Six-figure sums are routinely paid for limited-edition photography books – and publishers tell us they’ve mined art gold:
More recently, cannily timed to launch with the 40th anniversary of the moon landings, Taschen published MoonFire: The Epic Journey of Apollo 11. It’s a lavish publication of A Fire on the Moon, Norman Mailer’s out-of-print work about the 1969 Apollo moon landings. Repackaged with glossy stills from Nasa and Life magazine archives, with each of the 1,969 copies signed by Mailer himself, it’s priced at £650. An astonishing figure perhaps, given that the original trades for roughly £25 in the second-hand book market, but it shifted 150 copies in the first week of release alone. An extra-special 12 copies of the book, to be sold to people selected from an extensive waiting list, come complete with their own piece of lunar meteorite; Taschen expects the sales to be in the six-figure region. Given the current financial climate, it might seem ludicrous that these hefty, albeit beautiful, photography books should continue to sell. But they do, and in increasing numbers.
“Such a range of people buy these limited editions,” explains Taschen. “Art collectors, celebrities, politicians and sportsmen – but there are also the book obsessives who just have a love for books. Sometimes it’ll be someone who doesn’t have a lot of money, but feels so strongly about the subject that they will buy it as a one-off treasure.” – from Guardian