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
Is it a trend yet? With 20% on the top fiction and nonfiction lists selling as BIN or best offer, seems this may well be a trend to watch
with high end books.
Otherwise, 2008 started as usual. A blend of King, Rowling, and Lee showed up in the fiction category. Sue Grafton and Cormac McCarthy added variety, along with
an 1886 copy of Kidnapped. Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous led the non-fiction list. Others on the list included Kenojuak: Graphics
Masterworks of the Inuit and a pair of 1839 books on early exploration of Australia. Atop the Antiquarian and Collectible
category were two Mormon books from the mid-1800s along with 3 volumes from the 1400s. Two were offered
by the same German seller.
Fiction Top 10
||Stephen King The Colorado Kid 1st 1/99 traycased signed
||1st Edition UK Printing of Eddings ' The Belgariad'!
||To Kill a Mockingbird. 1960 1st Edition/ 1st Printing.
||CORMAC MCCARTHY THE ROAD FIRST ED SIGNED
||To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee, 1st Edit./1st Print.
||Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 1st-1st printing
||Stevenson KIDNAPPED 1886 1st Edition / 1st Issue w/Map
||Stephen King Carrie 1st ed SIGNED/DATED in 1979 LOOK!
||B is for Burglar signed by Sue Grafton 1st HB/DC
||Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowli...
* Auction price not validated because a NARU (Not a registered user) ended the auction.
The Colorado Kid
The 1st hardback edition was #5 of 99 signed by King and the artists and placed in a traycase. The US seller stipulated, "...
purchasers must have positive feedback
of 100 or more, and purchase by foreign buyers will only be allowed on a prescreened basis...."
The NARU used a BIN to end the auction.
To Kill a Mockingbird
10 bids took this 1st edition, 1st printing to $2,075.
An Australian seller used a private listing to sell this signed, 1st edition as a BIN.
To Kill a Mockingbird
Another copy of To Kill a Mockingbird received 23 bids.
The 1st edition, 1st printing without dust jacket was paired with a 1st edition, 13th printing with a dust jacket.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
17 bids took the 1st edition, 1st printing hardback to $1,287.99.
Robert Louis Stevenson
The 1886 1st edition with a "fold out frontis colored map" was described as in excellent condition.
Sold as a BIN, the 1st edition was signed and dated 1979.
B is for Burglar
The signed 1st edition hardback attracted 11 bids.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Described as fine though "...someone has signed the inside page and a few pages have creases where the top pages corner hasw been
turned down," the hardcover attracted 14 bids.
Non-Fiction Top 10
||NA 1st Edition Basic Text
||ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS WORKS PUB.CO 1942-3RD.P.
||KENOJUAK Graphic Masterworks of the Inuit Jean Blodgett
||STEICHEN THE PHOTOGRAPHER - Sandburg - SIGNED LIMITED
||Rare Geneva "Breeches" Bible 1599-older than King James
||Songs By George Harrison book 7" 45 rpm SIGNED Beatles
||Rare 1839 Antique books Early Australian Exploration
||MATH BOOK Navigation/Surveying/Astronomy 1690 PLATES
||Dodo and Kindred Birds Books 1953 Masauji Hachisuka 1st
||TODD HIDO: ROAMING - with ORIGINAL PRINT
Narcotics Anonymous' 1st editions usually attract many bids and this was no exception. 28 bids took the $125 starting bid to $2,480.
The 1942, 3rd printing received 11 bids.
Kenojuak Graphic Masterworks of the Inuit
The 1981 limited edition is #113 of 275 and signed by both the author and the artist. The only flaw listed was a "very faint trace of smoke."
Steichen: The Photographer
A single bid purchased the "1929 signed limited edition #116 of 925" in near fine condition.
Replete with "L@@K!" the 1599 Bible received 23 bids.
Geneva "Breeches" Bible
The 1987 Genesis publication was signed by Harrison and Keith West and is #1187 of 2500. Described as in mint condition, the
volume is boxed, and the auction
included a 7" 45 rpm single containing 4 unreleased songs.
Songs By George Harrison Vol. One
Mitchell's Australian Expeditions
T. L. Mitchell
Listed by an Australian seller, the leatherbound volumes were published in 1839 and are described as rare. They sold after 2 bids.
Cursus Mathematicus. Mathematical Sciences
The 1690 1st edition was in good to fair condition, "folio bound in later sheep (leather) with raised panel spine... old Harvard (released)
blind stamp to title page." The auction ended with 19 bids.
The Dodo and Kindred Birds or The Extinct Birds of the Mascarene Islands
Published in 1953, the large format book with illustrations is described as in very good condition. 5 bids took it to $1200.
This book is one of 25 numbered special edition copies; the number of this one was not specified by the seller.
The auction for the 1st edition signed hardcover included an original print and was listed by a Japanese seller.
By the Numbers
17 sellers were from the USA
2 sellers were from Australia
1 seller was from Japan
14 books were published during or after 1950
6 were published before 1950
3 sold as BIN
1 sold as a Best Offer
1 to 28 was the range of bids
Seller feedback ranged from 1 to 7160.*
10 books were sold by sellers with 100% positive feedback
Feedback ranged from 96.7% to 100% for sellers who had feedback
The oldest book was published in 1599.
*feedback is noted at the time the auction is viewed by BookThink.
Antiquarian & Collectible Top 5
||RARE 1841 BOOK OF MORMON 1ST EUROPEAN EDITION LIVERPOOL
||1st First Edition Pearl of Great Price Mormon Book LDS
||Aristophenes EDITIO PRINCEPS Aldus 1498 Incunabula Fol.
||Sebastian Brant - Ship of fools - 115 Woodcuts (1497)
||Bergamo - Supplementum Chronicarum - 73 Woodcuts (1486)
Book of Mormon
Listed by a US seller, this is 1 of 4,500 copies of the edition. The seller described it as "the 1st European edition ... essentially
a reprinting of the 1837 edition with British spellings." 32 bids took the auction to $17,877.
Pearl of Great Price
A second Mormon book came in at #2. The 1851 1st edition published in England was listed by a US seller and sold with a single bid.
The Canadian seller calls this "one of the most important of all printed books ... printed in folio at Venice by the Great Aldus
in 1498." Bound in 18th century vellum, the binding is described as in excellent condition. The auction attracted 31 bids.
Ship of Fools
The German seller indicates this is the "first Latin edition of the Narrenschiff (Ship of Fools)." It contains 115
woodcuts, "most ascribed to Albrecht Durer."
The auction attracted 31 bids to close at $10,753.70. The same seller sold #5.
Sold by the German seller of #4, the 1486 incunable contains 53 woodcuts and is said to be the 1st illustrated edition.
It drew 28 bids.
Questions or comments?
Contact the editor, Craig Stark
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