Frequently Asked Questions
Who is KingChamp Books?
KingChamp Books is an online-only bookstore operating in Daytona Beach, Florida, since 2001. It sells books, magazines and collectible ephemera through this website and also through Abebooks.com and Biblio.com. It is a one-person venture owned and managed by Thomas S. Brown (Tom), who in June 2008 completed a 38-year career in newspapers.
KingChamp Books is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, (http://www.ioba.org/), an alliance of more than 230 dealers who subscribe to high ethical and professional standards for Internet commerce. Visit the IOBA website to learn more about the technical aspects of book collecting and business conditions in the book market.
What are your specialties?
We began with books about show-business celebrities, but have branched into several other areas of non-fiction, including spirituality, art catalogs, investment and cookbooks. We also have some holdings in fiction, particularly post-1990 titles and the classics of literature. Check the category list on the home page to get a better sense of our inventory.
Where does KingChamp get its books?
Primarily from charity sales sponsored by churches, schools, libraries and humane societies in the Daytona Beach area. Some of our finer books are consignment stock from friends and co-workers liquidating their personal libraries. Others are purchased outright from collectors. Many are donated by members and friends of New Church Family, a diverse, radically inclusive Christian congregation in Daytona Beach. Sales proceeds from those books (which are listed in the Church Benefit catalog) benefit the church's Christian ministry and outreach to the needy in Daytona Beach. For details, go to http://www.newchurchfamily.org/.
NOTE: All books listed on this website are in KingChamp's possession and ready for shipment. We are not a reseller of merchandise controlled by other dealers.
How does KingChamp differ from other bookstores?
There are thousands of other online bookstores, many of them much larger than KingChamp. We try to stand out from Amazon, eBay and the other "big boys" by offering friendly, personal service; reliability; affordable prices, moderate shipping rates, accurate and detailed listings, careful packing, quick turnaround, and, above all, respect for customers. We also operate a significant portion of the business as a non-profit benefit.
NOTE: Repeat customers receive a $1 discount on each additional title they purchase from KingChamp Books -- we value your business! A 10 percent trade discount is available to book dealers and libraries.
I need help finding a book. What should I do?
Feel free to e-mail whatever you know about the book you have in mind -- title, author, publisher, approximate year of publication, hardcover or softcover. KingChamp will be glad to search for you -- if we don't have the title in stock, we'll be glad to tell you about other dealers who do, or order it for you with a modest service fee added to the price.
If you prefer a do-it-yourself approach, we recommend the multiple-dealer search box on our home page, plus the databases of Advanced Book Exchange (www.abebooks.com), Biblio (www.biblio.com), AddAll (www.addall.com), BookFinder (www.bookfinder.com), the Independent Online Booksellers Association (www.iobabooks.com) and TomFolio (www.tomfolio.com). Our Links page can help you find independent dealers in your geographic area and those who specialize in your area of interest. A Google search also may produce useful results.
SOME NOTES ON SEARCHING FOR BOOKS
(Courtesy of Stuart Manley, a fellow member of IOBA at Barter Books in England)
The web has become a wonderful resource for finding secondhand and antiquarian books. But beware! Many of the search sites are charging steep commissions on each sale. This is why the same book from the same bookdealer can be listed at two prices - with a markup for the commission-charging sites, and base price for the other sites.
These notes are designed to help you to (a) find the book you are looking for, and (b) then buy the book at the best possible price. There are many booksearching sites, but the ones listed below are the ones we feel are the most useful.
Become book savvy! Read these notes carefully!
ADDALL www.addall.com . or BOOKFINDER www.bookfinder.com .
These sites search all the other sites. Simply fill in the author and/or the title (or as much as you can remember) and see how many matches come up. Mostly you will find the book you are looking for and you can follow the links through to the dealer who has the book. Try to get into direct contact with the bookdealer rather than through the intermediate listing site if you wish to avoid paying extra commission.
If your search on AddAll or BookFinder fails, (which means that the book is not currently on offer anywhere in the world at the time of your search) you now know that the book you are looking for is VERY hard-to-find! You can try again at a later date, or you can lodge the title(s) you are looking for with certain other sites - see below.
NOTE: Once you have located the book you seek, ALWAYS contact the bookdealer directly (use Google if need be) or use one of the independent sites below, otherwise you may be charged 13 - 15% commission, over and above the book price.
IOBAbooks.com (Independent Online Booksellers Association) www.ioba.org IBookNet (The Independent Booksellers' Network) www.ibooknet.com; UKBookWorld www.ukbookworld.com . TOMFOLIO www.tomfolio.com
These sites are run as a co-operatives by the actual bookdealers and therefore charge no commission and put you in direct contact with the bookdealers listed on these sites.
ADVANCED BOOK EXCHANGE www.abebooks.com
This site has one of the largest ranges of secondhand and antiquarian books on the web, but charges 13.5% commission and fees, including a surcharge on shipping.
The best known of all book sites. Excellent for new books, but less so for secondhand books, where their matching system is poor. They charge 15% commission.
Although they get many of their books via independent bookdealers, the customer deals with Alibris, not the bookdealer. They charge 15% commission.
BIBLIO http://www.biblio.com/. They charge a 15% commission on book prices, but not on shipping.
Tell me about packing and shipping
Most books are wrapped in 2 or 3 layers and shipped in reinforced, padded mailers. More expensive and large or heavyweight books are sent in cartons with plastic foam chips and other padding. U.S. Postal Service is our usual shipping method unless a customer has a strong preference for UPS or FedEx. We recommend economy-rate Media Mail for U.S. deliveries -- it is usually almost as fast as Priority Mail. Smaller books sent outside the U.S. usually are shipped by International Priority envelope for fast delivery. We structure our shipping rates to cover postage and packing materials, not to generate additional profits.
What do your condition terms mean?
KingChamp Books follows the grading system used by the Independent Online Booksellers Association. A condition is usually listed in dual form -- for example, "very good/good." The first grade refers to the book itself, and the second refers to the dust jacket.
The grades are:
AS NEW (AN): Without faults or defects, unread, in the same immaculate condition in which it was published.
FINE (F): Approaches the above, but not crisp. May show signs of having been carefully read, but no real defects or faults. (NOTE: From here on, there may be a "+" and "-" in a grade, which will mean that it is above the grade noted but not quite to the next higher grade for "+", and that it is below the grade noted but not quite to the next lower grade for "-".
NEAR FINE: A book or dust jacket approaching FINE but with a couple of very minor defects or faults, which should be noted.
VERY GOOD: A used book showing some small signs of wear on either the binding or dust jacket.
GOOD: The average used and worn book that has all pages or leaves present. Any defects must be noted.
FAIR: A worn book that has complete text pages (including those with maps or plates) but may lack endpapers, half-title page, etc. (which must be noted). Binding, dust jacket, etc. may also be worn. All defects/faults must be noted.
POOR or READING COPY: A book that is sufficiently worn that its only merit is the complete text, which must be legible. Any missing maps or plates should still be noted. May be soiled, scuffed, stained, or spotted, and may have loose joints, hinges, pages, etc.
KingChamp Books tries to use non-technical descriptive terms. If there is a phrase you do not understand, don't hesitate to ask for clarification.
What do you like to read?
-- Books about Albany, N.Y., especially William Kennedy's Albany novels such as "Ironweed," "Legs," etc. The audio versions of these books read by Jason Robards are often my "background music" as I catalog and wrap books in my computer room. I return to Albany nearly every year for brief visits and enjoy paying respects to downtown landmarks, especially the old Kenmore Hotel, Legs Diamond's haunt on North Pearl Street. (It has been preserved as an office building).
-- Books about the "historical quest for Jesus" by John Dominic Crossan and others. An easy and colorful introduction to this field is Ian Wilson's "Jesus: The Evidence," a glossy photo book that surveys the latest archaeological findings about Christianity's origins.
Currently reading: "Desire of the Everlasting Hills," by Thomas Cahill. A pop history of the Judaeo-Christian faith, centering on several centuries just before and after the life of Jesus.
"Love Wins," by Rob Bell. A provocative look at what the Bible says and doesn't say about hell and heaven.
"Apocalypse 2012," by Lawrence Joseph. If even 10 percent of the predictions in this pop-science eyeopener come true, we are in for a rough year ahead. Japan's mess may be just the beginning.
"Limits of Power" by Andrew Bacevich, a retired general teaching at Boston University. A provocative antidote to conventional wisdom preached by the U.S. establishment about the superiority of U.S. values and the need for an American empire.
How is your customer feedback?
Here is a sampling of unsolicited compliments on our service:
Thanks Tom. My book arrived right on schedule and I've already started it. Thanks for the excellent service, I will visit your site for my next purchase.
-- Lara P.
Thank you for your time and attention, Tom. We did receive the book in time for Christmas and my father and my husband have both shown a lot of interest in it.
-- Adrienne F.
Wow! Thank you for this follow-up and your willingness to direct me to a different seller! Truly extraordinary customer service!
-- Rick F.
I am incredibly impressed with your communication, your packing, and the quickness of your shipping. Many booksellers claim to have the abilities you demonstrated, but few do. Thanks so much. It was a dinky little cookbook pamphlet you sent me, but you sent it as if it was a 1st edition King James bible! It's appreciated, and I will remember your business in the future.
-- Eric P.
You took such pains to wrap every one so well. You should charge more for shipping.
-- Sue M.
Thank you for gift-wrapping the book. That was very kind and unexpected. What great service!
-- Amy K.
I just received the book today. Was it used? It looks fantastic. I also was very impressed by your packing.
-- Frank T.
It's Thanksgiving. You should be living it up with the turkey dinner instead of sending e-mails. The book came nicely wrapped.
-- Dr. J.
It has been a pleasure doing business with you. We were so happy to get the copies of "Amityville Horror" that the fiction selector and I jumped up and down exclaiming, "They're here! They're here!" Many thanks to you for such excellent service.
-- Mary Anne C.
Yes, I received the book.. the condition was excellent. It's for school, so I really appreciate the quick action you took. Excellent service. I will definitely visit your site again!
-- Kristi C.
This book arrived today in very nice, unabused condition. Thank you so much for your careful packaging and prompt shipment. This was such a good buy, and I know my husband will be delighted with the book. Merry Christmas!
Your love of books is evident by the careful packing for the trip north. I am very pleased that my purchase, through KingChamp Books, will help your inner-city ministry.
-- Nancy G.
I'ts very hard to find good customer service these days, and you just gave it in spades. My sister told me yesterday that she got a "wonderful treasure" in the mail on Tuesday (she'd been looking for this book for a long time and didn't think she'd be able to findit since it is out of print).
-- Robin D.
I received the book about 5 days after placing my order and I am very impressed. This was my first time using ABE and I had no idea what guidelines to use when choosing a supplier. I look forward to purchasing many more books from you... great service - and yes, the book was just great.
-- Amanda B.
In this impersonal technology age, you take the time to go the extra mile. A self-addressed stamped envelope (for payment) -- wow!
-- John M.
Many thanks for a prompt and efficient service. I am delighted with the book!
-- Bob B.
Tom, I want to thank for my order. I want to let you know when I am looking for a book I will know where to go, and God bless.
-- Marta M.
We did receive the book and it was in great condition. We thank you for the fast shipment and we'll look forward to being a future customer with you.
-- Lisa M.