How do you identify a first edition book

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how do you identify a first edition book

How to Identify a First Edition Book • Empty Mirror

This page has lots of information on it! Here are some quick links to the most important topics. How do you know if a book is a first edition? To complicate matters, some publishers do not identify their first editions at all, or have used varying methods over the years. That said, there are some general guidelines one can rely upon to identify many first editions. The 7th edition has just been published. Both books are softcover, inexpensive, and small enough to fit in your pocket.
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An Introduction to Antique Books

How to Identify a First Edition Book

AddAll used books One of my favorite sites for gauging marketability of a book. How can I tell if a book is a first printing? The picture at left shows a portion of the Copyright Page in a book that was published in On the bottom is the number line that counts down from 10 to 1. The presence of "1" on the low end of the number line indicates that this book is a first printing. There are a few exceptions to the above guidelines plus many unconventional ways different publishers may indicate first edition.

In the case of titles published before , the key to first-edition identification is often the date on the title page. The vast majority of first editions published before had the year of publication on the title page this is true for fiction and nonfiction titles. The presence of a date on the title page alone may identify books published prior to the mids as first editions. A matching date on the copyright page or the back of the title page often identifies a book published in the mid- to late s as a first edition. After , a number of publishers did not or currently do not put the date on the title page of their first editions. In the early s, many publishers began to identify the first edition on the copyright page.

First editions are often sought after by booksellers and collectors, but what A first edition is a book that has been printed and distributed for the first time. page to make it easier to identify which printing a book was part of.
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Curated Collections of First Editions

Like many things in publishing, what denotes a first edition can be complex and dependent on the whims of individual publishing houses. But there are a few very basic rules that can be helpful—and keep in mind these are for the person who has never examined a copyright page and is new to analyzing what editions they have. So, if the publisher prints 5, copies of a book, they all sell, and the publisher goes back to print more of the same version of the book? That is a second printing, first edition. If the publisher sells out of the first run and goes back for another printing, that second printing is not considered a true first edition, even if the copyright page says it is. Exhibit A, the copyright page of my first edition of The Secret History. Check the title page for a publication date and compare it to the date on the copyright page.

While most publishers will lay out the information for you, it may still be tricky to find. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Together, they cited information from 9 references. Categories: Books. Learn why people trust wikiHow. Co-authored by wikiHow Staff Updated: September 7, Learn more

We venture to say that no other piece of terminology has caused so much contention among booksellers and collectors as that of first edition. In publishing terms, an edition is technically all copies of a book that were printed from the same setting of type and the book is only described as a second edition if substantial changes are made to the copy. However, in collecting terms, a very rough description of first edition would be when it is the first appearance of a work in question. To shed a little more light, the first time a publisher releases a new book all copies of that book that are printed without major changes can be considered a first edition. 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. On the other hand, if substantial changes are made to the book after its first printing, perhaps the addition of a chapter or a foreword, then the book would be described as the second edition. To make matters more confusing, each time a new publisher releases an instance of the same title or a book is released in another format they may also describe their book as a first edition for instance, the Penguin Classics first edition or the first paperback edition.

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