Series: Official Autograph Collector Price Guide
Paperback: 488 pages
Publisher: Autograph Media/Odyssey; 4th Edition edition (March 30, 2005)
Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 8.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #3,175,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #53 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Autographs #6699 in Books > Reference > Encyclopedias & Subject Guides > Antiques & Collectibles #17078 in Books > Textbooks > Reference
Nice introductory materials, including market perspectives and a market analysis, and loaded with names of the famous and not-so-famous.Because of the layout of the chapters, however, you might have some difficulty locating a particular person in your search for an autograph value. For example, in which chapter would you hunt for Howard Hughes? Aviation? Business Leaders, Economists, Financiers, and Publishers? Newsmakers? Then again, why would I want to hunt? A purely alphabetical listing would prevent quite a few headaches, or an index would end my misery altogether.Or would it? Because unless you live and breath the autograph world, the abbreviations in this book will befuddle you. The abbreviations and what they mean should be printed on each page, even if in very small print, because locating the abbreviation keys (different in each chapter, it seems) is an exercise in utter madness.Finally, with all the advertising in this book--yes, advertising, starting with a full-page ad on the inside-front cover!--it should be priced like a large magazine at maybe $5.95 or so. The $24.95 cover price seems hard to justify with so many ads--including ads interspersed throughout the book, 24 consecutive pages at the back, and one big ad that dominates the back cover! It's a book-a-zine!I'll give Baker's book two stars out of five for its comprehensive coverage of the autograph field, but not more. I'm still trying to locate a few signatures, but with no index, I'm getting tired of hunting.
The author is a member of the respected Universal Autograph Collectors Club, which is a non-profit organization comprised of autograph collectors founded in 1965. The UACC gave high marks to this book, which is why I gave it a try.The author does an excellent job of providing an overview of the various markets (historical figures, presidents, celebs, etc.) and gives some solid insight into collecting and what to look for. It's obvious he knows his stuff.I'll have to agree with the first reviewer, though, in that the book is not easy to navigate. There's no comprehensive alphabetical listing of the people named in the book, so you'll have to hunt for what you're looking for, assuming what you're looking for is listed somewhere.Most annoying are the abbreviations used. I'm a long-time collector, but I found myself desperately searching for the meanings of several of the abbreviations used - and they were not easy to find. A brief table at the beginning of each chapter defining these abbreviations would be fine, or just spell them out in smaller print on each page. Not difficult.The ads in the book didn't bother me as it's a reference book, not a novel you'd sit down and read cover to cover. But what did bother me was the many typos and misspellings throughout (i.e Marrtin instead of Martin). This could have easily been avoided by having someone proofread the final draft. Easy!To Mr. Baker's credit, it is obvious he did exhaustive research for this book, and a lot of the information he shares is interesting and informative. I hope when it's time for the fifth edition that he seriously considers adding an alphabetical index and double-checking the text for misspellings. And although the author clearly states that each list is not meant to be complete (just representative, which is fair), I'd still like to see more entries in the more popular categories, such as celebrities and music.
It is good to have a reference, but it must be absolutely improved.Items like how it is organized is a critical item.Also it is mostly for US celebrities autographs, but if you are looking for non-US celebrities, you may be disappointed.
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