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The Comeback of Collectible Editions

The Wall Street Journal’s Sam Schechner takes recent deluxe editions of Michael Chabon‘s THE YIDDISH POLICEMEN’S UNION and Chuck Palahniuk‘s RANT as a sign such collectible volumes are returning to the forefront (which was already the subject of a similar piece last month by C. Max Magee.) Within the struggling book industry, these efforts are intended to deepen fan bases for popular authors while ginning up extra profit.

Besides the chance that limited-edition books will appreciate in value, the new spate of expensive books dovetails with the expansion of goods targeted at wealthy consumers. “They’re an expensive luxury item,” says Jonathan Burnham, publisher at HarperCollins, which says it has sold out of its 1,000 copies of Chabon’s $150 limited-edition “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union.” “The whole DVD-retailing world has shown that people will pay a premium.”

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