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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 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 four 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...


Previously Featured Book: Consider the Lobster and Other Essays

First Edition of Consider the Lobster and Other Essays


September 18, 2015

Consider the Lobster and Other Essays was written by David Foster Wallace. The first edition was published in 2005 by Little, Brown and Company. It was 343 pages long, and the retail price was $25.95.

The first edition criteria are as follows: First Edition December 2005 is stated near top of copyright page, with full number line 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 near the bottom. Boards are white with silver lettering on red brick spine. Back of dust jacket has three reviews - by New York Times Book Review, San Francisco Chronicle, and Jeffrey Eugenides. Dust jacket design by Yoori Kim. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: Gather Together in My Name

First Edition of Gather Together in My Name


September 06, 2015

Gather Together in My Name was written by Maya Angelou. The first edition was published in 1974 by Random House. It was 214 pages long, and the retail price was $5.95.

The first edition can be identified by the following criteria: First Edition is stated on the copyright page below full Random House number line 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2. Boards are orange cloth with gold lettering on the spine, and author's initials in copper on the front. Back dust jacket flap has 5/74 on the bottom left corner which indicates May 1974 as the month the book was published. Back panel of dust jacket has five reviews - by James Baldwin, John O. Killens, Robert A. Gross, The New York Times, and Cleveland Plain Dealer. Click here for more photos...


Previously 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 printing number line 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1, a year number line beginning with 15 (15 16 17 18 19), and ISBN 978-0-06-240985-0. 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: The first edition was published on July 14, 2015, and at that time there were no limited or specially bound first editions produced by the publisher. Several book stores took the standard first edition, and created their own add-ons with special packaging, slipcases, and 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 have a first printing run of 2 million copies.

Three months later, on October 27, 2015, HarperCollins issued a limited leather-bound edition with a copyright page that also stated FIRST EDITION with full printing number line 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 and a year number line beginning with 15. But it has a different ISBN (978-0-06-245481-2). The issue price of this edition was $50.00, which is printed on a sticker placed on the back of the book. It is not a true first edition because it was issued three months later. But it is certainly less common than the true first.

On November 25, 2015, a month after the leather-bound edition was published, HarperCollins issued a signed collectors edition limited to just 500 copies. Again the copyright page stated FIRST EDITION with full printing number line 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 and a year number line beginning with 15. But this edition also had a different ISBN (978-0-06-245491-1). Each of the 500 copies has a numbered page, signed by the author, and bound into the book. Each book was issued in a velvet lined cloth box. The issue price was $1,500.00, which is stated on the cardboard package box. While not a true first edition, it was issued in the same year as the first edition. It will likely become very collectible because it is signed and because there were only 500 copies produced. Click here for more photos...


Previously Featured Book: Go Set a Watchman (UK)

First Edition of Go Set a Watchman (UK)


August 27, 2015

Go Set a Watchman (UK) 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 it 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...



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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