RARA-AVIS: Re: E-ARCs, ARCs and Used Books

From: Kent Morgan (tkmorgan@shaw.ca)
Date: 13 May 2009

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    In response to Kevin's question about what's happening re used books, I thought I would check in from central Canada. We have an independent mystery bookstore that buys only used PBS. In the past , the original owners also would buy some hardcovers and trade PBs, but that changed about three years ago before they sold the business. They started out paying .75 for mass market PBS, but would pay extra for ones that went into their collectible section. As the cover price increased particularly here in Canada, they raised the purchase price on books $6.99 and up to $1.00, but cut the price on books below that to 50 cents. The new owners have maintained that purchase policy, but often do not buy TPBs and do not buy hardcovers.


    We have about a dozen used bookstores in our city of 700,000 or so and all will buy mass market PBs that they think they can sell. The price they pay varies. They also will give trade credit, but some just in specific categories, e.g., romance for romance. The thrift stores price their mass market PBS anywhere from .50 to $3.99 with Goodwill the lowest and Value Village charging $3.99 for any PB over $7.99. Some of their stores recently dropped the price on hardcover fiction from $3.99 to $1.99. We also have a major charity book market every April that is run by the Children's Hospital. Lasts for 10 days with lots of mass market PBs for as much as
    $4.00. Also lots of hardcover mystery fiction, but mostly the very popular authors, but the HCs move slowly. They also hold a couple of three-day PB sales during the year. All sales are held in a major shopping centre. ARCs are sold at all three sales and may be priced as high as $7-8.


    Kent Morgan

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