Rare Book Monthly

Articles - January - 2008 Issue

AbeBooks Lists Its Top Sellers, Most Expensive Books for 2007

7

Is writing self-help books one of the 7 habits of highly effective people?


By Michael Stillman

AbeBooks has issued its lists of the bestselling books, most expensive books, and various other "top 10 and 25" lists, such as top authors, signed books, and used books. As the largest of the book listing sites, booksellers will undoubtedly want to know what sells best on Abe. Here is your answer.

The top 25 bestsellers list is filled with recent, highly popular books. This is a very different list from the BookFinder top 10, where the searching (but not selling) site favorites are the very hard to find. Abe's most popular books are not hard to find at all. People just like to buy them on Abe (most likely for the price).

Abe's most expensive sales are an unusual lot. These are not the very expensive books found in the AE Top 500 at auction. Number 1 on Abe would not even come close to cracking the AE Top 500. Abe doesn't sell the most expensive books, just the most. Nevertheless, there are some nice sales here, number 1 reaching almost $25,000. And, while Abebooks has expanded from its site in the English language to sites in German, French and Spanish, they ought to offer one in Latin to accommodate the most expensive ones they sell.

Now, we will look first at the top 10 bestsellers, including the number of copies of each currently offered on the AbeBooks site.

10. The Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett. 264 copies offered, priced from $2.30 to $594.

9. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by J.K. Rowling. 835 copies priced $4.49-$7,125.

8. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J.K. Rowling. 1,332 copies from $1.00-$498,759.

7. A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini. 270 copies from $10.99-$490.

6. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. 269 copies from $5.71-$7,950.

5. The Purpose Driven Life, from Rick Warren. 1,441 copies from $1.00-$180.

4. Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert. 180 copies from $7.00-$138.

3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, by J.K. Rowling. 1,053 copies from $1.00-$8,300.

2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, by J.K. Rowling. 461 copies from $10.00-$5,292.

1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey. 1,825 copies from $1.00-$350.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> Presentation Copy. Sold for $500,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pp, negotiating the 2nd American edition with Appleton. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Hemingway, Ernest. Autograph Letter Signed, 8 pp, Paris, 1924, to his father discussing Bullfighting, Stories, and his new baby. Sold for $25,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Corialanus.</i> London, 1623. 1st printing [Extracted from the First Folio]. Sold for $50,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>Gulliver's Travels.</i> London, 1726. 1st edition, Teerink's A edition, fine, large copy. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Fitzroy, Robert. Autograph Letter Signed to agent Thomas Stilwell, informing him of the progress of H.M.S. Beagle. Sold for $17,575.
    <center><b>Bonhams<br> Property from the Collection of Nicole and William R. Keck II</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Sonnets.</i> 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner, bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet. Sold for $13,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. Sold for $5,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. Sold for $7,575.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Rackham, Arthur. <i>Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.</i> 1/500 copies signed by Rackham. Sold for $4,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Proust, Marcel. <i>Du coté de chez Swann.</i> 1st edition, 1st issue. Inscribed by Proust. Sold for $8,825.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ian Fleming, <i>Goldfinger,</i> first edition, inscribed to Sir Henry Cotton, MBE, London, 1959. Sold for $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Joseph Brant, Mohawk Chief, ALS, writing after pledging support to King George III against American rebels, 1776. Sold for a record $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Sonia Delaunay, <i>Ses Peintures</i> . . ., 20 pochoir plates, Paris, 1925. Sold for a record $13,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Diana, Princess of Wales, 6 autograph letters signed to British <i>Vogue</i> editor, 1989-92. Sold for $10,400.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Alexander Hamilton, ALS, as Secretary of the Treasury covering costs of the new U.S. Mint, 1793. Sold for $12,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Benjamin Graham & David L. Dodd, <i>Security Analysis,</i> first edition, inscribed by Graham to a Wall Street trader, NY, 1934. Sold for $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> George Barbier & François-Louis Schmied, <i>Personnages de Comédie,</i> Paris, 1922. Sold for $9,375.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Alphonse Mucha, <i>Ilsée, Princesse de Tripoli,</i> Paris, 1897. Sold for a record $13,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ralph Waldo Emerson, <i>The Dial,</i> first edition of the reconstituted issue, Emerson’s copy with inscriptions, Cincinnati, 1860. Sold for a record $3,250.

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