Rare Book Monthly

Articles - February - 2010 Issue

A Page from the Future

A step toward appealing electronic catalogues


By Bruce McKinney

For years, the changing economics of booksellers’ catalogues have caused headaches for booksellers. In decades past, such catalogues were often substantial; the number of items listed sometimes running into the thousands, the descriptions minimal, the prices low. Today much of the material that was once the backbone of such catalogues is online. What's left for cataloguers are focused offerings of the hard to find, highly desirable and often valuable items. When combined with the rising cost of printed catalogues, and their generally declining efficiency, catalogue extinction becomes possible.

However, when you break the cataloguing challenge down into its basic elements: content, physical production, and distribution - new possibilities emerge for creating better, more flexible catalogues that work well if the audience will move beyond paper presentations to embrace their electronic cousins. The technology for interesting, email-able, presentations already exists and continues to improve. The e-catalogue also has the added benefits of being available instantly around the world, and allowing for real-time update and additions.

To engage this challenge, and to encourage the transition, this month we are adding a third section to AE Monthly to provide a venue for electronic catalogues to be organized and displayed. Such catalogues may be publications created in AE's Books for Sale, catalogues created as PDFs elsewhere and even PDFs converted into realistic book-like presentations by eMagCreator. The alternatives for online book catalogue presentation are flexible and inexpensive and continue to evolve. The fundamental idea of a catalogue is to create a focus that acquirers can efficiently browse. In time such presentations will be almost exclusively electronic so it's a good idea to become familiar with the options.

In this section, Section III, AE research [and higher] members can post descriptions of their catalogues along with their contents as PDFs or as links to specific catalogues on their site. To do so a contributing dealer simply writes a catalogue introduction and links it to their catalogue source. [The links for this will appear on member home pages in a few weeks]. For sellers submitting PDFs it's also possible to employ software provided by eMagCreator to convert PDFs into sophisticated catalogues that turn page by page.

For AE premium members it's even easier to create unique catalogues gathered from a member's Books for Sale inventory.

This month we provide two iterations. The first is a catalogue prepared by Book Hunter's Holiday of San Mateo, California that was submitted as a PDF and converted by eMagCreator's presentation. The same catalogue is also available as a PDF and can be searched and scrolled in the standard way. The second presentation is a catalogue prepared from inventory posted in AE's Web Catalogue.

The book-like presentation is visually appealing but potentially awkward to navigate, while the PDF is easier to use but more conventional. In converting the PDF into the book-like form it becomes a finished publication. No further changes can be made until or unless the text is recast into a new finished form. The cost for converting a catalogue into this format is $25 and is permanent. The other catalogue, from de Orbe Novo, was created in AE's Web Catalogue, can be revised and is free for Premium members. It remains editable even after issuance.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Marx, Das Kapital,1867. Dedication copy. Est: € 120,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1380. Est: € 25,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Theodor de Bry, Indiae Orientalis, 1598-1625. Est: € 80,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviary, Latin manuscript, around 1450-75. Est: € 10,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    G. B. Piranesi, Vedute di Roma, 1748-69. Est: € 60,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Schmidt-Rottluff, Arbeiter, 1921. Orig. watercolour on postcard. Est: € 18,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviarium Romanum, Latin manuscript, 1474. Est: € 20,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    C. J. Trew, Plantae selectae, 1750-73. Est: € 28,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    M. Beckmann, Apokalypse, 1943. Est: € 50,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Ulrich von Richenthal, Das Concilium, 1536. Est: € 9,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    I. Kant, Critik der reinen Vernunft, 1781. Est: €12,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ) / Die Volks-Illustrierte (VI), 1932-38. Est: €8,000
  • ALDE, May 28: KIPLING (RUDYARD). Le Livre de la Jungle. – Le IIe livre de la Jungle. Paris, Sagittaire, Simon Kra, 1924-1925. €3,000 to €4,000.
    ALDE, May 28: NOAILLES (ANNA DE). Les Climats. Paris, Société du Livre contemporain, 1924. €50,000 to €60,000.
    ALDE, May 28: MILTON (JOHN). Paradis perdu. Quatrième chant. S.l., Les Bibliophiles de l'Automobile-Club de France, 1974. €2,000 to €3,000.
    ALDE, May 28: LEBEDEV (VLADIMIR). Russian Placards - Placard Russe 1917-1922. Saint-Petersbourg, Sterletz, 1923. €1,000 to €1,200.
    ALDE, May 28: MARDRUS (JOSEPH-CHARLES). Histoire charmante de l'adolescente sucre d'amour. Paris, F.-L. Schmied, 1927. €1,500 to €2,000.
    ALDE, May 28: TABLEAUX DE PARIS. Paris, Émile-Paul Frères, 1927. €2,000 to €3,000.
    ALDE, May 28: LA FONTAINE (JEAN DE). Les Fables illustrées par Paul Jouve. S.l. [Lausanne], Gonin & Cie, 1929. €4,000 to €5,000.
    ALDE, May 28: SARTRE (JEAN-PAUL). Vingt-deux dessins sur le thème du désir. Paris, Fernand Mourlot, 1961. €1,500 to €2,000.
    ALDE, May 28: [BRAQUE (GEORGES)]. 13 mai 1962. Alès, PAB, 1962. €3,000 to €4,000.
    ALDE, May 28: MIRÓ (JOAN). Je travaille comme un jardinier. Avant-propos d'Yvon Taillandier. Paris, Société intenationale d'art XXe siècle, 1963. €1,000 to €2,000.
    ALDE, May 28: MAGNAN (JEAN-MARIE). Taureaux. Paris, Michèle Trinckvel, 1965. €3,000 to €4,000.
    ALDE, May 28: PICASSO (PABLO). Dans l'atelier de Picasso. 1960. €15,000 to €20,000.

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