage of their laziness, but this will require that you do at least some hard stuff - the more the better. When you find something that works, don't get complacent. Assume that it will stop working sooner or later. Probably sooner. Work it as long as it's productive, and continuously look for other things that will work as well or better.

Important gap-closing strategies ...

To read the entire chapter (and all previously published chapters), subscribe here here.

Subscribe to BookThink's Bookseller's Author Reports here.

And purchase individual e-products here here.

          < to previous article       to next article >

Questions or comments?
Contact the editor, Craig Stark

| Forum | Store | Publications | BookLinks | BookSearch | BookTopics | Archives | Advertise | AboutUs | ContactUs | Search Site | Site Map | Google Site Map

Store - Specials | BookHunt | BookShelf | Gold Edition & BookThink's Quarterly Market Report | DomainsForSale | BookThinker newsletter - free

Copyright 2003-2011 by BookThink LLC


Comment Comment Comment Comment Comment Comment Comment Comment Comment