Nine is the Charm

- by Bruce E. McKinney


A fresh take on books, manuscripts and ephemera

In October we'll add functionality.

We have for years provided estimates of current value based on indexed valuation. In October we'll add probability of reappearance calculations. Our valuation estimates have proven useful. Adding reappearance calculations will frame bidding, negotiation and buying decisions in the years to come. This new service will be marked 'beta' for the its first year.

We are also adding free 'tracking' and a separate database of these expressions of interest. If an auction house or seller then posts a matching item at auction we will immediately email notice to each tracking account and include full details and a link to the seller. For those posting their interests a free AE account is required. Each member's list will be editable at anytime. Consider that if a rare item, identified by many as of interest, is posted. The chemistry should be very positive.

For AE's premium members the expressions of interest database will become an integral part of selecting and valuing material. Today 30% of all lots offered at auction fail to attract a satisfactory bid. If houses can see what is desired they will avoid the unwanted and pursue the desired. So too for dealers deciding both what to post and how to price. As soon as uploaded to Books for Sale emails will be sent. The dealer will not know who is looking but they will know that xx number of interested parties were informed. In time I believe both buyers and sellers will rely on this process. AE does not charge commission on sales.

As always change will be disruptive. Our continuing goal is to provide services that look at what's possible rather than what traditions dictate. We are mindful of what people expect but also seek to knit together elements and scale in innovative ways and today compete on the basis of imaginative approach. We are, in the final analysis, simply the sum of our ideas. The next generation of collector will have many alternatives. We who love books, manuscripts and ephemera are prepared to fight for a place at the table and this fall we'll warrant a careful hearing on the steps we take. Ultimately the decisions of collectors, institutions, dealers and auction houses to participate will determine the speed with which these ideas take hold. I ask for your support. We are, all of us in the field, fighting for the same outcome, the success of an extraordinary field.