Well, wow! There's hope for us wanna be writers yet!
I read in the weekend paper of an online Canadian bookstore, AbeBooks, who posted an interesting list: The most expensive books they sold in 2008.
Of interest is that all but two are 19th century works - as you'd expect. Number three on the list is: "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling - $12,874
Rare first edition signed by JK with the dust wrapper panels signed by the cover artist Cliff Wright. The first issue has a misaligned block of text which was corrected in the subsequent issues."
Might be an idea to check your own copy.
$12,000. I'm shaking my head because it outsold a 1949 first edition, first printing copy of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four which went for $6,780.
All manner of comparisons just pop up, don't they. Which is has more literary value? Will HP still be read sixty years from now? Will it be considered a classic like George Orwell's masterpiece? How much will a signed, first edition of HP be then? And so on. I consider George Orwell a more insightful social commentator, but JK a more readable one.
If you look further down the page, there's a list of three HP books that were signed and sold for between five and twelve thousand dollars.
I guess the good news is, if you're fortunate enough to write something that has universal appeal and hits the market at just the right time, you don't have to be dead for your signature to be worth a lot of money - even if you don't see one red cent of it. And a signed book - a signed anything, really - is only worth as much as what another is willing to pay for it.
How much will you be worth once you're in print?