Ridiculous secondary prices for FS books 2021

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Ridiculous secondary prices for FS books 2021

Redigeret: apr 30, 7:06am

As the previous thread had reached almost 500 postings, time to start a new thread.

Book of the New Sun LE for US$18540!!

apr 30, 7:27am

>1 wcarter:
But this is the rare 2012 version.

apr 30, 10:12am

>2 Jayked: The 1 of 1!

apr 30, 2:18pm

Whenever I've cast a glance at Folio titles on eBay lately I feel as though I've entered a Philip K. Dick short story.

apr 30, 2:39pm

>4 cronshaw:

That's what 'they' want you to think.

Of course, when you buy any of those titles you are contributing funding to my research into the wcarter memorial infinity library.


apr 30, 4:34pm

>5 Cat_of_Ulthar: I should have guessed a feline misdemeanour was apaw as soon as FS titles began behaving like a cryptocurrency. Will their prices crash then? That's the limited edition question.

maj 1, 5:59am

First printing of M&M for £175 anyone? Perfect if you love first printings or “FOLIO” rather than “FS” logos on the spine!

I will never understand the first printing premium on some FS books. It is baffling.


maj 1, 8:17am

>8 caesarofcaesars: It's not just FS books that get a first printing premium - that happens with a lot of books. I even sold a set of Japanese Manga that got a high price because it was all first North American printing copies.

maj 1, 9:43am

>8 caesarofcaesars:
>9 coynedj: because it was all first North American printing copies.

As I understand* it the "first printing" thing originated in America, who knows why. It spread to the UK only recently on the back of Folio Society SFF titles, which appeal to those seeking "first printings". In all other respects it is meaningless. I can understand the clamour for shrinkwrapped copies only very slightly more. IMO neither of these things warrants further expenditure, often in the hundreds, on top of the price of the book.

*My understanding may be imperfect, given I collect only Folios

maj 1, 12:02pm

I am glad that I am not into first editions. It makes no sense to me to pay way more for a Folio Society book, which looks exactly like a newer copy, just because it's a "first edition".

I understand paying a bit more if the newer edition is of a lower quality (like Little Women). But for something like M&M, it makes no sense to me. Thankfully, it doesn't have to.

maj 1, 12:11pm

A first edition first impression of an early trade publication by an author who becomes famous is usually the only copy worth much. My local bookseller had such a copy of Iris Murdoch's first, Under the Net, for north of $1K.I've got a copy of her second, Flight From the Enchanter, which ain't for sale. Some booksellers carry the same mindset into Folio books, even though they're not usually scarce or original works. So they ask a premium for a first printing of the Blue Fairy Book even though devotees are discarding it in favour of the leaner second. Seems to work too.

maj 1, 12:58pm

>8 caesarofcaesars: “I will never understand the first printing premium on some FS books.”

With modern printing there really shouldn’t be any physical difference between a first printing, a 10th printing, or even a print-on-demand book. However, in the bygone days of physical type on paper, there were significant differences. Type would eventually become worn, so electroplates and other forms of reproduction were used to extend out print runs or re-print. These could vary in quality.

I’m currently reading The Forsyte Saga, which the Folio Society originally issued in letterpress in 1984. The edition I have is the so-called “second impression” from 2002 and it is not letterpress as there are tell-tale signs of photographic reproduction (hairline marks in the text-block, less than perfect edges of letters).

There is also, of course, the current controversy of reprints being done at different presses with potential quality-control issues.

Overall, I think that the collecting mentality is the primary reason for the premium you describe, in that the first is the most desirable just because it is the first.

maj 2, 5:18am

>10 folio_books: As a bookseller, I justify my references in book descriptions to 'original shrink-wrapped' copies of Folio Society books, as I find perceptions of what a new condition book do seem ... to differ somewhat on occasion.

I have bought supposedly 'New' copies of other publishers' books from booksellers when on taking delivery I find really obvious signs of wear including serious flaws such as the text block separated from the book spine.

I think a new book should be free of flaws and signs of any use.

In selling a sealed Folio Society book still in its shrink-wrapping I know from scrutiny of the exterior that the book is without an external blemish. I accept that even a new and sealed Folio Society book might have an internal printing or internal binding error but having sold many hundreds of their books I have yet to receive notification from one of our buyers of a single defect in a new Folio Society book. It is a remarkable record that shows the quality control exercised by the printers and binders chosen by Folio.

maj 2, 6:46am

>12 Jayked: I love Iris Murdoch. I've got a first edition of An Unofficial Rose, bought from a library sale for about 20p decades ago. Obviously, it's in terrible condition, but I am very fond of it.

maj 3, 12:09pm

>1 wcarter: I wonder if they'd waive that $10 shipping fee on an $18K book? ;)

maj 8, 6:20pm

I can’t find the thread, but there was a recent discussion about the prices of the Fairy books and how the FS can’t easily reprint the books because they’d have to start from scratch, essentially; something to do with the original ones using some older software to lay them out.

I’ve always struggled with this, because the FS is starting from scratch with 40-50 books per year, many of which cost $60 or thereabouts.

With some of these books fetching $1,500 apiece now, you’d think that would be good incentive to do the work to print them again.

maj 8, 6:37pm

>17 WishIReadMore_: But how many books sell in a year for $1500? Under 10?
There is no way they could market the book at even $500. I’m guessing the smallest print run they could consider would be 1000 (and perhaps closer to 5000). Are there this many people who would want the fairy books?

Redigeret: maj 8, 6:40pm

>17 WishIReadMore_: replicating an older layout, especially when consumers are likely to notice and dislike deviations from the original, is much harder than doing a new layout for a new project from scratch.

Also maybe they just want to do something new.

maj 8, 7:03pm

>18 DMulvee: I didn’t mean they could/should sell it for for $500, just that with that much demand it should sell. But true, we don’t know what the actual demand is.

>19 abysswalker: And yeah, I can see that they’d just prefer something new.

maj 8, 7:08pm

>20 WishIReadMore_: It would be interesting what the reaction would be if FS were to sell a very special LE (limited to say 50 copies) at $2500. Would they sell out quickly? Would it raise the prestige of the brand? Or would it put off devotees who looked at a different publisher.
Looking at some of the prices on the secondary market, the conclusion must be that higher prices could be achieved. Unfortunately for all of us, we are seeing this with rising prices (and in January) a sale that was less generous than previous years.

maj 9, 4:22am

I always found this rather peculiar. The Fairy books were a good and constant seller for many years. It's safe to say that FS could have sold more copies of the later editions than they did, but this seems to have been hindered by that other software. I'm sure they'd sell now, too, though certainly not at the crazy prices one sees on the internet. But there are enough people who would like to complete their set or who would pick one of the later ones for its own sake, e. g. because they like those particular illustrations. And new people could start on them at a reasonable price. FS children's books always seem to do well. I would have expected the older editions to be the problem, but it seems that those could be reprinted, the newer ones couldn't. Did they try out some software and it didn't work for them? I understand that starting from scratch would be harder than a new project, among other things they probably don't have access to the original illustrations anymore. But still, it's a rather weird case since only part of the edition - and only the later part - is affected.

maj 9, 6:02pm

>17 WishIReadMore_:

And by this notion, one might think that they would consider doubling down and making an even more impressive Fairy set, for the same or less than any other new release. Literally, they could build upon their own publishing mythology.

maj 10, 6:25pm

>24 RRCBS:
"The box has a few creases along the bottom edge."
Presumably they got a replacement from FS and are looking to cash in.

maj 10, 8:45pm

>24 RRCBS:
I wouldn't get it!!

maj 11, 1:00am

>22 SF-72:
Whatever the reason, I'm sure that if the FS could see a way to reprinting for a decent profit, they'd go for it. The fact that they don't suggests that they've done the sums and they don't work out.
I recently sold off my Fairy Book collection (individually), and whilst I was happy with the prices, there wasn't a huge level of interest, just that there were a few prepared to chase prices up a long way. Admittedly that's an anecdotal sample, only based on watchers and bidders, but I'm not convinced there's the big market that some reckon.

maj 11, 6:54am

>26 wcarter: And somebody has placed a bid! I wonder what they plan to do with the box...

Redigeret: maj 11, 7:12am

>28 RRCBS: my guess is someone’s box was damaged after receipt and they feel this one is less so.

Still. Cray.

maj 11, 8:11am

>27 Willoyd: It’s difficult to have a discussion about your sale without knowing how you went about it. Did you do them all as an auction starting at $0.99? Was it buy it now with a high starting price for an auction?

Also, most people don’t even bother, as they know the prices are insane for some of the rarer ones, so they just scroll past.

If you tried listing an orange, brown, violet or some of the other ones for $120 I bet they wouldn’t last longer than 10 seconds.

maj 11, 8:59am

>30 WishIReadMore_: If you tried listing an orange, brown, violet or some of the other ones for $120 I bet they wouldn’t last longer than 10 seconds.

No doubt true. But anything listed for a small fraction of its current perceived market value probably wouldn't last longer than 10 seconds, because at that point you introduce a huge number of potential buyers who have no interest in the product itself but have a significant interest in making a quick buck. Doesn't necessarily translate into huge sales at FS level.

maj 11, 2:55pm

>31 Levin40: Good point! I'd buy it myself!

maj 12, 10:44am

>28 RRCBS: A bid of $200 for an empty box, the seller maybe.

Redigeret: maj 13, 2:19pm

>30 WishIReadMore_:
No I didn't start the listings as low as that, but most were put on around starting bids of c £30, whilst my highest starting bid was £60 - the price of the Blue Fairy Book new from FS - so certainly all below the $120 starting bid you suggested would stimulate a stampede. It didn't!

maj 13, 12:47am

When you’re feeling down on FS secondary price just remember.. it can always be worse.


maj 13, 1:23am

>36 Sorion:
This is one of the most desirable Limited Editions Club books, but that price is ludicrous.
Also available at https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=17893299752&searchurl=an%3...
for a fraction of the price.

Redigeret: maj 13, 7:22am

The $12,666 PKD. Surely a joke !!!

maj 13, 6:25pm

>37 wcarter: that copy you linked to lacked Joyce's signature. Since Joyce only signed the first 250 of the limitation (he stopped signing in a fit of pique when he learned that Matisse hadn't even read his work and had illustrated Homer's Odyssey instead), those signed by Joyce sell for multiples more than copies signed only by Matisse. I hope the person who has just bought the copy you linked to is aware that that copy lacks Joyce's signature and isn't necessarily a bargain...

maj 13, 6:48pm

>37 wcarter: I've seen the Joyce signed version go for $25-30k. $50k is really high. I've seen the Matisse only signed version for under $5k.

maj 13, 6:53pm

>40 kdweber: I've seen it go for 10k. I think we can agree regardless that it's crazy.

Personally I only really care about Matisse's signature and will in time purchase the copy that only he signed.

Anyway, straying off topic there.

maj 13, 7:39pm

There’s one on eBay with both signatures for 50 grand at the moment.

maj 13, 11:28pm

How much was the copy linked by >37 wcarter: ? Can’t see the price but only Matisse’s signature is mentioned in the description so hopefully the buyer wouldn’t assume it also has Joyce’s.

maj 13, 11:52pm

>43 ChampagneSVP:
It was US$3500

maj 14, 9:28am

It’s not ridiculous and I’d imagine in a year it would be good value, but something seems ridiculous about asking £70 minimum for a book that is still £50 new...


maj 14, 4:23pm

>46 coffeewithastraw: But you are free to make an offer!

Redigeret: maj 14, 4:45pm

>47 wdripp: I will reluctantly pass ;)

Edit: Though as the claim is that it is unopened I am curious how they know the limitation #

Oh oops its on the sticker, my bad.

Do they really expect to sell at this price or is there some other purpose to the listing that escapes me? (Yes I know, this is a further comment. Curiosity, cat, etc.)

maj 14, 7:36pm

>46 coffeewithastraw: “Rare Limited Number 666”

Just as rare as every single other limitation number… 1 in 1000!

(Yeah it has some symbolic value… a seller with some flair would have gone for $6666. What’s with this leading 12 nonsense? No style.)

maj 15, 4:37am

I like the 'lucky 666' - that's a new view on that particular number.

You know, if this was The Exorcist, Good Omens or something of the sort, it would make at least some sense to consider this special, though still not special enough to justify that price.

maj 15, 5:24am

>46 coffeewithastraw:

eBay is just checking whether I need another few moments to think about it...

maj 16, 4:26pm

$999 for “A Clockwork Orange signed by Anthony Burgess”. Curious how this was possible when Burgess died in 1993 and FS first published this in 2014, I read the description to see that the seller has tipped in a blank page allegedly signed by Burgess before he passed. 🙄


maj 16, 4:30pm

>52 ChampagneSVP: Yeah, that seller is notorious for very high prices. He's also one of the ones that buys in-stock Folio and EP books and marks them up for sale on eBay

maj 16, 4:57pm

Anyone for a rare copy of the limited edition of Small Gods?


It's £307 more than the FS are asking for the standard edition, but it does look to be in very nice condition with just a few marks on the slipcase. It can be your own little secret, because nobody else will know it's a limited edition, even if you show it to them since it looks exactly like the standard one in every particular.

maj 16, 8:04pm

The Call of Cthulhu SE has risen in price a fair amount over the last year but this one takes the cake.


maj 16, 8:10pm

>55 Charon49: That's very optimistic. I think that's double or more what the SEs have been selling for.

maj 16, 11:05pm

>54 terebinth: Correction, the FS is not asking anything for a standard edition because it's no longer in print.

Now of course, the price makes the listing quite at home in this thread.

maj 17, 4:32am

>57 WishIReadMore_:

Ah, thanks for that. I did a hasty search on the Folio website, found a price and assumed that the book could be bought for it: which will probably betray that I've not spent much time on the Folio website lately.

maj 18, 1:12pm

>54 terebinth: An offer of £315 has went to those who viewed the item. Truly a bargain now!

maj 24, 10:20am

Been watching eBay since March when Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None went out of print. First posting I’ve seen and it’s this monster:


maj 24, 10:45am

>60 simbae: I haven’t seen a reasonably priced Agatha Christie for months. I saw two by a big seller for cheap/reasonable prices but passed a while back, but every single one that comes on eBay/FB is just ridiculous. You could probably buy the entire series new from FS for the price of a second hand volume these days!

maj 24, 4:24pm

>60 simbae: ridiculous

maj 24, 8:55pm

Stranger things have happened - the copy of Malay sold.

maj 25, 11:21am

New Hardy LE already up...


I thought the FS direct price was high. SMH

maj 25, 12:00pm

>64 coffeewithastraw:
Wonder if he's sniffing something stronger.

maj 25, 3:28pm

>64 coffeewithastraw:
I am surprised it is on AbeBooks and not eBay. I hope the person is correct and it is a “bit of a stunner”, given none of us have received it yet!

maj 25, 3:36pm

>66 Hamwick: perhaps they are referring to their price!

maj 26, 1:23am

>64 coffeewithastraw: I'd go as far as to say that this listing is fraudulent. At the time of listing, they presumably won't have received their copy yet and have no idea what limitation number they'll receive. And yet their images (which show as "Bookseller image", not "Stock image") show this as being copy number one as they've taken the limitation page image direct from the FS website.

maj 26, 8:59am

>68 CLWggg: I’ve sent a question asking what limitation number it is... no response so far.