NEW YORK — How much is a signed Harper Lee novel worth? Her publisher is offering a special edition of “Go Set a Watchman” for $1,500.
HarperCollins Publishers announced Wednesday that 500 collector’s editions are available — leather bound with gold foil stamping, inside a velvet-lined cloth box. HarperCollins told The Associated Press that Lee, 89 and in frail condition, signed the books during the past few months.
Prices on eBay for signed Harper Lee books range from $1,000 for an anniversary edition of “To Kill a Mockingbird” to $15,000 for a signed and inscribed first edition of her Pulitzer Prize winning novel.
“Go Set a Watchman” is the unexpected second book by the press-shy author and has been on best-seller lists for much of the year despite mostly negative reviews and simmering doubts that Lee was fully aware of the book’s release.
Written in the mid-1950s, “Watchman” was completed before “Mockingbird,” but takes place 20 years later in the same small Southern community. The depiction of “Mockingbird” hero Atticus Finch as a racist opposed to integration startled readers and critics and set off an extended debate about one of literature’s most beloved characters.
Lee, a Monroeville, Alabama, native, had long said that “Mockingbird” would be her only book.