Book dealers Marc and Marcia Harrison who run Harrison-Hiett Rare Books in the Netherlands.

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1. How did you get your start?

A lovely chap in Southampton, Bill Jackson, allowed me [Marc] to sell a few bits on a shelf at a book fair – this became a whole stack. Then he lent me enough stock to run a stall myself.

Support from some of the local Southampton booksellers, and a boss willing to let me work flexible days got me off the ground.

2. How has the book trade changed in your experience?

When I began, online selling was just taking off (which enabled me to view bookselling as a possible career).

There was only ABE and eBay. Today there are many online opportunities, including Twitter and Instagram as sales platforms. Online auctions such as Catawiki and the ability to present PDFs and catalogues online have kept traditional selling alive.

3. How do you use social media and the internet?

Marcia makes me live in the 21st century. We use Twitter and Facebook to publicise events. I also use Mailchimp quite a bit, to send catalogues and messages to my email list.

4. What is one rule you live by as a dealer?

Can I have two? First is absolute honesty in all our dealings. It is vital for those in a profession which is seen as a bit ‘Lovejoy’. The second is: you only regret the books that got away. If I have that gut feeling that a book will be good, I have to go with it.

5. Real ale or espresso martini?

I am afraid I am teetotal – so ultra-strong espresso (without martini) for me. Marcia will join you in a gin and tonic though.

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