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Value of signed (but not 1st) editions
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Author:  Cento [ Sat Nov 07, 2015 6:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Value of signed (but not 1st) editions

Hi resident SK experts,
I have an opportunity to purchase two signed / inscribed King US editions, and seller is happy to negotiate. The books are being sold by a reputable local dealer who I have known for a long time and I am confident as to the signatures authenticity. Both are inscribed to the same person, dated 10/30/1981. One book is Firestarter (4th Impression) and Cujo (3rd impression - signed in year of publication). Books have some minor water staining to internal pages, but overall VG to VG+ condition.

Is it fair to say that the books themselves are worthless and the value is only in the signatures? Any premium on the dates signed?

Many thanks

Author:  Mr. Rabbit Trick [ Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Value of signed (but not 1st) editions

Signatures at or around issue date are very desirable for collectors. Its a pity they are not 1st/1st editions as the value can be quite different.

Examples from Betts Bookstore:

Firestarter 1st edition inscribed. The nicest copy and most pristine DJ this collector has seen in 15 years. Zero signs of sun fade or wear to DJ, book is very fine. Page blocks are alabaster white. Priced accordingly for rarity/condition - $495
Firestarter 5th printing inscribed "For Ellen, best and Merry Christmas 12/4/80" year of publication VG+/VG+ - $99

Cujo 1st edition flatsigned by Stephen King and dated 10/31/81; Fine- book with small bump to front board, slight discoloration noted to front board; DJ is gorgeous Fine condition, comes in red aftermarket slipcase….$300
Cujo 5th printing inscribed "To Donna All best...and don't let the dog bite! Stephen King 12/5/81" signed year of publication! Fine-/Fine- NICE COPY! - $199

Author:  racerx45 [ Sun Nov 08, 2015 3:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Value of signed (but not 1st) editions

are they both dated 10/30/1981?

Author:  allasorte [ Sun Nov 08, 2015 4:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Value of signed (but not 1st) editions

I'm glad someone with knowledge answered this because I wanted an answer too. I always thought King's signature regardless, was valued around $200. Apparently not when in a book club. Thanks for the information on the question!

Author:  Cento [ Sun Nov 08, 2015 8:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Value of signed (but not 1st) editions

Thanks again for your help Mr Rabbit Trick.
And racerx45, yes, both inscriptions are to same person on same date.

Author:  racerx45 [ Mon Nov 09, 2015 6:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Value of signed (but not 1st) editions

I am having a hard time with the Cujo. It is a 3rd printing dated the same month the 1st/1st was released. With the first print run of 150,000 to then be on a third printing in less than 30 days seems unlikely. With both inscriptions to the same person on the same day my doubt about Cujo then carries over to Firestarter.
I personally would pass on these.
Please seek more opinions and post photos if possible.

Author:  Cento [ Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Value of signed (but not 1st) editions

I like your deductions racerx45 - so maybe not authentic at all. I've typically gone off buying flat signed (because of learning the hard way), and the sense of doubt in the market for flat signed (given the world of forgeries), seems to reduce the value of a flat signed. Nevertheless, on the face if it, these signatures look the real deal to me, and the booksellers rep is good (but he's no SK expert).

These are the only shots I have.

Author:  Mr. Rabbit Trick [ Tue Nov 10, 2015 4:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Value of signed (but not 1st) editions

Cento, both your books have genuine King inscriptions.

A book can have several printings BEFORE it is actually released. The original printing maybe around 25,000 and then something happens and orders go through the roof, and they have to print thousands more, before the book is actually released. (It may be the success of a film or another book).
It's no different from music. An album can be No. 1 BEFORE it is released, just with advance orders.

Back to the inscriptions. Anyone could send King 2 books and he would inscribe them to whoever you wanted. This went on for ten years, until he stopped because he was spending all his time doing this rather than writing new stories. He then gave out pre-printed postcards which he signed, but had to stop this eventually as well.

So both your books have genuine inscriptions done at the same time.

Author:  racerx45 [ Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Value of signed (but not 1st) editions

Mr. Rabbit Trick wrote:
Cento, both your books have genuine King inscriptions.

A book can have several printings BEFORE it is actually released. The original printing maybe around 25,000 and then something happens and orders go through the roof, and they have to print thousands more, before the book is actually released. (It may be the success of a film or another book).
It's no different from music. An album can be No. 1 BEFORE it is released, just with advance orders.

Back to the inscriptions. Anyone could send King 2 books and he would inscribe them to whoever you wanted. This went on for ten years, until he stopped because he was spending all his time doing this rather than writing new stories. He then gave out pre-printed postcards which he signed, but had to stop this eventually as well.

So both your books have genuine inscriptions done at the same time.


Well I am glad to hear I am wrong. I really hate hearing about fake signatures. I am surprised to learn about the “later printing”, but to be honest I have never given them much thought. Thanks

Author:  Cento [ Wed Nov 11, 2015 3:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Value of signed (but not 1st) editions

Thanks very much for the discussion and assistance guys, always learning a lot from this site. Cheers

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