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Welcome to First Edition Points


We are an online reference guide providing collectors the details necessary to help identify modern first edition books.

Today's Most Referenced First Edition Criteria and First Edition Points

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How to Establish the Value of a Book


The key to establishing a book's value is to first ensure that it is a first edition. A first editions is the earliest printed copy of a published book. Collectors look for first edition books because these tend to have the highest demand and the greatest potential to increase in value over time. There are standard identification criteria that first editions conform because most, but not all, first edition books follow an established identification method established by each book publisher. These first edition criteria are details about what a book looked like when it was initially printed as a first edition. These details include details such as certain codes on the copyright page, the type of the binding, and particular text on the dust jacket.

In addition to the first edition criteria, there are sometimes points of issue that describe some part of a book which changes during the first printing without the standard first edition identification of the publisher changing, thus creating some copies of the first edition that have the point, and some that do not have the point. The most common type of first edition points of issue are typographical mistakes that were changed during the first printing. In these cases, the copies with the mistake are more desirable because they represent the earliest state of a first edition.

The fedpo.com website helps a collector understand the identification criteria and any first edition points of issue by describing details such as a book's binding, a specific typographical error, or a dust jacket review that can only be found on the earliest printings. First edition criteria and points of issue are usually subtle, but they are important features that distinguish a rare first edition from a common reprint.

The most common first edition criteria can be found on a book's copyright page. The copyright page may say that a book is a first edition, or a first printing, or first impression; and it may state additional printing information, or it may provide a printing code indicating what printing a book is from. Each publisher has used various methods over the years to indicate a book's edition and printing. Another common first edition indicator is a book's cover price, which is typically printed on the dust jacket. The presence of a price on a dust jacket is also the most fundamental way to ensure that the dust jacket is not from a book club edition or other type of reprint. Book club editions look similar to genuine first editions, but they are not first editions, and they have very little collectible value.

To find first edition criteria for a specific book, simply type in the name of the book, or the name of the author in the fields above; or browse all of our available entries by clicking on the bars at the bottom of this page. We have pages for hundreds of collectible books where we describe first edition criteria, provide photographs of known first editions, and provide pre-filled eBay, AbeBooks, and Biblio search links for each book so you can quickly establish its most recent market value.


Today's Featured Book: The Sympathizer

First Edition of The Sympathizer


April 18, 2016

The Sympathizer was written by Viet Thanh Nguyen. The first edition was published in 2015 by Grove Press. It was 371 pages long, and the retail price was $26. The Sympathizer won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

The first edition can be identified by the following criteria: FIRST EDITION is stated on the copyright page with full number line 15 16 17 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. Boards are black with gold lettering on a black cloth spine. Dust jacket lacks any reference to best seller or awards. Dust jacket has a single review on the front by Maxine Hong Kingston, and six reviews on the back by Bob Shacochis, Robert Olen Butler, David Abrams, Vincent Lam, Chris Abani, and Andrew X. Pham. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: Death in the Afternoon

First Edition of Death in the Afternoon


April 07, 2016

Death in the Afternoon was written by Ernest Hemingway. The first edition was published in 1932 by Charles Scribner's Sons. It was 517 pages long, and the retail price was $3.50.

The first edition criteria are as follows: Copyright page has "A" and Scribner's Seal printed on the copyright page with no statements of reprints. 1932 is stated on the title page. Boards are black cloth with gold lettering on the spine, and author's name on front. Dust jacket features Toros painting by Roberto Domingo on front panel, and has a $3.50 printed price on the front flap. The back of the dust jacket has reviews for A Farewell to Arms, Men Without Women, The Sun Also Rises, The Torrents of Spring, and In Our Time.

There is a tissue-protected color frontispiece of "The Bullfight" by Juan Gris that faces the title page. Book also contains 62 black and white photos of bullfights and bullfighters. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: The Lightning Thief

First Edition of The Lightning Thief


April 03, 2016

The Lightning Thief was written by Rick Riordan. The first edition was published in 2005 by Miramax Books/Hyperion Books for Children. It was 377 pages long, and the retail price was $17.95.

The first edition can be identified by the following criteria: First Edition is stated on copyright page directly about full number line 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2. Boards are grey with silver lettering on spine. The first issue dust jacket is silver with the front featuring a lightning bolt design with Medusa and animals. There is a single review blurb on the bottom of the front panel by Eoin Colfer. Back of the dust jacket contains a letter from Chiron Kentavros entitled "Dear Mortal Reader:"

From the start, The Lightning Thief was intended as Book 1 of the Percy Jackson series. Thus the first edition features the Percy Jackson trident logo that states "Book I". The logo is present on the title page, the spine, and the front of the dust jacket. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: Life of Pi

First Edition of Life of Pi


March 02, 2016

Life of Pi was written by Yann Martel. The first edition was published in 2001 by Alfred A. Knopf. It was pages long, and the retail price was $32.95.

The first edition criteria are as follows: Life of Pi was first published in Canada in 2001. It precedes the U.S. first edition which was published the following year by Harcourt, Inc. The following is the first edition criteria for Canadian true first edition.

First Edition is stated on the copyright page with full number line 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. Boards are yellow with red lettering on the spine. Dust jacket features image of a tiger's face. Back of dust jacket has five reviews for the author's 1996 novel Self - reviews are by Charles Foran, The Vancouver Sun, Calgary Herald, Philip Marchand, and The Globe and Mail.

Note: Life of Pi was originally published without the now commonly noted phrase "and so it goes with God" on page 350. This phrase, and the Japanese Officials' reaction to it, was introduced in the third printing of the Canadian First Edition. Consequently, the lack of the passage is not a first edition point because it is not found in any of the Canadian first printings.

Also note that because the U.S. first edition was published after the Canadian first edition, the "and so it goes with God" phrase is present on all printings of the U.S. first edition. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: Cry, the Beloved County (UK)

First Edition of Cry, the Beloved County (UK)


February 29, 2016

Cry, the Beloved County (UK) was written by Alan Paton. The first edition was published in 1948 by Jonathan Cape. It was 269 pages long, and the retail price was 9s. 6d. net.

The first edition can be identified by the following criteria: The first UK edition states FIRST PUBLISHED 1948 on the copyright page. Boards are beige cloth with maroon lettering. Dust jacket features three-color artwork. The 9s.6d. net price is located on the bottom of front dust jacket flap, and the back flap features a promotion for the periodical "Now and Then".

Note: Cry, the Beloved County was first published by Charles Scribner's Sons in 1948. However, the UK edition published by Jonathan Cape seems to be more collectible, perhaps because The artwork on the UK edition is more attractive. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: Cry, the Beloved Country (US)

First Edition of Cry, the Beloved Country (US)


February 28, 2016

Cry, the Beloved Country (US) was written by Alan Paton. The first edition was published in 1948 by Charles Scribner's Sons. It was 278 pages long, and the retail price was $3.00. Cry, the Beloved Country (US) is an Oprah's Book Club selection.

The first edition criteria are as follows: The first edition states 1948 on the title page, and an "A" below the rights and permission statement on the copyright page along with Scribner's seal on the bottom of copyright page. Boards are grey cloth with red and black decoration. First issue jacket has photo of author on the back; and title and publisher name in red text on the lower corner of back flap.

Note: Cry, the Beloved County was first published by Charles Scribner's Sons in 1948. However, the UK edition published by Jonathan Cape seems to be more collectible, perhaps because The artwork on the UK edition is more attractive. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: The Sellout

First Edition of The Sellout


January 27, 2016

The Sellout was written by Paul Beatty. The first edition was published in 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. It was 288 pages long, and the retail price was $26.00.

The first edition can be identified by the following criteria: First Edition, 2015 is present near the top of copyright page, and full number line 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 is found on the bottom of the copyright page. Boards are black with red metallic lettering on the spine. Dust jacket features a pattern of lawn jockeys with tiny gold leaf paint squares on each of the lanterns. Dust jacket lacks any statement of awards and has just three reviews on the back - by Sarah Silverman, Ben Marcus, and Sam Lipsyte. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: Fortune Smiles

First Edition of Fortune Smiles


December 28, 2015

Fortune Smiles was written by Adam Johnson. The first edition was published in 2015 by Random House. It was 304 pages long, and the retail price was $27.00. Fortune Smiles won the National Book Award.

The first edition criteria are as follows: FIRST EDITION is stated below Random House number line 2 4 6 8 9 7 5 3 1. Boards are light blue with white lettering on a black spine. Dust jacket has two advance praise reviews for Fortune Smiles by Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews; and Five reviews for The Orphan Master's Son by Zadie Smith, Michiko Kakutani, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Entertainment Weekly. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: Gone with the Wind

First Edition of Gone with the Wind


December 15, 2015

Gone with the Wind was written by Margaret Mitchell. The first edition was published in 1936 by Macmillan. It was 1037 pages long, and the retail price was $3.00. Gone with the Wind won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Here are the first edition criteria: The copyright page states "Published May, 1936" with no other printing statements and no other copyright years stated. Books that say "Published June, 1936" and have no other printing statements are second printings. Boards are gray cloth with blue lettering on front and spine. Dust jacket lacks critical reviews makes no mention of printings. Back of dust jacket lists books offered by the publisher and on the first issue dust jacket, "GONE WITH THE WIND" is in the right column. In the next issue "GONE WITH THE WIND" was moved to the very top of the left column. After that, the dust jacket back contains critical reviews of the book.

Background: Macmillan had initially planned for May, 1936 as the publication month for Gone With Wind. So the first batch of books that rolled off the press in preparation for publication had copyright pages that stated "Published May, 1936". But as the publication date approached, the novel attracted the attention of the Book-of-the-Month Club, which wanted to make the book available to its subscribers in June rather than May. So Macmillan pushed the publication date to June, and changed the publication date in all subsequent printings to June. But rather than scrap their May copyright books, they released them in June along with their June copyright books. Consequently, the May books are the earliest and true first printings, and the June books are the second printing. Most historical accounts of this event estimate the amount of May books at about 10,000 copies.

After the author's death, the estate of Margaret Mitchell sanctioned Alexandra Ripley to write the official sequel which was published as Scarlett in 1991. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: In the Heart of the Sea

First Edition of In the Heart of the Sea


November 28, 2015

In the Heart of the Sea was written by Nathaniel Philbrick. The first edition was published in 2000 by Viking Penguin. It was 302 pages long, and the retail price was $24.95. In the Heart of the Sea won the National Book Award.

Here are the first edition criteria: "First published in 2000 by Viking Penguin," is stated on the copyright page above full number line "1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2". Boards are light blue with silver lettering on a black cloth spine. Back of dust jacket has three reviews by Sebastian Junger, Richard Ellis, and Peter Benchley. Basis for the 2016 film directed by Ron Howard. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: The Hunger Games

First Edition of The Hunger Games


November 26, 2015

The Hunger Games was written by Suzanne Collins. The first edition was published in 2008 by Scholastic Press. It was 374 pages long, and the retail price was $17.99.

The first edition criteria are as follows: Copyright page states First Edition, October 2008 below full number line 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. Boards are solid ash gray with gold Mocking Jay emblem on front board and gold lettering on the spine. First book of a trilogy that includes Catching Fire and Mockingjay. Basis for the 2012 film directed by Gary Ross and starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: Into Thin Air

First Edition of Into Thin Air


November 23, 2015

Into Thin Air was written by Jon krakauer. The first edition was published in 1997 by Villard. It was 291 pages long, and the retail price was $24.95.

The first edition can be identified by the following criteria: Villard is a division of Random House which denotes a First Edition/1st Printing by stating "First Edition" below the number line 2 4 6 8 9 7 5 3. Second printings lose the "First Edition" tag and just have the number line starting with the 2. Boards are gray with silver lettering on a white cloth spine. Dust jacket has no reviews, and has no statements of bestseller. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: Deadwood

First Edition of Deadwood


November 21, 2015

Deadwood was written by Pete Dexter. The first edition was published in 1986 by Random House. It was 365 pages long, and the retail price was $17.95.

Here are the first edition criteria: Copyright page states FIRST EDITION below Random House number line 24689753. Boards are speckled cream color with author's initials in brown, and brown lettering on a solid cream colored spine. Back of dust jacket features photo of author with no reviews and ISBN on bottom right corner. Back of the dust jacket features five reviews for God's Pocket - reviews are by Richard Price, Pete Hamill, Associated Press, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Atlantic Constitution/Journal. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

First Edition of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep


November 18, 2015

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep was written by Philip K. Dick. The first edition was published in 1968 by Doubleday & Company. It was 210 pages long, and the retail price was $3.95.

The first edition criteria are as follows: First Edition is stated on the copyright page, and 1968 is stated on the title page. There should also be a gutter code of J5 on the bottom corner of the last page near the binding. Boards are solid gray cloth with gold lettering on the spine.

This novel was the basis for the 1982 film Blade Runner. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: Ender's Game

First Edition of Ender


November 18, 2015

Ender's Game was written by Orson Scott Card. The first edition was published in 1985 by TOR. It was 357 pages long, and the retail price was $13.95.

The first edition can be identified by the following criteria: Copyright page states First TOR Printing: January 1985. Boards are blue with silver lettering on a dark blue cloth spine. Pictorial dust jacket front simply states book title on top and author name on bottom. Back panel of dust jacket has a single blurb by Gene Wolfe. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: The Martian

First Edition of The Martian


November 17, 2015

The Martian was written by Andy Weir. The first edition was published in 2014 by Crown. It was 369 pages long, and the retail price was $24.00.

The first edition can be identified by the following criteria: The Martian was originally self-published under the author's own name in 2011 as installments online. The author was publishing his book one chapter at a time for free until people started telling him that they wanted the whole book. He then sold a Kindle version of the novel for 99 cents. Crown Publishing purchased the print rights and in 2014 re-published the novel for the first time as a bound book. Below are the first edition criteria for that book.

First Edition is stated on the copyright page below a full number line 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. Boards are solid black with white lettering along the spine. Front of dust jacket features only the title, author name, and the words "a novel". Back of dust jacket has seven reviews. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: Rabbit, Run

First Edition of Rabbit, Run


November 16, 2015

Rabbit, Run was written by John Updike. The first edition was published in 1960 by Alfred A. Knopf. It was 307 pages long, and the retail price was $4.00.

Here are the first edition criteria: FIRST EDITION is stated on the copyright page, and 1960 is stated on the title page. boards are blue-grey paper with silver lettering on green cloth spine. First issue dust jacket has 16 lines of unattributed text on the front flap. The front flap on later issue jackets have 24 lines that are attributed to Richard Gilman. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: Into the Wild

First Edition of Into the Wild


November 15, 2015

Into the Wild was written by Jon Krakauer. The first edition was published in 1996 by Villard. It was 207 pages long, and the retail price was $22.00.

The first edition can be identified by the following criteria: Villard is a division of Random House which denotes a First Edition/1st Printing by stating "First Edition" below the number line 98765432. Second printings lose the "First Edition" tag and just have the number line ending with 2. The boards are dark grey and black with silver lettering and design on the front and the spine of the book. Mapped inside covers front and back. Dust jacket has author's name across the top with no mention of bestseller. Back of dust jacket has two reviews - by Charles Bowden and Paul Theroux. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: Gone Girl

First Edition of Gone Girl


November 03, 2015

Gone Girl was written by Gillian Flynn. The first edition was published in 2012 by Crown. It was 419 pages long, and the retail price was $25.00.

The first edition criteria are as follows: First Edition is stated below full number line 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. Boards are black with white lettering on a black cloth spine. The front panel of the first issue dust jacket has two lines of all white text across the top stating "NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF SHARP OBJECTS and DARK PLACES". Later issue jackets state "#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER AUTHOR OF SHARP OBJECTS and DARK PLACES" in a mix of white and red text. Some first editions have the publisher's blue removable "Autographed Copy" sticker on the front panel, and a blank cover page before the half title page with the author's signature. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: This Side of Paradise

First Edition of This Side of Paradise


October 16, 2015

This Side of Paradise was written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The first edition was published in 1920 by Charles Scribner's Sons. It was 305 pages long, and the retail price was $1.75.

The first edition can be identified by the following criteria: Copyright page states "Published April, 1920" with the Scribner's Seal and no statements of reprintings. Boards are dark green cloth with gold lettering on the spine and embossed lettering on the front. The first issue dust jacket is extremely rare, and so the photos that appear on this web page are photos of a facsimile dust jacket based upon an original. The first issue jacket lacks any statement of printing on the front, while later issue dust jackets have statements of printings across the front - ie. "Fifth Large Printing", "Tenth Large Printing", "Eleventh Large Printing", etc. The front flap lacks critical reviews, and has only the publisher's description of the novel. The dust jacket is said to have stated a price of $1.75, however this is not present on the facsimile dust jacket used in our photos. In the 1920's, prices were typically printed on the front flap or the spine of the dust jacket.

There were numerous errors found across the entire first printing run, and these errors persisted into subsequent printings. We are not aware of any errors that were corrected during the first printing that could be considered first edition points of issue. So the errors are not discussed on this page.

Note: 500 copies of the third printing contain a special tipped-in page signed by the author for a meeting of the American Booksellers Association. The page features a photo of the author and is entitled "The Author's Apology". It contains a three paragraph message to the American Booksellers Association members and is dated May, 1920. The message opens with this sentence: "I don't want to talk about myself because I'll admit I did that somewhat in this book." It closes with: "So, gentlemen, consider all the cocktails mentioned in this book drunk by me as a toast to the American Booksellers Association." Again, the page is typically found in third printings, not first editions, but they are still very valuable as early signed printings of an important book. Click here for more photos...



Disclaimer


This website is intended to help guide you and give you insight into what to look for when identifying first editions. As such, the information presented here may not always be 100% accurate. Gathering and updating information about these books is more an art than a science, so some of our first edition criteria and points may be wrong. If you spot a mistake, drop us an e-mail and we will do our best to investigate and fix it.


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