Official eBay Book Slated For Fall Release

Like movie stars and Hollywood titans, Wall Street mavericks and Fleet Street publishers, online commerce companies are catching on to the “official book” craze.

In addition to providing a fine way for entities to write their own histories before someone else does, these “official books” also carry the imprint of respectability.

eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY), the online world’s equivalent of the Dutch East Indies Trading Company, is coming out with its own version of the eBay universe. The company announced that the “Official eBay Guide to Buying, Selling and Collecting Just About Anything” will be released in November by New York publisher Simon & Schuster.

The publisher’s trade division, Fireside Books, will introduce a first printing of 100,000 copies just in time for the holiday shopping season. The book is expected to sell for the suggested retail price of $13.00 (US$). It will be the only authorized book from eBay on collecting, the publisher says.

“eBay has become the hub on the Internet for collectors worldwide,” said company VP, Steve Westly. “From antiques to sports trading cards to ‘Star Wars’ and other pop culture memorabilia, eBay hosts more than two million auctions daily. We’re excited to offer our collecting culture an offline resource for pursuing their passions on eBay.”

From Interviews, To How To

The book will feature an introduction by Pierre Omidyar, the man who founded the auction site in 1995 and in four years has turned it into one of the Internet’s leading companies and a multi-billion dollar Wall Street entity.

In addition, eBay’s tell all will convey dozens of real-life stories culled from the ranks of the 3.8 million registered users of the site. It will offer tips on how to find treasures, how best to sell products and will explain the company’s programs and policies.

It’s not likely the book will discuss the site’s recent misfortune’s with its technology and the subsequent stock slide as investors grew jittery about the possibility that eBay did not build the infrastructure to cope with the massive demand.

Authors are eBay Enthusiasts

The book’s authors, Michael and Laura Kaiser, are eBay enthusiasts who have collected for years. Laura is a senior editor at This Old House magazine and has written for the New York Times and Town & Country. She is also the co-author of Weddings for Dummies.

Reached at his Manhattan home, Michael Kaiser, 43, told the E-Commerce Times that the couple is wrapping up the book and that the project has gone smoothly to date.

“We’ve heard people say that writing a book together can be very trying on a couple, but it’s been just the opposite for us,” Kaiser explained. “It’s been a wonderful collaborative experience.”

A part-time dealer, Kaiser sang the praises of eBay from a dealer’s perspective, saying that it has afforded people the opportunity to sell their goods to others from around the world. “Where else could you sell a lot of this stuff you see out there?” he remarked. “eBay has given people the window of opportunity.”

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