Cover image for Buying books : a how-to-do-it manual for librarians
Buying books : a how-to-do-it manual for librarians
Eaglen, Audrey.
Personal Author:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Neal-Schuman Publishers, [2000]

Physical Description:
xii, 169 pages ; 28 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Z689 .E33 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



A guide for librarians on buying books. The author examines the publishing industry and explains how books are conceived, produced, priced and distributed. Coverage includes the ins-and-outs of vendor selection and ordering in the electronic age, bibliographic tools (print and electronic), acquisitions and automated systems, bookstores (virtual and physical), and new trends (including outsourcing) that can affect library acquisitions. This second edition is revised and expanded.

Author Notes

Audrey Eaglen retired recently after 25 years as Acquisitions Librarian for the Cuyahoga County Public Library System in Cleveland, Ohio

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

An excellent overview of the book industry and its relationship to librarians ordering books. Part one covers the history of publishing, types of publishing (vanity, mail order, book clubs, university press, textbook, etc.), book distribution, what determines the cost of a book, and book publishing trends. Part two covers library book ordering, describing types of vendors, the ordering process, and recent trends in automated ordering as well as providing some insight into library/vendor relations. Using specific examples and sample ordering documents, Eaglen also suggests more efficient methods for ordering books. List of selected U.S. book wholesalers, glossary, selected annotated bibliography; index. --Patrick Dewey

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Part I The Book Publishing Industry: What It Is, What It Does
1. Book Publishing, Past and Presentp. 3
Colonial Times to 1900: The Beginningsp. 4
1900 to 1940: Going Commercialp. 7
1940 to the Present: Years of Turmoilp. 8
The Current Scenep. 10
2. Types of Book Publishingp. 15
Trade Booksp. 16
Religious Booksp. 17
Professional Booksp. 19
Mass-Market Paperbacksp. 20
University Pressesp. 21
Textbook Publishingp. 22
Subscription Reference Booksp. 23
Mail-Order Publishingp. 24
Book Clubsp. 25
The Independentsp. 26
Vanity/Subsidy Publishingp. 27
Reprintingp. 27
Other Kinds of Publishingp. 28
The Librarian's Challengep. 29
3. Creating a Bookp. 31
The Publisherp. 33
From Manuscript to Bookp. 34
Book Designp. 35
Productionp. 36
Publicity and Salesp. 36
4. Book Distributionp. 41
The Book Industry Study Group Studiesp. 42
Sales Reps and Advance Salesp. 43
Returns Policyp. 45
Other Problemsp. 47
5. Why Books Cost What They Dop. 49
Kinds of Costsp. 49
Other Pricing Considerationsp. 54
The Publisher's Dilemmap. 54
6. Some Trends in Book Publishingp. 57
Part II The Book Acquisitions Process
7. Vendors: Retailers and Publishersp. 67
Publishers as Vendorsp. 68
Buying from Retailersp. 74
8. Vendors: Wholesalersp. 77
Choosing Wholesalersp. 78
A Ray of Lightp. 88
9. Library/Vendor Relationsp. 91
Provide Adequate Bibliographic Datap. 91
Place Timely Ordersp. 92
Set Reasonable Requirements for Formsp. 93
Be (Reasonably) Flexible about Pricesp. 93
Allow Adequate Cancellation Periodp. 95
Make Prompt Paymentp. 95
Have a Reasonable Returns Policyp. 96
Maintain Professional Standardsp. 97
10. The Ordering Processp. 99
Functions and Goalsp. 99
Steps in the Order Processp. 100
Approval Plans and Leasing Plansp. 108
A Few Final Notesp. 111
11. Automation and Acquisitionsp. 113
Wholesalers' Systemsp. 117
Stand-Alone/Network-Based Systems and Multi-User System Modulesp. 120
12. Publishing, Books, and Acquisitions in the New Millenniump. 123
Publishing, Books, and Book Distributionp. 123
Implications for Acquisitionsp. 126
Acquisitions and Issues for the Next Decadep. 131
The Successful Acquisitions Librarian in the Twenty-First Centuryp. 134
Appendix A Selected U.S. Book Wholesalersp. 135
Appendix B Selected Automated Acquisitions Systemsp. 141
Glossaryp. 147
Selected Annotated Bibliographyp. 157
Indexp. 165
About the Authorp. 169