Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Welcome to by Book or by Crook


This blog is dedicated to helping you learn the ins and outs of becoming a home book dealer. I aim to provide all of the information and resources needed to make a profit off of the buying and selling of books through the internet directly from your home. With this information, you can supplement your income, learn something about books and gain a bit of financial cushion in these difficult times.

I began as a book dealer in February of 2011 when I returned from working for six months in the United Kingdom.  While I am trained as a university lecturer, I was unable to find any work in my small city in my field for months. I almost fell into book dealing when I began scouring my shelves for anything I might be able to sell on Ebay or Amazon—family members heard I was selling books and began giving me old ones and eventually I began to work proactively to find books at library sales, thrift stores and classified ads. Once I got up a supply of books and figured out the tricks, I was able to make about $200-$300 a month. One of my major hindrances was that I live in a small city, I have no doubt that in a larger community, with more books available, I would have been able to make a full living.

But home book selling is more than simply a way of putting cash in your pocket (though that never hurts), it is also a lot of fun. I've learned about the history and making of books, about paper, the laws of copyright, and many other subjects. What's more, I've traveled all over my own community searching out books and at the same time meeting people, discovering new neighborhoods and generally enjoying myself.

What I should say, before we get too far, is what this blog is not about. It has nothing to do with opening or running a used/rare book shop and it's not about being able to appraise truly rare books. My goal was always to acquire moderately valuable ($10-20) books at cheap prices ($.50 to $1.50) rather than hunt down the larger, rarer catches. This approach means you need to know less about each individual book, and you put less risk on the sale of each book.

In the coming weeks and months, I will be posting about a number of subjects, starting with the most basic, skills like evaluating whether to buy a book, rating a book's condition, signing up on the proper websites and hunting down books. My goal is to post several times a week, more frequently at first to establish a basis of knowledge.

I love to interact with my readers, please feel free to comment on any posts or contact me with any questions. My email address is buythebookblog@yahoo.com

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