Barnes and Noble Offering 500,000 Signed First Editions for Sale on Black Friday

Posted on November 24, 2014

Stephan Pastis before and after signing 5,000 copies of Timmy Failure

Barnes and Noble is going all out for this Black Friday. The book retailer has been working for seven months in secret with more than 100 of today's top authors to do something no retailer has done before.

The bookseller is selling 500,000 signed first editions of popular books for sale for in-store customers only. There will be at least 100 signed books in every Barnes and Noble in the country, which is pretty cool. The list of authors is pretty amazing and includes top fiction authors, a former president, childrens' authors, and nonfiction authors. Former President George W. Bush and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton are just two of the politicians who dove in and signed mountains of books.

Fiction authors Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child Chuck Palahniuk, Clive Cussler, David Baldacci, and Michael Connelly all risked carpal tunnel syndrome by participating. Nonfiction authors who stepped up for the project include Drew Barrymore, Michael Lewis, Amy Poehler and Alan Cumming. Author Stephan Pastis is pictured above before and after signing 5,000 copies of his book Timmy Failure: Now Look What You've Done for the Barnes & Noble Black Friday offering.

Signed fiction books that will be available include some titles that would made great gifts. They're either a special edition of a top author's classic work, such as American Gods (The Tenth Anniversary Edition) by Neil Gaiman and Inferno: Special Illustrated Edition by Dan Brown, or recent bestselling titles such as Betrayed by Lisa Scottoline, Perfidia by James Ellroy, and Leaving Time by Jodi Picout.

Signed first edition teen books include Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth, Rookie Yearbook Three by Tavi Gevinson, Silver Shadows (Bloodlines Series #5) by Richelle Mead and The Maze Runner by James Dashner.

Jaime Carey, Chief Merchandising Officer at Barnes & Noble, discussed the mammoth undertaking, saying, "The breadth, depth, and collection of these signed editions is something that is uniquely Barnes & Noble and has never been done at this scale before by any bookseller or retailer." The secret project took thousands of hours to pull off. Several of the authors decided to go above and beyond a simple signature. For example, Mo Willems the bestselling author and illustrator of several childrens' book series drew the head of the Pigeon character (who stars in the Pigeon) in each edition.

Bestselling author Brandon Stanton, author of Humans of New York did a special "dino" edition of his books. Each copy has his signature and an illustration of a dinosaur. He must have been exhausted after he finished drawing all those dinos.

Mary Amicucci, Vice President, Adult Trade and Children’s Books, acknowledged that it was a big thing to ask major authors to sign thousands of books. But she was surprised at the response she got. She said, "We found that the authors were just as keen as we were to deliver on this idea because they saw how meaningful it would be to their fans and readers to have these as gifts to be remembered long after the holidays are over." We agree. We love online shopping, but we'll certainly pop in to our local Barnes and Noble to pick up a couple of signed editions for gifts.

You can go here to see the full list of books that will be available next weekend.

Photo: Tracy Miracle, Candlewick Press

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