Investing in recent first edition books

30 September 2016

On 25 October the Man Booker Prize for an original novel will be announced, and if this has never really caught your attention before, perhaps some of the investment opportunities it offers will.

Research from the bookworms at Gocompare has some interesting things to say about first edition prize-winning books - specifically that investing in them, especially signed ones, could net you a pretty profit.

Some of the most notable rises include 2009’s winner ‘Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel and the more recent, 2015 winner ‘A brief history of seven killings,’ by Marlon James. A first edition of the former, priced at £18.99 on release would go for £600 now, and a signed first edition would fetch £1,100. That’s an increase of 3060% and 5693%, respectively.

A Brief History of Seven Killings also came out priced at £18.99. A first edition now would get you £150 and a signed one £400. Those are 690% and 7009% rises.

To compare, between October 2009 and now the FTSE 100 has risen 31.5%. And between October 2015 and now, it has risen 7.3%.

Of course, there’s a massive difference between investing in a singular first edition of book and putting regular amounts of cash into a stocks and shares Isa, but it’s an interesting thought all the same.

If you do fancy investing and have some questions about how to start, perhaps it’s worth booking an appointment with the investment doctor? Email your questions to

Here's the full list of Booker prize winners and their worth today:

YearTitleAuthorOriginal RRP (£)First edition value (£)Signed first edition value (£)
2000The Blind AssassinMargaret Atwood16.9955213
2001True History of Kelly GangPeter Carey16.9965200
2002Life of PiYann Martel12.99125300
2003Vernon God LittleDBC Pierre12.99232581
2004The Line of BeautyAlan Hollinghurst16.99155280
2005The SeaJohn Banville12.99114200
2006The Inheritance of LossKiran Desai16.99220232
2007The GatheringAnne Enright12.9975420
2008The White TigerAravind Adiga16.99100280
2009Wolf HallHilary Mantel18.996001100
2010The Finkler QuestionsHoward Jacobson18.9975310
2011The Sense of an EndingJulian Barnes12.9975300
2012Bring up the BodiesHilary Mantel20160300
2013The LuminariesEleanor Catton18.99100581
2014The Narrow Road to the Deep NorthRichard Flanagan16.99134480
2015a Brief History of Seven KillingsMarlon James18.99150400


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