I was on eBay, checking on the steady rise of value of Fantasy and Science Fiction, when I came about this listing: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1965-FRANK-HERBERT-DUNE-True-1st-EDITION-PAPERBACK-/290954701196?pt=Antiquarian_Collectible&hash=item43be40698c
Right now, there are no other Dune first edition paper backs on eBay. Not a single one. Obviously this person, this smart business minded person had the sense to notice that and get one up for about six times it's value. Will it sell? In my experience with such things, sometimes it will. Once I sold a Neuromancer, a book I found commonly at Paperback Exchanges in the area with great frequency, for about double its going rate, only because it's the only one I saw on there in a while.
Is it gouging? I don't think so. Will it cause a artificial inflation of the market? Possibly. Much the way prices of popular vintage video games have skyrocketed over the years. When I collected video games they were so cheap, I could pick up two or three uncommon games for a few bucks. I bought five copies of Secret of Mana for Super Nintendo, because it was my favorite game and the save battery would go dead, for $3 each. You get the point. The same thing that effects anything vintage and collectible, happens with books.. for the following reasons.
Why Books go up in Price:
1) The condition of a book always get worse with time.
2) Authors die.
3) Movies/TV Shows get made.
4) Book are reprinted.
5) Books are out of print.
6) Internet/Social Media Trending
Roll 1D6 two times with the above table to tabulate a response from the market.
Example: The HobbitJ.R.R. Tolkien is dead, the books went out of print, books are reprinted in the millions, movies get made, it trends on the interwebs, and booyah, books = bank.
When I was taking the pictures of my Dune first editions for this post on my keyboard, I was thinking, "Do I have $600.00 worth of books on my desk right now?" The answer is, and I'm pretty sure you all will agree with me, is.. no. Scrutinize the condition, the fading, the whatever it takes, never pay $300 for a Dune first edition. I don't care how big a fan you are.