Rare Book Monthly

Articles - June - 2009 Issue

Around the Books Sites: Alibris Offers Listing Tools, Biblio Opens U.K. Site, Abe's Latest Top Ten

Threelogos

News from around the listing sites.


By Michael Stillman

Alibris has announced the availability of a set of tools to help their sellers manage and improve their listings and set prices. The tools are available free to Alibris sellers, though they can help manage listings on other sites as well. The purpose, as described by Alibris CEO Brian Elliott, is to provide independent sellers with "the tools they need to list better and sell more."

Dubbed "My Inventory Manager" (MIM), the new service includes the following tools. The ability to create listings using a database of 11 million ISBN numbers plus 2 million music and movie UPCs (unlike the other major book sites, Alibris also lists music and movies). Sellers will also be able to upload their images to the listings. These listings can then be downloaded for use offline or for placement on other sites. MIM will also provide sellers with access to sales data and current market prices for books with ISBN numbers or music and movies with UPCs. Sellers will be able to use the tool to automatically reprice items on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis. Explains CEO Elliott, "'My Inventory Manager' aggregates the tools we've developed and improved over a decade of online book, music, and movie sales into a single, one-stop suite for our sellers."

Alibris has also initiated a college textbook buyback program. Alibris has already been selling new and used textbooks, so this service allows students to get some money back on these texts when the course is finished. The buyback, however, is not limited to texts purchased from Alibris. They will buy such books purchased anywhere, and believe their offers will regularly be higher than those offered by campus bookstores. Anyone with textbooks to sell can go to Alibris' buyback page to find out how much Alibris will offer. Offers include a prepaid shipping label so the student incurs no shipping expense. To find out what Alibris is willing to pay, just go to the following page: http://buyback.alibris.com.

Biblio announced the opening of a UK site to serve customers in England and Europe. The site, www.Biblio.co.uk, will feature primarily books from sellers in the U.K. and Europe. Biblio CEO Brendan Sherar explains the reason for this separate location as, "We believe most UK customers prefer to shop for secondhand books from within their own country and Europe, and tend to purchase abroad only when the title is not available locally." The new site will also post books from other regions if the subject matter is of European interest. However, Biblio says that most listings will originate from the U.K. and Europe, and "general trade titles shipping from outside of Europe will generally be discouraged."

AbeBooks has released their list of the top ten highest prices paid on their site during the month of April. Here they are.

10. An Early Arabic Manuscript of Sharh Alfadh Al Tanbih by Abu Zakariyya Muhiyiddin Yahya Bin Mirri Al Hizami Al Haurani Al Nawawi. That man must have dreaded giving out autographs. This is a 13th century manuscript (naturally) copy of an Islamic law scholar's writing. $4,000.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.

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