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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

a dinosaur grumbles

I love selling books online in the internet age, if only for the shear diversity of the books I sell and the locations I ship them. Since the advent of online selling I've shipped to every state in the U.S., almost every Province in Canada and a good many countries around the world.

In today's mailing alone I shipped books to Washington D.C. and Washington State, Virginia, Oregon, New Jersey, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Spain and also right here in Maryland. Quick and easy, upload the book description to the online mega database sites, get the email notification of order, pull, process 'n pack and out the door. And totally, totally boring.

As tedious as pre-internet catalog sales were to compile, publish and send, I really miss the personnel contact I had with my collectors. Each group of collectors had their high spots, the books or the authors than "made" a collection: Primrose Cummings and Walter Farley for the horse collectors, Sally Watson and Rosemary Sutcliff for historical fiction, Dare Wright for dolls etc. With catalog sales and a toll free phone number, I was able to find books and help build collections, and also enjoyed many a long conversation "talking books".

Ironic really, but I feel I had more real interaction with my collectors, was more "in tune" with the hot spots of the different genres when I lived on a rural property in Iowa (pre and early internet) than I do now 20 minutes from Baltimore.

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