AE Monthly

Articles - September - 2006 Issue

AE Introduces a Listing Service [without the standard charges]

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Books for Sale is accessible in several ways.


By Bruce McKinney


Today on AE you'll find a new listing site for books, manuscripts and ephemera. We call it Books for Sale. It's a fresh effort to increase sales and lower costs for buyers and sellers of printed materials. In its conception it is simple: provide a neutral place for buyers and sellers to find each other. Create no barriers, build no walls, charge no commissions, broaden searches to help buyers find interesting materials and encourage book buyers to look past the listings they see to the bookseller they often ignore. Typically eighty-five percent of seller inventories aren't posted anywhere.

The goal is to put the buyer, the seller, book catalogues, book listings, book auctions, and transaction history on a single screen in the belief an informed collector becomes an empowered buyer. Online booksellers, book selling sites, auction houses, reference materials and related sites beyond the capacity to describe each occupy a sliver of bandwidth on the net and hope to be discovered and valued. They each deserve support but are often unable to generate sufficient traffic to maintain their enterprises. Even very large sites, some with thousands of customers and millions of hits, feel compelled to demand of their customers a larger share of each transaction. If Goliath needs more money, how much less able is David to pay it?

Booksellers, a throwback to the 19th century when entrepreneurs were many and oligopolies few, these days need the inexpensive visibility and access that permit customers, in the fullness of time, to find them. To do this we all need stand under one tent. It's neither a certain or sure thing a buyer will arrive so dealers must have ways to inexpensively post and wait. In the fullness of time some material will sell. That's the way it's been and it's the way it will be. On AE we understand this model and now offer an approach that mimics the bookseller's reality.

Listing in Books for Sale is simply a function of membership level. For our Premium Services members it is a no-additional-cost service. Create a listing in the International Bookseller's Directory and then upload your inventory. For Research members it's an upgrade: the $98.40 difference between an annual research membership $141.60 and an Octavo Premium Services membership - $240. Click on the images with each page of this story for a visual perspective.

Here is how it works.

Anyone, member or visitor, has access to extensive free services on AE. No sign-in is required. Today there is an additional service: Books for Sale. Choose this link in the free services menu to reach two search forms: Keyword and Advanced Search. Keyword is actually a Sequential Intuitive Search and Advanced is the traditional multi-field approach. We'll immediately bring up each record that contains your search terms and we'll highlight the term wherever it appears.

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