Unusual and carefully selected books

Cheerleader Productions Ltd

We are a small book dealer based in Cheltenham, in the UK. We stock, typically, less than a thousand books, all of them chosen because they have a strong appeal to us, and we think they will appeal to others.

Book Case of book dealer based in Cheltenham, UK. Cheerleader Productions

Browse our unusual books

We have ended up specialising, for no particular reason other than we like them, in art, antiques, aviation, music, Irish books, birds… and some fiction modern first editions! But a few other goodies have crept in as well.

Browse our online book shops and find your new favourite book.

Book of the week

The Royal Women of Amarna £50

What comes before a First EDition?  

The scarcity of a first edition is directly related to the size of the print run, and to a lesser degree at the point at which people started keeping  first print copies because they thought they might be worth money one day. For all but the rarest first editions, second and later printings are irrelevant to the point of being worth just the price of a second-hand book.

John le Carré wrote 31 novels. The current best prices on AbeBooks for a first edition first printing in like new condition ranges from £5 to £26,604, and you have 1,700 individual copies to choose from. Obviously, these apples are not all apples. Some of them are pears, signed or earlier copies which are very much scarcer and very much more expensive than the later ones, for the same reason as Harry Potter – the size of the print runs.

Why do people collect first editions? Beats me, but I’m one of them. Why do people collect stamps? Or matchbox labels, or fridge magnets, or Staffordshire jugs, or parking tickets or whatever? It’s the underlying completist in us when it takes over and bubbles to the surface. We have to have the complete set.

Not that I would want to confuse and annoy collectors even more, but some people look out for even earlier editions than the published firsts. The mechanics of writing and publishing books follow, generally, the same pattern. The writer handwrites, types or word processes succeeding drafts of his masterpiece, and eventually a “final” draft is produced and sent to the agent, publisher and assorted advisers and friends for them to comment. Obviously, handwritten or typed drafts are almost impossibly rare and, if the book is admired and collected, extremely valuable. The version sent out to advisers (to check the detail of the writer’s manuscript) are usually cheaply-produced versions of what the publisher hopes will be pretty close to the final version. 


If you haven’t heard of the author, or you have but you know them not to be collectable, these early editions are pretty much worthless. If the author is collected, as le Carré certainly is, then it will have a value, potentially more than the published first edition, on the grounds that there are very limited quantities of a proof. A final proof which will look pretty much identical to the published edition will be sent out to booksellers, reviewers and friends of the author not long before publication. These are collectable, if written by the right author.

As a guide, I have a “like new” first edition first printing hardback of The Little Drummer Girl for sale online for an asking price of £30. An uncorrected proof, unlikely as it seems, and presumably because it is one step further back towards le Carré is worth maybe five times that. This one is a bit tatty so I am selling it for a mere £49!


 UK: £49 + £3 p&p. Further afield please ask!

Still available!

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freddie mercury a world of his own

A brand new hardback copy of this very fine Sotheby’s hardback. An illustrated guide to the furniture and effects belonging to Freddie Mercury and auctioned in September 2023. 258pp. Hundreds and hundreds of colour illustrations. Produced to the exceptionally high standards of Sotheby’s publications. We pack our books properly and ship daily from the UK.  UK: £120 + £3 p&p. Further afield: please ask!


Absolutely amazing packaging. 10 books all separately wrapped in a strong box. Each book in excellent condition. Thank you

Repeat customer. Very impressed with the double packing which ensures the books arrive without damaged corners. Item as described in very clean condition. Fast delivery. Recommended seller.

Faultless service. Very quick and extremely well packaged. Recommended seller.

Our Terms of Sale

We work hard to describe our books accurately. If you disagree on receiving a purchase from us we will arrange return for refund. We pack our books carefully and properly and ship daily from the UK. We can expedite at extra cost, just ask.

Our Returns Policy

We allow for 30 days return, with buyer paying for return postage.

Accepted Payment Methods

Payments Accepted Apple Pay 1 Payments Accepted PayPal Payments Accepted Google Pay 1 Payments Accepted American Payments Accepted MasterCard Payments Accepted Visa

Cheerleader Productions Ltd

We are a small, unusual books dealer, based in Cheltenham, in the UK.

Contact: derek@cheerleaderproductions.com
07859 888442