by Pamela Palmer

#99, 9 July 2007

BookThink's Top 10 Ten on eBay
April 2007

Top 10 on eBay

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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. In early January, we'll look back at the year and consider trends and highlights. 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

The Fiction Top 10 started out in typical fashion with heavy weighting toward Stephen King and son Joe Hill. Then at #9, it split into a 3-way tie, making it the Top 11 list. If you are wearing a hat, though, settle it firmly before checking out the Non-fiction list. This month saw strange behavior crop up, making it a wild international ride, especially for a certain buyer from China.

Fiction Top 10
February 2007

#1 $2,575.00 Edgar Rice Burroughs TARZAN AND THE ANT MEN 1st in DJ
#2 $2,502.48 Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard signed limited ed
#3 $2,276.51 Slippery Staircase by E.C.R. Lorac 1938 London HC/DJ
#4 $1,391.00 Tolkien~The Fellowship of the Ring~First Edition~1954
#5 $1,195.00 JOE HILL 20th Century Ghosts Deluxe HC 104/200
#6 $1,030.00 Stephen King's S/L Cycle of the Werewolf Collector's Ed
#7 $1,025.00 Stephen King signed Legends Lettered Edition WW 1 Of 50
#8 $1,001.45 JOE HILL HEART-SHAPED BOX Subterranean Deluxe Limited
#9 tie $1,000.00 tie Stephen King, signed limited ed of Christine #666/1000
#9 tie $1,000,00 tie Stephen King s/l Firestarter, #448 of 725, July 7, 1980
#9 tie $1,000,00 tie *rare* TORTILLA FLAT john steinbeck **SIGNED**

Tarzan and The Ant Men
Edgar Rice Burroughs

The 1924 McClurg edition has a professionally restored dust jacket, and the US seller described the scope of the restoration in detail. Listed in a 10-day auction with 15 photos, the book received 1 bid and sold for $2,575.

Battlefield Earth
L. Ron Hubbard

Sold as a BIN, the signed leather-bound copy of Battlefield Earth in slipcase and wooden box was listed by a Australian seller in fine condition. Listed with 7 photos, the book sold the day after it was listed.

Slippery Staircase
E.C.R. Lorac

Fans of classic mysteries know E.C.R. Lorac's Slippery Staircase. The Crime Club 1938 first edition was listed by a US seller in a private 7-day auction with 5 photos. Questions included a report of receiving an offer to sell the same book. After 12 bids, the price went from the starting bid of $19.99 to close at $2,276.51.

The Fellowship of the Ring
J.R.R. Tolkien

Called "extremely rare," the 1954 1st edition was listed by a US seller in a 7-day auction with 11 photos. In response to a question on whether this is the first UK or first US edition, the seller replied that it was the first US edition but had been printed in England. The dust jacket is described as "a little rough, worn at folds, tattered at the top and bottom ... with a short horizontal tear ...." 10 bids took it to a selling price of $1,391.

20th Century Ghosts
Joe Hill

If you wondered whether Stephen King and son made this Top 10 list, wonder no more. Hill's short story collection in the deluxe limited edition came in at #5. Described as "new and ... gently viewed," it is #104 of 200 copies. Listed by a US seller with 2 photos, it sold as a BIN.

Cycle of the Werewolf
Stephen King

A signed limited edition of King's The Cycle of the Werewolf attracted 13 bids in the 7-day auction with 3 photos. Described as #54 of 100, the book contains a "tipped-in original Wrightson pencil sketch .... The book, dust jacket, slipcase and sketch are all in near fine condition." The same seller sold #7, and 2 King books tied for #9.

Stephen King

Continuing the King-Hill run, a signed, lettered copy of Legends came in at #7, listed by a US seller in a 7-day auction with 2 photos. Described as "in as new condition, no flaws and unread," it is "bound in full green leather, housed in a matching leather slipcase, with full pictoral endpapers." Each story is signed by the author; authors include King, Robert Silverberg, Terry Pratchett, Terry Goodkind, Ursula K. Le Guin, and others. After 8 bids, it sold for $1,025. The same seller sold #6 and 2 King books that tied for #9.

Heart-Shaped Box
Joe Hill

A second Joe Hill book came in at #8 in a private 7-day auction by a US seller. Described as a "deluxe limited edition ... which sold out pre-publication," the book attracted 18 bids to sell for $1,001.45.

#9 tie
Stephen King

Stephen King

Tortilla Flat
John Steinbeck

Two Kings and a Steinbeck tied for #9 with each selling for $1,000. The Kings were both signed limited editions. Christine was #666 of 1000, and Firestarter was #448 of 725. Sold by the same seller to the same buyer, both involved private auctions. The seller of these 2 books also sold #6 and #7.

Steinbeck's classic Tortilla Flat rounds out the top fiction in April in a 7-day auction with 11 photos. Listed by a US seller, the 1935 7th printing received 11 bids. Described as in very good condition, it was inscribed and signed by the author on the flyleaf.


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