Member Blogs > Kristian Strom, BooksellerWe Regret to Inform You that We Cannot Fund Your Early Retirement

  • Sat, 28 Dec 2013 02:54:41    Permalink
    A Brief Note on the Value of Most Modern First Editions

    One common misconception about books is that "First Editions" always have inherent value.  The vast majority of book collectors are usually looking to acquire the true 1st Printing of the First Edition, but for many popular authors (i.e. John Grisham, Tom Clancy) the first printings of the majority of their titles were published in such large numbers that the books aren't scarce enough to have significant collectible value.  The exception to this rule will typically involve the author's first book or two, which were usually published before they had a large following and often before they signed with a major publisher.

    A good example of this would be a book I recently sold for $60- not an outrageous amount, but certainly a book worth looking for should you be a fellow bookseller or collector of Brad Thor, who has been referred to by some as the new "Salman Rushdie".

    Tom Clancy's true 1st of The Hunt for Red October, first published by the Naval Institute Press in 1984, and John Grisham's A Time to Kill and The Firm are more commonly encountered examples.  Chances are, the prized collection of Grisham and Clancy "First Editions" on your shelf may not even be true 1st Printings, and even if they are, the overwhelming odds are that they may be so common that your local bookshop has enough copies in storage to last the entire 21st Century.  Enjoy the prized collection on your shelf and share your copies among friends and family, but don't expect your local used bookstore or professional bookseller to be able to fund your early retirement:)
    Finally, here's a website that serves as a helpful reference for identifying the "Issue Points" of True 1st Printings for popular works of fiction:

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