Stuart Baldwin has written A Beginner's Guide to Secondhand Bookdealing, giving for the first time a unique, detailed description of what is needed to start and run a successful secondhand book business. It was published by the author in 1999. Over the centuries there have been many books written for booklovers and collectors, but there has never been an in-depth study for bookdealers or beginners giving the practical details of the trade. Stuart's book fills this large gap.
It is aimed at four main groups: those wanting to start in business; those who would like to convert a book collecting hobby into a full or part-time enterprise; those recently made redundant or retired early who would like to put their nest-egg to profitable use; and existing bookdealers who would like to know more about using the internet profitably, training staff or expanding their businesses.
Topics in Part I include the various options available (including chapters on book-fairs and catalogue bookselling), where to obtain stock, pricing and pricing policy, how to publicise yourself and your business, trade organisations, publications and reference works, and simple repairs. Part II provides detailed guidance on business planning for both starting and running a small business with the emphasis on cashflow and profit, and how to present a case for finance to a bank manager. Part III gives an introduction to the internet, covering E-mails, designing, using, and publicising your own website, the importance of online book databases in bookdealing on the world wide web, and where to learn about the internet. An appendix gives many sources of further information and help, e.g. Business Shops and Enterprise Agencies. Tailpieces to chapters provide a little light relief.
The author, who runs a large secondhand bookshop specialising in the sciences with over 10,000 items in stock, built his business from a hobby, and sells on the internet. He has a background in electrical engineering, pharmacy, computing, manufacturing and palaeontology, and is also a specialist in helping business start-ups, having spent two years with the London Enterprise Agency as their first small firms adviser, and 16 years as visiting university lecturer, during which time he helped well over a thousand individuals to start their own businesses. This is the fifth book he has written (or co-authored), and published, and it incorporates over 50 years business experience with some 30 in bookdealing.
'This is an excellent beginner's guide to bookdealing which deserves to be widely read. The depth of detail, whilst taxing the patience of more experienced dealers, should prove of enormous value to the newcomer, for everything he or she may wish to know will be found here.'Barry Shaw, Editor, The Bookdealer
'This book is like having your own personal business adviser sitting by your side 24 hours a day. Whatever you need to know about the secondhand book business and how to survive and prosper within it, you will find an answer between its covers. If you are determined to become a bookseller then get this book! Learn from Stuart's wide and varied experience and hopefully you will not only succeed as a bookseller, but as a good bookseller.' Gina Dolan, Administrator, The Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association.
Hardback with dust jacket, coloured frontispiece, illustrated, 224 pages.ISBN 0 9508063 5 8 September 1999 £20 – price includes packing, postage and insurance. Trade terms are available on request.
N.B. If you are already in business or are about to start one, the cost of this book is a legitimate tax-deductable expense, which means that its net cost to you is far less than the price you paid.