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Dear John:
I'm a tad perplexed by the fact that you have signed, first editions of REMAINDER marked books.  How on earth does that happen?
Do you go back to the ordering well for more books and then send them off to the author to be signed?  Remainders that I am familiar with are usually on a sale table at a bookstore or in discounter, after being returned as unsold in the mainstream process.
Why would an author sign a remainder-marked book?  What does that arbitrary action do to the value of the now signed remainder?


John responds:
We accumulate copies of back-list for an author to sign each time they sign a new title for us.  When the author is available we have all stock signed, remaindered or not.  Many bookstores even have authors sign paperbacks . . . we do not.  We do promote remainder marked books at a substantial discount over mint copies.  Some older books can only be found as remainders, and collectors would rather have a nice, signed remaindered copy on their shelf than no copy at all. 
It is in the author's best interest to keep their back-list alive, and we have yet to have one decline to sign remaindered stock, perhaps because we move so many copies of their new titles.
How much value a signed remainder holds is largely dependent on the relative scarcity of the title.  We often purchase remainder copies of an author's titles in speculation of a potential increase in value.  A clear example is that we purchased a quantity of remaindered copies of Dan Brown's true 1st of Angel's and Demons, and sent them off to Brown to be signed, and sold them for about $35.  A year later we purchased the very same book, remaindered for $215 each.
Of course, the cleaner the copy the better the value, and the greater potential is for appreciation.  However, not everyone can or is willing to pay six or seven hundred bucks for a perfect copy of the aforementioned title.
We believe that nice, unread, signed remainder marked copies expand the market interest in an author's work.  As long as we can find the books, and the authors are friendly to signing them, we will offer them at less than half price of their clean counterparts, and hopefully expand the market and demand.
All the best,

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