Top Signed First Editions Book Clubs From Around America

As a bibliophile, I’m constantly asked why I don’t borrow from the library or friends like a reasonable person. With books, and especially new releases, costing a pretty penny, the question is valid.

But I don’t think of myself as merely a reader—I’m also a (thoroughly amateur) book collector. I cherish the experience of walking into my local bookstore, getting a recommendation from the friendly staff, and treating myself to a new book. However, it’s tricky to keep track of every new release and to be honest, I love a solid value-add like an author’s signature, especially if I’m paying list price for a book.

Enter the signed first editions book club, a subscription service offered by local bookstores across the country. The bookstores partner with authors on new releases and send out a signed first edition to patrons 6–12 times a year. They differ from book subscriptions in that you receive a signed first edition on the day of its release from a local bookstore rather than a box.

Why Collect First Editions

First editions are the original printings of a book and are highly sought after for being the closest representation of a writer’s original intent. Subsequent editions undergo additional proofreading, so first editions with mistakes (oddly) tend to be valuable. And a signed first edition, especially for a sought-after book, increases in value over time.

For any book collector, a signed first edition is the gold standard. It can be an heirloom passed down for generations, giving your home library a piece of literary history.

Category ID: 13193
Category ID: 476

Now of course, it’s not an exact science on whether a new book will be valuable. Motivated collectors are great at finding hot debuts and obtaining author signatures. However, for the rest of us, who’d like the research to be done already, signed first editions clubs curated by local bookstores are great.

Most local bookstores either have committees or highly knowledgable buyers who screen hundreds of books for literary merit and estimated collectability.

If you’re looking to support a local bookstore, diversify your reading, and/or add something special to your library, check out these signed first editions book clubs from across the country.

Signed First Editions Book Clubs By Region

A note on price: In general, the list price for a newly released hardcover can range anywhere from $25–35 (plus tax). The signatures for all the listed signed first editions book clubs are free. However, not all the bookstores specified a sales tax or online processing fee. I have included a note if they were mentioned, but please confirm all charges with each bookstore because taxes, processing fees, and shipping/handling vary.

Northeast

Harvard Book Store

Cambridge, Massachusetts
Price: List price plus shipping, processing charge, and MA sales tax (if applicable)
Previous selections: Red at the Bone, An American Marriage, The Immortalists

The Odyssey Bookshop

South Hadley, Massachusetts
Price: List price plus shipping
Previous selections: The Other Americans, The Starless Sea, Circe

Greenlight Bookstore

Brooklyn, New York
Price: $0.01 enrollment fee plus list price and $14 shipping (or a $2 handling fee for in-store pickup)
Previous selections: Trust Exercise, Lost Children Archive, Pachinko

The Strand

New York, New York
Price: Varies from $37.50–55.00 (for a recurring subscription) depending on the type of subscription (Fiction, Young Adult, Art/Photography, Feminist Literature, Political Nonfiction, Mystery & Suspense, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Little Readers, or Timeless Favorites)
Previous selections: Speak No Evil, The Guinevere Deception, The Witches Are Coming

Northwest

Village Books and Paper Dreams

Lynden, Washington, and Bellingham, Washington
Price: $1.00 enrollment fee plus list price and tax (free shipping for U.S. residents)
Previous selections: There There, Gateway to the Moon, Station Eleven

Midwest

Watermark Books & Café

Wichita, Kansas
Price: $100 for 3 months, $200 for 6 months, and $400 for 12 months
Previous selections: Inland, The Dutch House, My Name is Lucy Barton

Literati Bookstore

Ann Arbor, Michigan
Price: List price plus $8 shipping
Previous selections: Nothing to See Here, Biloxi, Trust Exercise

South

Parnassus Books

Nashville, Tennessee
Price: List price plus shipping
Previous selections: Lost and Wanted, City of Girls, Redeployment

Interabang Books

Dallas, Texas
Price: List price plus shipping
Previous selections: Little Gods, Under Land, The River

Book People

Austin, Texas
Price: Flat rate for 6 or 12 months plus shipping and tax
Previous selections: Thunderstruck, The Snow Queen, Lucky Us

The Alabama Booksmith

Birmingham, Alabama
Price: List price plus shipping
Previous selections: Boy Swallows Universe, The Woman in the Window, The Golden House

A Cappella Books

Atlanta, Georgia
Price: List price plus state sales tax for GA residents and shipping fee where applicable
Previous selections: The Nickel Boys, Inland, and City of Girls

Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café

Asheville, North Carolina
Price: List price plus $10 shipping
Previous selections: The Shadow Land, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, Hold Still

Square Books

Oxford, Missouri
Price: List price plus shipping
Previous selections: Another Brooklyn, The Nix, Here I Am

Lemuria Books

Jackson, Mississippi
Price: List price plus $5 shipping
Previous selections: Fates and Furies, The Tiger’s Wife, Lincoln in the Bardo

District of Columbia

Politics and Prose

Washington, D.C.
Price: List price plus shipping
Previous selections: Black Leopard, Inland, My Year of Rest and Relaxation

West Coast

Book Passage

Corte Madera, California
Price: List price plus $6 shipping
Previous selections: The Sympathizer, All the Light We Cannot See, Washington Black

Skylight Books

Los Angeles, California
Price: $0.01 membership cost plus list price and $8 shipping
Previous selections: Purity, Slade House, M Train