Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Among booksellers, the more the merrier

Bookseller Mike Cotter, left, with author Robert Olen Butler at the Coliseum in St. Petersburg.
One of our great exhibitors at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair every March raises interesting questions about whether dealers should let their fellow dealers know where they'll be exhibiting.

Mike Cotter of Yeoman's in the Fork in Franklin, Tennessee, suggests that some dealers may not want their competitors to know where they're finding their great treasures.

In his blog, Mike lists the pros and cons about using an events page to let customers (as well as other dealers) know where they'll be at any given time.  But we think Mike comes down on the right side of that question, with an inclination to put the events out there on the calendar and let everyone know where to find him.

Dealers who are showing at various book fair around the country, as Mike and his colleagues do, have access to far greater selections than dealers who simply stay at home. Clearly, they also are likely to have a broader customer base. Booksellers who come to the annual Florida Antiquarian Book Fair have built up a cadre of followers who always make sure they come to the book fair to see their favorite dealers.

Booksellers make great book buyers. Dealers always buy from each other. Mike note that he loves to go to shows to buy inventory for his great customers back home. He notes, though, that some dealers may be concerned that competitors will scoop up the treasures if they find out where to get them. We like that Mike comes down on the side of those who believe that what's good for the industry is good of everyone involved.

We, too, believe that booksellers as well as book collectors should become as knowledgeable as possible, and they do so by being in contact with as many like-minded book lovers as possible. We share the belief that the more book lovers are exposed to great books and friendly, informed dealers, the better it is for everyone.

When the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair rolls around in March, we hope you'll come by for a visit. Stop by and say hi to Mike Cotter. You'll be glad you did.

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