Ed Lin at Penda Daily posted an article I really enjoyed titled, "Making a killing off Stephen King." (barrons.com)
Lin addresses special editions as investments. Do you think of your collection as an investment? I have thought how difficult it would be to break my collection down and sell each piece on ebay.
Cemetery Dance sold the signed limited edition of Doctor Sleep for $2,500 with a print run of 52 books. Even at that steep price, it sold out in 75 minutes. Lin puts the pieces together, adding up that readers paid a total of $130,000 on PRE-ORDERS! Pre-orders create lots of anticipation -- and sometimes you even forget what you bought. I ordered a book called "Scream Plays" YEARS ago -- and am yet waiting.
Selling such nicely produced books with a very small print run creates what Lin calls a "instant rarity."
“We’ve been publishing limited editions in the 500-to-2,000 copy range since 1992, and the market has stayed fairly strong even when the economy hasn’t been chugging along,” says Brian James Freeman, the managing editor. “We have witnessed other presses come and go over the years, but we have a strong base of collectors who have seen us through good times and bad.”
No matter what Freeman says about customers seeing CD through good times and bad, no one is buying books just to keep the publisher in business! They are selling books because they are producing something buyers want: A high quality product that is instantly rare by a beloved author.
Now, I have a first edition of The Shining, and was anxious for the Doctor Sleep signed editions to be offered. However, when I saw the price of the signed editions (just the signed ones came to something like $350) I could not justify it. I could afford it -- but I couldn't justify it. Kids to send to camp, dance costumes to buy. . . and I want a $350 book. What's different about it? King signed it. Is a signature worth it? I would argue not. I own one item signed by King (Under the Dome), and that's enough for me. (See my article: Signed Books, Do They Matter? talkstephenking)
HOWEVER. . . if you are collecting to SELL, Lin points out that signatures might be well worth it!
By the way, I love special editions! I think the IT edition by King was fantastic. Also Full Dark No Stars was a great production. Simply put, buyers purchase from CD because they keep swinging home runs.
Lin offers the following "rough" guidelines for collecting special editions:
- Sign up for the publishers’ email lists.
- Acquire all the titles in a series.
- Buy books that you would truly enjoy owning.
The full article is HERE.