The folks at ChooseBooks.com are throwing some money into print marketing. Possibly the #4 traditional American used book marketplace, and a subsidiary of German market leader ZVAB, ChooseBooks has been venturing into the exciting world of full-page magazine advertising.
Some of the ads are decent, e.g. this advertisement on page 403 of the January 2007 issue of PMLA (PDF, 1.4MB). Though the ad’s “It’s Your Choice! Professional Booksellers at Your Service!” tagline seems a bit hyperactive, it’s still reasonably tasteful and informative.
This full page ad on page 19 of the March 26, 2007 issue of The Nation (JPEG, 367k), on the other hand, reads like a parody of a Teaching Company advertorial:
After all, “Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill.” Barbara Tuchman
Do you buy Used, Rare, Antiquarian or Out-of-Print Books? Most likely you do, and have, in the past, visited used bookstores. Without a doubt, you are familiar with wonderful look of leather bound volumes carefully arranged on shelves or stacks of books scattered everywhere. And yes, you feel exhilaration of a search and a thrill of a find when you stumble upon that long sought book that you remember from childhood.
It gets worse. I know Michael Tokman, the founder of ChooseBooks. Michael’s a smart guy. I know for a fact that in real life, he doesn’t Speak In Capitals, or use confusing, disjointed logic:
And who better to speak about their services than Michael Tokman, one of the people responsible for bringing this wonderful resource to the book buying public: “We share your love for Used, Rare, Antiquarian and Out-of-Print Books, as well as Autographs, Maps and Ephemera Items. Not only that, but geographical diversity of our booksellers resulted in the unique inventory, rich in books from various countries and in many languages.”
I have a lot of respect for the ChooseBooks.com/ZVAB team. I hope this was a one-time test ad, delivered in a rush on a day when the copyeditor was out sick; they can do so much better.
[Now reading The Secret Police and the Revolution: The Fall of the German Democratic Republic by Edward N. Peterson]Posted by Anirvan