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Dear VJ Books:

Do you folks buy books ? I have several mystery series of books all Hard Copies in very good condition, first editions, signed - most of them are signed to me with a nice thank you.

Thanks - Gail

John replies:

Hi Gail.

Unfortunately inscribed books only have value to the person they are inscribed to or maybe their heirs.

There are a couple of exceptions that are called presentation copies. These are inscribed books where (1) the author and the person the book is inscribed to have a significant relationship - ie. between the author and their agent, and (2) when the person the book is inscribed to is as famous (or more) than the author - ie. a copy of Nelson Demille's The General's Daughter inscribed to John Travolta (who played the main character in the movie adaptation of that book). One other exception is when the book is scarce or rare. In that case the value is determined by the scarcity of the title and the popularity of the author. These are usually older or antiquarian books.

Otherwise inscribed copies have little value in the marketplace.

Sorry, I know you were hoping for a better answer.


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