arrow-down
Home » Selling Guides » Books and Magazines

Is Your Harry Potter Book Worth $55,000?

Several Harry Potter book editions are valuable, and the rarest of them all commands a hefty price tag– Flipsy.com details how to find out how much your Harry Potter book is worth.

From movies and books to toys, games, and even clothing, Harry Potter and his wizarding world seem ubiquitous these days. But did you know some original Harry Potter books are so rare they can command staggering prices from collectors and auctions? In fact, several collectible editions are worth hundreds and even thousands of dollars. Here's how to tell if your Harry Potter books are valuable.

Most valuable Harry Potter books

Here are some of the most valuable books in the Harry Potter series; note that all are "true" first editions, which we'll cover below.

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, 1st ed.: $35,000 to $55,000
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, 1st ed.: $4,000 to $6,500
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 1st ed.: up to $9,000
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, 1st ed.: $1,500 to $12,000
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 1st ed.: $200 up to $10,000+
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 1st ed.: $200 to $1,000+
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, 1st ed.: less than $250 up to $5,000
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, 1st ed.: less than $250 up to $5,000

Source: Mugglenet

Did You Know? Star Wars books can be valuable, too – some are worth thousands! Learn more

In addition, several spinoffs and other Harry Potter-related items have sold for large sums. They include:

  • The Tales of Beetle the Bard, a handwritten and illustrated (by J.K. Rowling), signed manuscript originally published in just seven handmade copies – one of which sold to Amazon for $4 million in 1997
  • Two short stories, penned by Rowling, titled Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through The Ages, are sold in signed box sets that sell between $1,000 and $4,500
  • A first edition hardcover set complete with original cover artist illustrations and placed in a wooden box sold for $52,249 at auction
  • A special edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone annotated, illustrated, and signed by J.K. Rowling sold for $227,421 at auction

If these values have you scrambling to cash in, don't raid your bookshelf just yet. Each is an example of a rare Harry Potter book, and there are many editions that are worth little, if any, beyond their cover prices. In fact, most Harry Potter books are not valuable. Those that typically carry little value include.

  • Second editions and subsequent editions
  • Book club editions
  • Books signed by the movie cast
  • Movie-inspired books

Harry Potter book not worth much? Many phones are worth $100+. Find the value of your phone.

iPhoneSamsungGoogle
OnePlusLGMotorola

Is your Harry Potter book valuable?

So, how can you tell whether your Harry Potter book is valuable? Here are some tips:

First edition, first printing, first state

Despite their names, first editions and first printings are not the same thing. A first edition encompasses all the printings run under the same typesetting, while a first printing is the first printed run under that typesetting.

You can tell whether your Harry Potter book is a first edition, first printing by the printer's key found on the copyright page.

This is what a printer's key looks like:

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

The lowest number indicates what printing it is; so, in this example, the printer's key tells us the book is a first printing.



The first edition is likewise easy to tell, since both UK and US publishers indicate it with the words "First Edition" on the copyright page. When you have a first edition, first printing book it's commonly referred to as a "1/1" copy.

There is one additional consideration to make: the "state" of the book. A book might have multiple states if a change was made during the first printing. For example, the dust jacket of a book might be changed midway through the first printing. The 1/1 copy with the original dust jacket would be considered the first state. Not every book has multiple states; it's entirely dependent on whether changes were made mid-run.

Finding out whether a particular book is first state often requires a bit of research, though in the case of Harry Potter books that information is relatively easy to find online, and mostly relevant to just the most valuable copies (which we'll cover shortly).

Think you might have a rare and valuable book? Here’s where to sell rare books

The most important takeaway is that the most valuable Harry Potter books are first editions, first printings, first states – which can be summed up in the world of book collecting as "true first editions."

Autographs

J.K. Rowling's autograph on your Harry Potter book instantly adds value, but how much value largely depends on the book edition. The author signed many more copies of early books in the series than later books. Beginning with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, autographed copies are accompanied by a holographic sticker that certifies authenticity.

In addition, illustrator signatures can add significant value to Harry Potter editions; however, books signed by movie cast members are not very valuable.

Have an autographed book? Read our guide on how to find its value Learn more

Condition

The condition of your book plays a large role in its value. Mint condition Harry Potter books are the most valuable, but even true first editions that are worn and tattered from library use can be valuable. Learn more about determining your book's condition here.

Harry Potter values, by the book

We've covered how much Harry Potter books can be worth and what makes them valuable; now, we'll break down each book in the series so you can determine whether you have a valuable copy.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

The original title of the first book in the series, published in the UK by Bloomsbury with a first print of just 500 copies. This is the "holy grail" of Harry Potter collectors and is valued at $35,000 to $55,000, with autographed copies being the most valuable.

Here's how to tell if you have a true first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone:

  • J.K. Rowling is credited as “Joanne Rowling” on the copyright page
  • On the copyright page, there is no space between “Taylor” and “1997” in the line “Thomas Taylor1997”
  • The printer’s key is 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
  • The publishing date is 1997, and the publisher is Bloomsbury
  • On the front cover, Wendy Cooling is quoted as saying “A terrific read and a stunning first novel”
  • The back cover features an illustration of a young Dumbledore. Later versions depict an old Dumbledore
  • Hogwarts is known as the school of “Witchcraft and Wizardry,” but on the back cover of the first printing the words are swapped, reading “Wizardry and Witchcraft”
  • On the back cover, the word “Philosopher’s” is misspelled as “Philospher’s”
  • On page 53, the phrase “1 wand” is listed twice in the list of Harry’s Hogwarts supplies

Note that there are some editions that look very similar to the original printing, including a "Ted Smart" edition and a "Celebratory" edition. Both books can have value, but not nearly as much as the true first edition. Moreover, forgers have been known to take advantage of unwitting collectors, increasing scrutiny to ensure authenticity.

Want to sell your Harry Potter book? Find the best place to sell any used book for the most money Learn more

Other editions that have value:

  • Advance reading (proof) copies: $6,000 to $13,500
  • Australian and Canadian first editions: $200 to $2,000
  • Deluxe editions: $450 to $2,500
  • Paperback editions: Up to $1,000+
  • Second and third editions: Up to $200+

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

The US version of the original book under a different title doesn't command as much money as the UK version, but it can still be worth a pretty penny.

  • True first edition: $4,000 to $6,500
  • Later printings of the first edition: Up to $200+

How to tell if you have a true first edition:

  • Printer’s key: 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 8 9/9 0/0 01 02
  • Hardcover features an embossed diamond pattern

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

  • True first edition: Up to $9,000
  • Deluxe edition, autographed: $1,000+
  • Other first editions: Up to $200+

How to tell if you have a true first edition:

  • Printer’s key: 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 9/9 0/0 1 2 3 4
  • Embossed diamond pattern on cover
  • No “Year 2” badge on hardcover spine


  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

    • True first edition: $1,500 to $12,000 (if autographed)
    • Deluxe first edition: Up to $5,000
    • Other first editions: $100 to $700

    How to tell if you have a true first edition:

    • Printer’s key: 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
    • “Joanne” instead of “J.K.” on the copyright page
    • Unintended paragraph break between “burnt” and “so much” on page 7

    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

    The series began being mass-printed in the US with this book, which makes true first editions far less valuable than previous books in the series. Still, there are some collectible versions, including:

    • First editions autographed by J.K. Rowling: $1,000+
    • Giles Greenfield’s watercolor-illustrated limited editions, autographed by the illustrator: $1,000+
    • Mary GrandPre’s Scholastic editions, autographed by the illustrator: $1,000+

    How to tell if you have a true first edition:

    • Printer’s key: 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0/0 01 02 03
    • Hardcover embossed diamond pattern

    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

    Like the previous and subsequent books, this volume is not valuable on its own; author and illustrator signatures are the only things that improve its value.

    • J.K. Rowling-autographed first edition: Up to $1,000+
    • Jason Cockroft (illustrator) autographed UK edition: $200
    • Mary GrandPre (illustrator) autographed US edition: $200

    How to tell if you have a true first edition:

    • Printer’s key: 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 03 04 05 06 07
    • Blue hardcover with embossed diamond pattern

    Should you get an appraisal for your books? Here’s expert advice on how to get a book appraisal

    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

    By the time this book was published in July 2005, J.K. Rowling no longer conducted book tours – which means her autograph makes true first editions rather valuable.

    • True first edition, autographed by Rowling: Up to $5,000
    • True first edition, autographed by illustrator Mary GrandPre: Up to $250

    How to tell if you have a true first edition:

    • Printer’s key: 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 05 06 07 08 09
    • Purple hardcover with embossed diamond pattern

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

    • True first edition, autographed by Rowling: Up to $5,000
    • True first edition, autographed by illustrator Mary GrandPre: Up to $250

    How to tell if you have a true first edition:

    • Printer’s key: 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 07 08 09 10 11
    • Green hardcover with embossed diamond pattern

    Additional resources

    Is this all there is to know about collecting Harry Potter books? It's a great start, but the world of Harry Potter is immense and there are many resources available to learn more about the series if you're serious about collecting, buying, or selling Harry Potter books. They include the following sources used for this article:

    Finally, if your Harry Potter book isn't rare and valuable to collectors it's still possible to sell it. Check current offers for any Harry Potter book at Flipsy.com. If you think you might have a rare and valuable Harry Potter book, check out this guide on where to sell your rare books.

    Related Help

    > Graphic novels: What they’re worth & where to sell them
    > How much are old magazines worth?
    > Are my encyclopedias worth anything?
    > Where to sell sheet music and what it’s worth
    > The best place to sell any used book for the most money

    Previous:
    Next:

    X

    FREE MONEY: The average household has $265 worth of old gadgets.