Marelibri invites every independent professional site !

Dear bookseller,

When the internet started, many people thought that internet could be a new powerful system for selling books. And that was true, at the beginning. Now, after some years, we have on the web the three "A's" (Amazon, Abebooks and Alibris) and Ebay, dominating internet with huge amounts of books offered both by professionals and private people (and often crooks as well). The problem is that more and more private people are selling directly to other private people in these giant sites, often with unauthorized cut/paste of professional databases.

From now on, we should stop letting big financial groups take hold of the result of our work. Their use of the digital world and their use of non-professionals is the negation of our profession!

The following sites:

thought that it is possible to find a solution. In November 2007 they founded a non-profit association in order to create, a mega search engine, made by independent professional booksellers, where all professionals of the world could be represented, big enough to compete with the three "A's" and Ebay. Our aim is to provide a sales platform for professional booksellers only, where all professionals of the world will be represented. Since January 2008 is fully functional and already well performing, a simple and efficient tool for the sale of books on the international market. On June 7, 2008 London, we met and spoke about possible cooperation with IOBA, Tomfolio, PBFA and Some of these sites will join Marelibri very soon. We have also been officially invited to the next ILAB presidents meeting, in order to discuss a possible cooperation between ILAB and Marelibri. Marelibri invites every independent professional site to join our meeting in Madrid, the evening of September 8. But each independent bookseller can do something: join at least one of the sites that are constituting Marelibri. Let's discuss the situation of our profession, let's find solutions. A blog has just put on line on Marelibri in order to give a place where all the professionals in the world can discuss and propose their ideas.


1. On Tuesday, July 15 2008, 20:27 by Art

Interested - would like to know more - thank you - Art 15 July 08 - USA

2. On Wednesday, July 16 2008, 16:14 by bkcolltr

We would like to have more information. ABE and Alibris have dominated the market and have only their own interests in mind. In the last 10 years a group of sellers in Texas have formed the Texas Book Seller's Association, which sponsors the Book Fairs in Texas, as well as teaches classes at local universities in book collecting. We also have our own website with members listed. Your venue may be something we can link to our website.

3. On Wednesday, July 16 2008, 17:45 by Julia Bolton Holloway

I would define 'professionalism' as being 'for profit'. I am a lover of books, a creator of books, who only needs to sell books to have the funds to restore the tombs of nineteenth-century writers like Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Walter Savage Landor, Arthur Hugh Clough, Frances Trollope, Theodosia Trollope, Richard Hildreth, Theodore Parker, Isa Blagden, etc. But as a 'non-professional' living in Italy I find I cannot break into the book market. However, we hold Book Fairs at our conferences on the City and the Book in Florence to which librarians and professors come and we invite you to participate,

4. On Thursday, July 17 2008, 16:08 by Pensees Bookshop

I am also interested in this venture. The thing that frustrates me the most about Amazon, Alibris and e-Bay in particular is book grading. Terms such as "acceptable" and "decent" are ambiguous but used regularly. "Very Good" is a relative term on those sites as there is no set criteria for that assessment. I think that there ought to be some educational standards that have to be met in order to call oneself a bookseller. My suggestion would be to formulate a course that would cover book grading, book terminology, points, use of bibliographies, etc. John Carters book, ABC For Book-Collectors could be utilized in some form. There should be a cost associated with taking the course. This would weed out those who are simply doing this as a hobby, etc. I use to make a decent living as a bookseller but the "rat race to the bottom" has made it increasingly harder to even list some of my inventory, much less sell it on the internet. Therefore I am forced to practically give things away on e-Bay or even garage sales for that matter. I either throw out or give to the libraries 100 books/week that used to sell 10 years ago but now go for a penny on Amazon. Did anyone read the article in the last issue of Fine Books & Collectibles on penny books? Ridiculous!

5. On Thursday, July 17 2008, 16:35 by Anthony W. Laywood

I am looking for an alternative to Abe as they appear to have little knowledge of antiquarian and rare books. 95% of my wants are reprints and new books.

6. On Thursday, July 17 2008, 19:10 by me


7. On Thursday, July 17 2008, 19:54 by Denise Powell

We are a very, very small non-profit that collects used books from the public and we re-sell them to support literacy in our community. We normally sell current paperbacks, but sometimes an unusual book finds its way to us and we need an economical way to sell those rarities....The three big 'A's, as you call them, kill us with their fees and they step in front of customers to grab our books and then they turn around and re-sell them at a higher price to the same customers they pushed out of the way. We are so small, that we are planning on opting out of the internet selling business due to loss of dollars. Is there any way a small guy like us could make our few listings (say only 500 books) available to the world at large? We are not in business to make a profit, and our goals are purely literacy oriented. We invite you to visit our website.

8. On Thursday, July 17 2008, 20:35 by Ken

Yes! I agree it is time for all BOOKDEALERS to get on board and take back the control. I have been in the out of print book business since 1966, the business had been going since the mid 1940's. I have closed my shop 10 years ago, now trying to survive selling on the net.
My site is hosted by, and ismanaged by a great bunch of Book Dealers.
I have questioned other dealers I have known over the years, we all say the same thing, but nothing get changed. I question all the associations AABA, ABAC. ILLIAB, Etc, why they have not formed together with all dealers and stop the "takeover" If all dealers removed there stock for even one month, maybe the big 3 "A" would be forced to change their rules. Thanks for keeping me informed. Ken Saunders,
the store I joined in 1966 was "Old Favorites Books Shop Ltd," and it is still barely surviving.

9. On Friday, July 18 2008, 06:34 by shubbidoo

What stupid pseudo-anarchistic arguments are contained in the marelibri-invitation. What's wrong in big companies websites on which EVERYBODY can sell his/her books and which are known by almost everybody (in contrast to marelibri ans co.). Especially as he - Sergio Malavasi (or so) from marelibri used to ... and arrogantly treat booksellers that worked on earlier - at least me.
I joined the german 'section' prolibri a few months ago to try this here advertised system with the result of 1 order and 1 question within some 3 months!
So before shouting loud to the booksellers S.M. - and 'Co.' - should start 'shouting' to the possible customers. Otherwise it remains what it is at the moment: Hot Air.
Sebastian Schuck, CO-LIBRI, Bremen-Germany.

10. On Friday, July 18 2008, 10:35 by Gaël Beaudoin

To Anthony W. Laywood :

All you have to do is joining one or more of the marelibri participing web sites. You have the list in the article above. They're different, one of them may suit you. Regards.

11. On Friday, July 18 2008, 10:38 by Gaël Beaudoin

To shubbidoo:

What's wrong is not what they do, but how. We're here to propose an alternative and the marelibri invitation will help us reach more people, more booksellers, from all over the world. We know we are smaller. This is what we're trying to fix :)


12. On Friday, July 18 2008, 12:16 by Pascal Chartier

To everyone : Bravo! I would like to cheer all the people participating to the site's blog, and life : computer scientists, booksellers, Marelibri 's partners, translators, all those who allow the dialog to begin in a way or another. We are building a tool that never existed before and that can't be done without debates! Great! Actually, it is absolutely necessary to let everyone express themselves (even M. Schuck), to sharpen our outline and therefore reject gossips and insults... See you soon in Madrid!

13. On Friday, July 18 2008, 20:54 by shubidoo

-----Ursprüngliche Mitteilung-----
Von: Sergio Malavasi <>
Verschickt: Fr., 18. Jul. 2008, 15:23
Thema: Blog on Marelibri

Dear Sirs,
You wrote

"Especially as he - Sergio Malavasi (or so) from marelibri used to cheat
and arrogantly treat booksellers that worked on earlier -
at least me"

You can obviously say that I treated you arrogantly (it's not true but
you can say it)
Yuo can't say I cheated you (it's not true and I'll go to a European
tribunal for it unless I have an excuse from you).
I paid you up everything.
If I have to send some more money to you, I'll pay immediately
But you can't say to everybody that I'm a criminal.
Best regards
Sergio Malavasi
My Excuse:

i did not say that you are a criminal. Cheating and criminal is not the same, but if you do not even know this...
When i had to get money from you for a booksale on you never answered my complaints (i hate this word but how to call it) for a very long time. Even though i asked your assistant to tell you. I finally left your 'organization' because of this obvious arrogance. More than ONE (1!) year later, when i wrote to you again you suddenly paid me as if the the booksale was just a week ago or so.
How would you call it to be treated like this by someone running a book-platform where you are selling bookies.
If this is not 'cheating' there may be 'better' expressions in your language which you certainly know ... (of course there are exciting german expressions too...)
And now you come as the Messiah of a better booksellersworld. (I thought 'we' are Pope at the moment).
Someone before wrote to sell books on ebay is 'giving them away', because he cannot sell them on the Dirty Dick Dangerous 3A's (why not 3D's).
Giving away? You mean you are forced to sell them too cheap to people who are just waiting for your generosity.
Sergio, i think you start collecting the right people for your revolution...
It always the same: Some booksellers try to create boundaries between them and the buyers and complain that books become too cheap and such things (i love to be expensive by the way). This simple arrogance as expressed above from far West may turn to revolutionary holiness in Southern Europe. So beware...

Sebastian Schuck, CO-LIBRI, Bremen.

14. On Friday, July 18 2008, 20:59 by shubbiwoo

to Gaël Beaudoin:
Thinking that you are small makes you even smaller. And this seems a congregation of Smallies. Many smallies makes not even one BIG!

15. On Saturday, July 19 2008, 01:56 by Gaël Beaudoin

To shubbiwoo:

So what is your concern regarding marelibri's approach ? What do you think we're doing wrong ? Or what do you think we could do better ? We're certainly accepting criticism when constructive and helping us improve, but up until now, I can't see your point.

We're not doing this just for fun. We're doing something that we hope might help. And it already does help some of us.

And yes, we can already say that with marelibri we're way bigger than each of us independently. Because of the media exposure it gets. Because people come to us asking questions. Because it creates discussion. Because we share experience and knowledge between several European countries and lots of people. Because the partners already have sales from marelibri (sometimes as much or more than from addall or bookfinder for example).

Marelibri is less than 7 months old. It has improved a lot since the first version, thanks to people sending comments and suggestions.

16. On Saturday, July 19 2008, 10:29 by shoobidoo

ok, why not.
I was just astonished by Signore Malavasi’s big (almost fat) ‘professional‘ words and wanted to share my experience with his professionality. As he was immune against personal approach i liked to chose this public.
About the project: As long as you try to split the digital (book)world into professional and private booksellers it will not work. Who will chose a small ‘independant‘ boookplatform, when he can get a larger choice and better prices on a bigger ‘commercial‘ one. And what is an independant bookseller? You need books, you need customers, you need the internet (or whereever you sell). Finally you need even food - every day! I cannnot see any independance in the statements and plannings here. The more you try to be independant the more dependant you become, because you try to avoid to see the reality. Why not accept private sellers as normal competitors. A real professional will distinguish from them by better books, better descriptions and better service. But the better service will be only visible when your offer stands right next to theirs. And there are many professional booksellers too which go the onepenny-way. And no customer should be condemned when she tries to get her book as cheap as possible. How is an old professional independant bookseller shopping in daily life (when he is a brave human instead of an old heavy bookworm)? Does he choose the small and expensive shops to buy what he needs - on the street or on the internet. Don’t you like to buy a onepenny book when you need a crime novel for the beach? (In fact if you have to buy it at all, your stock maybe too small to survive anyway).
And i think it is rather the older booksellers who have difficulties with the change of times than the younger and their wish of independance is nothing but their unflexibility and disappointment. So before trying to buld up newer and newest internetplatforms out of grief that my books don’t sell i prefer to make the old stuff a little cheaper and look for new stuff which is not so much offered by others. As Gael Beaudoin writes ‘We're not doing this just for fun. We're doing something that we hope might help. And it already does help some of us.’(WHOM?), it is bound to fail any way. It sounds almost like praying for sadness: ’not just for fun ... we hope might help’. This rotten 2000 year old concept of lifeapproach will not bring any progress (not even too booksellerinas). But i understand well that it is especially promoted by Italy...
Before i become polemic again and S.M. calls for justice again i leave with the famous poor-boooksellers proverb: Don’t try to change the world but allow life to change you. And if you cannot resist at least have fun and forget all about hope and help.
Good morning.

17. On Saturday, July 19 2008, 19:51 by Un chat

Vous proclamez:

Aucun animal n'a été blessé dans la conception de ce site web !

Pouvez vous prouver cela?

18. On Sunday, July 20 2008, 00:08 by Gaël Beaudoin

A ce propos, je laisse la parole à mon chat, Boo :

Miiaaaouuu miaa ouhhh miaou miaaa miaaouuhhh !

19. On Sunday, July 20 2008, 02:08 by shoobiwoo

Au chat: I did not say no one (and animal? blessed??). I just asked WHO? Maybe someone will.
Why shoud i prove my opinion? It is subjective and individual.
And listening to your cat i feel a bit sorry for her. She also seems not to have much fun and hoping for help. So could you please buy her a nice fish? (Pouvez vous acheter un bon pesque pour le pauvre chat?)
Or is she just speaking french?

20. On Sunday, July 20 2008, 02:23 by shabbiwaa

to Gaël Beaudoin:
Maybe you can prove whom the marelibri concept has already helped, as you state above...

21. On Sunday, July 20 2008, 12:42 by Gaël Beaudoin

To shoobiwoo:

The post from "Un chat" was a joke I guess and not related to your post at all.

If you need evidence, just ask current partners about marelibri : Sales, people joining because of marelibri, more trust in our platforms thanks to marelibri, etc.

We represent more than 2 000 booksellers from the partners, and as such, do have more possibilities than each of us alone.

The fact we're discussing this, is, sort of, because we're speaking of marelibri. You wouldn't care about livre-rare-book, what it does, or its blog, etc.

We're not claiming we're revolutionizing book selling world. But I think we're making a difference, in the right direction. My point is : it's not hot air, neither bound to fail.

And about your previous post, I'd like to say that I agree with parts of it, but this is for an other post.
Sunny sunday here.
Have a nice day.

22. On Sunday, July 20 2008, 19:47 by frodo's toes

I had a brick & mortar store in Hollywood in the 70's, and shut down for a number of reasons, (economics being only one of them), but continued in the business on a smaller scale via mail order, book malls and book fairs, with some success. When ABEbooks came along I jumped on the bandwagon, thinking:"What a great idea!". It WAS a great idea (the operative word here being "WAS") but, my oh my, how things have changed!!! I have always been careful to describe my books meticulously, perhaps to the point of overdescription, since I would rather miss a sale than have one returned as "not as described". Now, however, I see books described as: "a solid copy", or "in really good shape" et cetera. What the _)(*&^ is THAT supposed to mean??? I would love to see sellers required to accurately describe the books they offer (including CLEARLY stating that a book is an ex lib). Perhaps marelibri has an answer, and I, for one, am not going to "condemn without trial". The jury is still out, and the verdict is probably a significant time away, yet. Let's hope it is a positive one. Thanks for making an effort. Fred Dorsett

23. On Tuesday, July 22 2008, 15:10 by Pascal Chartier

If books had the words to say it ....

Independence ? What is it ? It is about protecting the freedom of professional bookseller to sell their books without being overtaxed by industrial groups who take advantage of the internet technologies to make profit on the booksellers, that means also a guarantee for the customers to buy their books as cheap as possible. (Further we also can talk about the independence of the foot in its shoes, but it's another debate!)

The bookseller profession is weak ! We can't let it compete freely with industrials and dealers of all kinds : May the best man win! This approach can ony come from a so called ruthless trader who rubs his hand with glee in advance, ready to pick up anything he can get....

Independence isn't the utopian dream of a bunch of old misers, it a few thousand booksellers' reality, already joined up in Marelibri through the partners sites...

We are working today, in order to guarantee the freedom of the books professions tomorrow, selling old books is only a small part of the problem. Tomorrow, the book will be inevitably digital the professionals of books have an important part to take in these changes and we can't leave it all to the financial groups.

It is useless to to challenge Marelibri's president on a personnal disagreement (in order to tarnish - in a very rough way - Marelibri's image), bookseller from all over the world are interested in our suggestions and the debate is now wide open.

We have already proven that booksellers won't let go all the hope and help they can get and, on the contrary, a strenght is growing through the gathering of independent sites offered by Marelibri, and we'll have to count with this strenght for today. This is reality...

We won't stop opening perspectives so that ideas, books, words, whatever the changes we are going through, won't turn meaningless to definitely become cold inhuman merchandise.

We are proud to be at the initiative of this debate.


Si les livres avaient les mots pour le dire ....

L’indépendance ? De quoi s’agit il ? Il s’agit de défendre la liberté pour les libraires professionnels de vendre les ouvrages sans les surtaxes des groupes industriels profitant des techniques de l’internet pour exploiter les libraires, c’est donc aussi garantir pour les clients la possibilité d’acheter des livres le moins cher possible. (Après bien sur on peut parler de l’indépendance du pied et de la chaussure, mais ce n’est pas le même débat !)

Le métier de libraire est fragile ! On ne peut pas impunément le laisser à la libre concurrence des industriels et des trafiquants en tout genre : Que le meilleur gagne ! Cette démarche ne peut être émise que par un quelconque marchand sans aucun scrupule qui d’avance se frotte les mains, prêt à récupérer les morceaux....

L’indépendance n’est pas un rêve utopique de vieux grigous, c’est une réalité de plusieurs milliers de libraires déjà regroupés dans Marelibri à travers les sites partenaires...

Nous travaillons aujourd'hui à garantir pour demain la liberté des métiers du livre, la vente des livres anciens est un maillon de ce problème. Le livre sera demain inévitablement “numérique” les professionnels du livre ont une place importante à prendre dans ces changements et nous ne pouvons pas laisser le champ libre aux groupes financiers.

Il est inutile de provoquer le président de Marelibri sur un désaccord personnel (afin d’essayer - la manœuvre est évidente et grossière - de ternir l’image de Marelibri), les libraires dans le monde entier témoignent de l’intérêt pour nos propositions et le débat est maintenant largement ouvert.

La démonstration est déjà faite que les libraires n’oublierons pas “toute idée d’espoir et d’aide” et qu’au contraire à travers le regroupement des sites indépendants que propose Marelibri, se lève une force avec laquelle il faut dès aujourd’hui compter. C’est cela la réalité...

Nous ne cesserons d’ouvrir des perspectives pour que les idées, les livres, les mots, quelque soit les transformations que nous sommes en train de vivre, ne soient pas vidés de leurs sens pour n’être définitivement que des marchandises froides et inhumaines.

Nous sommes fiers d’être à l’initiative de ce débat.

24. On Saturday, January 31 2009, 21:19 by LiedBlogger

BTW: Stichwort "müde" -

auch ein fremdernannter "leadblogger" kann nicht überall sein und muß mal schlafen oder sonst was machen. z.B. über viele neue Ideen nachdenken, Zugfahren ist so anregend, trävellinwisstschermanrähl, Danke, daß Sie unsere Plörre nicht getrunken haben, ist das so schwer einen ordentlichen Espresso zu machen ? Keine Ausrede ist die Geschwindigkeit des Zuges, denn die beeinflußt m.W. nicht den Dampfdruck ...., oder doch ? Immer gepennt in Physik, jetzt rächt sich das ...

Nö, so kriegt Ihr mich nicht. Montag wird wieder alles gelöscht, ätsch.

Bonne nuit à tout le monde,


25. On Sunday, April 8 2012, 22:43 by Gail Stutman

I have a 1st US edition of a Hunt Botanical Library, By Lotte Gunthart Water colors and drawings, with a personal letter to the then Director of the Hunt Botanical Library in pencil with her signature. His Name is George H.M.Lawrence 1970.
I also have 6 watercolors of Lotte Gunthart that are Collotype Reproduction...any information that you have of where I might sell these items would greatly be appreciated.
Thank you for your time
Gail Stutman

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