Obama victory boosts sales, value of his books

Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:54am EST
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NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Barack Obama's victory in the U.S. presidential election has triggered a surge in demand -- and in value -- for his two books before he has even moved into the White House, according to online booksellers.

AbeBooks.com, an online seller of used, rare, and out-of-print books, said it has sold 20 books signed by the president-elect for $500 or more, with one buyer paying $5,500 for his 1995 memoir "Dreams From My Father."

Before the election, the most expensive Obama book sold by AbeBooks.com was a signed copy of this book for $1,798.

"Twelve of the 20 signed copies sold since Obama's victory have been priced more than $1,000," Richard Davies, of AbeBooks.com, said in a statement.

The most sought after Obama books are signed first editions of "Dreams From My Father" written when he was 33 telling his life story up to his entry into Harvard Law School.

This book was originally published when he was still working as a lawyer and lecturer. The book went out-of-print and had a small print run. Signed copies of these scarce editions are selling for over $10,000, said Davies.

Obama's second book, "Audacity of Hope: Thoughts of Reclaiming the American Dream," published in 2006, was more a reflection on politics that helped build his national following.

This book was the second most popular book on Amazon.com on Tuesday and third in the New York Times best-seller list followed by "Dreams From My Father."

Davies said that even though Obama has yet to move into the White House, prices for his signed books were already comparable to previous presidents who published books after leaving office.

AbeBooks.com sold a signed copy of Bill Clinton's 2004 autobiography "My Life" for $3,450 and a signed copy of Ronald Reagan's 1990 book "An American Life" for $6,325.

(Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Patricia Reaney)

<p>U.S. President-elect Barack Obama answers a journalist's question during his first press conference following his election victory in Chicago, November 7, 2008. REUTERS/Jason Reed</p>