Looking for a way to tell if a book is a first edition. Its way beyond my expertise to go into all of the variations and possibilities, but here are some pointers. How do you know if a book is a first edition or even first. Unless the author or publishers makes changes to the text, adds something like an appendix or authors note, or revises the text, there is only one edition from format to format. Lately, first edition has become widely accepted tto mean first edition, first printing when buying or selling books although, technically speaking, it shouldnt be. For books that are unpopular or costing a publisher money they may find themselves on the out of print list. This information is all on the page where the publishers put their info. This can be really easy sometimes or really complicated sometimes. This book video will show you how to know if you have a first edition book. The vast majority of first editions published before 1900 had the year of publication on the title page this is true for fiction and nonfiction titles. Many publishers will print the hardcover edition of a book and call that a first edition, then print the same text in paperback and call it a first edition as well. In the world of book collecting, a first edition is generally considered to be the first appearance of a work, in its first printing.
Havent received pics of the inside yet but would that book be worth that much say if it was first edition but 2nd or 3rd print. If its a 1, then you probably have a first printing. Manybooks is one of the best resources on the web for free books in a variety of download formats. Isbns are useful when looking for a specific printing of a book. Sometimes, if there were changes in the book such as a change in price, you can tell which is the older printing of two copies by looking at the isbn the one with the higher number will be the later printing. The numeral 1 will be removed for a second printing. The ability to identify first editions is one of the most essential skills for both. Occasionally a number line will be accompanied by a date line. Trim size is given because book club editions are often smaller than trade editions. A clever startup called shelfie offered free or discounted e book versions of your print books. How to tell if i have a first edition copy of a book. At first this can become somewhat confusing because when a book becomes very popular and is often reprinted many times over a number of years with different publishers resulting in several first editions. If the initial print run of this first edition sells out and the publisher decides to produce a subsequent.
If the number 1 is included, chances are this is a true first edition. This indicates the book is from the first printing and was printed in 2014. Sometimes the number line is also accompanied by the words first edition, but be careful because some publishers leave on the words first edition even when the book is in its third printing. Most of the books i have published are available in both print and electronic formats, but when i published reality check, i only published it as an ebook. There are hundreds of titles here in all sorts of interesting genres and theyre completely free. This is how the printers key will appear in the first print run of a book. If its from a small press, which often run one printing of their books, youre sometimes safe assuming what you have is a first edition unless otherwise noted. A new version of the book is then typeset, which becomes the second edition. Use our guide to learn how to identify first editions from a variety of publishers.
For books that contain strings of numbers to denote the printing, the important. The first edition, first printing of a book is the very first time the book is printed, obviously. A guide to first editions by glenn larsen white unicorn books. As weve mentioned elsewhere, first edition means the first printing of a book. The beginners guide to identifying first editions book riot. How to determine when a book was printed pen and the pad. The first printing is also what book collectors call a first edition. If a book is a first edition and a first printing, its known to collectors and others as a 1st1st. How to tell if a book is a first edition or valuable book riot.
The basic definition of a coedition is when two publishing houses publish the. Identifying and collecting first editions shop for books. How do you tell if a book is a first printing or edition if it does not have it printed in the book. Many editions of h2g2 are worth are worth a fair sum of money. When book collectors say first edition, they are referring to the first printing of that. There is no one way to identify the first edition of a book. The main characteristics of a 1997 first edition first issue are a print.
Books will have a different isbn number for the softcover version than for the hardcover edition. The author may determine that new information justifies the revision of the book. For example, a number line that reads 5 6 7 8 9 indicates a fifth printing. Some publishers start the number line at 2, with 1 being the first edition. You can have a large print run or a small print runits completely up to. A first printing in collectors terms means the first printing of the first edition, so that when you see those words your research may well be over. In the rare books trade, first printings of first editions are usually the most soughtafter, and the term first edition is often used to refer to the first printing of a first edition. Abebooks explains how to identify a first edition book.
A first edition book can have multiple printings if the first printing sells out. Edition and printing can be used fairly interchangeably in talking about collectible books, especially in regard to modern fiction. May have occasionally stated first edition, but in general, the absence of a later printing statement indicates a first edition. How do you know if you have a first edition of a marvel. A free e copy of the eight edition of abc for book collectors is made available for download. Any book printed before 1970 will not have an assigned isbn. This fine print will always have a clause that says you are a mere tenant farmer of your books, and not their owner, and your right to. Print runs are a way for collectors to identify which first edition is truly the earliest version of the book to exist in the world. Also, if your number line started at 3 4 5, you would probably have a first edition, 3rd printing unless the book was published by one of the nonconforming presses.
If the initial print run of this first edition sells out and the publisher decides to produce a subsequent printing with the same typeset the book would be described as a first edition, second printing. If your copy is a 3rd printing, or a book club edition, it wont have the same value as a first edition. If the words first printing fp, first impression fi or first edition fe are on there somewhere, then this is a good clue. For some books, a resale price then can go up quite a bit, depending also on the condition of the book. Since the number line method wasnt widely used until the 1980s, you may well find books older without one. Unfortunately, this doesnt always mean the older one is the first printing. Books have tales to tell, and if youve stumbled on an old volume, you likely want to learn its history. Before anything else you should check to see if the book has first edition, first printing written inside the cover. Good to look out for at book swaps and garage sales. The words first edition and first printing are often used more or less interchangeably in the book world, though really they shouldnt be.
Get your kindle here, or download a free kindle reading app. The first edition of a trade book may be the first iteration of the work printed by. Publishers usually list the printing date on the inside cover. How can you tell if a book is a first edition answers. A student, for example, can search by isbn to find the correct edition of a textbook for school. If you are looking for a book and cant find it, there are a number of ways to check to see if the book is still in print. If the first round of copies ran out, a second printing with the same typeset may have been released to meet consumer demand in which case the book would be considered a first edition, second printing. Definitely not a first edition, let alone a first printing.
Later, booksellers began to call this a first edition plus. A free ecopy of the eight edition of abc for book collectors is made available for download. A hardcover book published in 1958 by viking isnt the same as a reprint published by penguin in 1963. So if a book has had more than one printing, how can you tell which one you have and therefore whether or not your edition is a true first. The printers key, also known as the number line, is a line of text printed on the page. The first edition continues until the book is changed. Not all of the books are classics, so if youre into other genres, this site is a good alternative to others in this list. How to identify first editions or a first printing of a book. A first edition is the first time a book is printed by a publisher. If a book runs to more than one printing we usually print somewhere in the. In fact, when you think about it, every book ever published has a first edition printing, but some were not lucky enough to see a second or third. An isbn is not a reliable way to determine whether a book is a new edition. How to identify a first printing or first edition this is for private use only last update 7. Rare and valuable books old and not so old books worth.
Each publisher has a different method of designating firsts and they change it regularly, too. Be careful to avoid damaging the book when confirming the presence of the 8 in y38. This means that the publisher is no longer making copies of the book. How to tell if you have a first edition copy of a book. You can have a large print run or a small print runits completely up to the publisher, and generally speaking the size of a. For the second printing, the 1 is removed, so the 2 is the lowest number present.
The bibliographical definition of an edition includes all copies of a book printed from. When a nonfiction book is first published it sometimes instigates more. How to easily identify a modern first edition book youtube. Print runs are the set number of copies of the book printed at one time. The first edition of a trade book may be the first iteration of the work printed. According to the definition of edition above, a book printed today, by the same publisher, and from the same type as when it was first published, is still the first edition of that book to a bibliographer. However, book collectors generally use the term first edition to mean specifically the first print run of the first edition aka first edition, first impression. Flip through the book to see if you can find a date listed anywhere. So if you ask the printer to print 10,000 copies of a book and then you sell them all and go back and ask for another 7,500 copies, the first 10,000 copies was the first printing.
When the supply of the first printing or impression runs low, and the publisher needs more copies a second printing is done. Includes identificaton criteria and points of issue to help collectors identify the original book. How to tell if a book is a first edition or valuable. First edition copies state first edition on the page and the number sequence will be 2 4 6 8 9 7 5 3. In the case of titles published before 1900, the key to firstedition identification is often the date on the title page. The presence of a date on the title page alone may identify books published prior to the mid1800s as first editions. Expert tips to help you identify and collect first editions. How to identify first editions book collecting guide. On books published after world war ii, youll see a set of numbers. Is it okay to print an ebook downloaded online for reference purposes. Open up the book and look through the first few pages, paying special attention to the lefthand side of the book.
No matter where you are in the creative process for custom transfers, starter art, or stock transfers, our staff can. How do you tell if a book is a first printing or edition. Would the first edition of a book have a specific isbn. That changed with the printing press, making duplication of books faster and cheaper, which made books more accessible to common people. Luckily, there are other ways of telling if your book is a first edition. Subsequent printings would be, for example, a 2nd printing but not a first edition. There are genuine issue points on some jackets that determine the printing of the book but the biggest potential problem is when later state wrappers find their way onto first edition books. On the other hand, if substantial changes are made to the book after its first printing, perhaps. How to tell if your old copy of harry potter is worth up to. How to tell if a book is first edition know the printing. Not all first editions say the words first edition on the title page. The reason was that i wanted the book to be available quickly with a minimum of delay. First edition screenprinting is an allinone, easytoorder custom and stock transfer screenprinting company based in kansas.