The Sword of Shananananahannara. I think I spelled that right.
The Sword of Shannara is arguably one of the best fantasy epics of our age. Huge.. sprawling descriptive environs, acts of pure heroism, high adventure in a low fantasy setting. Brooks owes everything of the initial sale to the Brothers Hildebrandt for the best artwork ever seen on a hard cover novel in years. Look at the fold out on the same book:
Just awesome. You want to be there with them. In my opinion, some of the best fantasy artwork out there. I suppose that's why the first edition of this novel in hard cover goes for so much money. Mint eBay prices commonly go for about $250, and one in serious ugly condition goes for about $125. But of those currently on eBay, I only see two real first edition books. I'll tell you how you can tell the difference.
There are book club versions of the same book also listed as "First Edition" when you open the title page to check the copyright. There was a version released in the UK also sold as the first edition, this one has the price listed as 6.75.. pounds. The real price on the first edition is $12.95. And the one telling sign you have a first edition is.. drum roll please...
There is a dark red "TB" on the front of the book when you take the dust jacket off. I'd say about 1 out of 100 so called "First Editions" has pictures of this. When I request if a picture of the symbol is available, almost right away the post is either taken down, or the person has no idea what I'm talking about, like I'm making something up. I have sold one such first edition for just over $200, and I have one more in my collection downstairs that I would not sell. I also have a first edition paper back which are not so rare, but are big and great to have. It was given to me by a childhood friend and was one of the first fantasy novels I've ever read.
*Edit* Terry Brooks use to sign his books with just his first name. He also liked to leave you a little message in the book. Signed copies go for around $400, 500 on a really good day.
*Edit #2 1/12/15* Lot's of comments keep pouring in about the value of their book. Depending on printings, condition, and other factors, these prices do change. See below:
1) Advance reader copies are more rare than a first edition but can be in varying degrees of quality, and some are signed. $250-$300 for an unsigned advanced reader copy is not unheard of. Signed easily over $500 if you can verify the signature.
2) Book club editions are nearly exactly the same as a first edition, but go for around $20-$30. Book club editions are not rare and printed all the way in to the 90's regardless of the date on the book.
3) Second, third and fourth printings of the first edition drop heavily in price as the print run increased as more printings were ordered. Keep cutting the price by 50% for each printing after the first.
4) The second edition has a very different appearance than the first, with white lettering and a cropped cover picture. $40 is a safe bet for a second printing first edition, with a signed copy going for around $75. Looking at ebay now I see a few for more than I just stated, but I'm sticking to the value I just put on it.
5) The TV show just came out, so the demand of these of books has increased slightly. If the popularity of the show gets to Game of Thrones-esk levels, you will see a 20% increase in value of the early printings.
6) Paperback first editions were printed after two or three printings of the hardcover over a year after the first edition/first printing. The initial print run was pretty large, but i can't find any information online about it. The book was oversized, with a stiff cardstock cover that is easily yellowed and damaged easily. It has the fold out cover art and maps included. New condition, $25, used maybe $15-$20. I think these are under valued as many of these books get tossed in the garbage being as they get beat up easily.
7) Late reprints have no collectable value unless limited edition, or signed.
8) Boxed sets have almost no collectable value, but are really cool to have. Early boxed sets were mail order paperbacks similar in appearance to the first edition and are awesome. Yes, awesome.