What's the best way to sell a rare book?

I discovered today that I happen to posess a “rare” cookbook. I could use some money right now, and I never really use this cookbook, so I thought I might as well sell it, if I don’t have to go through too much hassle. I bought it years ago for probably $13 or so, and now it sells on Amazon for $50 at the lowest. My previous used bookselling experience is only selling books at the used bookstore that had no exceptional value for a buck or so a piece, so I don’t really know how to proceed. It’s fairly clean, but it does have a few light stains from cooking on a few pages (Nothing that obscures the text at all, though) and a crease on the cover. No writing or highlighting. How would I sell this to get the best price from it? Is amazon a good place, or are there better? I’m not sure what to list the condition as-- is this “Good” or “Acceptable”?

Look at Amazon, eBay or Alibris (I think you have to be an established dealer to trade on Alibris, but not sure). Another option would be to identify dealers that sell the book and contact them to see if they want to buy it from you, but they typically won’t pay retail for obvious reasons.

Also, check out www.bookfinder.com and get a sense of how your book is selling, whether there are specific “points” you need to ensure your book has (specific points of differentiation in the book, dust jacket, etc that make it a true first or otherwise collectible book).

I would be suspicious about the price you might get - research on eBay what the last few auctions for that book have been - they often don’t get the price sellers list on Amazon.

You don’t mention the dust jacket - if it came with one originally and doesn’t have one now, discount a minimum of 80% from the potential value of the book. Condition is everything in a rare book (usually) and since the dj is the most delicate part of the book, collectors prize an existing and well-kept dj. Beyond that, the gradations of books are usually “fine” “near-fine” “very good” “good” and “poor,” with F, NF and VG being collectible condition. Yours sounds like a VG based on your description…

I think you’ll get the highest price selling it directly to a collector, through eBay or Amazon. Selling it to a used book dealer would be like wholesaling it; they’ll get still more for it. Unfortunately, selling it through eBay you risk selling it low, if you don’t get action on your auction. I’d say put it on Amazon and just leave it there for as long as it takes.