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Xiran Jay Zhao, author of the New York Times bestselling YA sci fi book Iron Widow, is well known for their social media presence, particular on TikTok. On January 8th, they posted a TikTok of themselves sitting on a “throne” made of copies of Iron Widow.
Soon, they began receiving comments joking about wanting to own one of the copies they sat on. Zhao began to notice this trend:
“Then I saw the same sentiment expressed multiple times across my social media platforms. That was when I was all ‘OH NO, Y’ALL NEED JESUS.’ But at the same time, I was morbidly curious as to how much someone would actually pay for a copy of my book that I sat on.”
Partly out of morbid curiosity, partly for a good cause, Zhao decided to auction off one of these copies for charity, choosing the National Cervical Cancer Coalition (or a cause of the winner’s choice). The copy will be signed and personalized for the winner.
After a brief hiccup where eBay restricted Zhao’s account, the listing quickly got traction. So far, the auction has gotten 90 bids and is at more than $1,000 USD. For context, all the books on the “throne” were signed for a book box that will likely sell for around $100 each, with the signed book as just one part of it. So this price is just for the honor of that copy being sat upon.
The auction ends tomorrow, on January 18th, so you still have time to bid!
Find more news and stories of interest from the book world in Breaking in Books.