Where to find First editions and how to get the right price?
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a) get a good idea of current values.
b) find the book I want.
I have tried Abebooks which has been helpful - is there any other suggestions out there?
You can also try Alibris.
Ijust bought the same book The Nature of Monsters (touchstone not locating correct title) by Clare Clark after reading the NYTBR also. I imagine the London edition is the true first - but I don't think that it probably makes much different in the end. In some cases, the US firsts become more valuable.
If you really want to cover your bases, you could buy both!!! That would satisfiy both eventualities. I bought the US copy - Harcourt - as it was available in the stores.
Do you really think it will be a book worth owning in the long run.
Have you bought any other books recently that you think are future collectors pieces.
I think the answer to your question depends on the reason you're collecting (to echo your husband). If you really want to collect true firsts, then the former is the one you want, even though the value is seriously reduced because of its condition. But if all you care about is having a copy of every one of Chandler's books, and condition is important to you, then go for the book club edition, understanding that it isn't going to have much monetary value (because it's a book club edition).
Yeah, it's easy to lose sight of why you are collecting these books and become obsessed with the details. I just remember that I had a nice copy of Hillerman's Blessing Way which was a uk 1st which was vaued at about $250 (it was signed). The Harper & Row us firsts are selling for about $600 to $850. So it can be a significant down the road if the author is a success. Personally, I love to see those bright, pristine dust jackets on the shelf as well as to hold a book which has personal meaning for me. Every one of my collectibles has multiple stories behind it although only one is on the printed page.
I have picked up a couple of other first novels that I thought were worth a spec investment: Medicus by R. S. Downie (it's a signed uk 1st bearing the Michael Joseph imprint which, ironically, is a Penguin issue) and The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies, a us 1st.
As to whether a book is worth owning in the long run... I would sure hate to put my retirement investments on any selection. The odds are worse than those for picking the trifecta at Belmont. But an author's first novel is the best shot and improve if the print run was small and the book is made into a movie etc. etc.
It seems that my book - although in good condition, has the identity of Haddon Craftsmen on the copyright page. I could not find a this that grouping on page 112 but it must be a second state copy - whatever that is.
I was told by the buyer that the signature was original - however now I am wondering. Does anyone know if there is a way of authenticating a signature - eg a webpage with the styles of signatures. I guess that does not mean it is a copy. The inscription reads 'For Don - John Steinbeck' There is also an exlibris sticker on the front page.
Would that value with an authentic signature be true for a second state copy??
Too bad - I thought I had a real bargain........
Thanks for the info - I appreciate it.
Out of interest, how do you research these details. I have collected various first editions - about thirty or so - and would live to figure out the values. I could have some in my regular collection that I am not aware of.
Thanks again, Scotchbooks.
There are probably other comparisons available through a Google search but most of the sites I used have been taken down (they are useful to forgers also). I presume the exlibris sticker is from a personal library, hopefully that of somebody named Don. If not, that would make me suspicious. Will the seller give you a written statement of authenticity?
You would need some further information regarding the provenance of the item. It appeared to me that the signed items priced as I had described included a second state copy valued at $3500 but you can check for yourself as they may be found on bookfinded.com by using the proper screening parameters. The period may be found in the middle of line 11 on page 112 but it won't be there if you have the printer identified as you stated.
Sales values may be estimated by comparison of your copies with those found on bookfinder.com or Abe. But you do need to have some experience in judging condition and identifying first editions and points. Book collecting 2000 is a good place to begin.
My book has a period on lin 11 between the words - way There's.
There is no - this that - on line 11.
I did look at the signature page as you suggest - it is hard to tell although this signature is more spread out that the webpage. It definitely could be. The Libris sticker has had the bottom name part removed.
Anyway I will look into your suggestion of book collecting. I have come to understand a lot of the terms - I think it would be easy for a novice to get totally hosed with some of the sellers out there.
I have never bought a first edition for more than a $100 for that reason - I probably would get braver if I became more well informed.
Have you ever come across a bargain - recognized as something valuable in a book store. I don't think I have ---yet.
Thanks again. Karen
I very seldom pay $100 for a first edition but still find bargains at book stores and book sales. My prize is a $1000 first of Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian which I purchased for 50 cents at a small town sale about 8 years ago. I have about 100 other books that I have paid less than $30 for that are now insured for$100 to $500 each but the internet has made this more difficult and internet phones promise to make things even more challenging. Oh well, the search is the fun part and I still believe that anything can be anywhere when you are collecting first editions.
I dabble in the hyper-modern mystery and science fiction collecting areas. I've recently found that a relatively easy way to determine the release date of UK vs. USA books is to go to www.fantasticfiction.co.uk and search for the author. You can also easily determine the nationality of the author. In the case of Clare Clark, you will get a page with a little Union Jack flag next to her date of birth, so you know she's not American. There's also a short bio stating she was born, and currently lives, in London. Knowing the author's nationality is helpful for the cases where there's a simultaneous UK and USA release of the same book; in that case, the general rule is to "follow the flag" for the "true first" to buy for your collection.
Getting back to the release date determination, clicking on The Great Stink gets you a page with the release dates for the UK hardcover and paperback on the left, and the USA hardcover and paperback on the right. Of course, this information seems to be based on links to the Amazon sites, and Amazon does make a fair number of mistakes, so a search on bookfinder.com or even Ebay.com can be helpful in determining which book to buy.
Speaking of mistakes, Scotchbooks, you wrote you saw a hardcover Penguin copy of The Great Stink on Amazon UK. Looking now, the only Penguin version I find is the UK trade paperback, so I'm wondering if Amazon mistakenly had it listed as a hardcover and that mistake has now been corrected? ISBN comparisons are helpful here, again searching them on bookfinder.com, to see what book format the booksellers are listing under a particular ISBN.
I hope the above info is helpful. The fantasticfiction website is also useful for copying covers to your LT library, for figuring out the order of a series, for author pseudonyms, for aka titles of the same book in various countries, etc.
Regarding sources for book collecting information, a simple search on dogpile.com or google.com will overwhelm you with information. I'm constantly learning new things, or forgetting and re-learning things, as the case may be:)
Thanks for the site reference. The date listings will prove useful along eith the author and publication listings.
I did order a bookfinder/ABE UK first for the The Great Stink in hardcover. The copyright page does indicate that it is a Viking label issued by the Penguin publishing group. I don't recall if I saw the Penguin "first" in a book description or ISBN data field but my guess is that a seller made a descriptive errror.
Anyway, your information seems to confirm the UK edition as the true first.