Sunday, August 25, 2013

Books: Why do they increase in value? (Dune PB)

     I was on eBay, checking on the steady rise of value of Fantasy and Science Fiction, when I came about this listing:

    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 Hobbit
    J.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.


  1. Love your blog as always...with the possible exception of "authors die." Yikes!

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  3. Unfortunately mortality rates for human beings can get up to around 100%. Unless your last name ends in Mcloed. Your chances are much better then.

  4. Do you have any definitive sources on paperback editions? I see references to your 17261 being a 1967 reprint while 17264 as the 1965 first edition.

    1. I think, I'm almost positive, I have seven copies of Dune, in first edition paperback, across various printings. 1st, 5th, 17th.. etc.

      I base my source information on having multiple copies of the book, and having sold multiple copies of the book previously. As there is very little written about the paperbacks, some google-fu will tell you I'm roughly in the ballpark.

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