Signed first editions of The Cuckoo’s Calling are the subject of frenzied bidding from dealers and collectors
A first edition of The Cuckoo’s Calling by JK Rowling has sold for £2,950 ($4,492) . The book is signed “Robert Galbraith”, the pen name used by Rowling, who was unmasked as the author of the crime novel last weekend .
The book, priced £16,99 ($26) when it was published in April, was sold through the UK website of AbeBooks, which specialises in secondhand and rare books.
Another signed copy of the book is currently on sale on the site for £3,950 ($6,1015) and yesterday two unsigned first editions sold for £600 each ($914).
“Obviously, there has been much repricing by booksellers when it became clear that these were highly collectible books,” Richard Davies of AbeBooks told The Telegraph.
“First editions are going to be very attractive for many people, as signed copies appear to be extremely scarce and already commanding premium prices.”
On Wednesday, two unsigned first editions sold for £600 and three other first editions have also sold for prices in excess of £300 ($457) this week. AbeBooks had not sold a single copy of the book before the weekend.
Prices have also been rising sharply on eBay. A signed copy is currently for sale for £3,499 ($5,337), and another is for sale for £1,499 ($2,283). Yesterday afternoon, a signed copy sold for £1,795 ($2,734), and an unsigned copy sold for £1,111 ($1,692), after 44 bids.
It is thought that only 1,500 copies of The Cuckoo’s Calling were printed, making it highly sought-after by book dealers and collectors. According to Nielsen Bookscan, 449 had sold in the UK (and a further 1,000 overseas) before Rowling was identified as the author, following a leak. A huge reprint has since been ordered and the book has gone from 5,076 to number one on Amazon.
Signed copies of first editions of Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone, Rowling’s first book, have changed hands for many thousands of pounds. The initial print run was only 500 and most copies ended up in public libraries.
In 2005, a 66-year-old general contractor in the US construction business paid $37,000 edition for a signed copy for sale on AbeBooks.
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