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GRRM's Song of Ice and Fire Limited/Lettered Editions

GRRM's Song of Ice and Fire Limited/Lettered Editions

Mar 26

I love collecting Tolkien Books, but I figured it would be interesting to add a new titles to my meager, but growing collection. I have been eyeing for GRRM's Song of Ice and Fire (ASOIF) Limited/Lettered Editions, but I am not quite sure if they will hold value.

It is my understanding that Tolkien Books always have the power to hold some value since it is a literary accomplishment with story being "complete." However, GRRM is still working on ASOIF, but I have heard reviews that the last two books have greatly lost its charm and literary mastery.

For those who are into collecting Stephen King's limited/lettered edition works, these limited/lettered editions are not "first edition/first impression" per say, and the rarity is purely artificial. Does anyone here collect these limited/lettered editions of ASOIF? I am thinking about getting a matching set, but they are very expensive atm: matching limited edition full set costs around $8k~$10k while a matching lettered edition full set costs around $23k~$26k. Would that money be better spent if I were to buy... lets say... a JRR Tolkien signed copy of later edition Hobbit or something equivalent?

I am very afraid that the pricing of these ASOIF limited/lettered set is too dependent on the success of HBO shows and the pricing will fall indefinitely once HBO show completes its last season.

I understand that pricing should be the least of my concern for these rare books, but I am sure anyone who is thinking of spending more than $10k will at least glimpse over the same concern!
BTW, I can't find edit button, so I am specifying my correction here:

I understand that pricing (the books' ability to hold value) should be the least of my concern for these rare books, but I am sure anyone who is thinking of spending more than $10k will at least glimpse over the same concern!
Mar 26

The_Antiquarian wrote:
BTW, I can't find edit button, so I am specifying my correction here:

I understand that pricing (the books' ability to hold value) should be the least of my concern for these rare books, but I am sure anyone who is thinking of spending more than $10k will at least glimpse over the same concern!


I'd share your concern about future pricing on these, tbh. We saw with Tolkien that prices spiked for quite some time due to the movies and then moderated. I would guess the same effect would be likely with ASoIaF, but anybody's guess, and I'm often wrong
Thank you for your input!

Well I also wanted to add that Tolkien's works have proven track records from major auction houses and bookfairs (sold by established rare book sellers) so we won't be seeing Tolkien's valuable works plummeting in value to mere fraction.

However, I believe there hasn't been a single sale of GRRM's work on major auction houses and if you think Tolkien collectors are a niche group of rare book collectors, collector of these limited/lettered edition makes up an even more niche of a group.
Mar 26
I have been collecting GRRM's first edition/first impressions as they come out, signed in person from his book tours. Man, it's been a while since he's put a book out hasn't it?

For any item to "hold value", based on straight-forward economic principals, the demand must exceed supply. Tolkien in particular is a special case (I am not at all biased here ) where an entire category of literature was invigorated/molded/reformed/created around his works of fiction.

Do I think GRRM books will continue increasing in price (sold, not asking) at or above inflation? Not really, no. I think that once the show is over this season and fades from memory, and as the generation of TV viewers moves on to other stimuli, that the book market will soften. It may never collapse, and it could stay in demand for the foreseeable future, but I don't think it will track like The Lord of the Rings has over a long period of time. (I could be wrong). They could start a new spinoff TV series, prequels, whatever. The last book could be absolutely amazing and win awards, and GRRM could crank out a few sequels and keep the series in vogue for another decade. After all that (potential) passes, though, I don't see it as a series that will have graduate theses still being written about it in fifty years.

Take for example the Cyberpunk movement. Gibson's Neuromancer was and is a genre-defining classic. Won the Nebula and Hugo when it came out in 1984, still hugely influential, and still can be bought for a few thousand dollars, just like in the 1990s. If they re-make a movie for it, it could spike again briefly, but I am pretty confident it would taper off again afterwards.
Mar 27
(edited)
Antiquarian,

I received an e-mail from the Folio Society with this subject: Winter is coming to Folio...

Inside it reads:

A spectacular Folio collector’s edition of A Game of Thrones is coming later this year.

We’ll be revealing more details as the release date approaches. Click the button below to register your interest and you’ll be the first to find out further information.


Here's the link to the site, where you can register for info regarding the upcoming release. The design at the top of the page is pretty sweet. :)

https://www.foliosociety.com/usa/winte ... _source=The+Folio+Society

PS - I hope it's OK to provide a link such as the one I just posted.

4869_5c9ac7a864ddf.jpg 1572X456 px

Urulókë wrote:
I have been collecting GRRM's first edition/first impressions as they come out, signed in person from his book tours. Man, it's been a while since he's put a book out hasn't it?

........ for a few thousand dollars, just like in the 1990s. If they re-make a movie for it, it could spike again briefly, but I am pretty confident it would taper off again afterwards.


Greatly appreciated for your words of wisdom. In addition to Tolkien books, I have also tried to acquaint myself with the rare book market in general and I see that for modern first scifi and fantasy books (post 1980s), the limited numbered editions by "back then famous authors of scifi and fanatasy" have substantially depreciated in value and are considired TOO NICHE to be collectible and sold at major auction houses and most established book sellers. There is Stephen King who has been issuing lettered/limited numbered editions ever since the Gunslinger, but I rarely see sales of these made by established rare book dealers, and most trades hands amongst these niche collectors and super specialized seller in fantasy books.

I am still inclined to purchase the lettered set of the Song of Ice and Fire series and never worry about completing the magnum opus of GRRM, but now I see that thanks to Mr. Stormbreaker, GRRM is in collaboration with Folio Sciety to publish another collectible edition of the set. Only if the lettered set is pretty as the super deluxe Tolkien books, but that is not the case... No leather, no fine papers, just signed books in dust jacket with comicbook-ish illustration. I love Ted Nasmith's illustrations, but the small presses that GRRM has allowed to produce these sets, Meisha Marlin and Subterranean Press, made horrid looking dustjackets.

I got some more thinking to do....
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