Is there an author who hasn’t visited eBay just to see how many of his books are for sale there at what price?
As I write this, there are three different editions of my Reasonable Doubt with a total of eight copies available on eBay, one pre-owned copy (“good condition”) at the bargain basement price of $1.16 (plus $2.99 shipping).
I long ago glided past the time when I was offended that anyone would be willing to divest her bookshelf of a copy of my work. But not long after the hardcover’s original publication, there was that moment…
There, on eBay (at a price I don’t recall but surely was much too low) was advertised a pristine copy of Reasonable Doubt “inscribed by author to relative.”
What public humiliation, I thought. What relative, I wondered, had I signed (and probably gifted) a book to who personally valued it so little?
I stewed about it for a day or so and then came to an inspired solution: I would buy the book, thereby learning what traitorous kin whose personally signed copy had found its way to the public market and then (here’s the “inspired” part) re-gift it to him or her!
I regret to report that by the time I was ready to act, an eBay customer had bought the book.
If you, dear reader, happen to own it, I’d sure love to know whose hand-written name, other than my own, adorns the title page.
There’s no score to be settled. Just sweet knowledge to be had.