Rarity grading for First editions

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KLP85
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Rarity grading for First editions

Post by KLP85 » Wed 18 Sep, 2013 14:39:30

Having been looking about for 1st edition 1st prints for a bit some seem to be more common than others. I realise that all the 1930’s hard back books will be rare but even in later publications some seem to be very rare to spot for example the black magic omnibus 1956 and the secret missions of Gregory Sallust, though death in the sunshine another compilation book I have seen a few times. Has anyone put a rarity guide together?. This would help those of us who if say coming across a torn dust jacket of one of these would be in a better position to know if this was still worth getting as you might not come across any copy in any grade again.

Charles
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Post by Charles » Wed 18 Sep, 2013 16:08:38

Hi Kevin !

Let me join everyone else in welcoming you to the Library, and what an interesting post !

No one to my knowledge has ever done this in a systematic way, and it would be an interesting project.

Anything that the old 'Book & Magazine Collector' magazine ever did - if it did - would be well out-of-date.

The nearest I myself have come is to produce informal value gradings (a,b,c,d,e etc) which I have dished out on an informal basis to people who have asked me for some help in valuing their collections, and which they have been able to use to get a preliminary feel for rarity (or otherwise !) before they seek quotations from the various specialist dealers. I think the two lists would be similar, but not identical.

I'm quite tempted to raise it at the November Convention (Ken G - I hope you're reading this !). Those of us immersed in book collecting could see if we can come up with some kind of consensual list, and I could put it - with lots of caveats - on the website.

Just as an aside, I agree with all your observations, and would note that several of the 1930s/1940s 1st editions are far rarer with dustjackets than 'The Forbidden Territory' or 'The Devil Rides Out', although they command lesser - but often still high - prices.

Thanks again for such a great post !
Charles

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Post by ken68 » Sun 29 Sep, 2013 14:06:55

welcome kevin, and i am am indeed charles :D .


ken

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Post by KLP85 » Tue 22 Oct, 2013 22:19:39

Why do dealers always put a high price on The launching of Roger Brook? why should this 1940's book be so much more than some of the others of that decade?.

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Post by ericmocata » Wed 23 Oct, 2013 00:50:02

Probably just because it is the first of the series and they view it as being more significant than others from that time. Also, fewer copies of that one may surface these days than other books or there might have even been fewer copies printed at that time than some other titles. Mostly, I think some sellers just ask ridiculous prices in the hopes that somebody will pay it, then slowly drop the price a bit at a time. These days, people seem to think everything they have is worth a fortune. If a guy has a book and he hears somebody else asked $500 dollars for a copy, he suddenly thinks he absolutely needs to get $500 for it, regardless of anything resembling reality.

For instance, I have a first edition of Rollo Ahmed's The Black Art, which is in pretty good edition, but is missing the dust jacket (I have yet to see a copy for sale with it). On eBay, I keep seeing this really beat up copy for sale, which has loose pages and damage to the outer part of the spine and that seller is asking $400. I paid maybe $80 or so for my copy which is in much better condition than that one.

Mainly, I think people are far too aware of the collector mentality these days. They have something for sale and they are fairly certain that they will find some collector with enough money to pay their steep prices.

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Post by ken68 » Thu 24 Oct, 2013 12:26:31

The early roger brook book prices amaze me. I sometimes wonder if it's because that series is the least well known and even die hard DW fans don't list them among their favourites people reckon that makes them rarer so more valuable.

Ken

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Post by Jim » Thu 24 Oct, 2013 22:38:07

I've mentioned this in other threads, but I've never understood why the Lymington edition of Gunmen, Gallants and Ghosts is so much harder to come by than Mediterranean Nights. The original text of Gunmen had six hardcover printings, and Nights had seven. They were then revised for their first paperback versions, and those texts became the Lymington editions, for two printings each. Nights made it into the Heron series, but Gunmen didn't, and while I see Nights on eBay all the time (including the signed copy I won), I still haven't been able to pick up that revised Gunmen for my collection.

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