Are Your Harry Potter Books Worth Selling? J.K. Rowling's Bibliographer Has the Answer

Could your Harry Potter collection be a goldmine in disguise? J.K. Rowling: A Bibliography 1997-2013 by Philip W. Errington has the answer. In this definitive bibliography of the beloved author’s work, Errington provides a chart mapping out which editions of which HP novels could have significant; some; or little market value.

As it turns out, only first-edition purists have a shot at enacting some fiscal wizardry. The edition that would have the highest market value is a hardback edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (the first installment’s UK title), published by Bloomsbury, and the cover must depict Harry standing next to a train, as shown in the picture below.

That same edition (UK title, Bloomsbury-published, Harry+Train) in softback might have some market value. And the hardcover edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2), published by Bloomsbury, with a cover featuring Harry and Ron driving the infamous flying car might also have some market value.

Books 4-7 — or anything published after and including Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire — have significantly lower market value, since they were printed in such massive quantities. But you might find some luck with these installments if they are signed, deluxe editions.

For a better idea of the books’ value, you can consult the full chart in Errington’s book, which marks the first scholarly account of Rowling’s work and publishing history. The bibliography also provides some fascinating, little-known facts about the gifted writer — like, for instance, that Rowling wrote four editions of The Daily Prophet , the enchanted newspaper featured in the books and the movies. That’s dedication to the craft.