Another Autopen Signed Series?

Over the weekend I hit the used bookstore (like you do). We're getting ready for a move, which means it's time to purge some of my non-collectible titles, and what better place to purge (she says tongue-in-cheek) than the bookstore. While I waited to see which / how many of the titles the store would buy, I perused the shelves.

I didn't really find anything worth bringing home, although I did come across two books from Stephanie Meyer's "collectible" Twilight edition (published in 2008/2009). These titles were housed in a paper-covered slip case sans dust jacket.

I'm always curious when a book is housed in a slip case, so I pulled them off the shelf, slid them out of their cases, and took a look. First of all, the quality of the slipcase is pretty eh, if I can use that as a term. It's the same quality you see coming out of most mass-market publishing houses. The only value here is that in 10 years, most of the cases will have either been destroyed or so shelf worn that they'll have been thrown away. (So, in 10 years, if you find a copy with a pristine slip case, it might actually be of value).

I opened the books to the title page, and what should I see, but a beautifully rendered author signature. My heart would've skipped a beat, if not for the fact that the signature was a little too perfect. No wobbling lines, no pen bleeds, no imperfections what so ever.

Out of curiosity, I looked up the description of the books to see if they said anything about the signatures. Some descriptions (over on eBay) jumped on the "SIGNED" bandwagon and are trying to sell these "collectibles" for over $100 (which, by the way, is WAY too cheap for an *actual* Stephanie Meyer signature). Some state that it is an auto pen signature.

More likely than not, this is probably a "facsimile signature" (which means it's actually printed when the book is printed - or sometimes it's stamped). Facsimile signatures are more of a design element. They aren't actual signatures. (Although some are so well printed that you can't always tell immediately).

I have a couple of auto pen signed books, and even these have what I'll term "ink flaws." The pen doesn't always lift up at the end of a stroke, leaving bleed marks - or the surface on which the paper sat, moved causing a shift in the ink, etc.

These Stephanie Meyer signatures did not have any of those indicators. There was no bleed through on the back of the page. More importantly, when I slid my hand over both the front and back of the page, there was no impression/indention from the pen. In fact, they looked printed.

Most listings for this edition price the books between $8 and $20 (depending on condition), which is probably a fair price. I've seen a few that are "still wrapped in plastic," these might be worth $40 on the high end. eventually. if you never unwrap them.

Bias Alert! (warning, warning) Not being a huge fan of this series, the only way I'd have one of these titles in my collection is if it was a true first, signed by the author. These self proclaimed "collectors editions" are cute - and I've been known to, on occasion, buy one or two (Hello, Harry Potter), but they are more about marketing to a fan base rather than adding value to actual book collections.

But hey, if it makes you happy, why not?

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