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Black Tie International:  Peter Force Declaration of Independence

of Rare Title Breaks
Better World Books Record

Peter Force Declaration of Independence Sold for $16,000 to Benefit Dobbs Ferry Library and Books
 for Africa 

Better World Books Announces New Commission Structure
for High Priced Book Sales


Declaration of Independence

The Peter Force Declaration of Independence, a 1848 facsimile printed on rice paper, which was found folded in a volume of the historian’s American Archives: A Documentary History of the United States of America, Series V, was recently sold online by Better World Books for a record $16,000 to an anonymous buyer. Better World acquired the volume and the document from Dobbs Ferry Library at Mercy College, which will, as a result of the sale, receive 50% of the net sale price.  According to Better World’s business model, non-profit literacy group Books for Africa will also receive a percentage of the proceeds. Photo courtesy of Better World Books





ATLANTA, GA (September 24, 2009) - Better World Books today finalized the sale of a rare Peter Force Declaration of Independence for $16,000 a company record.  In conjunction with this sale, Better World Books announces a new commission structure for Antiquarian, Rare and Collectible books offering 50% commission on books sold for over $500, less the commission rate payable to the non-profit literacy partner.

The sale, to an anonymous Connecticut buyer, was made through the Better World Books Antiquarian, Rare and Collectible Department in conjunction with Dobbs Ferry Library at Mercy College.  Both the library and its nonprofit literacy partner, Books for Africa, will receive proceeds from the purchase.  Better World Books, a for-profit venture, collects and sells new and used books online, donating a portion of each sale to help fund literacy initiatives worldwide.

The Peter Force Declaration of Independence is an 1848 facsimile created by the historian and archivist using a copper plate made from the original document.  Printed on rice paper, the Force Declaration of Independence was folded and bound into Force's American Archives: A Documentary History of the United States of America, Series V.  The sale included both the historical document and the volume in which it is contained.

"We're very grateful for BetterWorld's alertness in finding a rare document of which we were never aware, and in returning a sales commission on it well above their previous norm!" said Associate Professor and Head of Public Services and Collections Donald Ray of Mercy College.  "Their staff has been most helpful and courteous since we started a weeding project last winter.  We could not have found a home for more than a small fraction of these books without their services."

In an effort to expand its collection of unusual or out of print works, Better World Books also announces a new commission structure for all books sold by the Antiquarian, Rare and Collectible Department.  Under the revised structure, partners who use Better World to sell their rare books for over $500 will receive 50% of the net sale price on any titles sold, less the commission rate payable to the nonprofit literacy partner.

"Better World Books has a successful track record of pairing antiquarian books that were deemed unsellable with collectors who cherish them," said Paul Drake, head of the Antiquarian, Rare and Collectible Department. "Our new commission structure is even more incentive for those in possession of rare titles to look to us to help them find buyers who recognize the value of these special books."

The new commission structure goes into effect
October 1, 2009 and was recognized on the sale of
the Peter Force Declaration of Independence.



Better World Books ( is a for-profit social enterprise that collects and sells books online with each sale generating funds for literacy initiatives in the U.S. and around the world. With more than three million new and used titles in stock, Better World Books is a self-sustaining company that balances the social, economic and environmental values of its stakeholders. Better World Books diverts books from landfills by conducting book drives on 1,800 college campuses, and by collecting discards from over 1,800 libraries. Since its founding in 2003, the Mishawaka, Ind.-based company has raised over $7 million for its non-profit literacy, library and college partners; donated over 1.3 million college textbooks; diverted more than 29 million pounds of books from landfills; achieved over 9,000 tons of carbon offsets through carbon-neutral shipping, and created more than 200 full-time jobs with meaningful benefits.



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