September 22, 2022

Best Signed First Edition Book Clubs From Across America

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As a bibliophile, I am constantly asked why I don’t borrow from the library or from friends like a reasonable person. With books, and especially new ones, costing a pretty penny, the question is valid.

But I do not consider myself as a simple reader, I am also a collector of books (very amateur). I cherish the experience of walking into my local bookstore, getting a recommendation from the friendly staff, and treating myself to a new book. However, it’s hard to keep up with every new release and to be honest, I like a solid added value like an author’s signature, especially if I’m paying list price for a book.

Join Signed First Editions Book Club, a subscription service offered by local bookstores across the country. Bookstores partner with authors for new releases and send a signed first edition to customers 6 to 12 times a year. They differ from book subscriptions in that you receive a signed first edition the day it comes out at a local bookstore rather than a box.

Why Collect First Editions

First editions are the original printings of a book and are highly sought after for being the closest representation of a writer’s original intent. Subsequent editions undergo additional proofreading, so first editions with errors (oddly enough) tend to be valuable. And a signed first edition, especially for a sought-after book, increases in value over time.

For any book collector, a signed first edition is the gold standard. It can be a heirloom passed down from generation to generation, giving your personal library a piece of literary history.

Of course, it’s not an exact science whether a new book will have value. Driven collectors are good at finding hot starts and securing author signatures. However, for the rest of us, who would like the search already done, the signed first edition clubs organized by local bookstores are great.

Most local bookstores have very knowledgeable committees or buyers who review hundreds of books for literary merit and esteemed collection.

If you’re looking to support a local bookstore, diversify your reading, and/or add something special to your library, check out these premiere signed book clubs from across the country.

Signed First Edition Book Clubs by Region

A note on pricing: In general, the going price for a new hardcover can range from $25 to $35 (plus tax). Signings for all book clubs of the signed first editions listed are free. However, not all bookstores specified a sales tax or online processing fee. I’ve included a note if they were mentioned, but please confirm all fees with each bookstore as taxes, processing fees and shipping/handling vary.

Northeast

Harvard Bookstore

Cambridge, MA
Price: list price plus shipping, handling, and MA sales tax (if applicable)
Previous selections: Red to the bone, An American wedding, The Immortalists

The Odyssey bookstore

South Hadley (Massachusetts)
Price: list price plus postage
Previous selections: The other Americans, The starless sea, Circe

Greenlight Bookstore

Brooklyn, New York
Price: $0.01 listing fee plus list price and $14 shipping (or $2 handling fee for in-store pickup)
Previous selections: Confidence exercise, Lost Children Archive, Pachinko

The strand

New York, New York
Price: Ranges from $37.50 to $55.00 (for a recurring subscription) depending on the type of subscription (fiction, young adult, art/photography, feminist literature, political non-fiction, mystery and suspense, science- fiction and fantasy, small readers or timeless Favorites)
Previous selections: Speak no evil, Guinevere’s deception, The witches are coming

North West

Village books and paper dreams

Lynden, Washington, and Bellingham, Washington
Price: $1.00 listing fee plus list price and tax (free shipping for US residents)
Previous selections: there there, Gateway to the Moon, station eleven

Midwest

Watermark books and coffee

Wichita, Kansas
Price: $100 for 3 months, $200 for 6 months, and $400 for 12 months
Previous selections: Interior, The Dutch house, My name is Lucy Barton

Literary bookstore

Ann Arbor, MI
Price: list price plus $8 shipping
Previous selections: Nothing to see here, Biloxi, Confidence exercise

South

Books of Parnassus

Nashville, TN
Price: list price plus postage
Previous selections: lost and wanted, city ​​of girls, Redeployment

Interabang Books

Dallas, TX
Price: list price plus postage
Previous selections: Little Gods, Underground, River

Book people

Austin, TX
Price: Package for 6 or 12 months plus shipping and taxes
Previous selections: Stunned, Snow Queen, we are lucky

The Alabama Bookseller

Birmingham, Alabama
Price: list price plus postage
Previous selections: Boy swallows the universe, The woman at the window, The golden house

a cappella books

Atlanta, Georgia
Price: list price plus state sales tax for GA residents and shipping, if applicable
Previous selections: The Nickel Boys, Interior, and city ​​of girls

Malaprop Bookstore/Café

Asheville, North Carolina
Price: list price plus $10 shipping
Previous selections: The Land of Shadow, The Ministry of Greatest Happiness, Hold on

Square books

Oxford, Mo.
Price: list price plus postage
Previous selections: Another Brooklyn, The Nix, I am here

Books of Lemuria

Jackson, Mississippi
Price: list price plus $5 shipping
Previous selections: Fates and Furies, The Tiger’s Wife, Lincoln at Bardo

District of Colombia

Politics and prose

washington d.c.
Price: list price plus postage
Previous selections: black leopard, Interior, My year of rest and relaxation

Western coast

Passage of the book

Corte Madera, California
Price: list price plus $6 shipping
Previous selections: The sympathizer, All the light we can’t see, Washington Black

Skylight Books

Los Angeles, California
Price: $0.01 membership fee plus list price and $8 shipping
Previous selections: Purity, Slade House, M-train