How Much Is an Ayn Rand First Edition Worth?

It’s safe to say Ayn Rand is one of the most controversial author figures of the 20th century and her work (as many that form a political basis or discourse) is either revered or reviled without a lot of middle ground to it. During her life time she had five full novels published, many of which are considered the backbone of Libertarian though she preferred the term “Radical for Capitalism.”

Love her or hate her, there’s no denying the influence her books had on the course of political discourse history in the 20th century and beyond, and that fact alone makes true first edition/first printings of her books worth a considerable amount of money to collectors.

Let’s dive in further to see the expected value that each of these books might bring in!

The Fountainhead Ayn Rand
The Fountainhead was Rand’s first best selling work.

How Much Are Ayn Rand Antique Books Worth?

There weren’t many Ayn Rand books published, in fact there are only five works published to her name with the last two being the most famous and the only ones that the majority of people remember her for.

If you find any of these Ayn Rand first editions, especially in good condition, they can be worth a considerable amount of money to collectors.

Related Article: What Are the Conditions in Antique Book Collecting?

Keep in mind that getting accurate valuations on Ayn Rand first editions considering that because of the fan base demand can surge depending on who is looking and at what time.

The prices will be averages – they may be more or less depending on the buyer or the politics of a local area. So take these as very rough guidelines, but always do research on places like or local antique book sellers to get an idea of what specific markets are doing at the moment.

How Much Is “We The Living” Ayn Rand First Edition Worth?

“We The Living” had a limited run of 3,000 copies in 1936. This was a semi-autobiographical work that relied heavily on themes of individual vs the state, themes that Rand’s works would rely heavily on in the future. Set in the Soviet Union, the themes and story gave a peek behind the curtain, but the first printing in the U.S. went out of print because of anemic sales.

The European first edition did better, and more copies exist.

The first printing of “We The Living” was published by The Macmillian Company out of New York. This first edition actually has no mention of the printing or edition number on the copyright page.

The first edition is full bound in wheat cloth and the average retail prices by condition are:

  • F/F $10,000
  • F/NF $7,500
  • NF/VG+ $5,000
  • VG+/VG $$3,000
  • VG/VG- $2,000
  • Good $750

As with most collectible antique books most of the monetary value comes from the rare dust jacket and the prices without a dust jacket are roughly 20-25% of the stated value.

How Much Is “The Night of January 16th” Ayn Rand First Edition Worth?

Not a novel, but an on-Broadway play, “The Night of January 16th” has several first edition printings of the play that can be found from four cities: Chicago, Boston, New York, or Toronto.

The copyright page states “First Edition” and the publisher should be Longmans, Green and Co.

There is no priority first edition printing here so all of the labeled first editions are considered equal. The prices are for the first edition with the original wraps.

The average retail price by condition.

  • Fine $1,000
  • VG+ $450
  • VG- $150
  • Good $75

How Much Is “Anthem” Ayn Rand First Edition Worth?

A dystopian novella, Anthem’s first edition is actually the U.K. version as originally Rand couldn’t find an American publisher until years later after the success of later novels. Because of that, the U.S. first edition is NOT considered collectible.

All these numbers are for the U.K. first edition of “Anthem” by Ayn Rand. The first edition was published in 1938 in the U.K. by Cassell: London. The words “First published 1938” appear on the copyright page.

  • F/F $7,5000
  • F/NF $6,000
  • NF/VG+ $4,500
  • VG+/VG $3,000
  • VG/VG- $1,500
  • Good $500

How Much Is “The Fountainhead” Ayn Rand First Edition Worth?

“The Fountainhead” was Ayn Rand’s first best seller, and the book that really put her on the map as a writer and ideologue. Published in 1943, this was the first work of hers to get more than one state on the first printing.

The Fountainhead first edition was published by Bobbs-Merrill out of Indianapolis and the copyright page’s 3rd line states “First Edition” italics included. This has a full bound red cloth cover and a list of Bobbs-Merrill titles on the back of the dust jacket.

For the record, the 2nd state has a green cloth cover, a photograph of Rand, and 3 reviews on the rear panel of the dust jacket.

Because of this there are two accepted states of the first edition. Assume the 2nd states are 30-35% less in value than the equivalent 1st state of the same grade.

  • F/F $5,000
  • F/NF $4,000
  • NF/VG+ $2,500
  • VG+/VG $1,200
  • VG/VG- $750
  • Good$300

How Much Is “Atlas Shrugged” Ayn Rand First Edition Worth?

Along with “The Fountainhead,” “Atlas Shrugged” is one of Ayn Rand’s most famous books, and arguably the most famous one. Published in 1957, there are far more copies of this first edition than any others as Rand was a well-known author by this point and publishers knew there would be a market for her books from the beginning.

Published by Random House: New York, the copyright page contains 8 lines of information with the first line stating “FIRST PRINTING” in all caps and the last line reads “by H. Wolff, New York.”

The original dust jacket price is $6.95 and the dust jacket has her picture and “10/57” on the bottom of the front flap. On the rear flap of the just jacket near the bottom will be Random House and the address.

The book itself should be fully bound green cloth with a blue top stain and beige-colored pastedowns.

  • F/F $3,000
  • F/NF $2,500
  • NF/VG+ $900
  • VG+/VG $900
  • VG/VG- $600
  • Good $150

That’s All There Is To Know About Ayn Rand First Printings

That is all the information you need to know about first edition Ayn Rand works. As long as you understand how to tell first edition/first printings apart from first edition later printings, you have the information you need to start your journey for either buying or selling one of these amazing collectible works.

Related Article: What Is The Difference Between A First Edition and First Printing?

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