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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: Go Set a Watchman

First Edition of Go Set a Watchman


August 30, 2015

Go Set a Watchman was written by Harper Lee. The first edition was published in 2015 by Harper Collins. It was 278 pages long, and the retail price was $27.99.

The first edition criteria are as follows: The first edition of Go Set a Watchman was published simultaneously in the United States by HarperCollins and in the United Kingdom by William Heinemann (a division of Random House). The UK first edition criteria is listed as a separate entry, and the US first edition criteria is listed below.

Copyright page states FIRST EDITION with full number line 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. Boards are black textured paper with black paper spine. Dust Jacket has no critical reviews nor any statement of bestseller. Dust jacket features an illustration of a tree hanging over a railroad track with an approaching train. The back of the dust jacket has an illustration of the fictional town of Maycomb Alabama, and the single quote "Every man's island, Jean Louise, every man's watchman, is his conscience."

Note: While there were no limited or specially bound first editions produced by the publisher, there were several book stores that took the standard first edition, and created their own add-ons with special packaging, slipcases, or blindstamps. For example, The Ol' Curiosities & Book Shoppe in the author's hometown of Monroeville, Alabama affixed a blindstamp of their logo to the front end paper of every first edition they sold (see photos below), and laid in a document certifying that each book came from their store. Another bookstore in Homewood, Alabama sold some of their first editions in a leather slipcase designed by artist Nall. Other outlets bundled both a Watchman first edition and a modern printing of Mockingbird. These add-ons are not true publisher-produced special editions, but they might be desirable for those looking for something unique to enhance the mass-produced first edition which was reported to comprise 2 million copies. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: Go Set a Watchman

First Edition of Go Set a Watchman


August 27, 2015

Go Set a Watchman was written by Harper Lee. The first edition was published in 2015 by William Heinemann. It was 278 pages long, and the retail price was £18.99.

The first edition criteria are as follows: The first edition of Go Set a Watchman was published simultaneously in the United States by HarperCollins and in the United Kingdom by William Heinemann (a division of Random House). The US first edition criteria is listed as a separate entry, and the UK first edition criteria is listed below.

Copyright page has full number line 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 and also states "First published in Great Britain by William Heinemann in 2015". Boards are light blue with black lettering on the spine. Dust Jacket has no critical reviews nor any statement of bestseller. Front of dust jacket features a bird on a branch as a silhouette, with the book title large and prominent against faint italicized text that says "BY THE AUTHOR OF TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD". The back of the dust jacket has an illustration of the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama and the single quote "Every man's island, Jean Louise, every man's watchman, is his conscience."

A "limited" amount of the first 25,000 books printed had six misprinted pages (see photos below) that affected pages 252, 261, 265, 268, 272, and 277. Each of the six pages have the same type of error - the bottom 49mm of the page is blank, which eliminates the page number and the last two lines of text. On many of the error pages, the last remaining line of text is also missing descenders on letters such as g, p, and y.

Shortly after the errors were discovered by readers, a spokesperson for the publisher, Penguin Random House was quoted in multiple media outlets as saying that "due to an error in the printing process a limited number of copies of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman are faulty." A spokesman for the printer, Clays, was also quoted around the same time stating that "we found a fault in the production process leading to missing lines on eight pages of a proportion of the print run. We have been working with the publisher to ensure the faulty stock is replaced as fast as possible."

Its not entirely clear why the printer initially said there were missing lines on eight pages, when only six error pages were discovered. One possible explanation is that the printer may have been initially misinformed about the number of affected pages. Another explanation could be that although eight pages may have been subjected to the problem, perhaps two of these pages were either the chapter marker pages (that have text only in the middle of the page), or the intentionally blank pages that are positioned between chapters. These pages would not reveal evidence of this type of error.

It was also reported that Amazon had sold many of the misprinted copies. Amazon had emailed customers who had purchased the novel and offered free replacements to anyone with missing text. A statement on the Amazon.co.uk listing for the book had stated: "We have been advised that copies shipped before July 16th 2015 may be missing text on some pages. We are working with the publisher to replace all affected orders as quickly as possible. Orders placed after July 16th 2015 are not affected." Amazon then sent a second email to customers with an errata containing the missing text.

This type of misprint is different from one-off random errors that typically affect a single book with unique errors such as missing pages, upside-down bindings, or miss-cut pages. Unlike one-off errors, this misprint was caused by a significant production problem that affected many books with the exact same error. And because if affected the initial run, it could be considered a first edition point. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: Longshot

First Edition of Longshot


August 05, 2015

Longshot was written by Dick Francis. The first edition was published in 1990 by Michael Joseph. It was 277 pages long, and the retail price was £13.99.

The first edition can be identified by the following criteria: "First published 1990" is stated on the copyright page and no references to subsequent impressions. Boards are black cloth with gold lettering. Front of dust jacket has a photo credited to John Slater. Back of dust jacket has three reviews - by Mail on Sunday, Daily Telegraph, and Sunday Express. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: The Longest Day

First Edition of The Longest Day


August 04, 2015

The Longest Day was written by Cornelius Ryan. The first edition was published in 1959 by Simon and Schuster. It was 350 pages long, and the retail price was $4.95.

Here are the first edition criteria: FIRST EDITION is stated on the copyright page. Boards are dark gray with silver lettering on a black cloth spine. Book has blue top stain. Dust jacket has only one review, on the front, by Lt. Gen. James Gavin. Back of dust jacket has a sideways photo of the author. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: Plays Well with Others

First Edition of Plays Well with Others


July 31, 2015

Plays Well with Others was written by Allan Gurganus. The first edition was published in 1997 by Alfred A. Knopf. It was 337 pages long, and the retail price was $25.00.

The first edition can be identified by the following criteria: First Edition is stated on the copyright page, and 1997 is stated on the title page. Boards are tan with silver lettering on a blue spine. Back of dust jacket has seven reviews beginning with praise by John Cheever.

There are 337 pages of the novel plus a sixteen page letter at the end. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: The Legend of Bagger Vance

First Edition of The Legend of Bagger Vance


July 28, 2015

The Legend of Bagger Vance was written by Steven Pressfield. The first edition was published in 1995 by William Morrow and Company. It was 252 pages long, and the retail price was $20.00.

The first edition criteria are as follows: First Edition is stated on the copyright page above full number line 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10. Boards are light blue with silver lettering on darker blue cloth spine. Dust Jacket has one review on the front flap, four reviews on the back flap, and seven reviews on the back panel. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: Songs of the Doomed

First Edition of Songs of the Doomed


July 25, 2015

Songs of the Doomed was written by Hunter Thompson. The first edition was published in 1990 by Summit Books. It was 315 pages long, and the retail price was $21.95.

The first edition can be identified by the following criteria: Copyright page has full number line 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2. Gray boards with Gonzo logo on front and silver lettering on a red cloth spine. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: Going after Cacciato

First Edition of Going after Cacciato


July 19, 2015

Going after Cacciato was written by Tim O'Brien. The first edition was published in 1978 by Delacorte Press. It was 338 pages long, and the retail price was $8.95. Going after Cacciato won the National Book Award.

The first edition can be identified by the following criteria: First printing is stated on the copyright page. Boards are blue cloth with gold lettering. Dust jacket features a painting by M.S. Chiang and contains now critical reviews. The only writing on the back of dust jacket is the ISBN: 0-440-02948-1. Top corner of dust jacket has $8.95 price above the number 2948. Back of dust jacket flap has 0278 which represent the February 1978 publishing date. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: The Terminal Man

First Edition of The Terminal Man


July 10, 2015

The Terminal Man was written by Michael Crichton. The first edition was published in 1972 by Alfred A. Knopf. It was 247 pages long, and the retail price was $6.95.

Here are the first edition criteria: FIRST EDITION is stated on copyright page. 1972 is stated on title page. Boards are gray with book title repeated in a pattern on the right side, and silver lettering on a yellow cloth spine. Book also has yellow top stain. Dust jacket lacks any critical reviews. Dust jacket depicts a man's head connected to terminal wires. Back of dust jacket has continuation of terminal wires and the ISBN 394-44768-9 on the lower right corner. Back dust jacket flap has 5/72 on the lower right corner indicating May 1972 as the publication date. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: All the Light We Cannot See

First Edition of All the Light We Cannot See


April 25, 2015

All the Light We Cannot See was written by Anthony Doerr. The first edition was published in 2014 by Scribner. It was 531 pages long, and the retail price was $27.00. All the Light We Cannot See won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

The first edition can be identified by the following criteria: "First Scribner hardcover edition May 2014" is stated on the copyright page along with full number line 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2. Boards are navy blue with black lettering on a light green spine. Dust jacket has no statements of awards or prizes on the front, and has a QR code on the back panel that directs mobile devices to the author's web page. The dust jacket remained the same until at least the the 11th printing. The National Book Award Finalist badge was added sometime in late 2014, and a second badge was added shortly after for being selected as one of the New York Times 10 best books of 2014. The QR code remained on the back panel through the 29th printing. It was removed on the 30th printing.

A Wall Street Journal article in April 2015 stated that the first printing was 62,500 copies, and that total copies including later printings and e-books was 1.6 million. It also stated that the publisher was going back to press for 100,000 additional copies after the Pulitzer win.

Note: Although it is odd that the copyright page states first hardcover edition, it is important to note that a paperback edition was not released in 2014. Thus the first hardcover edition is the true first edition.

Also note that as part of their "Indiespensable" subscription club, Powell's in Portland Oregon sold a regular U.S. first edition of All the Light We Cannot See that was signed by the author, and housed in a custom third-party slipcase manufactured by Taylor Box Company of Warren, Rhode Island. These books are not limited or special publisher's editions. Any other first edition is just as "true" as these packaged books. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: Lila

First Edition of Lila


March 24, 2015

Lila was written by Marilynne Robinson. The first edition was published in 2014 by Farrar, Straus, Giroux. It was pages long, and the retail price was $26.00.

The first edition criteria are as follows: Copyright page states "First edition, 2014" and has full number line "1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2". Boards are olive green with silver lettering on the spine. Back of dust jacket has two review blurbs for Gilead, and three blurbs praising Home.

Note: There have been claims that the first edition was published in Canada by HarperCollins because it was on sale on September 29th, which was 8 days before the U.S. edition went on sale. However, the Publicity Department at Farrar, Straus, Giroux has confirmed that the U.S. edition is the true first edition. They said that although the Canadian edition may have gone on sale several days earlier, the U.S. edition had already been printed and released before then, though it wasn't yet on sale in the U.S. until October 7th, 2014. They also said that regardless of sales timing, the book was originally licensed and edited in the US, so the HarpersCollins Canadian edition would be an offset.

A comparison of the copyright pages from both the Canadian and U.S. editions supports the assertion of the U.S. edition as the true first. The copyright page on the U.S. edition states definitively "First edition, 2014", while the Canadian edition copyright page differentiates itself as the "First Canadian edition". Additionally, the Canadian edition copyright page also states that is was printed and bound in the United States, and that it was designed by Jonathan D. Lippincott, a Farrar, Straus and Giroux Design Manager. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: Redeployment

First Edition of Redeployment


November 20, 2014

Redeployment was written by Phil Klay. The first edition was published in 2014 by Penguin Press. It was 291 pages long, and the retail price was $26.95. Redeployment won the National Book Award.

Here are the first edition criteria: "First published by The Penguin Press" is stated near the top of the copyright page, and full number line 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 is near the bottom of same copyright page. Boards are light tan with light tan lettering on a brick red spine. Back of dust jacket has six reviews - by Anthony Swofford, Karen Russell, Nathan Englander, Ben Fountain, Lea Carpenter, and Colum McCann. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: Interview with the Vampire

First Edition of Interview with the Vampire


July 04, 2014

Interview with the Vampire was written by Anne Rice. The first edition was published in 1976 by Alfred A. Knopf. It was 372 pages long, and the retail price was $8.95.

The first edition can be identified by the following criteria: FIRST EDITION is stated on the copyright page, with 1976 stated on the title page. Boards are dark grey paper boards with gold lettering on black cloth spine. Book has red top stain. Gold foil dust jacket has author's photo on the back panel with no photo credit or reviews. ISBN number (394-49821-6) printed on the bottom right corner of the back panel. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: The Long Valley

First Edition of The Long Valley


June 16, 2014

The Long Valley was written by John Steinbeck. The first edition was published in 1938 by Viking. It was 303 pages long, and the retail price was $2.50.

The first edition criteria are as follows: FIRST PUBLISHED IN SEPTEMBER 1938 is stated on the copyright page with no other statements of subsequent printings. 1938 is also present on the title page. Boards are brick colored cloth with oatmeal cloth spine. Back of dust jacket has no text.

The dust jacket was illustrated by Elmer Hader, who also illustrated the dust jacket for The Grapes of Wrath. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: The Host

First Edition of The Host


May 10, 2014

The Host was written by Stephenie Meyer. The first edition was published in 2008 by Little, Brown and Company. It was 619 pages long, and the retail price was $25.99.

The first edition can be identified by the following criteria: First Edition: May 2008 is stated on the copyright page with full number line 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. Boards are light orange/yellow paper with gold lettering on a black paper spine. Dust jacket has three reviews on the back - by Orson Scott Card, Ridley Pearson, and Katherine Neville. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: Het puttertje

First Edition of Het puttertje


May 01, 2014

Het puttertje was written by Donna Tartt. The first edition was published in 2013 by De Bezige Bij. It was 925 pages long.

The first edition criteria are as follows: This is Dutch translation of Donna Tartt's 2014 Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Goldfinch. It was published in September 2013 - one month before the first US and UK editions.

2013 is stated on the title page, no additional statement of printing (druk) is present on copyright page. Boards are white paper with gold lettering on the spine. Book has an attached gold ribbon book mark. Endpapers are orange (they are brown on later printings). Back of dust jacket has photo of the author and no reviews - the only text on the back begins with "De auteur van de bestsellers". Back dust jacket flap has just two reviews - One for De verborgen geschiedenis (The Secret History) by NRC Handelsblad and the other for De kleine vriend (The Little Friend) by HP/DE Tijd. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: Everything and More

First Edition of Everything and More


April 20, 2014

Everything and More was written by David Foster Wallace. The first edition was published in 2003 by Norton & Company. It was 319 pages long, and the retail price was $23.95.

The first edition can be identified by the following criteria: First Edition is stated on the top of copyright page, and full number line 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 is present on the bottom of the copyright page. Boards are blue paper with gold lettering on a black paper spine. Back of dust jacket has a single review by James Gleick. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: Celestial Navigation

First Edition of Celestial Navigation


April 02, 2014

Celestial Navigation was written by Anne Tyler. The first edition was published in 1974 by Alfred A. Knopf. It was 276 pages long, and the retail price was $6.95.

The first edition criteria are as follows: First Edition is stated on the bottom of the copyright page with no references to subsequent printings. 1974 is present on the title page. Boards are orange/yellow cloth with author's initial and design embossed on the front, purple metallic lettering on the spine, and green top stain. Dust jacket has a single review on the back by Nancy Hale, after reading the proofs of Celestial Navigation. Back dust jacket flap states 3/74. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: The Pale King

First Edition of The Pale King


March 31, 2014

The Pale King was written by David Foster Wallace. The first edition was published in 2011 by Little, Brown and Company. It was 548 pages long, and the retail price was $27.99.

The first edition can be identified by the following criteria: First Edition: April 2011 is stated on the copyright page with full number line 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. Boards are black paper with silver lettering on the spine. There are now reviews on the dust jacket. This unfinished novel was published posthumously. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: Brief Interviews With Hideous Men

First Edition of Brief Interviews With Hideous Men


March 30, 2014

Brief Interviews With Hideous Men was written by David Foster Wallace. The first edition was published in 1999 by Little, Brown and Company. It was 273 pages long, and the retail price was $24.

Here are the first edition criteria: FIRST EDITION is stated on the copyright page with full number line 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. Boards are black paper with white lettering on the spine. Back of dust jacket has four reviews - by New York Times Book Review, Voice Literary Supplement, San Francisco Chronicle, and New York Times. 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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