The theme of this issue of The Standard is perhaps somewhat counter-intuitive for the journal of the Independent Online Booksellers Association: real world bookselling opportunities for the online dealer. IOBA President Chris Volk sets the stage as she explains how the reports of the death of the book have been greatly exaggerated. Next is a pair of articles that explore real world bookselling at book fairs and at antique malls, with contributions from several of your IOBA colleagues. And rounding out the theme, I write about selling books at genre conventions, focusing on my experiences at science fiction conventions.
In the previous issue (Winter 2013), editor Howard Prouty observed that ”The Standard serves to represent our organization’s values, goals and concerns….” The remaining articles in today’s issue are a great example of this. Jonathan Smalter, chair of the IOBA Scholarship Committee, introduces us to the 2013 IOBA scholarship winners. These scholarships, one to the Colorado Antiquarian Books Seminar and a second open scholarship, are one of the major benefits offered by our organization. The winners unquestionably represent the values and goals of IOBA. Finally, as an organization of online sellers it is a challenge to get to know our colleagues. So to help with that we present member profiles from Mike Tuck of Bungalow Books, Suzanne Mantell of Warwick Books, and Bob Maddox of Squid Ink Books.
I’d like to emphasize that two of the articles in this issue were directly based on the contributions of several IOBA booksellers. By sharing their individual experiences, they helped create something of value to us all. I expect there will be similar opportunities on other topics in the future, so watch for requests for contributions in the IOBA Discuss list. And as always, we encourage anyone who would like to contribute a full article to contact Howard Prouty at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IOBA as an organization exists for its members, but it only succeeds if the members contribute. The Standard is the voice of IOBA, and I’m sure each of you has something of interest and value to share. So speak up!