The Biblio File Hosted by Nigel Beale
Twenty - forty minute interviews with accomplished authors, publishers, biblio people, conducted by an excitable bibliophile.

This from the Yale University Library website: "William Reese '77 is an antiquarian bookseller living in New Haven, CT. His firm, William Reese Company, founded in 1975 when he was a sophomore, is one of the leading rare book dealers in the world, specializing in Americana, travels and voyages, and literature.  He has been active with the Yale Library for many years, funding a number of fellowships in the Beinecke Library. Bill served on the committee to raise funds for the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library and contributed, with his family, the Jackson Family Rare Book Room there, named in honor of his grandfather, John Day Jackson, Class of 1890, who gave Yale its first music library.

Bill has also given Yale major collections of 20th-century writers such as Robert Graves and Siegfried Sassoon, as well as books and manuscripts ranging from 18th-century Louisiana to the diary of an interned Japanese-American in World War II.  He has also curated four major exhibitions in the Beinecke Library, including their Columbian Quincentenary exhibition in 1992, and the show honoring Paul Mellon's bequest to the Beinecke Library in 2002, both commemorated with published catalogs. He has also funded Beinecke publications such as the recently published Alfred Stieglitz–Georgia O’Keefe correspondence, funded cataloguing initiatives in the Map Collection, and underwritten Yale staff members attending the Rare Book School.  Bill has also served on the committee to award the undergraduate book- collecting prize for thirty years.  Bill has worked with many book libraries throughout the country on issues of collection development, security, and fund-raising.  He serves on the Council of the American Antiquarian Society and the board of the Library of America."

Please listen to our conversation about book selling, book collecting, and cutting old pies in new ways here:

Direct download: Bill_Reese_Two_new_haven_mp3_final_130805_002.mp3
Category:Booksellers -- posted at: 10:54pm EDT

Rebecca Romney is the Rare Book Expert on Pawn Stars and Manager at the Las Vegas Gallery of Bauman Rare Books. We met recently in Las Vegas to talk about what she does, why Bauman's is in Las Vegas, her blog Aldine, Aldus the printer, William Pickering's Aldine poet's series, and collecting fine press books. 

Direct download: Rebecca_Romney_final_Bauman_Rare_Books.mp3
Category:Booksellers -- posted at: 12:42pm EDT

In 1927, Ben Bass opened Strand Book Store on Fourth Avenue, home of New York’s legendary Book Row. Named after the famous publishing street in London, the Strand was one of 48 bookstores on Book Row, which started in the 1890’s and ran from Union Square to Astor Place. Today, the Strand is the sole survivor.  I recently asked current owner Nancy Bass Wyden why.

Direct download: Nancy_Bass_Strand.mp3
Category:Booksellers -- posted at: 9:52am EDT

Kathy Doyle Thomas, Executive Vice President, Half Price Books

Whilst in the Lone Star state recently, I had the opportunity to meet and talk with Kathy Doyle Thomas, Executive Vice President at Half Price Books in Dallas. The company has been in business now for almost 40 years and has enjoyed considerable success, some say at the expense of independent used bookstores. I met with Doyle, who, incidentally serves as Chairman of the Retail Advertising Marketing Association (RAMA), a division of the National Retail Federation, about this and other topics of interest to those who sell used and rare books. Please listen here:

Direct download: Cathy_Doyle_Thomas_Half_Price_Books_R09_0006.mp3
Category:Booksellers -- posted at: 5:08pm EDT

Researching ‘literary’ Portland (Maine) before trekking down there, I came across mention of Rabelais Book shop.  What an interesting concept it’s built upon:  the vertical integration of new titles on food, wine, gardening and farming, with rare out-of-print  books. Patrons therefore inhabit several distinct categories: Book lovers and collectors from around the globe, food lovers and cooks from around the block. Situated in Portland’s East End next door to Hugo’s (chef Rob Evans won the 2009 James Beard award for Best Chef Northeast) and within walking distance of half a dozen other great restaurants, including Bresca, Duckfat and Fore Street, the store, in several short years, has become the go-to place for New England’s foodies. Hosting author readings, art exhibits, film showings/dinners and  Slow Food meetings, the shop is a jointly owned by Samantha Hoyt Lindgren, a former photo editor and pastry chef, and her husband Don, an antiquarian book dealer. I met with Don at Hugo’s – we thought it would be quieter there than in the store – to talk food and books…listen for the names of titles you might want to start collecting here:

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Direct download: Don_Lindgren__Rabelais_801219_01.mp3
Category:Booksellers -- posted at: 3:19pm EDT


Distribution is a critical spoke in the publishing cycle, and yet it’s surprising the scant amount of thought many small publishers give to how their books will eventually be sold, and how much it will cost to get their titles into the stores. Most new titles issued by small/self publishers wont ever be stocked on the shelves of chain superstores, not even for a short tryout period. Only a tiny fraction of these titles are ever selected directly by discount merchandisers or supermarkets, despite these outlets accounting for a big percentage of overall book industry sales. Bookseller don’t have time to meet with 100s of small publishers, hence the importance of the distributor. 

I talk here with Les Petriw, Managing Director & International Sales Director of National Book Network, ’second or third largest in North America,’ about why publishers should consider using distribution firms such as his. In-stock status at a national distributor is essential to selling books in any quantity through retail outlets, but it isn’t cheap. From what I’ve been able to learn, distributors working with small publishers typically require a discount of from 50% to 75% off the cover price. In other words, they pay the publisher between 25% and 50% of the cover price on books they actually sell. So picking the right company is important. Here, according to Les, is what you should look for:

Direct download: Les_Petriw.mp3
Category:Booksellers -- posted at: 11:05pm EDT

Direct download: Gloss_Brattle_Books.mp3
Category:Booksellers -- posted at: 12:17pm EDT

Fran Durako is owner of the Kelmscott Bookshop in Baltimore, Maryland. We talk here about her love of William Morris, fine printing and victorian book illustration, the transition from book collector to seller, and art as a ‘positive necessity of life if we are to live as nature meant us to.’ Copyright © 2006 by Nigel Beale

Direct download: Fran_Durako_Kelmscott_Bookshop_Baltimore_May_06.mp3
Category:Booksellers -- posted at: 2:03pm EDT

The Rockcliffe Bookfair is one of the oldest, biggest, best used book sales in Ontario, if not Canada. Book dealers travel across the country every year to cash in on the great deals. More than 3500 volunteer hours go into the making of it annually (600 for the full year, let alone one event is, apparently, considered impressive when it comes to parental involvement in school activities). Twenty six thousand books were sold last year, with the same number left over.

Bookfair is organized with well co-ordinated precision (I wont say military) and good humour. It always comes off top notch. Too bad the people behind it don’t run the country…funny… most of them are women, including Maggie Knaus. This exhuberant book lover, mother of two and professional photographer is the ideal choice to Chair the 2006 Fair. It takes place during the first week of November, but the work has already begun. I spoke with her recently about the mammoth task ahead.

Direct download: Maggie_Knaus_Rockcliffe_Bookfair.mp3
Category:Booksellers -- posted at: 6:18pm EDT