One Million and Growing:<br>A Brief Account of the <b>AED</b> --Please Read!
Today the great majority of our records are priced. We understand that there is no "blue book" for books, and so others' pricing history is essential for determining appropriate value, whether you are a buyer or seller. However, we also know that descriptions are critical, both for understanding the price of each particular copy, and to identify and describe the copy you have. Auction listings and dealer catalogues contain some of the best bibliographic descriptions of books, and we provide them in full, not abridged versions.
Now many people use the book sites like Abebooks as their pricing guide. We love "Abe" and all of the book sites. They can quickly tell you whether a book is unusual or common, and give some pricing information. However, you will often see books where the high price is ten or more times the low, with no discernable difference in condition. The reality is "Abe" provides prices from a jumble of sellers, respected professional bookseller to amateur operating out of a garage. Some prices are legitimate, others are drawn from thin air. All priced records in the AED are either actual auction prices or those determined by knowledgeable booksellers. While time needs to be factored in on older records, they represent the understanding of those who know their books. These are the records that will enable you to estimate the appropriate price to place on a book you want to sell, as opposed to list. Many "Abe" sellers don't recognize that difference. As a buyer, they will help you establish what is a reasonable price to pay.
Here's another gap that the AED fills versus the book sites. Abebooks will find lots of used and more common old books. The AED fills in with data on the rarer and more valuable books that aren't often found on the Abebooks site.
So why the name "Americana Exchange?" Does the AE Database cover only Americana? No. The name is something of an historical oddity. This site was started with 200,000 bibliographic Americana records, but has evolved far more rapidly than anyone expected. Booksellers' catalogues offering all types of works are included, and for over a year every book and manuscript or similar ephemera from over 80 worldwide auctions has been entered, most of which have nothing to do with America. Sure there is still a concentration of records pertaining to Americana, but today new records for every type of book are being added practically everyday. Ironically, a large percentage of AED subscribers are European, but maybe that shouldn't be so surprising. European booksellers frequently come across books of Americana or European Americana but may have few resources to turn to. Now they have the AED.