After quite a while resting on my more or less laurels (past listings) it's time to get a move on and put up some more listings. My goal is five books every day from now on. This should be achievable, but not according to my past performance.

These books get listed in three places: on Amazon, Biblio, and Half. Books without ISBNs (older books) generally will not be listed on half. My prices might vary between these three places. Amazon and Half tell me competing prices, so I peg mine on them. Thus, if the lowest price for Deadly Percheron is $98 on Amazon, I might peg mine at $95. If it weren't my only copy maybe I'd be more reasonable. In fact, I think my Biblio listing is more reasonable.

Going forward (and possibly backward), links to titles of books will send you to the main Amazon listing. My listing will be somewhere amidst the other maybe 237 listings. This is where my photo of the book can be seen, which will probably be a better one than the one Amazon features. Half doesn't let me attach my own photo—at least I don't think it does. Photos are also at biblio. Lots of older listings still don't have photos. Nor updated prices.

I've been lousy at selling direct via email. Sorry about that, if you've tried me. Listing through the major portals keeps me honest—also prompt and reliable.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

04/23/05 SAT:
---Got to go to a book sale in Omaha with a book-collector friend--a rare departure from my shut-in existence. It was about a two hour drive, which seemed to go by very quickly, because we had some great conversations. It was fun. Steve grew up in Brooklyn so we are both NYC-area transplants, setting us a bit apart from the average Iowan. Plus, of course, we share an affection for books. There are plenty of people like that in Iowa, I know, but not too many I run into.
---I haven’t been going to book sales much lately. I still have such a backlog to catalog that I find it easy to avoid going to them--plus the fact that I no longer have a car of my own to go anywhere during the week. But it was fun to go to this one with Steve, even if my expectations for buying books were not that great. There was a science fiction section on one of the tables, but when the bell rang to open the sale, I did not feel particularly impelled to rush over and scarf up as much as I could before anyone else could get it first. There were, however, some who did feel that impulsion. I was bemused to see one person in particular with a lot of recent hardcovers quickly in his greedy possession. It looked like a pretty nice selection and I felt vaguely jealous. I browsed around and did not pick up even one book for quite a while. The prices were not particularly cheap and the old guy who puts on these sales knows his stuff. But there were a lot of nice books for $2-3--maybe not collectable first editions (which were available at higher prices), but certainly fine for reading: better than the same title bought as a brandnew paperback. These books had more patina too. And then there were plenty of titles that probably don’t have current in-print editions available. Anyway, I gradually built up a nice pile. It is doubtful that too many of them would be appropriate for a science-fiction based inventory, but they were books I thought I might like, or someone like me might. Steve intelligently bought more collectable stuff, but he spent $188. I came away with only a $54 pricetag for a good-sized box of books.
---When we got back here Steve hung around for a while. He had the big Des Moines National Poetry Festival thing to go to at 7:30, where he wanted to buy a book and get it signed by the new poet laureate (Ted Kooser), who was born and raised in Iowa (as well as the former poet-laureate Billy Collins, who also was scheduled to appear). I showed Steve how my books-catalogued show up on the computer screen when I display the JPEG snapshots on my catalog-data CD-R with a full-screen view. He was amazed at the quality of the images. He particularly enjoyed the string of cover shots of the old Galaxy magazines (which are now sold). He wondered if people, when they get my catalog-data CD-Rs know how to display the book cover art--and I wondered about that too. I know some people do, but I wonder how many don’t. Certainly not everyone would even want to even if they could (although they would be missing out on something, whether it makes them buy anything or not).
---I fixed us some Gardenburgers for dinner and Steve prevailed upon me to go to the poetry fest with him. Although I was dead tired from hardly getting any sleep the night before, I thought I ought to go, instead of being the constant no-goer-anywhere that I usually am. I am kicking myself now for not taking my camera. I could have got some great shots of the poets laureates and everything else. (I also should have taken a few at the book sale.) Steve might have liked a picture of him getting the autographs (the provenance!). There was an incredible turnout at this poetry event. The theatre was filled to capacity and the lines to get books signed were amazing, at least for poets.
---Well it was fun but I definitely strained my vocal chords which don’t usually get much of a workout--and I got to bed way past my bedtime--after having already not gotten enough sleep the night before. But it was a change of pace for me from my usual routine, which is probably something I should look for more.

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