SELLING COOKBOOKS IS A TAD MORE COMPLICATED THAN YOU MIGHT SUPPOSE. BELOW IS A TYPICAL LETTER THAT WE SEND IN RESPONSE TO INQUIRIES. WE VALUE THE TIME AND EFFORT THAT YOU SPEND LETTING GO OF YOUR POSSESIONS. WE TAKE YOU SERIOUSLY AND ARE HERE TO HELP.
Thank you for your kind inquiry.
This is the way it works. Take me for example.
I stay away from diet, appliance (microwave, bread machine etc) and time saving type cookbooks. Cookbook sets sell rarely; I can't give away The Frugal Gourmet. Baking and Pastry books sell, French sells. Old anything sells; sooner or later.
The bookstore has sections on Asian (ALL of them), seafood, general knowledge, specific knowledge, Mexican, European, Spanish, Portuguese, Jewish, Italian etc. etc. etc. EVERYTHING sells, when someone is looking for it(?), I've sold out of Betty Crocker (all to one person). One dollar books sell as often as sixty dollar ones. There’s just no predicting what someone wants.
And now the reality check. I give 1/2 in trade and 1/3 in cash on what we determine is our resale price on any given cookbook. If you have a first edition Joy Of Cooking, it will get you a thousand dollars; if you have the newest one it will get you ten dollars. See how it works? Complete collections sell for less per book. For example a woman who has one hundred and fifty books that wants to sell them all at one time can only get three dollars a book ---when sold all together---- she could probably get more if she sold them to more than one dealer a little at a time. But….
Then there's the young man who is disillusioned with New Orleans, is leaving town, is a recent culinary student graduate and has a text book from school that he wants to sell. He paid sixty dollars for it. I can probably sell it for thirty. I can only give him ten and I'm probably to most honest and generous of my peer group. I know that I’m only adding to his disillusionment, but that’s life in the real world.
Add to that the cost of getting them to me and …….well.
What I'm saying is that selling books to a book dealer is not the way to make a lot of money, and you may want to consider other avenues for income from them. If you would like to pursue this further or if I can be of further assistance feel free to contact the store or me.
Regards, Philipe LaMancusa and Debbie Lindsey
Kitchen Witch Cookbooks
631 Toulouse St.
New Orleans, La 70130
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