Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Dune First Edition Value & Cost Comparison (Dune Price Guide)

Dune Editions and Values Based on market prices from websites such as eBay, Amazon, and other rare book sellers, based on a study of three years market evaluation and obsession.
Dune 1st Edition - HC First Printing                      $4,000+      3550       1900           10,000
Dune 1st Edition - HC Second Printing                   1300          875          675               5800                  
Dune 1st Edition - HC Third Printing                      1000          675          500               5000 
Dune 1st Edition - HC Fourth Printing                      425           380          275              2000
Dune 1st Edition - HC Fifth Printing                         200           160          125                 ??
Dune 1st Edition - HC Sixth-Ninth                            125            90             65                 ??
Dune 1st Edition - Book Club Edition                        80              50             20                ??
Dune 1st Edition - PB First                                         60              50             25                ??
Dune 1st Edition - PB Second                                    50               30             20                ??
Dune 1st Edition - PB Third                                       35               25             10                ??
-- Q & A --

 How do I know if my copy of Dune is a first edition, first printing?

A: All Dune first/first HC copies have BLUE cloth boards. Subsequent printings have light RED cloth boards.

My copy has red cloth boards, and says first edition, which printing is it?

A: Up until the fifth edition, they were labeled as above. If it does list the specific edition, it will be the first number of seemingly random numbers under the Printing information. Ie.. the bottom image above is a ninth printing.

How can I tell if my copy is a book club edition?

A: The price of the book will be under $10.00 on the flap of the dust jacket. First edition books listed for $5.95, third and fourth 7.95, and so on. No first edition Dune is listed at over 10.00 on the flap. You will notice sellers on eBay trying to get away with selling a BCE copy as a later edition or first edition because of the similarities. Book Club Editions are fun to collect as they resemble the original first editions if it is priced well. BCE copies have bright RED cloth or canvas boards.

I see first edition Dune's on eBay for much more than $4,000. Why?

A: Several reasons. #1: The seller is trying to boost the price of the other auctions he has selling the same book. The above image I took was the third time seeing the same book, with the same pictures and description by the same seller at a higher price. Anyone in the market to buy one will see the "Value" and buy the lowest. #2: The seller believes that his copy is special in some way. Unless it is signed, it is not special, and you should use the table above. Having seen what actually sells over the years and recording it, I can say my estimates are pretty close. #3: It is the rare exception where the book is really honest and truly, near-mint condition and needs it's value to be reconsidered. Books of such quality can bring well over my estimates, I just don't see them very often or at all to give you a great value of it. Also, the + next to my value could extend to nearly $5,000 if a buyer is in the right mood but it is very rare.

Paperbacks seem to be always in terrible condition and over priced. Do people really collect them?
A: People really like the paperbacks, as its pretty much an introduction to rare book collecting, on a budget. There are various printings and editions, but this is one thing I've noticed over the years: people don't know what they are looking at. First through tenth printings all look the same when it comes to the first edition 1965 paper back. The only way you can tell? The price of the book. .95 cents was the original price of the book and is the only sign you need. Prices range up to around $1.50, and on eBay they sell for all around the same price without much consideration to condition. People that have done the research will know what they are looking at, and if they are smart, will use the guide above.
Are forgeries out there? Do people fake the signatures?
A: I have only seen one really bad signature forgery. Just really obvious and not his style. Look above. That's what is looks like. Always with a Bic-type pen, and always, I mean always has the name crossed out. Even on book proofs he will cross out his name, no matter how small it is. As far as faking the whole book, or switching out boards, I would have no way to confirm this. I have only ever held one first edition with my hands, and would not know what to look for. The dust jacket seems it would be very, very easy to rip off. The jacket is the same as the BCE copies out there, scan it, change the price on the flap using pictures also on eBay, make it look old-ish, and sell it as an earlier edition. Other books of the time had blue boards, and were the same size. It would be more elaborate, but could be pulled off to make a few grand. Just be careful. Ask for more pictures when buying.


  1. Can help me figure out what edition my copy is? It is red and doesn't state what printing it is on the inside but it does say; Copyright 1965 by Frank Herbert. Published in Philadelphia by Chilton Book Company and simultaneously in Ontario, Canada by Thomas Nelson & Sons, LTD.

    The lettering on the spine looks gray/silver. It is 507 pages long.

    1. DO you have pictures you could link with imgur?

  2. I have the same red "1st" with only date of 1965m see photos at...


    Any value or details?

    1. Later printing of the first edition, or most likely an early book club edition. Condition is fair. With dust jacket can go around $60.