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From the (Guest) Editor

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Welcome to the second issue of The Standard for 2013, and my inaugural turn as guest editor! I’d like to thank Chris Volk and Howard Prouty for inviting me to edit this issue. It’s been a pleasure and privilege working with the many talented people who contributed to bringing this issue to the virtual light of day, and I’d like to thank them all for making my job so much easier. And a special thank you to Managing Editor Joyce Godsey, for her patience in dealing with a well-intentioned newbie editor – who surely made her job harder! The theme…

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Books Are Still Alive and Well

Chris Volk, IOBA President

In recent years, the online bookseller forums have been buzzing with the message that books are dead (or dying at least), that e-books will make printed books obsolete, and that no one is reading anyhow! Before giving in to the doomsayers, try a change in perspective – look up from your computer screen and check out some events in the real world. This spring we attended two book festivals – the long running Los Angeles Times Book Festival on the University of Southern California campus in April (founded in 1996) and the Tucson Book Festival on the campus of the University of Arizona in Tucson. Both festivals are free and feature hundreds of events, mostly related to books in some way. These include hundreds of authors appearing in panels, talks and readings … and signing their books. But what makes these festivals so special are the attendees, with over 100,000…

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From On-Line to Selling at Antiquarian Book Fairs

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with Lee Kirk, Ken Karmiole, and Nancy Johnson We asked several IOBA members for their perspectives on selling at book fairs. The focus of this article is not on the large international and member only trade association fairs, but on the smaller regional fairs where booths are open to all sellers with a good reputation. Many of these fairs sell out of booth space, so if you are interested in exhibiting at one, get on the waiting list early. Madlyn Blom of OldBagLady Books has some advice for first-timers. She exhibits at The Florida Antiquarian Book Fair - or the St Petersburg Fair as it is more frequently called – which is the Southeast’s oldest and largest antiquarian book fair, and one with an excellent reputation. 2014 will be its 33rd show. It features more than 115 dealers in books, maps, photographs, prints, ephemera and autographs: Are you thinking of selling…

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Book Selling at Antique Malls

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with Lee Kirk, Gayle Williamson, and Sharon Eisenberg So as part of this month’s theme of alternate selling venues for online book sellers, I thought it would be interesting to do a piece on selling in antique malls. Over the years I’ve heard many anecdotal accounts of dealers who set up spaces in antique malls, with mixed positive and negative results. I’ve been selling at the Westminster Antique Mall  for over a year, taking over my current space as of January 2013. Selling at an antique mall is pretty simple in concept: the mall owners rent you space in which to set up your stock. The details of the rental agreement vary from mall to mall. Some places charge a flat amount per square foot. Some have varying rates based on the size and location of the space in the mall. Some require the seller to work a certain amount of…

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2013 IOBA Scholarship Announcement

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The IOBA Scholarship Committee reviewed a number of worthy applications this year, and we have two very deserving winners.  Before getting to that, though, just a few words about the scholarships. As those who have been keeping up with announcements on the IOBA lists know, our organization offers two scholarships each year. The first is for the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar, held in Colorado Springs in August each year. The second is an open scholarship which can be used for a number of educational opportunities (e.g., the University of Virginia Rare Book School). These scholarships are an important aspect of IOBA’s overall mission to strengthen the book trade, and a valuable benefit for members who want to take the next step in developing their skills as booksellers. A scholarship allows a member to continue his/her education and establish lasting relationships with other members of the trade, without the financial burden…

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Book Selling at Genre Conventions

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“Fandom” is a term that certain science fiction fans use to describe themselves, and conventions are where fandom congregates to indulge their mutual interest in the genre and meet some of the authors and artists (the “pros”) who make it happen. While the majority of genre conventions are science fiction (SF) and fantasy themed, there are even more specialized cons including media (e.g. Star Trek or Star Wars), anime, manga, gaming and comics. In the broader genre context, there are also horror and mystery conventions. The first SF convention was held in 1936 in the United States (New York City), or in 1937 in England (Leeds) – a matter of debate that hinges on the definition of “convention”. At any rate, more than seventy-five years later, SF conventions are Big Business, with events held every weekend of the year around the globe. Nearly every convention has a Dealer’s (Huckster’s) Room.…

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Warwick Books, South Pasadena, California

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An old college buddy, a closet book collector, recently asked me how I got started in the bookselling business. I surprised myself by pulling out book memories I didn’t know I had. One of the vivid ones was the fun I used to have as a child wandering through the West Orange (N.J.) public library, at that time located in a rickety old house with a rickety old couple living in the upstairs rooms. Another was going to New York during my high school years, shopping at the Eighth Street Bookstore in the Village, and coming home with trophies like Sartre’s Being and Nothingness (the title expressed my teenage angst), Harold Brodkey’s First Love and Other Sorrows (ditto), and a Praeger paperback monograph on Picasso (an early foray into artiness). In college I studied graphic arts and book design. In my earlier professional career as an editor, writer, and book reviewer…

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