Resources


 

Where to Buy Signed, First, and Limited Edition Books:

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My Favorite Indie Bookstores:

Powell's Bookstore, Portland, OR (affiliate link). Powell's is a great Indie bookstore with lots of used and new titles. They also run the Indiespensable Book Club, offering limited signed & slip-cased editions. The more popular Indiespensable Books quickly climb in value. 

VJ Books,
Tualatin, OR  (affiliate link). The largest independent seller of collectible and signed books in the world, working with all major publishers, and over 700 authors.

Rainy Day Books,
Fairway, KS. A community bookstore that sponsors a great number of author events for the Kansas City area.

Book Passage, San Francisco, CA (affiliate link)

I tend to shy away from Amazon and eBay for collectibles — both are somewhat of a crapshoot. More often than not, I end up not getting what is described.

 

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Online Marketplaces

 Abebooks.com (affiliate link)

Abebooks is a marketplace for book sellers, with a high percentage of signed and collectibles available. They're also generally a good resource for figuring out how much value a book may have.

Many Abebooks booksellers are members of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America.

SignedPage.com

The Signed Page began as a way to help New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks reach fans who could not meet with him when he went on tour. 
It's not quite a bookstore—more of a place where authors go and sign books 100 at a time. It's sort of a repository for signed books. Essentially the guy who runs the website is in close proximity to a number of authors. He gets a stock of books from the publisher or author, has them do a quick signing and offers them on his website at or near cover price. 
 He specializes in inscribed copies. So when you order, he notes the inscription for when the author comes to sign.

Small Presses

Centipede | ABE Listings 

This one's for all you horror genre junkies - limited editions, signed and unsigned copies.

Subterranean | ABE Listings 

Sub Press offers limited edition sci-fi, horror, fantasy titles both signed & unsigned.

They run a yearly grab bag sale—offering 10-12 books (some signed) for about $10-$15/book. A discount from their normal $45-$100+. They also have an annual 50% off all pre-orders sale. It's worth signing up for their newsletter announcements. Most Sub Press titles quickly accrue in value.

City Lights | ABE Listings  

San Francisco based independent bookstore and publisher. They publish "cutting-edge fiction, poetry, memoirs, literary translations and books on vital social and political issues." Some of their authors include Allen Ginsberg, Frank O'Hara, William Carlos Williams. Their earlier editions are most collectible (1950s-1980s).

Graywolf Press | ABE Listings 

A not-for-profit publisher based in St. Paul, Minnesota, Graywolf is "[f]ounded on a dedication to the creation and promotion of thoughtful and imaginative contemporary literature essential to a vital and diverse culture, Graywolf Press publishes fiction, non-fiction, and poetry."  Out Stealing Horses, by Per Peterson appears to be their big collectible title to date.

Pomegranate | ABE Listings 

Specializes in art books, calenders, note cards, etc. Look for the higher priced newer items, or titles published between 1970 -1992. With these items, it's probably best to collect the things you like (ie: Edward Gorey calenders) because they have a huge catalogue and it's hard to know what will be worth $200 down the road and what will be worth $2.

McSweeney's | ABE Listings 

(sorry, I'm pilfering a bit from Wikipedia here) an American publishing house founded by writer/editor Dave Eggers. McSweeney's also publishes the quarterly literary journal Timothy McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, ... the monthly magazine The Believer, the quarterly food journal Lucky Peach, the sports journal Grantland Quarterly.... The publishing house also runs several additional imprints including, Believer Books (works from some of the monthly magazine’s most popular contributors), the Collins Library (reprints of forgotten classics), and McMullens (their new Children's imprint). McSweeney's is famous for putting out several different editions of the same book without making mention on the copyright page if it's a first edition, first/second/third printing. Instead, they usually change the cover color.

 

Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill | ABE Listings 

Publisher of literary fiction and nonfiction.

Copper Canyon | ABE Listings 

poetry

New Directions | ABE Listings  

earlier editions can be EXTREMELY valuable, especially if signed.

Arion | ABE Listings 

hand-bound limited editions

Arundel Press | ABE Listings 

bookstore and small press, limited edition books and folios.

The Permanent Press | ABE Listings 

small press, reg. book prices.

Moving Parts Press | ABE Listings 

a fine arts press, specializing in letterpress, broadsides, and limited edition artists books

Cadmus Editions | ABE Listings 

limited, signed editions.

Protecting Your Collection:

 

Firsts magazine has several great articles on protecting your collection. I'm posting the links here because they're worth reading & thinking about:

 

How to Apply Archival Dust Jacket Covers

 

Where to Find Dust Jacket Protectors:

  • Demco.com — library supplies (offer smaller quantities: pack of 50 10x21" poly covers with paper back and adhesive strip: $21 USD)
  • Brodart.com — library supplies (usually cheaper per unit: pack of 100 10x21" poly covers with paper back and adhesive strip: $32 USD)
 

Where to Find Book Appraisers: