So, I’m semi-stalking Hannah from Ballerina Farm on Instagram. She’s a mom of a million kids, a former ballerina, a Mormon, and a beauty pageant winner. But I’m mostly interested in her warehouse for her meat business. I’m scanning her pictures for the huge, corregated metal structure where their workers package up their meat in dry ice and ship it out. I want a barn for my book business. And I want workers to do the annoying shipping part of the business.
About ten years ago, I started buying books at estate sales and selling them on a shop on Etsy. For years, I would only list items every few months. My main gig was writing. But the pandemic happened, and people began doing all their shopping online. They wanted interesting items for their backgrounds of Zoom calls. My business boomed overnight. So, I started buying more books and listing them. Now, I make more money selling books than writing articles.
The past couple of months have been insanely busy with home stuff, so I haven’t listed too much new stuff, but that’s the cool thing about this business. I can coast on the work that I did last month, or even last year. All I have to do is fulfill the orders. Yesterday, I shipped out ten boxes of books to a movie prop company in CA. Some of the books that they bought were in my shop for over a year.
Over the weekend, I went to the New York International Book Fair to gaze at first edition Rousseau books and the Amy Winehouse’s library collection. It’s mostly a really old white guy space, but there were definitely more younger buyers there this year. And more people buying for people of color. The book market, like the art market, is very hot right now. Super rich people are looking for new ways to park their money. (More pictures of the conference on my Instagram account)
I definitely have some big ticket items in my basement storage system, but I’m more in the “pretty book” market, which can actually be just as profitable. I know that audience, and it does very well for me.