You might have seen your favorite creators share their signed copies or exclusive edition of books and wonder, “How the F- did they get those?” Maybe you just want one as a collector or maybe it’s because that book or author means a lot to you. Either way, as someone who loves a good exclusive edition or signed book myself, I am here to tell you how I get them.
The first step to make any of this work is to make a list. Find out when the books you want are coming out and make a list of their release dates and what exactly you want from them whether that’s just a signed copy or a BAM (Books-A-Million) exclusive copy. This will ensure you don’t miss any release dates and know when to start checking the author pages.
Once I do that, the second thing I make sure to do is look to see if there are any bookstores offering pre-orders for the type of copy you want. I have been able to obtain about half of my signed copies by just checking around online before the book’s release and seeing that BAM, Barnes and Noble or independent bookstores are selling them. Sometimes you can even find them directly on the authors website. Keep checking back and don’t give up on this option because different sites release this at different times. This how I found my copy of Lore by Alexandra Bracken.
Another thing you will need to do right after the announcement of a book is CHECK THE AUTHOR PAGES. Okay sorry for the caps but I cannot stress this enough. The authors know everything that is happening and they want to share it with you. Checking their websites and social media pages once a day or once every other day will give you the inside loop as to exactly what type of copies they have coming out and where to find them. This also means if they announce giveaways or other special opportunities you will be ahead of the game.
If you’re unsuccessful with these methods, don’t worry; it’s not a lost cause. Another very effective way to get a signed copy, especially if you’re looking for a Barnes and Noble signed copy, is to be at the store when it opens the day of the book release. Some bookstores wont get signed copies and depending on how popular the book is, it might be a highly competitive scene. That means this isn’t a guarantee method, however, it is a pretty effective one. If the series isn’t well known or you’re in a more remote location you may be able get it a couple of days after release.
Book boxes are another great way to get exclusive copies of books. There are endless book boxes to choose from and depending on your interests there is bound to be one for you. These books usually go up in value over time so don’t stress if you get a book you don’t want, or you’re worried about having enough shelf space. There is a market for getting rid of these books and you are bound to break even at least.
Author tours, book conventions and events are great ways to not only get autographed books but also an amazing opportunity to get more involved in the series you love so much. You can meet peers who love the books and hear more from the author about their series and who they are as a person. It is honestly one of the absolute best ways to get behind the scenes information and connect with people in your fandom’s community.
So if all the other methods fail or if you fall in love with a series that’s already been out for a while you’re not out of options. You are most likely going to end up paying more once the book is out of stores because most places don’t charge extra for signed copies, but now people know they have something really valuable and that will increase the price.
If you want one quickly then there are sites like eBay and Mercari where tons of people resell books. You can quickly find a book and get it shipped just as fast. Because on these sites you can quickly check what others are charging you are not likely to get a deal unless you are very patient and check back often. I was able to get one signed collector’s edition book (Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo) this way for a good price so it’s not hopeless to get a good deal.
So I like to think of myself as a treasure hunter as I spend a lot of my free time thrifting and in second hand stores. You might think this is an impossible way to get books and as Nikolai Lantsov himself said “When people say impossible, they usually mean improbable.” I would like to note that if you are looking for a very specific thing, this might not be the right quest for you. If you are a book collector though and value a lot of different special books, then thrifting is a great choice. I personally have found An original cover of a Sarah J. Maas book along with first editions of books such as The Cruel Prince by Holly Black.
If you are looking for something specific then there are options still for you. Stores that buy and resell books often will have older copies of books or a signed section that you can look through for your book. In my area,
Second and Charles is the main resell bookstore and I have seen so many valuable copies of books there both in the normal sections and in the autographed section.
You may end up paying more depending on what you want and have to check around at different stores, revisiting them often. Despite this it is a really great way to support bookstores and you most likely eventually run into what you’re looking for.
Books connect with so many people on a deeper level than we can usually express. It is always a beautiful thing to have a token of what means so much to us, and that leads us to collect and cherish books. My biggest two pieces of advice are:
- Be patient and not give up the search
Research is so important to making sure that you know when and where to get these books and even what is offered. How will you know which retailer has bonus chapters from specific characters points of view if you don’t know that that’s an option to begin with?
You might not be able to get the books initially when they release but over time there will be more opportunities. If it means a lot to you, don’t give up!
I hope this helps you on your journey to find what you’re looking for and if you have any tips for me that I didn’t write about please let me know on our social media pages. Good luck treasure hunting!
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