Somewhere out there in Cambridgeshire there is, presumably, a garden shed occupied by a man who sells items on eBay under the name of Gardenshed. (This may not be his real name.)
Sometime in the last two weeks Mr Gardenshed purchased a copy of my book The Complete Dambusters and then stood in a queue somewhere to get it signed by the ever-obliging Johnny Johnson. So far, not unusual behaviour. Then he travelled back to his humble abode (which I visualise as being more like a ‘man cave’ than a simple structure filled with potting plants and tools).
At this point, you or I might have sat down, glanced through the book, marvelled at the fact that it contains biographies and photographs of all the men who took part in the raid and perhaps sent a handwritten note or an email to the author congratulating him on the work. You or I might also be pleased that you had your copy signed by a man who appears in it, and then place it carefully on your bookshelf. But no, Mr Gardenshed had a better idea. He could make a quick profit of at least £19 (more if he had bought the book from a discount bookseller) if he flogged it on eBay! Even better he could assure potential purchasers that he hadn’t opened the copy because, as he puts it, its condition is “UNRERAD”.
What a clever fellow he is.
Could not agree more Charles. So sad when people buy these things just to make a quick buck. If only they took the time to appreciate the work that goes into producing such a book I would like to think they may have a different attitude. I for one congratulate you on a splendid read and can assure you my SIGNED copy will never leave my bookshelf!
I agree, this kind of thing sickens me too but… isn’t this article helping him to sell it for more? Most readers here would love a signed copy!
When I first published M-Mother and went to the anniversary dinner at the Petwood Hotel, there was a certain person  with a pile of my books getting signatures from Johnnie, Mary SR and others in return for a free book. I sold 2 there all week end!!!! Goodness knows where and for what price he then sold them. Jenny Elmes
Well, apart from the obvious spelling mistake, I’ll allow myself not to assume that “Mr Gardenshed” is not illiterate, there is nothing wrong with him selling on a copy of your book with a signature contained within. I have come across such comments many many times before. It is not tasteless or wrong for signed copies to have an enhanced value, surely. The publisher earned from the sale of the original book, as did the author. We do not know if the signature is genuine…or do we? If not genuine, then this would be tasteless in the extreme.
I have to say though, and I spent years selling Limited Edition signed aviation prints where in most cases, the pilots/signatories earned 2USD per signature. I went to the German pilot, Gunther rall’s house and he was a stickler for his 2USD when he signed 250 prints for me…and rightly so!
I do think though, and I was not alone, that at least the first 133 copies could have been signed by Charles, allowing those of us who read/respond to this blog, to buy a signed and dedicated copy.
I bought a copy of John Hopgood’s L/E reproduction diary from Jenny Elmes, and what a superbly exquisite book, signed by her and her mother, John’s sister. Likewise I’ve just bought a Limited Edition (out of 133) of Piotr Forkasiewicz’s book on the Dambuster 464 Provisioning Lancaster plus L/E print by mark Postlethwaite, then a copy from David irving of his book “The Night the Dams Burst”, and David kindly signed it for me.
A Limited Edition copy of your book, Charles, would have gone down very well….shame it wasn’t a hardback, in fact, had I known earlier, I would have offered to publish it for you!
As expected what a brilliant book Charles. My copy which I bought from you and that you kindly signed for me at Castricum takes pride of place amongst my many Dambuster and Signed bomber command books. Value to me absolutely priceless.. Thanks Charles.
you will always find someone trying to make money of the back of others