Hardcover Books Quality Guide
(And Remainder Mark information)
These are top quality books, fresh and completely new. As you would buy from the bookstore. Many of these never shipped to bookstores, but were bought directly by Brandon from Tor before they went anywhere else.
These are new books, not used, and are in very good condition. These books, however, probably sat on a bookstore shelf for a while before being returned to the publisher, then finally shipped out to Brandon. This means they've been shipped back and forth a number of times, and might have been leafed through on the bookstore shelf. They don't have rips or major flaws, but the corners might be dented slightly, and there could be minor scratches on the jacket or some slight discoloring of the spine.
These are either new books with some imperfections or high quality used books Brandon picked up from used bookstores for resale to fans who wanted them. They might have small rips in the jacket or noticeable spots on some pages. The spine has been opened and the books have probably been read. They might be scratch/dent copies. Brandon only sells these if there are no higher quality books of this novel available, and it is always clearly marked on the book's page. You won't get sent one by accident, we promise.
These are used books in okay shape that Brandon picked up from a used bookstore for resale to his fans. Brandon only sells these if there are no higher quality books of this novel available, and it is always clearly marked on the book's page. You won't get sent one by accident, we promise.
Remainder marks are placed on the spines of books (usually the top or bottom) to indicate a book has been returned to a distributor for resale, and is placed there to keep that book from being returned to the publisher. (Most publishers allow bookstores to return unsold books for full credit; a remainder mark is placed to indicate that a book has been sold at a discount, so that booksellers can't send them back.)
Some books Brandon sells have remainder marks. These are generally copies of his books that shipped to Canada, and have been remaindered there and ended up in the distribution channels back here in the US. He snatches them up for sale on his website when he can find them. (Mistborn Two, for instance, is noticeably difficult to locate any other way, as it sold through all of its printings.)
A book's sale page will indicate if it has a remainder mark or not. While most consumers don't care about them, a remainder mark on a book will lower its value to a collector.
A picture taken of some copies of Mistborn Two with remainder marks is below. Most remainder marks are dots like this, though some may be larger slashes or squiggles.