Would You Be Interested?

My library space is about to decrease by about 75%. Ditto my yarn space, my art supply space, and all my other storage space. I have a ton of books, both in my personal reading library and in my writing research library, and almost all of them have to go—fast. I’d like to list them in eBay, but I’ve looked over the books for sale in eBay, and there are zillions them, and most of them aren’t selling.

I’m not in a position right now to owe eBay a lot (or even a little) for listing auctions that don’t sell, so the idea of just dragging most of my library to the local library or used bookstore and seeing how much of it they’ll take off my hands before sending me to the dumpster is the cheapest solution. However, I have a lot of really good books, and I’d like to have them go where they’d be appreciated, so the library/used bookstore/ dumpster option depresses me.

I figured I’d check before doing that and find out if I could find good homes for my books. (And maybe my yarn, but truth is, I only have cheap yarn. I’ve never been able to afford the good stuff, so I kind of doubt that anyone would want what I have.) I’d just have a huge giveaway and send the stuff to people who wanted it, but I can’t afford the shipping.

If I grouped books by genre (fiction) or research category (nonfiction), sold them in groups that would fit snugly into a USPS Priority Flat Rate box (11″ x 8.5″ x 5.5″—$8.10 US), and threw in a signed novel with every auction, would you be interested enough in buying out some of my library that I could be pretty sure of not getting killed with listing fees? Every auction would cost me .55 without the notice that I’m throwing in an autographed freebie, and $1.05 if I include the notice that there’s an autographed freebie, so fees will add up awfully fast. (I know this doesn’t sound like a lot. At the moment, though, it is.) I’ll start auctions at a penny, but if they go for less than what it costs me to list, I’ll end up eating the difference. So if you wouldn’t be interested, please tell me that, too.

Comments? Suggestions? Questions?

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

31 comments… add one
  • Saetter Jul 23, 2006 @ 10:37

    I’d be more inclined to participate if the auction was here. I don’t care for ebay, but would probably bid there too depending on the book.

    I’m mostly interested in non-fiction books, for writing research and this weird habit I have for reading history for fun. 🙂

    Thanks!

  • pixelfaerie Jul 23, 2006 @ 9:56

    I simply can’t get enough books. I do hope you can post some. I’d buy a box.

  • Anthea Jul 22, 2006 @ 10:59

    I can add myself to the number interested in buying – wherever you choose to put them up for sale.

  • constantmac Jul 21, 2006 @ 23:11

    I know you said you didn’t want to drag your books to a library, but… you might try a smaller library. I know my local big city library won’t take my paperbacks, but my friend’s teeny tiny library in her extremely small town are thrilled to get any and all of my old paperbacks. And I know they’ll get good use.

    But on the other hand, with all the bookphiles here I’m sure you’ll get tons of takers!

  • arrvee Jul 21, 2006 @ 18:16

    Another vote for your shop, as I really dislike eBay. I would definitely be interested in a box of fiction. Maybe some NF, too, if the money holds out (insert hysterical laughter).

  • TinaK Jul 21, 2006 @ 11:52

    Count me in! Ebay or in your store! Books, glorious books!

  • sebastiene Jul 21, 2006 @ 9:50

    When my husband lost his job a few years ago (etc.), I ended up selling almost all of my huge library. We were in Texas at the time and I sold them to the chain book store ‘Half Price Books.’ I sold a lot (probably bought for $1-2,000), but I got $473 for them. The money really helped. (We split the boxes up and took them to a couple of stores, one small group at a time, so as not to swamp the store.)
    Your notoriety should help you sell your things, but I do know there are ‘Half Price Books’ in other parts of the country.
    Now, whenever I refer to a book I had to sell, I say, “I lost it in the fire.” That’s kind of what it was like.
    On a lighter note, the night I went into the store with my last box, the check-out guy said, “Wow. You have a lot of books.” I replied, “Not anymore!” 😉

  • wolverine Jul 21, 2006 @ 9:02

    I’d love to; this might actually be something I could get my parents to bid online for (security paranoids). I do think going via the shop would work better, because then you could sell them when you’re happy with the price, but if people want to pay more, there’s no set time it finishes. I’d love any fantasy/paranormal/odd fiction, and some of the non-fiction too, history and archaeology and anything that delves into more unexpected and unusual topics (‘the border at twilight’ type of thing).

    Anyway. Yes. That’d be great!

    Wolverine.

  • lohengrin Jul 21, 2006 @ 7:05

    I’m also in the category of “I’d love to look, but can’t promise 100%.”

    End of the month means very little $$ around here.

  • vickyk Jul 21, 2006 @ 4:54

    I’d definitely be interested if selling through your shop. I live in the UK though, so the shipping costs might be scarily high?!

  • Alphabeter Jul 21, 2006 @ 4:39

    List the lots through your shop Holly. People can add comments for bids and then put a deadline for them to cap their bids. Or they can email you privately (ex: I’ll go to $10 for lot 12 which includes xxxx books).

    I second freecycle as well as the buyselltrade. My local area has both lists which are active.

  • joelysue Jul 20, 2006 @ 22:34

    Wow, just let us know and I’m there. I’ll also throw links up on my blog and to a few writing groups I’m on. I bet you’ll get terrific turnout.

  • Palomino Jul 20, 2006 @ 21:16

    I don’t use E-Bay, but I’d definitely be interested if you had the boxes of books up on the site or shop.

  • shawna Jul 20, 2006 @ 20:49

    Oh, ouch. Sounds like it has been one thing after another over there… (((((hugs))))). I hate letting go of books. Almost as bad as pet funerals. (Which was last night literally, and emotionally, all this dang week.

    I’d look, but $$ is slim as always around here, so can’t promise I’d buy. Might just end up making a list of library requests and for my wish list.

    And you’re right. Ebay has gotten too expensive. I used to love it, now I hate to list anything. And haven’t at all since they started being somewhat anti-homeschool. That ticked me off. And is costing me $$ I can’t afford to pay for new. Especially since I’m trying to find the nerve to pull my oldest two out of school, too. Sigh.

    Take care, and remember, sooner or later, it’ll get better. (I’ve been telling myself that all month… I think that song,
    “when you’re going through hell, just keep going…” fits my way of dealing with things pretty darn well.)

  • Bridget Jul 20, 2006 @ 20:24

    What a wonderful idea, Holly! I’d be interested in the nonfic — mostly — but I’d totally look at anything you list, whether in the Hollyshop or on E-bay. I also might want to take a look at the yarn too…I need to replenish my stash. =)

  • jessiegirl21 Jul 20, 2006 @ 20:03

    I’ll browse your list wherever you post it. but I’ll shop for fiction. can’t wait to see what you list.

  • Jim Jul 20, 2006 @ 19:02

    The “group by subject” sale through the shop here sounds like a viable alternative that saves you the costs of E-bay listing.

    Since I have so far avoided getting an E-bay account, I’d prefer that.

    The downside is the size of your likely audience here. But I think your friends are as likely to buy here (and pay more) as on E-bay, and as you note sales on E-bay could end up being spotty.

    I’ll certainly look over the opitons. 😉

  • TJ Jul 20, 2006 @ 17:53

    Heck Yeah, I’d be interested. I’m a sucker for books of any kind for the most part.

    I also wonder about you putting them up in your shop as opposed to ebay.

  • BJSteeves Jul 20, 2006 @ 17:02

    Maybe you could consider a flat fee per box, and then sell a box . Just ask the buyer what category they would like, stuff the box with those kinds of books and sell it. I would be up to purchasing a box, or three.

  • Rick Jul 20, 2006 @ 16:48

    I would consider it, depending on the size of the boxes – I moved into my father’s house last year and more than half of *my* books are still in storage. But this sounds almost too tempting to pass up…

  • ejoy Jul 20, 2006 @ 16:34

    Heck yeah I’d bid on your books, and I’d be willing to negotiate on some of the yarn, too. Why are you going through E-bay instead of selling lots in the Hollyshop?

  • BookLover Jul 20, 2006 @ 16:23

    Oh my Gosh! “Holly’s Books!” Picture me “Amdijefri” from “Fire on Deep” — and all nine of me is running in circles and doing cartwheels for joy!

    Oh no! Wait — this doesn’t sound like a happy thing for Holly, library of a lifetime going away. Now all nine of us are “abandoned puppy sad”…

    This too confusing, happy–sad.

    Yes, I’ll be happy to adopt your books, and give you visiting rights to them anytime!

    But e-bay? I stay away from it. So time-consuming and uncertain as to outcome.

    Couldn’t we just bid on them here? Or you could list them and put them in your Shop? Why not?

    I would pay just for the list of “What books Holly has in her library!”

    Well, if they end up in e-bay, I guess that’s where I’ll be hanging out for awhile. I’d love an autographed copy of “Hunting the Corrigan’s Blood” (or any of your books).

  • karlitea Jul 20, 2006 @ 15:18

    I’d be interested as well, depending on what’s in the box and how high it goes, lol.

  • Miss Nienke Jul 20, 2006 @ 12:28

    Just let me know where and when.

  • shay Jul 20, 2006 @ 11:56

    i’d be interested to see what’s on offer but i can’t use ebay.
    can’t ever imagine selling off/giving away my book collection, but i suppose if it grows too big some often have to go unfortunately 🙁

  • slpenney Jul 20, 2006 @ 11:03

    I second the book listing. If you do it, I’m on a few loops that don’t mind that sort of thing either.

    Do you have any crochet thread in there?

    It’s been awhile, but I thought that Ebay only charged for 10 day listings. If it was a 7 day or less, there wasn’t a fee.

  • lisapulliam Jul 20, 2006 @ 11:01

    I’d definitely be interested in some non-fiction books (castles, the U.K., anything Greek, paranormal stuff) and any paranormal and contemporary romance fiction. I’m also interested in the yarn 🙂 I love knitting! And I’m *trying* to teach myself how to crochet.

  • peggy Jul 20, 2006 @ 10:30

    I’d be interested in some of the nonfiction books – assuming that we have the same research needs (which based on prior posts of yours I think we do – archaeology, history, etc.).

    Not so interested in the fiction, though.

  • fionaphoenix Jul 20, 2006 @ 10:17

    I’d love to buy some of your recycled books, auction or not. I’m working on doing something similar with the Yarn Harlot with about half of my fiber/yarn stash. I’ve divided everything into 34 “lots” with pictures, and she’s going to offer them as drawing prizes for people who donate to Knitters without Borders.

  • Liz Jul 20, 2006 @ 10:10

    I’d bid on your auctions, or buy a bunch if you listed them elsewhere for a flat fee. Mmmm, books.

  • heather Jul 20, 2006 @ 10:07

    Sounds like a cool idea. I would bid on your auctions.

    Another idea, if you decide the eBay route is a hassle, might be to Freecycle your books and yarn. I don’t know how big the area is you live in, but I’m in a fairly small city, but we have an active Freecycle mailing list. I love freecycling. Got my favorite chair that way! 🙂

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