Shop the Firsts: London Online and the ABAA Virtual Book Fair this week from the comfort of home!
Over the past twelve months, we have seen a surge of technological growth in the book industry. This is especially impressive in the rare and antiquarian book trade, much of which has historically resisted the advance of website sales, online marketplaces, and social media presences that are almost necessary to survive and thrive online.
Last year at Firsts: London, Biblio hosted a panel that dealt with just that: “The Evolving State of Internet Bookselling,” a discussion about what the industry needs to do to excel in a changing world and transition to an online presence without compromising their professional excellence. Little did we know then that the pandemic and quarantine would be forcing shop doors closed and sellers online in the coming months.
We are excited and proud of the efforts made by trade organizations, book fair organizers, and individual booksellers to keep the book fairs up and running, albeit virtually, to keep sellers in business and customers well-supplied with books and ephemera. If you want to give an online book fair a whirl, there are two happening this week that you should not miss.
The Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA) is launching its first virtual book fair in two days! You can browse and shop online between June 4-7, 2020.
Just like a physical fair, you will be able to interact with ABAA exhibitors in real-time via Zoom or FaceTime during the daytime hours, although the fair is technically open 24 hours a day. Each exhibitor is stocking their online booth with their handpicked highlights and recent acquisitions, all of which are unlisted elsewhere and are new-to-market.
When the fair opens on Thursday, you will be able to browse by exhibitor, product type, price, or geographical region. To make it easy, you can add books from multiple dealers to your cart and check out only once when you are done shopping. To learn more about how it all works, click here for a helpful ABAA post.
The fair opens at 10 am on Thursday, June 4th (EDT). Visit the fair landing page and browse the exhibitor list, bookmark the page, and come back on Thursday when the fun begins!
The Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (ABA) will launch its first digital fair on June 5th. The dates of “Firsts London Online” is coinciding with the canceled physical fair’s original opening date, and now everyone around the globe can attend instead of those lucky enough to get to be in London!
Each exhibitor will showcase up to 12 highlights from what would have been displayed at the physical fair in London. This smaller exhibition of items has encouraged the dealers to choose their most interesting and significant pieces, creating a remarkable and diverse selection from around the world. Items will be searchable by category, dealer, and keyword with each item featuring a brief description, condition, and price. Viewers and customers will be able to contact dealers directly and enquire about particular items.
The online fair will be launched to the public at 2 PM GMT on Friday, 5th June 2020. You can join in by visiting the event’s dedicated website FirstsLondon.com during fair hours.
We’ve updated this post to point out a fair that is beginning even sooner – Getman’s Virtual Book & Paper Fair starts on June 2 and ends on June 4. Featuring over 100 professional dealers of rare books, paper, and manuscripts. Enjoy browsing and buying this week: https://getmansvirtual.com/