Daily Archives: May 10, 2007

Is there anything worse than wanting to make a pot of coffee on a Thursday morning and realizing that you broke the actual pot on Tuesday?  This leaves me with only instant or tea.  Not knocking tea, but…

*** *** *** *** *** ***

Publisher’s Weekly article: For Better or Worse, Used Book Sales Grow

First:

while no new figures are available, the used book market for trade titles appears to have grown by double digits in 2006.

This is an article written with no new data to back it up?  And what do they mean has grown by “double digits”?  Ten is a double digit number.  Do they mean percentages?  Do they mean orders of magnitude?  Did they only say that because they have no new figures available?  Am I just confused because of my depressing lack of coffee?

Second:

The good news for publishers, however, is that the increase in used book sales has not resulted in the collapse of sales of new trade titles. Preliminary sales figures from the AAP show sales of adult titles in 2006 up slightly, consistent with gains of recent years. That’s cold comfort for some publishers who speculated that sales could have been higher if not for the siphoning of sales by used books.

They do realize that every used title was a new title once, right?  And they should also realize that there was a used market before Amazon, Abebooks, and Alibris. 

I’ve never bought a used book online though I have recently started trading them (via PaperbackSwap).  All the used books I own, a substantial part of my collection, has been bought in stores.  I first discovered the used book shop across from KMart when I was about fourteen.  I couldn’t believe the selection of the place.  Waldenbooks couldn’t hold a candle to them.  This was before Barnes & Noble and Borders.  And the other thing I was complete agog about was the ladies who would come in with grocery sacks of books that they would basically trade in.  (This was when the choice was usually paper, not plastic.)  These are people, like me, that wouldn’t be buying all that many new releases anyway.  Our want for books outstrips our budget to buy them all.  What’s happening now is that some of those ladies are going on-line to get their book fix.  Aside from a few select titles, we’ll leave it to the rich to buy fancy-schmancy new books.  Probably the only people being hurt by on-line sales are the owners of the little used book stores.

What you really need to watch out for are those libraries.  Did you know they’ll let you read books…for free???