Rick Russell, a longtime book dealer based in Tempe, Ariz., is attempting to revive the one-time bible of the antiquarian book world, AB Bookman, as an e-zine. AB Bookman ceased publishing in 1999, and its assets were sold to Bookman's, a used book, video and music store based in Tucson, in 2000.
Russell told PW the impetus to launch AB Bookman as an Internet publication occurred about six months ago, when eBay moved its book segment into the entertainment category, a switch that upset collectors. After several months of online chats with other used-book sellers, Russell determined that the best way to "put some sanity" back into the online used book world was to relaunch a new version of AB Bookman. He has already licensed the name and logo for online use from Bookman's and is in discussions with several auction sites, including eBay, about partnering with him.
Under Russell's plan, sites would place their listings at the abbookman.com Web site and split the fees with Russell. The new site would include information and reference material about used and vintage titles, something that Russell said is lacking in the popular general sites such as eBay, Amazon.com and ABE. Russell also has plans to create a reverse auction section that would be a place for "books wanted" postings.
Russell, who is the author of Antique Trader: The Book Collector's Price Guide, is testing the new site at http://sangraal-books.com/ABBookman020904.html and hopes to go live with the abbookman.com site at the Atlantic City antique show at the end of March. "I want to create something that will be a credit to the original AB Bookman," Russell said.