Rare Book Monthly

Articles - May - 2006 Issue

Abebooks Begins International Advertising Campaign


“Not-book” by six-time married Henry VIII purports to give advice on making marriage work.

We then inquired specifically about reaching the book collector. The used book seller may be selling primarily to readers, but the rare and antiquarian bookseller is selling to collectors, most of who wouldn't dare to risk the damage extensive handling from reading might do to their acquisitions. Davies responded that collectors actually read the same group of magazines that book readers do. "The research showed 98% of used and rare book buyers also buy new books," he explained. Nevertheless, Abe plans to advertise in some titles directed more to the collector or historian as well. Davies cited Fine Books and Collections as a collectors' magazine in which they will advertise. For historians, they will use titles such as The Beaver in Canada and BBC History Magazine in the UK. Additionally, he noted, "we'll also be working hard online to get the word out through specialty websites." The Henry VIII bookmark was specifically designed to look like an antiquarian book, and Davies noted 800,000 of these have already been ordered.

It would be to belabor the obvious to note that some recent changes at Abe have displeased many of their dealers. However, this is still a business relationship, and business relationships are about making money. Issue number one for making money is making sales. Advertising generates sales. Ultimately, if Abe can increase their dealers' sales, all of the hurt feelings will disappear like dust in the wind, or tax dollars in the treasury. Abe promised to invest in promoting their site to bring in those additional sales, and they are meeting that pledge. Now we can all sit back and wait to see how effective this advertising will be.

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