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Click here to see first edition criteria for National Book Award winners
Click here to see first edition criteria for Oprah Book Club Selections
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 Points
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.
September 27, 2008
The Sea Chase was written by Andrew Geer. The first edition was published in 1948 by Harper and Brothers. It was 274 pages long, and the retail price was $3.00.
First edition criteria: FIRST EDITION is stated on the copyright page above "G-X". The binding is olive cloth with gilt lettering on the spine. $3.00 price is on the upper corner of the front dust jacket flap, and "No. 7200" is on the bottom. "No. 7201" is present on the bottom of the back flap. Photo of author is on the back of the jacket above his biography and below a review by James Ramsey Ullman; and "No. 2934" is present on the lower left. Click here for more photos...
September 24, 2008
On Golden Pond was written by Ernest Thompson. The first edition was published in 1979 by Dodd, Mead and Company. It was 191 pages long, and the retail price was $7.95.
Here are the first edition criteria: First edition is stated on the copyright page with no references to subsequent printings. Boards are orange cloth. Dust Jacket back flap has photo of author with a biography and no reviews. Dust jacket back has eight reviews. Click here for more photos...
Previously Featured Book: Marathon Man
September 21, 2008
Marathon Man was written by William Goldman. The first edition was published in 1974 by Delacorte Press. It was 309 pages long, and the retail price was $7.95.
First edition criteria: "First printing" is stated on the copyright page with no references to subsequent printings. Binding is black cloth with red top stain. Back of dust jacket has a photo of the author with ISBN on the bottom right (no reviews). Click here for more photos...
Previously Featured Book: Jewel
September 19, 2008
Jewel was written by Bret Lott. The first edition was published in 1991 by Pocket Books. It was 358 pages long, and the retail price was $20.00. Jewel is an Oprah's Book Club selection.
Here are the first edition criteria: "First Pocket Books hardcover printing November 1991" is stated on the copyright page above full number line "10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1". Boards are golden yellow with white cloth spine and gold lettering. Back of dust jacket has three reviews. Click here for more photos...
September 15, 2008
The Man with the Golden Arm was written by Nelson Algren. The first edition was published in 1949 by Doubleday. It was 343 pages long, and the retail price was $3.00. The Man with the Golden Arm won the National Book Award.
The first edition criteria are as follows: FIRST EDITION is stated at the bottom of the copyright page. Boards are light gray cloth with red and green lettering on the spine and green top stain. Endpapers are green. Back of dust jacket has photo of the author and three reviews - Chicago Sun, Malcolm Cowley, and Chicago Tribune.
Note: The book club edition is smaller than the true first edition and the dust jacket would appear shorter if married to a true first book. The book club boards are darker and lacks red lettering on the spine. Click here for more photos...
September 12, 2008
Songs in Ordinary Time was written by Mary McGarry Morris. The first edition was published in 1995 by Viking Press. It was 740 pages long, and the retail price was $24.95. Songs in Ordinary Time is an Oprah's Book Club selection.
The first edition criteria are as follows: "First published in 1995 by Viking Penguin" is stated on the copyright page above full number line "1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2". The boards are black with black cloth spine and gold lettering. Click here for more photos...
Previously Featured Book: On the Road
September 09, 2008
On the Road was written by Jack Kerouac. The first edition was published in 1957 by Viking. It was 310 pages long, and the retail price was $3.95.
The first edition criteria are as follows: "PUBLISHED IN 1957 BY THE VIKING PRESS, INC." is stated on the copyright page with no other references to subsequent printings. "PRINTED IN U.S.A. BY THE COLONIAL PRESS INC." is stated on the bottom of the copyright page. "ON THE ROAD" is printed in white on the front of the book. Dust jacket says "ON THE ROAD $3.95" at the top of the inside front flap, and has blue and red bands at the top and bottom of the rear panel. Click here for more photos...
September 03, 2008
Blood Meridian was written by Cormac McCarthy. The first edition was published in 1985 by Random House. It was 337 pages long, and the retail price was $17.95.
Here are the first edition criteria: First Edition is stated on the copyright page below Random House number line "24689753". Red cloth spine with gilt titles. Dust jacket back has photo of the author, with photo credit (Mark Morrow) on the bottom left corner, and "394-54482-X" on the bottom right corner. Click here for more photos...
September 01, 2008
The Huge Season was written by Wright Morris. The first edition was published in 1954 by Viking Press. It was 306 pages long, and the retail price was $3.75.
Here are the first edition criteria: "FIRST PUBLISHED BY THE VIKING PRESS IN OCTOBER 1954" is stated on the copyright page. Bound in yellow cloth with black lettering on spine and blue/green top stain. Back of dust jacket has photo of Morris with three blurbs about him. Back panel has reviews of three "Other current novels of the American scene" which are Saul Bellow's The Adventures of Augie March, John Steinbeck's Sweet Thursday, and Merle Miller's Reunion. Click here for more photos...
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 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.