Appraising the Value of Your Book

We do not appraise or buy books, but, if you are nevertheless interested in appraisals or selling, read on.

The value of a book, like the value of most things, depends on people's interest in the book, the number of copies that exist, and the relative condition of your copy. You can do your own research to estimate value, or you can pay others to estimate the value. Don't have high hopes; generally speaking, older books are bought by the pound for interior decoration.

A book that is digitized for us will, of course, be worth much more because you have made it the unique original for the digital copy on the Internet. How can you prove it is your copy that has been put on the net? Because Antique Books, Inc., only puts up detailed color pictures of your book's pages, then you only have to look! Every old book has signs of aging that are unique to that particular copy. You can prove to anybody that you have the book that is on Antique Books ... and Forever Visible by All! This is what gives your copy that extra value that other copies of the same book do not have! If you are interested in up-selling your old books, look here.

Up-selling aside, here are some things you can do to determine the basic value of an old book that you own:

  • ABE (Advanced Book Exchange) books seems to be the best resource for older books. Plus, they list antique book dealers worldwide (See abebooks on LEFT of this page). If you find a copy of your book there, you have an offer price determined by a bookshop. Abebooks is also fun to fish for books that you may wish to purchase and digitally eternalize then resell. Once made "forever visible by all," your book, or the special one you find on Abebooks, will surely be more valuable.

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  • Search on Amazon Amazon carries used books and they provide you a means to sell yours too. They build in the appraisal by requiring that you first search to see the value of your book.

  • Selling your book is straightforward. You have these known good options:
    1. Take your book to a local bookseller, particularly if you have a lot of old books or one that seems really valuable.
    2. Another route if you have a lot of old books is to become an Abebooks bookdealer -- it is very easy and nice.
    3. Amazon above will sell your book through their marketplace,
    4. eBay if you want to try an auction.

      Sell your item at eBay!
      If you go to eBay, they have a special section on antiquarian and collectable books.
    5. Using Place-ifieds if you don't want to do any work but are interested in receiving email inquiries about your books or are interested in sending email to nearby book buyers,
    6. Or take a tax break and give your books to a non-profit.
  • Your local bookseller is a fine person or he would not be selling books! Show him your books. He has access to many rare book publications and rare book lists that allow him to assign value to books that he sells.

  • The Library of Congress keeps records on every book in their collection. This record can be searched on the Internet for free. If you see a copy of your book at the Library of Congress, then you can get its call number. If you go to Washington DC, you can then inspect that copy. This allows you to do comparison shopping.

  • Your local librarian is another person who can help you. Most larger libraries have access to OCLC data and their "webcat." This allows you to search all the library collections in America for copies of your book. If you consider donating old books to your library, remember they get lots of donations and often will discard the books after taking the gift. You might consider giving local used-book sellers a first look or finding a church youth group who will prize your collection. To keep the local library from tossing the book, a prized book in your local library can be eternalized and framed by us with your name on it as the benefactor! What a good idea! The library won't dare throw away the book that is framed for viewing with limited physical access but unlimited Internet access! Imagine giving your library the digitization of one of their own most precious books, in a frame, for all to see as they enter the library. Furthermore, your gift increases that book's value by its full color digital eternalization.

  • Other books on line can give you an idea about books other people have found interesting enough to republish electronically. Another group that digitizes old books in full color is Octavo. This company is owned by John Warnock, the Chairman of Adobe Systems, and therefore requires an "Adobe PDF" buy-in. The Octavo site will also show you books that have major value, in the hundreds of thousands, and occasionally, millions, of dollars. The highest price that we know of for a book was $10,000,000 paid by a Japanese concern for an original Gutenberg Bible.

  • Do it yourself! If you want to put your book on the web yourself, the PaperSight ImageServer provides the same functionality in an open document format (you don't even need a manual!). See our famous book on Dogs and All About Them for an example of PaperSight. The complete Windows system for book presentation that we use is available at the Scanserver Home Page. Even if you scan a book for us, you are free to put it on the Internet yourself!

Antique Books, Inc.
1297 Freeport Rd.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15238
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