Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Best Selling Nancy Drew Books

Recently, I gave values for the tweed and picture cover edition Nancy Drew books.  My conclusions were based on what I have seen on eBay and which books sell the best for me.  I decided to back up my statements with evidence.

Below, I list the number of Nancy Drew books sold by type each month.  I list only the books for which I almost always have a good supply of most titles in stock.  The numbers listed after each type are the number of that type sold each month beginning with January and ending with December.  I tallied both 2011 and 2012 sales.


Tweed without dust jacket - 1, 1, 2, 1, 3, 1, 2, 6, 0, 10, 9, 4 = 40
Tweed with dust jacket - 3, 0, 3, 4, 2, 0, 3, 3, 4, 2, 11, 2 = 37
Original text picture cover - 5, 11, 4, 14, 7, 4, 12, 8, 19, 22, 18, 3 = 127
Revised text picture cover - 6, 5, 3, 6, 22, 7, 10, 10, 38, 18, 20, 3 = 148


Tweed without dust jacket - 5, 1, 17, 10, 0, 0, 6, 7, 7, 7, 11, 9 = 80
Tweed with dust jacket - 6, 1, 8, 11, 9, 2, 4, 1, 0, 13, 3, 0 = 58
Original text picture cover - 3, 24, 17, 12, 14, 1, 4, 8, 2, 17, 3, 20 = 125
Revised text picture cover - 13, 9, 15, 21, 9, 3, 7, 16, 2, 5, 10, 18 = 128

I tallied both years since the tweed books with dust jackets have been gaining ground again, and including 2011 gives more accurate information as to what has been happening with the tweed books over a longer period of time.  Keep in mind that my tweed books with dust jackets are almost always priced lower than the Farah's Guide values, and my picture cover book are almost always priced higher than the Farah's Guide values.

I calculated the percent of each type sold for each year.

2011 (out of 353 books):

Tweed without dust jacket - 11.4%
Tweed with dust jacket - 10.5%
Original text picture cover - 36.1%
Revised text picture cover - 42%

2012 (out of 391 books):

Tweed without dust jacket - 20.5%
Tweed with dust jacket - 14.8%
Original text picture cover - 32%
Revised text picture cover - 32.7%

Overall with both years combined:

Tweed without dust jacket - 16.2%
Tweed with dust jacket - 12.8%
Original text picture cover - 33.9%
Revised text picture cover - 37.1%

I knew that the matte picture cover editions were outselling the tweed books, and this data backs that up.  Of these four types of Nancy Drew books, 71% of my sales are the matte picture cover editions. Remember that I do have other types of Nancy Drew books for sale, but I do not keep sufficient numbers of each type in stock where they can be compared to others.  The four types listed here can be compared since they are always available in good number in my booth.


Paula said...

Thank you for the interesting information!

Amy Sisson said...

Hi Jennifer. Going by your Series Books for Girls site, it said the best way to contact you would be a comment here. I hope I am not being inappropriate; I just wondered if you would allow me to e-mail you about some series books I have that I am wanting to sell. I don't know enough about values or selling (although I've dabbled on ebay in the past), and it's a finite amount so it's not really worth getting into selling, so I wondered if a seller might be interested. I'm not looking for much money; I just like books to end up in the right places.

Anyway, if you're interested, I'm at amysisson at prodigy dot net. We've corresponded (via comments) a few times before, and I am a long-time follower of your blogs.

Again, apologies if this is inappropriate. I'm not experienced so wasn't sure how to go about this inquiry.

Take care,

Paula said...


It seems that most of the blue books without dust jackets from the mid-1940's on, in varying formats (including the tweed format), are priced by Farah at $6.00 in VG condition. This is when the book is from a "regular" printing, rather than a special printing (e.g., the first revised text or something similar). Do you find this value to be accurate in today's market? I have my own opinion, but would like to see what you think. Thanks!

Jennifer White said...

When I wrote my post on the values of the tweed books, I decided not to mention the 1947 to 1950 books so as not to confuse people who are not as familiar with the different formats. Like the tweed books, those books are also worth more than the Farah's Guide value of $6.00 each. Some people are willing to pay above $10 for those if in excellent condition.

The ones from around 1944 to 1946 are trickier to pinpoint on value. The primary problem is that those books were made with such poor materials that they are deteriorating rapidly and most copies are in bad condition. The ones in bad condition are worth not much at all. If you can get one that has the poor paper but has been kept in a good environment for the last 65 years (meaning that it does not smell awful and that the paper is not crumbling to pieces), then the value would easily be worth more than $6.00.

Paula said...

Thanks for your reply, Jennifer! That is what I thought also - that in general $6.00 is low for the blue books without dust jackets, as well as the tweeds without dust jackets. I can understand the lower value on the books with poor paper as most often they are in awful condition due to the poor materials; I think those particular books are more valuable *with* the dust jacket, as it presents an opportunity for collecting the white spine jacket at a lower cost. The jackets from that period seem to be similar quality to later and earlier jackets, and not so bad as the book pages. Do you find this to be true?

Jennifer White said...

The wartime jackets are about the same quality as the earlier and later jackets except that the paper seems to be slightly less thick. They have held up pretty well. I agree that the jackets last longer than the books.

I try hard to avoid acquiring extra wartime books with jackets, due to the quality problems, so I don't have a good grasp of the current value. However, it seems logical that the books would fare better with the jackets and would maintain a higher value with the jackets present. Also, any book that still has a jacket tends to be in somewhat better condition than any book without a jacket, which means the books would be less likely to be completely falling apart. The ones without jackets are now in an advanced state of decay.