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Additionally, some books by famous authors are better than others. The location of publication is an often overlooked but important detail in a list of information about a collection of books. A book is more likely to appeal to collectors, and therefore be worth more, if you have actually heard of the book or its author.Other copies with a few mistakes are usually worth between $500-1,000. Make certain that there are no loose pages or gatherings of leaves that have come out or are in danger of falling out. An owner inscription or signature from a member of your own family is always interesting to find, and if he or she was a well-known person, could add to value. Scott Fitzgerald’s without a dust jacket might bring around $300. Skinner sold a copy that was signed and presented to the famous poet Archibald Mac Leish.
A beautifully leather bound book or one with a pictorial gold leaf cover can form the basis for a really eye-catching shelf; these antique books are usually quite collectible.
Simple beauty in a cover or binding can be worth $40-1,000 depending upon the complexity and execution of the design.
With this list of guidelines in hand, a shelf of antique books won’t seem quite so daunting. You can send an image and description using Skinner’s free online auction evaluation form to receive an estimate of what the book might be worth at auction. Due to the volume of comments, we are unable to continue to reply individually.
First, read Part I: How to Tell a Rare Book From an Old Book. The London edition is the “true” first and worth around $1,400. Mark Twain’s has over seven documented (and corrected) mistakes during the printing process. An author signature can mean an increase in value of ten times or more the ordinary value of the book in most cases.
George Orwell’s was published in 1949 in both London and New York. Thrifty printers will not throw out a batch of sheets simply because there was a mistake on the page. Those first sheets now form an “issue point” that collectors use to determine how early in the printing process the sheet was printed.
This huge difference in value is largely due to the fact that more than 90% of dust jackets are destroyed, either deliberately or due to their ephemeral and fragile nature. Whichever hits the shops first is the “true” first edition while the other becomes the “first American edition” or “first English edition.” The value of a “true” first is typically always greater. When certain books are evaluated, the number of “mistakes” that occur in the printing process will elevate their value.
A first edition of John Steinbeck’s , first edition with dust jacket, is worth around 0. Many titles were published virtually simultaneously in two places, for example, London and New York.
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