The success of the Rockwell Kent illustrated edition of Moby Dick was a factor in its becoming recognized as the classic it is today.
Click here to see first edition criteria for all First American Editions in the Harry Potter series
Click here to see first edition criteria for Classic Science Books
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.
October 31, 2008
The Exorcist was written by William Peter Blatty. The first edition was published in 1971 by Harper and Row. It was 340 pages long, and the retail price was $6.95.
Here are the first edition criteria: Copyright page says FIRST EDITION and there is a full number line "71 72 73 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1" on the last page of the book. Either point is enough to identify the first edition because only first printings (with full number line) have the FIRST EDITION statement. Boards are red cloth with red cloth spine and silver lettering. The first issue dust jacket back has photo of the author standing outside holding a cup of coffee (photo credit says Tippi Hedren.) Bottom of the front flap has "0571". Click here for more photos...
October 27, 2008
The Spectator Bird was written by Wallace Stegner. The first edition was published in 1976 by Franklin Library. It was 267 pages long. The Spectator Bird won the National Book Award.
Here are the first edition criteria: The first edition was published by The Franklin Library as a limited first edition under special arrangement with Doubleday. Doubleday published the first trade edition. The Franklin Library edition has green leather binding, and a special page that says it is the limited first edition and that it has been privately printed exclusively for members of The First Edition Society.
Click here for more photos...
October 23, 2008
Collected Stories of William Faulkner was written by William Faulkner. The first edition was published in 1950 by Random House. It was 900 pages long, and the retail price was $4.75. Collected Stories of William Faulkner won the National Book Award.
First edition criteria: FIRST PRINTING is stated on the copyright page. The title page has blue highlights over the book title. Boards are gray cloth with blue top stain. The spine of the book has an error where there is a "The" above "Collected Stories of William Faulkner". It's worth noting that the dust jacket DOES NOT have this error - the spine on the dust jacket lacks the "The".
Note: The book club edition also say FIRST PRINTING, but the title page lacks blue highlights, the word "The" is omitted on the spine, the top stain is lacking, and there is usually a very small blind stamp on the bottom corner of the back board. Also beware of book club or later printing dust jackets married to first printing books. The dust jacket should have the $4.75 price on the upper corner of the front flap, and the dust jacket should be the same size as the book. Click here for more photos...
Previously Featured Book: Artic Dreams
October 20, 2008
Artic Dreams was written by Barry Lopez. The first edition was published in 1986 by Scribners. It was 464 pages long, and the retail price was $22.95 . Artic Dreams won the National Book Award.
Here are the first edition criteria: Copyright pages has full number line "1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 F/C 20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2". Boards are blue/gray with white cloth spine and silver lettering. Back panel of dust jacket has no reviews. Back flap has photo of the author. Click here for more photos...
Previously Featured Book: The Fountain
October 17, 2008
The Fountain was written by Charles Morgan. The first edition was published in 1932 by MacMillan and Company. It was 434 pages long, and the retail price was 7/6 NET.
The first edition criteria are as follows: The true first edition was published in the UK. 1932 is stated on the bottom of the title page. Copyright page simply says "COPYRIGHT" in the center with information about the printer on the bottom. Boards are blue cloth with gold lettering. Dust jacket has price on the bottom of the front flap and advertisements for Macmillan's new works of fiction on the back panel. The back flap is blank. There is apparently a first state with a dropped "t", on page 40, line 18; but we have not yet discovered a copy with this error and cannot confirm it. Click here for more photos...
October 09, 2008
The Adventures of Augie March was written by Saul Bellow. The first edition was published in 1953 by Viking Press. It was 536 pages long, and the retail price was $4.50. The Adventures of Augie March won the National Book Award.
The first edition criteria are as follows: "Published by The Viking Press in September 1953" is stated on the copyright page with no statement of subsequent printings. First state book has orange top stain and "PRINTED IN U.S.A. BY THE VAIL-BALLOU PRESS, INC." on the bottom of the copyright page. Boards are grey and black with orange decorations and titles. Dust jacket has $4.50 price on the upper corner of the front flap with no statement of subsequent printings. The back flap of the first state dust jacket has advertisement for THE SHORT NOVELS OF JOHN STEINBECK and no reviews. Click here for more photos...
October 06, 2008
The Eighth Day was written by Thornton Wilder. The first edition was published in 1967 by Harper and Row. It was 435 pages long, and the retail price was $6.95. The Eighth Day won the National Book Award.
Here are the first edition criteria: "First Edition" is stated on the copyright page. Boards are light blue cloth with black cloth spine with gold lettering. Front dust jacket flap has $6.95 price on the upper corner, and "0367" on the bottom. The back of the dust jacket has a photo of the author with no reviews.
500 copies of the first edition were printed on special paper and specially bound in blue cloth with a clear plastic jacket. They were numbered and signed by the author on a special page. The copyright page on these copies state "LIMITED EDITION". 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.