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BookThink's Top 10 on eBay
September 2007

by Pamela Palmer

#110, 17 December 2007

Which fiction and non-fiction books are winners on eBay? Each month this series answers the question and, along the way, looks at the listing strategies sellers use to bring in big bucks. To learn more about what's in and what's out of the lists, read our Top 10 on eBay Parameters.

NOTE: For item numbers of auctions featured in Top 10, subscribe to our free email list by writing Editor Craig Stark at

September was a typical month in many ways - Rowling, King, The Hobbit, Alcoholics Anonymous. But strange things happened too. A non-fiction top ten auction disappeared from eBay after Freud's Sbornik Psychoanalytickych Praci sold with 36 bids. And then there was the Antiquarian & Collectible top 5 seller. After selling a Plath/Hughes signed book to a novice buyer, the seller changed names and went to private feedback.

Fiction Top 10
September 2007

#1 $5,100.00 JK Rowling Signed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
#2 $3,200.00 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowli...
#3 $1,395.00 Take My Face - Peter Held - Jack Vance - 1st NF Rare
#4 tie $1,300.00 Stephen King - Bundled First Editions - 1 Signed
#4 tie $1,300.00 Pebble in the Sky - Isaac Asimov...1st Edition ..Signed
#6 $927.45 FINE ltd 1st ed Sgnd by Faulkner Requeim for a Nun
#7 $910.00 The Regulators-Limited/Signed Edition by Stephen King
#8 $900.00 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole, 1st/1st
#9 $760.00 Dracula

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
J.K. Rowling

The signed copy with a holographic sticker and accompanied by a letter from Rowling sold after 13 bids.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
J.K. Rowling

This signed first edition sold as a BIN.

Take My Face
Peter Held

Written by Jack Vance under a pseudonym, the first edition hardcover has minor flaws and a near fine dust jacket. It received 9 bids.

#4 tie
Dead Zone
Secretary of Dreams.

Stephen King

In a lot that includes 4 first editions, the top 3 listed are described as very fine and the 4th is new.

#4 tie
Pebble in the Sky
Isaac Asimov

Described as "Asimov's first Science Fiction Novel, before he wrote his Ph.D. Dissertation.... This Book is in great Condition...." The 1950 book, signed by Asimov in 1980, comes in a mylar covered dust jacket with a chip and some cracks. It received 1 bid.

Requeim for a Nun
William Faulkner

22 bids took this signed first edition in fine condition to $927.45.

The Regulators
Stephen King

The signed limited edition book received 12 bids.

A Confederacy of Dunces
John Kennedy Toole

One of the 2500 copies printed in the first run, this copy and dust jacket have minor flaws.

Bram Stoker

Described as "very worn book, but inside pages are good," the 1897 copy received 11 bids.

The Colorado Kid
Stephen King

1 of 33 copies in a "traycased signed letter edition" this book sold as a BIN. It was signed by King, and "all other contributors ... except for Potter."


Non-Fiction Top 10
September 2007

#1 $6,689.00 Alcoholics Anonymous - First Edition - First -1939
#3 $2,413.88 On the Road by Jack Kerouac (1957) 1ST Edition w D/J
#4* $2,175.00 SIGMUND FREUD SIGNED BOOK !!! WOW!!!
#5 tie $2,000.00 Alcoholics Anonynous Harper & Brothers 12 & 12 MINT
#5 tie $2,000.00 Charles Darwin On the Origin of Species 1861
#7 $1,825.01 1st edition Narcotics Anonymous basic text
#8 $1,500.00 My Edens After Burns by Val Kilmer (1988)
#10 $1,300.00 Photo Masters for Diamond Grading by Gary A. Roskin ...

*This auction was removed by eBay so it is not possible to determine if the sale was completed.


Alcoholics Anonymous

The 1939 first edition received 14 bids.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Listed by the US seller of #5, this 2nd edition sold as a BIN in a private auction.

On the Road
Jack Kerouac

Garnering 36 bids, the first edition with dust jacket sold for $2,413.88.

Sbornik Psychoanalytickych Praci
Sigmund Freud

This auction has been removed by eBay so it is not possible to verify if it was completed. Shortly after it closed, the private auction showed 3 bids. It was listed by a US seller.

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
Alcoholics Anonymous

Listed by the seller of #2, the private auction ended with a BIN.

On the Origin of Species
Charles Darwin

Sold by an Australian seller, the 1861 book is described as "rebacked endpapers renewed [;] Original spine relaid spine darkened."

It Works
Narcotics Anonymous

Sold by a US seller who wrote "This book is sold as is see my ratings no b.s." After 9 bids, it sold for $1,825.01.

My Edens After Burns
Val Kilmer

The 1988 softcover first edition was listed by a novice US seller.

History of Santa Barbara & Ventura Counties California with Illustrations

Listed by a US seller and "sold as found," the 1883 book is described as "very little rips to pages, cover shows vintage wear...." After 16 bids, it sold for $1,372.77.

Photo Masters for Diamond Grading
Gary A. Roskin

Sold in a BIN, the 1994 book was listed by a US seller.

By the Numbers

19 sellers were from the USA
1 seller was from Australia
1 seller sold 2 books
15 books were published during or after 1950
5 were published before 1950
3 books were listed for 3 days
2 books were listed for 5 days
8 books were listed for 7 days
2 books were listed for 10 days
4 sold as BIN
1 sold as a Best Offer
1 to 36 was the range of bids
Seller feedback ranged from 0 to 2450.*
8 books were sold by sellers with 100% positive feedback
Feedback ranged from 98.1% to 100% for sellers who had feedback
The oldest book was published in 1861

*feedback is noted at the time the auction is viewed by BookThink.


Antiquarian & Collectible Top 5
September 2007

#1* tie $14,000.00 LIGHT BLUE DARK BLUE -1ST - SIGNED -PLATH, HUGHES 1960
#1 tie $14,000.00 Stephen King's Firestarter, lettered Asbestos edition
#3 $12,700.00 **__GOSPEL, EVANGELIE, ideal condition, rare, 1780__**
#4 $10,050.00 Hobbit 1937 Tolkien 1st ed 1st imp HC DJ Allen & Unwin
#5 $9,900.00 1496 ILLUMINATED BIBLE Biblia Latina 1ST BRESCIA ED.!

* It is not possible to determine if this sale was completed. For more details, see #1 below. was using a new selling name and had private feedback.

#1* tie
Light Blue Dark Blue
An Anthology of Cambridge and Oxford Writing

Described as signed by Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, the book was listed by a UK seller and sold to a novice buyer in a BIN. It is not possible to determine if this sale was completed. Two months after the BIN took place, the buyer still had 0 feedback and the seller, who had 295 feedback with a 99.3% positive rating at the time of the BIN, was using a new selling name and had private feedback.

#1 tie
Stephen King

Sold as a Best Offer, the 1980 volume is letter H in the "lettered asbestos Firestarter" and was signed by Stephen King. The seller reports that there were only 26 volumes bound in asbestos.

Gospel or Evangelie

Listed by an Austrian seller in a private auction, the Ukranian printed volume is described as a "very large folio ... with old Slavonic editing by two different hands.... 4 engravings of Evangelists on copper by Goczemski." It sold as a BIN.

The Hobbitt
J.R.R. Tolkien

In another private auction, a first edition copy of The Hobbitt in a first issue dust jacket sold as a best offer.

[Biblia Latina]

Listed by a US seller and described as "the earliest Brescia edition of the Latin Bible," the 1496 Bible was printed in Italy. It received 33 bids to sell for $9,900.

Questions or comments?
Contact the editor, Craig Stark

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