In addition to selling new books published under my Norton Creek Press label, I sell a variety of used books, mostly through my through my nortoncreekpress online store on amazon.com, and some through my eBay nortoncreek storefront.
All this happened backwards: I started out by writing my own books, then republishing out-of-print books, and finally selling used books. If you’re like me, your house fills up with more books than you can deal with, and bookstores and library sales are always more than you can resist.
So why resist? I went the whole hog and am now buying used books specifically to add to my online Amazon storefront.
While I buy some books at random, just because someone might buy them, I’m also keenly interested in certain topics.
- Chicken and poultry books, both those I publish and others I’ve picked up.
- Animal books: livestock, pets, and widlife.
- Agriculture books: Every kind of farming.
- Breeding and Genetics. Includes both popular and technical books.
- Outdoors: hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, and outdoor sports.
- Science Fiction and Fantasy. Especially from Jack Vance, John Sladek, Michael G. Coney, and other off-the-beaten-path authors.
- Fiction in general.
- Writing: how-to and inspiration for aspiring and established writers.
- Hypnosis. Your wallet is getting very heavy…
- Psychology and therapy. What makes people tick, maybe; and what to do about it, perhaps.
- Textbooks. Mostly college textbooks, with some K-12 books as well.
- Everything, in all categories.
Why Used Books?
People have been proclaiming the Death of Books for a long time. The idea is that everything will be digitized and we’ll be happier accessing this information on e-readers. But that’s not how it’s working out. Why not?
- First off, most good books are out of print and are unlikely to ever be reprinted in paper form. That means that, if you want the book, you have to get a used copy.
- Secondly, most books don’t exist in digitized form yet. And they won’t anytime soon. Google claims that it intends to scan all 130 million of the world’s titles, but they’ve averaged only 2 million per year. It might be a long wait!
- Finally, the quality of the scans themselves and the text extracted from the scans is poor, requiring a lot of manual clean-up to turn them back into something solid. And diagrams, tables, and equations are still handled poorly. So the scanning effort protect the information from total loss, but doesn’t produce a book-quality file.
So even if you prefer eBooks, most of the best books ever written in the fields of interest to you won’t be turned into eBooks anytime soon, perhaps not in your lifetime. And if you don’t prefer eBooks, well, there you are.