Rare Book Monthly

Articles - August - 2017 Issue

On Rare Book Hub: a reconsidered approach to Books for Sale

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Over the past 15 years listing books on line has moved beyond the future into something embedded, like wallpaper, in the unfolding everyday reality of old and rare books.  Superlatives were common in 2002 and today have been replaced by workman-like descriptions and best guesses about where the market is for each item.

 

Ten years ago we added Books for Sale as an alternative search for [then] AE and now Rare Book Hub visitors and members.  It was a soft success, really an experiment that turned out to be more difficult and less rewarding than pursuing upcoming auctions and increasingly older auction records.  Today we are three audiences; paid subscribers who use the database of more than seven million records every day; perhaps ten thousand that regularly use the upcoming auction search, and more than twenty-thousand who receive Rare Book Monthly and flood the site during the first five days of each month.  It’s a formula that works both for the serious and the neophyte and has turned AE/RBH into a viable business.

 

But the Books for Sale section has lagged, mainly from inattention.  And that is changing.  We have retained Biblio to handle our Books for Sale section and now pay them to handle member uploads, orders and purges that are the norm for listing sites.

 

What we have not changed are four crucial aspects of this service:

 

Material listed in Books for Sale continues to emphasize buyer-seller direct contact. We do not charge commissions so have no need or purpose to separate buyers from sellers.  We encourage contact. 

 

What we are now able to offer is Biblio’s superb [and reasonable] check-out services.  It’s a nice plus.  In our experience, more than seventy-percent of buyers prefer to pay by credit card.

 

All searches on RBH search all databases simultaneously.  Whether you are searching upcoming auctions, the transaction database, or Books for Sale, we run all searches simultaneously and show the number of results from each of these databases for each completed search.  This makes comparisons easy and tends to bring items in Books for Sale and Upcoming Auctions immediately into the mix with Transaction Database outcomes.  Our assumption is that all the information we have should come up in every search result.

 

What will change are the number of items posted to Books for Sale and in time it’s orientation to becoming a Collector’s Books for Sale.  Biblio is now contributing listings based on algorithms for value and rarity, that will broaden and improve search efficiency.  In time a larger percentage of the listings will be contributed by RBH members, in part because RBH members will have the buyer/seller direct link as well as access to the Biblio check-out while Biblio’s listings will have only the check-out links.  

 

RBH members who are Octavo or Folio members have, in addition to Books for Sale’s simplified access, other services that are widely used; shared RBH Transaction database access as well as the Matchmaker suite of services.

 

And we hope it will do something more, provide a highly efficient, venue for ephemera or ephemeron that is emerging as the material many in the next generation of collectors, will find appealing and significant.  That category is some thousand or more times larger than old and rare books and we would like to provide a home for it.  But as much ephemera is inexpensive, listing costs and credit card processing may either be a significant proportion of the price or simply drive the listed prices higher.  We hope to avoid both possibilities by permitting the direct link that listing sites generally avoid so that conversations can ensue.  In that way relationships can flourish and the “next big thing”, the emergence of an ephemera listing site find an inexpensive and efficient home on RBH.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 19: 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28: Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 5: African-American Fine Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 17: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 19:<br>Art & Storytelling: Photographs & Photobooks</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 26: Rare & Important Travel Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 2:<br>Old Master Through Modern Prints</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 7: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 16: Contemporary Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 5:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14: Illustration Art</b>
  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio</b>
  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…

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