"You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget." - Cormac McCarthy
Click here to see first edition criteria for all First American Editions in the Harry Potter series
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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.
March 25, 2009
Olive Kitteridge was written by Elizabeth Strout. The first edition was published in 2008 by Random House. It was 270 pages long, and the retail price was $25.00. Olive Kitteridge won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
The first edition criteria are as follows: FIRST EDITION is stated below number line "9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1". Board are beige with tan spine. Back dust jacket flap has photo of author. Back dust jacket has four reviews beginning with one by Ann Packer.
The paperback edition also ends on page 270, however it has an additional Reader's Guide which was not published in the first edition. This extends the paperback edition to 286 pages (or 287 if you count the About Author page). The Reader's Guide features a fictious "Conversation with Elizabeth Strout and Olive Kitteridge" which the author added at the urging of the Random House marketing people.
Click here for more photos...
Previously Featured Book: Home
March 23, 2009
Home was written by Marilynne Robinson. The first edition was published in 2008 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. It was 325 pages long, and the retail price was $25.00.
First edition criteria: Just like Gilead, there have been claims that the true first edition was published in Canada by HarperCollins. While we have not heard back from Farrar, Straus, Giroux about their stance with Home, they did tell us that both versions of Gilead went on sale at the same time, and that they did the editorial and cover work for both books. So far we suspect the same holds true for Home. Like Gilead, the American edition of Home simply states "First edition", while the Canadian edition of Home states "FIrst Canadian Edition". So you be the judge.
There are four reviews on the back of the dust jacket. Binding is brown cloth with gold lettering on the spine. Click here for more photos...
March 21, 2009
The Winthrop Woman was written by Anya Seton. The first edition was published in 1958 by Houghton Mifflin. It was 586 pages long, and the retail price was $4.95 .
The first edition criteria are as follows: First Printing is stated on the copyright page with no references to subsequent printings. Note: The book club edition also states First Printing. See photos below for differences between the true first edition and the book club edition.
Special thanks to Livvy Floren.
Click here for more photos...
March 21, 2009
Delta Wedding was written by Eudora Welty. The first edition was published in 1946 by Harcourt, Brace and Company. It was 247 pages long, and the retail price was $2.75.
Here are the first edition criteria: "first edition" is stated on the copyright page.
Click here for more photos...
March 19, 2009
Watership Down (U.S.) was written by Richard Adams. The first edition was published in 1972 by Macmillan. It was 429 pages long, and the retail price was $6.95.
The first edition criteria are as follows: The true first edition was published by Rex Collings, London. Below is the first American edition published by Macmillan. The copyright page has the full number line 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. The back of the dust jacket has only British reviews (later printings have British and American reviews). Click here for more photos...
Previously Featured Book: Atonement
March 17, 2009
Atonement was written by Ian McEwan. The first edition was published in 2001 by Jonathan Cape. It was 372 pages long, and the retail price was £16.99.
Here are the first edition criteria: The true first edition is the UK edition. Copyright page has the full number line 2 4 6 8 10 9 7 5 3 1. Click here for more photos...
March 14, 2009
All Quiet on the Western Front was written by Erich Maria Remarque. The first edition was published in 1929 by Little Brown and Company. It was 291 pages long, and the retail price was $2.50 .
Here are the first edition criteria: The true first edition was published in germany. Below is the first American edition. The book is bound in oatmeal cloth with titles to upper board and spine in green. The top edge is stained maroon. The dust jacket says First American Printing and 100,000 Copies at bottom of rear flap, with no references to later printings. Click here for more photos...
March 11, 2009
Snow Falling On Cedars was written by David Guterson. The first edition was published in 1994 by Harcourt Brace and Company. It was 345 pages long, and the retail price was $21.95 .
Here are the first edition criteria: First edition followed by A B C D E is stated on the copyright page. Boards are quarter bound - white spine with light blue-green boards. Character's name is spelled "Miyomoto" on the first printing of the book. It was later changed to "Miyamoto". Dust Jacket has price of $21.95 on upper right of front flap and carries the uncorrected spelling of "Miyomoto" instead of "Miyamoto". Dust jackets from as late as the third printing also have the $21.95 price, and still carry the misspelling even after the spelling is corrected in the book. But at some point after that, the price was increased to $22.00, and the spelling was corrected to "Miyamoto". The back of the jacket has 4 reviews - by Colin Harrison, Charles Johnson, Timothy Egan, and Kirkus Reviews. Click here for more photos...
March 09, 2009
The Great Gatsby was written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The first edition was published in 1925 by Charles Scribner's Sons. It was 218 pages long, and the retail price was $2.00.
Here are the first edition criteria: Title page says 1925. Copyright page has Charles Scribner's Sons logo (SEAL) and no subsequent printing statements. Bound in dark green cloth with blind stamped title and author's name on front cover. Gilt lettered title, author's last name, and publisher's name on spine. Point of issue errors: page 205, lines 9-10 says "sick in tired". Page 60, line 16 says "chatter". Page 119, line 22 says "northern". Page 165, line 16 says "it's". Page 211, lines 7-8 says "Union Street station".
Dust jacket back has upper case J printed over lower case j on Jay Gatsby's name on the back panel. Click here for more photos...
March 06, 2009
The Valley of the Dolls was written by Jacqueline Susann. The first edition was published in 1966 by Bernard Geis Associates. It was 442 pages long, and the retail price was $5.95 .
First edition criteria: First Printing is stated on the copyright page with no references to subsequent printings. Click here for more photos...
March 04, 2009
The Thorn Birds was written by Colleen McCullough. The first edition was published in 1977 by Harper and Row. It was 533 pages long, and the retail price was $9.95.
Here are the first edition criteria: FIRST EDITION is stated in the middle of the text on the copyright page. The bottom of the copyright page has the full number line 77 78 79 80 81 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. The dust jacket has price of $9.95 in the upper right of the front flap, and 0577 at the bottom of the front flap. Click here for more photos...
March 01, 2009
The Naked and the Dead was written by Norman Mailer. The first edition was published in 1948 by Rinehart and Company. It was 721 pages long, and the retail price was $4.00 .
Here are the first edition criteria: Copyright page has the Rinehart logo (a circle with a script R in the middle). The dust jacket has a review by Stanley Rinehart that begins on the front flap and continue on the back flap. 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.