The Highfield Mole by Roderick Gordon & Brian Williams

Most Collectible Authors

Most collectible authors on the web include self-published writers. Two self-published authors - Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams, who co-wrote a fantasy novel called The Highfield Mole - currently rank alongside JK Rowling and Stephen King as the writers most in demand from rare book collectors on the Internet. analyzed sales data from 2007 and compiled an 'author collectibility index' based on sales of books priced more than $500.

After being tipped as the next Harry Potter, demand for The Highfield Mole reached its zenith last summer when it was republished with a new title, Tunnels. Collectors snapped up scarce copies of the self-published edition and prices quickly rose until a copy sold for $1,900 on

On-going demand for signed Harry Potter books means Rowling tops the index although few first editions of her debut book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, reach the market. An autographed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows sold for $5,500 just after its release last July.

The 'collectibility index' is a who's who of literature, including Austen, Cervantes, Dante, Darwin, Dickens, Joyce, Orwell and Verne. Khaled Hosseini finds himself between Harper Lee and Ernest Hemingway because signed first editions of The Kite Runner now change hands for more than $1,000 on the Internet.


Most Collectible Authors on AbeBooks in 2007 (based on sales of books priced over $500)

1. JK Rowling - Anything signed by JK is collectible. A signed Deathly Hallows sold for $5,500 just days after Rowling’s London signing in July – the ink was barely dry.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling


2. Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams - Tagged as 'the next Harry Potter', the top selling price for the self-published copies of The Highfield Mole soared to $1,900 last year.
The Highfield Mole by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams
Tunnels by Roderick Gordon & Brian Williams
Collectible Authors
Collectible Authors
Collectible Authors
Collectible Authors
Collectible Authors


3. Stephen King - A true literary superstar long before JK appeared, so King’s early first editions are in demand and also special editions like the bullet-riddled copy of The Regulators that sold for $8,000.
Duma Key by Stephen King
The Stand by Stephen King
Salem's Lot by Stephen King
Carrie by Stephen King
Cell by Stephen King
The Shining by Stephen King
The Regulators by Stephen King


4. Cormac McCarthy - The darling of modern first edition collectors, firsts of The Road, No Country for Old Men (check out the 75 limited edition copies), The Orchard Keeper, Child of God, and Blood Meridian do not come cheaply.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
The Orchard Keeper by Cormac McCarthy
Child of God by Cormac McCarthy
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
Suttree by Cormac McCarthy
The Outer Dark by Cormac McCarthy


5. Tasha Tudor - She’s been writing and illustrating children’s books since 1938, and her debut Pumpkin Moonshine costs around $3,000. Look out for her illustrated edition of Wind in the Willows.
Pumpkin Moonshine by Tasha Tudor
The Tasha Tudor Cookbook
Tale for Easter by Tasha Tudor
Wind in the Willows - Illustrated by Tasha Tudor
Collectible Authors
Collectible Authors
Collectible Authors


6. William Shakespeare - The Bard’s originals are so rare that even reprints are worth vast sums. Collector’s editions, special bindings, and special illustrations account for many expensive sales.
Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
The Tempest by Willam Shakespeare
The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
Othello by William Shakespeare
Hamlet by William Shakespeare


7. Philip Pullman - A first British edition of Northern Lights sold for $3,500 last year as cinema-goers enjoyed the big-budget version of The Golden Compass.
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
Lyra's Oxford by Phillip Pullman
Once Upon a Time in the North by Philip Pullman
Collectible Authors
Collectible Authors


8. Charles Darwin - A fourth edition of Origin of Species sold for $6,170 in December.
On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
Voyages and Adventures of the Beagle by Charles Darwin
Collectible Authors
Collectible Authors
Collectible Authors
Collectible Authors
Collectible Authors


9. Charles Dickens - With A Christmas Carol costing as much as $30,000, demand for rare editions of this author’s work simply never wanes.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Hard Times by Charles Dickens
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens


10. Winston Churchill - Copies of Liberalism and the Social Problem from 1909 are being offered for over $30,000.
Liberalism and the Social Problem by Winston Churchill
My African Journey by Winston Churchill
The River War by Winston Churchill
The People's Rights by Winston Churchill
India, Speeches and an Introduction by Winston Churchill
Collectible Authors
Collectible Authors



More Collectible Authors...

Don Quixote by Cervantes
Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne
1984 by George Orwell
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  1. Cervantes - A landmark writer in literature, early editions of Don Quixote sell for five figures and are in demand worldwide.
  2. Harper Lee - She only wrote one novel but it was the Pulitzer Prize-winning To Kill a Mockingbird, “novel of the century” according to Library Journal magazine.
  3. Khaled Hosseini - Signed first editions of The Kite Runner fetch $1000+ but will demand last?
  4. Ernest Hemingway - For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Sun Also Rises and The Old Man and the Sea can all reach five figures for signed first editions.
  5. Jane Austen - Sense and Sensibility do not apply to the prices to Austen’s early editions.
  6. Jules Verne - Journey to the Centre of the Earth, Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea, and Around the World in Eighty Days make Verne one of the most collectible French authors.
  7. Dante - A copy of Divina Commedia (Divine Comedy) sold for more than $3,000 last year.
  8. John Steinbeck - The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men and many other classic novels mean Steinbeck is the darling of countless collectors.
  9. George Orwell - 1984 was the most expensive signed book ever sold on AbeBooks at $26,500. Signed copies are scarce as Orwell was hospitalized with TB after 1984’s release.
  10. Mark Twain - Tom Sawyer and his other classics keep Samuel Langhorne Clemens in demand.
  11. Ian Fleming - A blockbuster movie boosted the collectibility of Bond books in 2007, Casino Royale first editions are often listed for between $20,000 and $30,000.
  12. CS Lewis - Oxford ‘Inklings’ JRR Tolkien and Lewis are always popular but Narnia was more collectible than Middle Earth in 2007.
  13. Virginia Woolf - Mrs Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, and Orlando – all landmark books by this feminist writer.
  14. James Joyce - Don’t even look at the prices of the true first editions of Ulysses unless you have $130,000 in loose change.
  15. AA Milne - A first edition of Winnie the Pooh was someone’s $5500 Christmas present last year.

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