Rare Book Monthly

Articles - March - 2003 Issue

Abebooks: Internet Visionaries

Abe7

Fur Trade Permit, 1646, $12,000 courtesy of Abebooks


For all of these reasons, Abebooks is a force to contend with, and we were lucky to meet with some of their representatives at the American Library Association conference in January in Philadelphia, where, naturally enough, Abebooks was exhibiting. There, over a lengthy dinner, our charming Abebooks hosts wined and dined us and gave us essential background information about their enterprise. The following interview was not conducted at this meal, which was far too busy and noisy for such a one-on-one. Rather, we submitted our questions in writing to Abebooks. We gather that they were answered by a collaborative written ‘roundtable” or Abebooks team consisting of Brent James, CEO Abebooks; Sue Connors, VP, Bookseller Community & Corporate Product Management, Abebooks; and Marci Crossan, Manager Marketing & Communications, Abebooks. We thank all for the time that they obviously invested in answering these queries and for the forthright nature with which they responded to some of our more challenging queries.

ABEBOOKS INTERVIEW


[Editor’s Note: the following interview was conducted by email. All questions were answered by a collaborative Abebooks “roundtable” team consisting of Brent James, CEO Abebooks; Sue Connors, VP Bookseller Community & Corporate Product Management, Abebooks; and Marci Crossan, Manager Marketing & Communications, Abebooks. In only one case is a particular person credited with answering a specific question: this is in the case of the last question, which was rephrased and then answered by Brent James, Abebooks’ CEO.]

AEM: What is Abebooks.com?

ABEBOOKS: Abebooks is the world’s largest online marketplace for used, rare and out-of print books. It has become the favorite source for booklovers around the world, partly because of what it offers: you can find a cheap reading copy of a secondhand bestseller or a signed first edition of a collectible classic.

In essence, we are the sum of our booksellers. Right now we list books for over ten thousand booksellers in 42 countries. These range from small independent sellers (who might not have a storefront) to large booksellers like The Strand in New York, or Powells Books in Portland Oregon.

AEM: Can we ask you to confirm the numbers we have seen posted on your site? The first is that you have more than 40 million books for sale and the other is that you have more than 9,200 sellers.

ABEBOOKS: At the moment we list over 42 million books on our sites. We operate five sites. When a bookseller lists a book on Abebooks, it is uploaded to all of our sites. Each site lists the same 42 million books, but are tailored to specific countries or groups. For example, the Abebooks French site is in French and bookbuyers can pay in Euros. Our five sites are Abebooks.com (North America), Abebooks.de (Germany) Abebooks.fr (France) , Abebooks.co.uk (the United Kingdom) and AbeLibrary.com (special services for librarians).


AEM: Can you also tell us how many visitors you get on an average day? Do you have any idea how many books are sold on an average day as well as how many new books for sale are posted? Please share any other statistics including year over year changes.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> <i>Westvaco–Inspirations for Printers,</i> 3 volumes, 1938-61. $200 to $300.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Proef van Letteren, <i>Welk gegooten worden in de Nieuwe Haerlemsche Lettergietery,</i> 1768. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Paul Klee, <i>Bauhaus Ausstellung Juli – Sept.,</i> Weimar, 1923. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Michel Seuphor & Jozef Peeters, <i>Het Overzicht Nos.</i> 22-23-24, Antwerp, 1922. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Wolfrum & Co., <i>Modern Graphik, Serie I…,</i> complete portfolio, 1909. $1,200 to $1,800.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> <i>Gravure et Fonderie deC. Derriey: Specimen-Album,</i> Paris, 1862. $5,000 to $7,500.
  • <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Science: Books and Manuscripts<br>15-25 May 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Mary Anning. Autograph letter signed, to William Buckland, 24 November 1834. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Bolyai. <i>Scientiam spatii absolute veram exhibens,</i> Maros Vásárhelyi, 1832-1833, 2 volumes, half calf. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Vesalius.<br><i>De humani corporis fabrica,</i> Basel, 1555, modern crushed burgundy morocco. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Science: Books and Manuscripts<br>15-25 May 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Copernicus.<br><i>De revolutionibus orbium coelestium,</i> Nuremberg, 1543, later boards, Rostock duplicate. £70,000 to £100,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Payan-Dumoulin. Profusely illustrated manuscript of fossils, France, c.1875-1979. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Albert Einstein. Autograph letter signed, to his son Albert, 4 November [1915]. £10,000 to £15,000.
  • <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Alken (Henry), after. Salmon Fishing; Fishing in a Punt; Pike Fishing, three works, 1820. £600 to £800.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Early Images of Angling.- Hollar (Wenceslaus) Angling; River Fishing; and Salmon Fishing, after Francis Barlow, 3 engravings, [c. 1671]. £500 to £700.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Rolfe (Henry Leonidas). <i>Studies of Fresh Water Fish,</i> 1851. £500 to £700.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Morland (George), After. A Party Angling; The Anglers' Repast, a pair, mezzotints, 1789. £400 to £600.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Pollard (James), After. Bottom Fishing; Anglers Packing Up, etchings with aquatint, 1831. £400 to £600.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Angling's Age of Romance.- Sayer (Robert, publisher) & J. Bennett. The Angelic Angler, mezzotint, 1781; and another. £300 to £400.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Fishing Satire.- London.- Roberts (Piercy). Patience at Paddington or angling in the Junction Canal, etching after Woodward, 1807; together with Woodward's 'Angling at Sadler's Wells', and another, 1794. £300 to £400.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Fishing Satire - Cats Fishing.- Seymour (Robert). Waltonizing or - Green-land Fisherman, [c. 1830s]; together with 3 lithographs of cats fishing, [c. 1830s]. £300 to £400.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Fishing Portraits.- Zoffany (Johan), After. Master James Sayer, at the age of 13, mezzotint by Richard Houston, 1772. £300 to £400.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Wilkinson (Norman). Come to Britain for Fishing, lithographic poster, [c. 1947]. £300 to £400.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Scottish Fishing.- Heath (William). Sporting in the Scottish Isles no. III. Salmon Fishing, 1835; and another. £150 to £200.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Simpson (Joseph). The Border Angler, drypoint, [c. 1927]. £150 to £200.

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