Welcome to the latest issue of Trading Updates/Rare Books – FREE Version.
Today we’re digging into a special piece of sci fi history – a first edition inscribed copy of Frank Herbert’s Dune. It’s trading right now on Rally until 4 PM EST.
Dune: Franke Herbert (inscribed first edition)
What is the asset?
One of my favourite assets across all the fractional platforms, I’ll get my disclosure and biases out of the way:
- I bought the maximum allotment of shares when this IPO’ed, and I’m a long-term hold
- I read this book during a tough and lonely part of my life, and it’s one of my favourites
Right, so what is Dune?
Dune is probably the most famous science fiction book of all time; notoriously, Star Wars ripped off several elements from the book. A few “similarities”:
- Luke is a Paul Atreides knockoff.
- The Force is very similar to The Voice
- There’s an evil galaxy-controlling Imperium in Dune, and the evil Galaxy-controlling Empire in Star Wars
- Genetic links between heroes and villains in both stories
- Princess Leia in Star Wars and Princess Alia in Dune
- The planets of Tatooine and Arrakis both feature giant sandworms and vast deserts
As you may surmise, people who like Dune, Really Like Dune. There are multiple Dune-related Twitter accounts with five and six-figure followers.
Searching for “Dune Fan Art” in Google returns over 30 million results.
So what about the book itself?
It’s a first edition inscribed to someone named Alex. It’s not clear who Alex was, but it seems like he and Herbert were familiar with each other based on the inscription.
Perhaps most notably, a Dune feature film is set to premier October 1st, 2021, and it looks Epic.
Also notably, the film only covers the first half of the novel, which means interest in the book and franchise will continue for at least a couple of years. The novel itself has five sequels in the series, so this could be the beginning of a mega blockbuster franchise.
What is the current status of the asset?
The book IPO’ed end of 2020 and has had one trading window, where it ticked up nicely. As I’m writing this, it’s up 60% in this trading window with minimal volume. Notably there are no sellers putting up asks for less than $29/sh.
Valuation and target share price
- Target Share Price: $20 to $30 per share
Given the excitement about the film, this book has appreciated perhaps 50% over the last year.
Growth Outlook and Future Catalysts
If the Dune film is successful and leads to many more films, this book could easily double or treble in price over the next few years. If not, look for a floor around $15k.
This is such a fantastic book, and it’s a solid investment. If the share price sticks at $32, I’d be a bit wary, though.
Other ways to invest in Dune
A first edition first printing copy of Dune is currently available for $7,500 without a signature. The seller appears to be open to offers.
You can pick up a first edition of the second book in the series, Dune Messiah, for around $1,000. This may appreciate as that film is released.
You may also be interested in a Folio Society Signed (by the illustrator) and Numbered limited edition from 2020. It’s available for $1,129.