Sunday, May 27, 2012

Continuing to Seek the First Printing of Lilac Inn

I have written about my problems with seeking the first printing of the Nancy Drew book, The Mystery at Lilac Inn, due to seller paranoia and the inability of sellers to answer questions correctly. Follow the link embedded in the previous sentence to read about a very paranoid seller who refused to answer my question. This blog post is about a seller who was unable to answer questions correctly.

Around three months ago, another blank endpapers printing of Lilac Inn showed up for sale. I was going to write about that situation, but I forgot, since I was waiting for the 30-day fixed-price listing to expire. I saw the book relisted and remembered that I never wrote about the original listing. I am not going to link to either the original listing or the current one. If you want to see the original listing, go to my Facebook page and view my posts from around three months ago.


The book was listed at a fixed price of $625.00. At the time, I decided that all of these sellers have visited this blog and have incorrectly concluded that every single blank endpapers Lilac Inn is extremely valuable. Have you noticed that just about all blank endpapers Lilac Inn books are now listed at very high prices? This is not happening with the other titles. I am very annoyed that every single seller is missing the point that the only valuable blank endpapers Lilac Inn is the very first printing that has to have certain post-text ads in a certain order.

Anyway... another collector asked the following question, received the following answer, and then told me about the book in case I wanted it.
Question: Hello, I'm looking for a 1st printing of this book. The first printing book lists 3 pages of advertising inside the back of the book after the story ends. The first page advertises the Hardy Boys and lists 9 titles. The 2nd page advertises the Outdoor Girls and lists 20 titles. The 3rd page advertises the Blythe Girls and lists 10 titles. Does this particular book have these 3 pages of advertising inside the back? Thanks!

Answer: Hi yes to both questions and if you would like pictures ill list more for you and its a nice copy to. Thanks for asking
This is where I am paranoid, and I have reason to be paranoid. My reaction was that I did not believe the seller and that $625 was a lot of money to risk on a "maybe first." You might think I was overreacting, but wait for the rest of the story.

I decided to ask the seller for pictures of the post-text ads. What better way to prove whether the book was indeed the first printing?

The seller added the following pictures to the listing.

I was quite perplexed that the photographs completely contradicted the information that the seller agreed was present in the post-text ads. I see no Hardy Boys or Outdoor Girls lists. The book does have a Blythe Girls list, but it has 11 titles instead of 10. How could the seller think that what was present matched the information in the question? This is very strange.

I have learned that one should never feed the seller the first printing points, since for some inexplicable reason, sellers will agree to whatever is asked. I normally ask the seller for the name of the series and last title listed and give no other information. In the case of Lilac Inn, I also have to somehow convey that the order of the ads is important and that I need to know the exact order. This is because the third printing has the same ads in a different order.

Of course, if the seller wants to know why the information is important, I will explain. I am not trying to be secretive; rather, I am trying to get the correct information so that I do not waste money and avoid intense aggravation.

This particular Lilac Inn blank endpapers book looks to be in nice shape, but it is not the first printing. In fact, it is as far from the first printing as a blank endpapers example can be. The book meets the points for the 1932D-7 printing, which is the seventh printing and very last blank endpapers printing. It is not the first printing at all and not worth anywhere near $625. I would place the value at around $150.


Anonymous said...

I give you a lot of credit for your tenacity. It takes so much patience to hunt for first editions and I hope you find all the ones you seek.

As for me, I stick with simply seeking each format. We have two collectors in the family (Nancy Drew for me, video games and consoles for my husband), so I think I'd break the bank if I sought first editions (vs. being satisfied with the formats as presented in Farah's Guide). ;)

Jenn Fisher said...

So glad you posted this so maybe that sellers will realize that not every printing will be worth as much as the first and they'll realize that or at least realize they don't have a first even if they think they do!


Jennifer White said...

Sometimes I want to give up when it comes to seeking some of these first printings. I get so discouraged by how difficult these sellers make my search.

I am so frustrated that the asking price for every single Lilac Inn with blank endpapers seems to be $500+ because these sellers are reading this blog and completely missing the fact that the only rare one is the one with the ads in a certain order as mentioned in just about every single post. I added a note of explanation to at least one of the older posts, linking it to another, telling the sellers that the book has to have the same ads in the same order as detailed in the blog. Ugh.

Just because the outside of the book looks the same does not make the book the first printing! I also want to amend my statement about the book in this post being worth $150. This is assuming that the book really is in excellent condition. The average blank endpapers Lilac Inn with wear and tear is worth no more than $50. And no, sellers, I'm not lying about the value. The books are only worth up towards $150 if in excellent condition, and the only printing that is worth more than that is the very first printing. As we have discovered, the first printing is so scarce that if you find a blank endpapers Lilac Inn you can be almost certain that it is not the first printing.

Rant over. :)