Much of the greatest horror ever conceived began in literature. From Dracula and Frankenstein to Rosemary’s Baby and the Body Snatchers, characters that have been immortalized on celluloid got their start on publishing paper.

Book collecting is certainly one of the easiest hobbies, considering how many new and secondhand book stores there are, plus library sales, flea markets, and the sheer volume of books available for purchase online. Horror book collectors can easily pick up copies through these outlets, but for those seeking more lucrative opportunities, it’s important to focus on first editions.

“First edition” simply means the first printing of a book. They are the limited number of copies a publisher has made in the first round of printing, the initial installment on a potential long-term investment if the book does well. This topic was explored in Gemstone Publishing’s “how to” book, The Overstreet Guide to Collecting Horror.

High value horror first editions are typically the prominent titles, though there are some that aren’t mainstream hits or perhaps have lost steam in the public consciousness. 

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus first edition copies average between $9,000 to $11,250.

The Raven and Other Poems by Edgar Allan Poe has sold for $3,250 to $19,000.

H.P. Lovecraft’s novelette, The Shunned House, first edition sells for $2,125 to $7,170.

A first edition of Daphne Du Maurier’s mystery thriller Rebecca reaches $300 to $1,750.

Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House first edition has sold for $200 to $1,200 in recent years.

A first edition of The Exorcist can be purchased for $50 to $150.

The Shining first edition signed by Stephen King has sold for $2,870 in recent years while unsigned copies go for $300 to $955.

To learn more about popular horror novels, order a copy of The Overstreet Guide to Collecting Horror from gemstonepub.com.