Rare Book Monthly

Articles - May - 2019 Issue

eCatalogues: they are becoming important. Post them here!

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eCatalogues: increasingly important for booksellers

With the rise of the internet and rare and used book listing sites the formulas, processes and costs for dealers have been undergoing generational changes every few years.  Not so long ago dealers had shops, relied on walk-in traffic, sent offer letters, and issued catalogues.  With the coming of the listing sites and the clarity they provided on rarity and importance local shops found themselves being compared out of business.  And by that I mean their local stock was increasingly compared to online listings, found to be too expensive and as a consequence more difficult to and less frequently sold.  Hence, over the past 20 years the loudest sound in the rare book business has been the sound of open shops closing – hence setting off a scramble to develop a new model.

 

Today their new strategies are a work in progress but one of them is clear and relatively simple, the issuance of electronic catalogues that are today, the quick product of the search of a dealer’s database and the selection of some category of material that at least loosely fits together.  Then bingo, using what software a dealer has, an electronic catalogue is created.  A few hours, even only minutes in some cases later, using one of the emailing programs their eCatalogue is on its way to the dealer’s emailing list.

 

The sales weren’t of the same volume as the earlier paper catalogues but the very idea of the catalogue has also being transformed from a difficult to create printed presentation to a quickly prepared eCatalogue whose role, although hoped to be identical to the traditional paper catalogue, is actually different for such catalogues, while selling, also convey expertise to the ever large audience that sorts through mountains of data and looks for evidence of quality and expertise.  The eCatalogue then, has become, the effective calling card to the next generation of collecting institutions and collectors.  As such, what constitutes success for such mailings must be viewed as distinctly different from the now declining printed version whose success was judged by return on investment over the first 30, 90, and 180 days.  eCatalogues build sales more slowly, cost much less, provide much more flexibility, and build relationships.

 

Into this evolving world, as other selling techniques have declined, that of the eCatalogue is rising and the logic is simple.

 

Adding impetus to this trend, those that receive these catalogues are also adapting to the decline of the printed catalogue and reading more quickly.  Count me among the avid readers of Michael Brown’s eCatalogues of archival lots.  They are very interesting.  Dewolfe and Wood’s Tuesday releases of 20 to 25 well priced, frequently rare and often obscure items arrive so regularly that I know to check my email at around 10:00 am on the west coast for their releases – to which I have succumbed perhaps a half dozen times this past year.

 

For Rare Book Hub members, we have for some years, offered a place to list/attach eCatalogues to be immediately posted to our eCatalogue section and included in section lll of Rare Book Monthly.  If you are a paid services member at any level you should post yours.

 

 

The tide that has run against dealers for a generation will now return some of the advantages that have been slowly lost.

 

For RBH paid members at any level listing eCatalogues is a standard benefit and I want to explain how to post yours on our site.

 

 

Go to Rare Book Hub – www.rarebookhub.com

 

Log into your RBH account.

 

Select Rare Book Monthly from the toolbar and scroll down to eCatalogues and select it.

 

Online eCatalogues appear.  Under the eCatalogues header on the right is the link:  Add or Update My Catalogue Here

 

Select this link to Add or modify any eCatalogues in your account.

 

If/as you have questions email us at tom@rarebookhub.com or call for help or advice.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Textile of the Great White Fleet, with portraits of Theodore Roosevelt, Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans & successor Charles Stillman Sperry, 1908. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> William J. Stone, <i>Declaration of Independence,</i> Force printing, 1833. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Shugart family papers including documentation of the Underground Railroad, 63 items, 1838-81. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Records of the Dickinson & Shrewsbury salt works, over 2000 items, with extensive slave labor correspondence, legal records & receipts, bulk 1820-1865. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Gloria Steinem, typescript for her speech <i>Living the Revolution,</i> with related letters and documents, 1941-77. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> <i>Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression,</i> depicting the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, c. 1774. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Juan Eusebio Nieremberg, <i>Historia naturae, maxime peregrinae, libris XVI distincta,</i> Antwerp, 1635. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Antonio de Mayorga, manuscript map of Mexico City, 1779. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Thomas L. McKenney & James Hall, <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America,</i> first edition, 3 volumes, Philadelphia, 1842-44. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Samuel Walker, diary of the entire first cruise of the USS Kineo, a gunboat on the Mississippi, 1854-69. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Scrapbook on early Stanford football, with letters from Walter Camp, 1893-95 & 1931. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

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