Where to Buy Signed, First, and Limited Edition Books:
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.
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.
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.
This one's for all you horror genre junkies - limited editions, signed and unsigned copies.
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.
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).
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.
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.
(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.
Publisher of literary fiction and nonfiction.
earlier editions can be EXTREMELY valuable, especially if signed.
hand-bound limited editions
bookstore and small press, limited edition books and folios.
small press, reg. book prices.
a fine arts press, specializing in letterpress, broadsides, and limited edition artists books
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)