Booksellers have a range of options when it comes to selling books — open shop, online, print catalogue, and book fair. These venues are effective for selling most books, but what can an antiquarian bookseller do to highlight a particular book (or books) to a particular collector or library?
Quotes are detailed descriptions of a particular book or group of books, usually sent to a specific customer. Sometimes, the customer will see you have a book he wants and ask for a quote. Other times, you may feel that a particular collection (whether privately held or owned by an institution like a university library) is the best home for a specific title and you want to bring that title and its significance to the institution’s attention.
I recently finished writing and mailing my first quote to a library. I have sold to libraries before, but only at book fairs, where I have been able to talk to the librarians in person and hand sell the books. The book I recently quoted to a library was the first ever where I decided that the book I had would be an excellent fit for the library’s existing Western Americana collection. It remains to be seen whether they will choose to purchase the book. In the meantime, I’ll tell you a bit about the book and how I researched it and what went into my quote.
To be continued tomorrow . . .