Good morning bookies! Stand by for news and comment.

*** Veteran bookies, especially those who know me from the AOL Mystery/Thriller and Hardboiled boards, know that I am generally favorable toward any author, regardless of whether or not I read them or agree with their ideas, with one exception: Patricia Cornwell. I have read the first 7 Scarpetta books. The first one was brilliant, the second one quite good, the third one pretty good, the 4th okay, the 5th-7th descending from fair to pathetic. After that I no longer cared. A number of bookstore managers have also told me that, in person, she just isn’t a very nice person.

So it is with smug satisfaction that I note the newest Scarpetta book being heavily discounted at the big chain stores, up to 50%, to try and keep as many of them as possible off the remainder tables. Maybe, just maybe, her publisher will decide to give some new up-and-comer a chance next time, instead of cluttering the bookshelves with 5 million copies of whatever her next book is that few people want to buy. Quit paying her to write drek and give that money to a new writer with something to say!

*** For your Memphis and Mid-South bookies, check out Davis-Kidd this Saturday at 1 pm. They are hosting five Memphis authors for a mass book-signing. Perre Magness is probably the most eminent Memphis historian currently working. Should be fun.

Joe Cooper, Sr., Bryan Davis, Perre Magness,
John Pritchard, and Andre Bruce Ward
Saturday, December 13th at 1:00 pm
Davis-Kidd tries to support Memphis’ authors, as well as authors in the surrounding areas, any way we can. And, as we prepare to ‘deck our halls,’ we invite the community to join together at its favorite independent bookstore to celebrate the talent Memphis writers have displayed in print over the past few years. The five local authors listed below will be present to discuss and sign their respective titles:

Joseph M. Cooper, Sr., Jesus My Hero
Bryan Davis, Eternity’s Edge
Perre Magness, Memphis: A Children’s History
John Pritchard, The Yazoo Blues
Andre Bruce Ward, Andre: Thirty Years of Costume Design at Theatre Memphis


*** Now comes what might turn into a rant. If it does, I apologize in advance.

A very knowledgeable customer called today to ask a question that, 10 years ago, I almost never heard. I had a book listed as a ‘First Edition,’ and this gentleman wanted to know if it was also a First Printing. To me, growing up in the pre-internet world of book buying, if a book stated that it was a First Edition, it was a given that it was also a First Printing. No reputable bookseller would advertise a ‘First Edition’ that was a 5th or 8th printing, without that later printing having been noted. Nor will reputable booksellers do that now.

However, in the pre-internet era, a seller who did use what I can only describe as a deceptive practice might have gotten away with it for a while, but not forever. The book collecting community would have spread the word and such a person would have had difficulty staying afloat.

No longer. In the era of scanner people (or book-mongers, if you prefer) who know nothing about books and could not bother themselves to learn anything, you wind up with lots of listings on the major selling sites where a ‘First Edition’ might easily be a 40th printing. In some cases that isn’t relevant, the buyer only wants a reading copy and the printing doesn’t matter. But when I find myself being asked about expensive or scarce books being a first or later printing, it clues me in that these buyers have been stiffed one too many times in the past and have become gun-shy buying over the net. Nor can I blame them.

You see, we booksellers know the scanner people better than most. Some are fine, honest folk. Many are not. And it’s these people who have clogged the selling sites with junk listings that make finding collectible copies so hard. (But not at Worldbookmarket.com)

So from here on out BBG finds it necessary to alter how he lists books, to now include the slug First Edition, first printing. It’s silly, it’s two extra words to say the same thing I have always said, but when customers are forced to call me to ask questions that should be a given, it’s time to adapt.

Rant over. Unforgiveable advertising gimmick still to come.

Warning! Cheesy sales plug coming. Danger, Will Robinson, danger!

Bonanza coming, Bonanza coming! This Saturday, 1-4 CST. Where? My Bonanzle booth, of course. http://www.bonanzle.com/booths/Billthebookguy

What’s a bonanza? For that matter, what’s a Bonanzle.com? Loyal bookies may remember that Bonanzle is the new (and fastest growing on the internet) selling site that is sort of part Craigslist, part Ebay, part common sense. I have a smallish but growing numbers of choice books there. A bonanza is a sale, in this case a massive 20% off what is listed there. I know, I know, you’re worried about me now, 20% is too much, I’m being too generous, you would prefer to only save 10%.

Not to fret. 20% is actually a bite, granted, but your friendly neighborhood bookseller is only concerned about your happiness, and if saving you 20% during this 3 hour window makes you happy, then I’m happy.

End of shameless advertisement

*** Finally, my apologies for today’s blog being mostly comment and little news. I’ll do better tomorrow.