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BookThink's Top 10 on eBay
October 2007

by Pamela Palmer

#113, 28 January 2008

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

Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous titles dominated the October non-fiction list, filling half the slots, while Harry Potter took 3 places on the fiction list. The big news, though, came from the Antiquarian & Collectible Top 5 where a 3' 50 lb. heavyweight came in at #1 after garnering 41 bids and $25,655. Shipment was by crate only with the US seller calculating the price based on the winner's location. The "mammoth medieval - renaissance choir book, Office of the Dead, illuminated manuscript in Latin on original parchment [Spain, 1541]" started at $1 and sold on October 8 for $25,655.

Fiction Top 10
October 2007

#1 $2,975.00 THE HOBBIT - 1st USA PRINTING by Tolkien
#2 $2,025.00 FINE1st prin ltd THE REIVERS signed by William Faulkner
#3 $1,482.00 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows****SIGNED!!!!!****
#4 $1,285.00 Jack Kerouac On The Road (1957) 1st ed hc dj excellent
#5 $1,250.00 To a God Unknown - John Steinbeck - 1st British Edition
#6 $1,200.00 20th CENTURY GHOSTS Joe Hill SIGNED/DELUXE 200 COPIES
#7 $1,125.00 Signed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K.
#8 $1,000.00 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows SIGNED by Rowling!
#9 $875.00 Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (990) 1st/1st Signed
#10 tie $850.00 Stephen King Colorado Kit #3/33 copies SIGNED by King
#10 tie $850.00 KURT VONNEGUT A Man Without a Country SIGNED 1st/1st HC

The Hobbit
J.R.R. Tolkien

19 bids took this US first printing with original dust jacket to $2,975. Interestingly, it was purchased off eBay earlier this year by the seller.

The Reivers
William Faulkner

The signed first edition is #65 of a first printing of 500. Listed in fine condition in the original mylar wraps, it received 21 bids.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
J.K. Rowling

Signed by Rowling with a letter of authenticity, the book was auctioned to raise money for 2 children with serious illnesses.

On The Road.
Jack Kerouac

A first edition was described as "Overall, a nice 50 year old classic book with original dust jacket." It attracted 21 bids.

To a God Unknown
John Steinbeck

Listed by a US seller, the first British edition is described as "a near fine copy ... in a very good plus dustwrapper."

20th Century Ghosts
Joe Hill

Sold as a BIN, the numbered limited deluxe edition is described as fine in a fine dust jacket.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
J.K. Rowling

With hologram and ticket stub to the New York signing event, the new copy was opened only for Rowling's signature.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
J.K. Rowling

Another copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was signed at the same event as #8.

Eye of the World
Robert Jordon

Described as a "very rare first edition (1500 true first edition were sold...," the book sold as a BIN.

#10 tie
Colorado Kid
Stephen King

A Man Without a Country
Kurt Vonnegut

A Puppet Show
Jeffrey Thomas

Tied for #10 at $850, the trio of hypermoderns ranged from King's signed limited edition in a traycase and Vonnegut's signed first edition (both sold as best offers) to Thomas' "ultra rare, ultra limited ... in an edition of 26."


Non-Fiction Top 10
October 2007

#1 $2,657.00 Narcotics Anonymous 1st EDITION BASIC TEXT(1982)
#2 $2,599.00 Peter Beard by David Fahey, Owen Edwards, Peter Bear...
#3 $2,425.00 Narcotics Anonymous 1st Edition Basic Text
#4 $2,395.00 Narcotics Anonymous Red book (1982)
#5 $1,675.00 Alcoholics Anonymous Rare 1st Edition 2nd Printing
#6 $1,625.00 Alcoholics Anonymous First Edition Fifth Printing GOOD
#7 $1,400.00 Every Building on the Sunset Strip Edward Ruscha Modern
#8 $1,388.10 Lurking Death by Ion Idriess Guerilla handbooks book5
#9 $1,075.00 Favorite Recipes of The Lady & Her Friends, Paula Dean
#10 $1,046.00 Tales of Wild Turkey Hunting, Simon W. Everitt 1928 1st


It Works
Narcotics Anonymous

The 1982 first edition received 7 bids.

Peter Beard
David Fahey, Owen Edwards, and Peter Beard

Sold after 3 bids for $2,599.

It Works
Narcotics Anonymous

This is #1071 of the first 2500 published. It was described as "in great condition."

It Works
Narcotics Anonymous

The third copy in the October top 10, this one sold as a BIN.

Alcoholics Anonymous

A first edition, second printing, this copy is an ex-library volume with binding in fair condition.

Alcoholics Anonymous

The first edition, fifth printing copy attracted 20 bids.

Every Building on Sunset Strip
Edward Ruscha

The 1966 photography book sold as a BIN.

Lurking Death
Ion Idriess

Listed by an Australian seller, the 1942 softcover attracted 21 bids.

Favorite Recipes of the Lady & Her Friends
Paula Dean

32 bids took the signed first printing copy of Dean's first cookbook to $1,075.

Tales of Wild Turkey Hunting
Simon W. Everitt

Published in 1928 and described as in near mint condition, the first edition attracted 18 bids.

By the Numbers
A 3-way tie at #10 Fiction means there are 22 items

21 sellers were from the USA
1 seller was from Australia
17 books were published during or after 1950
5 were published before 1950
0 books were listed for 3 days
1 books was listed for 5 days
11 books were listed for 7 days
4 books were listed for 10 days
4 sold as BIN
2 sold as a Best Offer
1 to 32 was the range of bids
Seller feedback ranged from 7 to 11869.*
10 books were sold by sellers with 100% positive feedback
Feedback ranged from 93.8% to 100% for sellers who had feedback
The oldest book was published in 1928.

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


Antiquarian & Collectible Top 5
October 2007

#1 $25,655.00 Giant Medieval Renaissance Manuscript Choir Book
#4 $10,995.00 PETER BEARD Collector's Edition with Print "Fayel Tall"
#5 $10,766.66 ON THE ROAD Jack Kerouac true 1st edition HC DJ SIGNED

[Medieval Renaissance Choir Book]

What's 3 feet tall and weighs 50 lbs.? If you guess the c1541 medieval renaissance choir book, you're right. Described as "the largest original medieval or renaissance manuscript ever sold on eBay ...," it is handpainted/lettered on vellum. Size and weight were considerable, so the US seller determined shipping costs (in a crate) based on location. After 41 bids, the illuminated manuscript was listed by a US seller and sold for $25,655.

Boris Godunov
[1831, in Russian]
Aleksander Pushkin

Listed by a UK seller, the first edition in Russian is called "a very rare find." The auction attracted 33 bids.

Atlas General Contenant Le Detail Des Quatre Parties Du Monde

Listed by a French seller, the 1790 atlas sold as a BIN.

Peter Beard
David Fahey, Owen Edwards, and Peter Beard

Sold as a BIN to a novice buyer, the auction shows no buyer feedback after two and a half months.

On the Road
Jack Kerouac

Sold by a US seller in a private auction after 35 bids, this signed copy of On the Road is a first edition. Both book and dust jacket are described as in near fine condition.

Questions or comments?
Contact the editor, Craig Stark

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