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BookThink's Top 10 on eBay
August 2008

by Pamela Palmer

#128, 12 October 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: Items numbers are now included in this article. They are in the individual auction comments section below the author and title. Click the links to see the listings.

Politics, art, and Alcoholics Anonymous highlighted the August non-fiction Top 10. Obama's Dreams from My Father came in at #10 to supply the political tie. But art made a bigger splash. Three Taschen publications - Peter Beard Collector's Edition, Jeff Koons Collector's Edition and David LaChapelle's Artists and Prostitutes - came in at #1, #4, and #6. Alcoholics Anonymous filled the #2, #3, and #8 slots. Perhaps the most unusual entry in the list was Ralph P. Millard's Cleft Craft: The Evolution of Its Surgery, a 3-volume set. The big winner, though, was in the Antiquarian and Collectible Top 5. A German seller had 4 of the 5 sales. Now that's dominating a category!

Fiction Top 10
August 2008

#2 $2,213.00 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - First/1st print
#3 tie $2,000.00 John Kennedy Toole-CONFEDERACY DUNCES 1ST/1ST ptg F/F
#3 tie $2,000.00 Lord of the rings Tolkien 1st 1954 set hcdj vintage map
#5 $1,899.99 1938 Hobbit 1st US Printing 1st Issue Tolkien G+ to VG
#6 $1,670.42 Devil May Care - Bentley Limited Edition - No. 177/300
#8 $1,250.00 Robert Jordan EYE OF THE WORLD 1st HC/DJ **SIGNED**
#9 $1,050.00 George R. R. Martin GAMES OF THRONES Jeffrey Jones
#10 $999.95 William Gibson--NEUROMANCER 1ST/1ST Brit ed F/F Signed

New Moon
Breaking Dawn

Stephenie Meyer

A complete set of Meyer's Twilight Saga signed first editions came in at #1. The set sold as a BIN. The same seller sold #7.

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

Calling it "The Mother of All Harry Potter Books," the US seller sold the 1st US edition after 24 bids.

#3 tie
Confederacy of Dunces
John Kennedy Toole

LSU Press printed only 2500 copies of this 1980 first edition. The fine unread copy sold on a single bid.

#3 tie
Lord of the Rings
The Fellowship of the Ring
The Two Towers
The Return of the Kind
J.R.R. Tolkien

Sold as a BIN, the set of never read, mint first editions with dust jackets described as very good.

The Hobbit
J.R.R. Tolkien

The 1st US edition of The Hobbit is described as in very good condition and comes in a facsimile dust jacket. It sold with a custom leather clamshell box after a single bid.

Devil May Care
Sebastian Faulks

One of the 300 limited Bentley edition books showed up at #6. It is leather bound in a plexiglass slipcase and is #177. A "cast 1.43 scale model of Bond's Bentley actually set into a die cut space within the book."

New Moon
Breaking Dawn
The Host

Stephenie Meyer

Sold by the seller of #1, this signed set of Meyer's 1st editions includes "four true first edition/first printings plus 1 1st edition/later printing." It sold as a BIN.

Eye of the World
Robert Jordan

The 1990 signed 1st edition is among 1500 printed. It sold as a BIN.

A Game of Thrones
George R.R. Martin

Signed by the author, illustrator, and man who created the maps, this mint condition presentation limited edition was formerly the property of the illustrator. It sold after 9 bids.

William Gibson

Described as "in unread as new condition in fine dust jacket," the 1st hardcover edition was signed by the author. It sold after a single bid.


Non-Fiction Top 10
August 2008

#1 $4,500.00 Peter Beard, Collector's Edition #1822/2500
#2 $3,349.00 Alcoholics Anonymous Book 1st Ed 6th Printing 1944
#4 $2,750.00 Jeff Koons, Collector's Edition, TASCHEN 2008
#5 $2,175.00 Cleft Craft by Ralph D. Millard (1980) Three volumes
#6 $2,000.00 David LaChapelle-Artists and Prostitutes-signed
#7 $1,650.00 Bob Dylan Signed "Chronicles" Best Selling Memoir
#8 $1,601.00 Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book 1st Ed. 2nd Printing 1941
#10 $1,300.00 Obama Dreams From My Father


Peter Beard, Collector's Edition
Peter Beard and others

The Taschen limited edition is #1822 of 2500 and is described as in "perfect condition." It sold as a BIN.

Alcoholics Anonymous

The 1st edition 6th printing (1944) volume in the original dust jacket was in "very good condition" and sold after 27 bids.

Alcoholics Anonymous

The 1st edition 3rd printing (1942) in the original dust jacket "which is in rough condition" sold after 15 bids.

Jeff Koons, Collector's Edition
Eckhard Schneider and Ingrid Sischy

This Taschen publication is #161 of 2500. It sold as a best offer.

Cleft Craft
Ralph D. Millard

13 bids took the 3-volume set to $2,175. The set is described as in new unread condition and shipping weight is 30 lbs.

Artists and Prostitutes
David LaChapelle

Another Taschen limited edition came in at #6 and sold after a single bid.

Bob Dylan

Selling to benefit the charity K9 Connection, the "signed & personalized" copy sold after 51 bids.

Alcoholics Anonymous

A 1st edition 2nd printing (1941) attracted 21 bids.

Helmets of the Deep
Leon Lyons

A signed 1st edition of Lyon's book on diving helmets showed up at #9. It sold after 18 bids.

Dreams From My Father
Barack Obama

Listed in "like new" condition and sold by an Obama volunteer, the book attracted 12 bids.

By the Numbers

19 sellers were from the USA
1 sellers were from the UK
3 sellers each sold 2 books
16 books were published during or after 1950
4 were published before 1950
5 sold as BIN
3 1 sold as a Best Offer
1 to 51 was the range of bids
Seller feedback ranged from 83.3 to 100.*
12 books were sold by sellers with 100% positive feedback
Feedback ranged from 4 to 10470 for sellers who had feedback
The oldest book was published in 1938.

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


Antiquarian & Collectible Top 5
August 2008

#1 $23,100.00 Peter Schoffer - Turrecremata - Incunable from 1478 !!!
#2 $17,588.99 Handwritten Antiphonary - 15th century - IMPERIALFOLIO
#3 $15,099.00 Brant - The Ship of Fools - Rare 2nd English ed. (1570)
#4 $11,800.00 1597 Rau COSMOGRAPHIA folio 21 Quad maps 92 wdcts SUPER
#5 $10,046.99 Book of Hours - 15th century Breviary - Stundenbuch !!!

Expositio super toto psalterio
Johannes de Turrecremata

Dating back to 1478, is described as "Richly and artistically decorated incunable with 149 red and blue intials !! Rare third edition printed by Peter Schoffer ! Contains the first ever printer's mark !!!" After 30 bids, it sold for $23,100.

[Antiphonal, Antiphoner, Antiphonarium, Antiphonaris]

The 15th century handwritten manuscript is described as "grand illuminated manuscript of monumental size !! 82 vellum leaves with 152 wonderful handwritten initials !!! If the exclamation points look familiar, there's a reason. The German seller of #2 also sold #1, #3, and #5; in addition, the seller is a regular on the Antiquarian & Collectible Top 5.

Ship of Fools
Sebastian Brant

Described as a "very rare copy of the early English translation of the Stultifera Navis with 118 (!) impressive woodcut illustrations." It received 34 bids and sold for $15,099.00.

J. Rau

A Swiss seller listed this 1597 Cosmographia folio 21 Quad maps. It sold after a single bid.

early 15th century Book of Hours

The German seller of #1, #2, and #3 holds the #5 place as well. This time it's a 15th century Book of Hours. It sold after 23 bids.

Questions or comments?
Contact the editor, Craig Stark

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