"I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me." - Ralph Ellison
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.
April 30, 2009
Thirteen Days was written by Robert F. Kennedy. The first edition was published in 1969 by Norton & Company, Inc.. It was 224 pages long, and the retail price was $5.50.
Here are the first edition criteria: "First Edition January 20, 1969" is stated on the copyright page with full number line "1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0". No book club imprint is embossed on the rear board. Dust jacket price of $5.50 is located on the bottom corner of the front flap. Caption on page 133 says Townley Smith instead of Bromley Smith. Caption on page 138 says Sorenson instead of Sorensen. Includes an errata slip that points out these errors. Click here for more photos...
April 27, 2009
The Stone Diaries was written by Carol Shields. The first edition was published in 1993 by Fourth Estate. It was 361 pages long, and the retail price was £12.99. The Stone Diaries won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
The first edition criteria are as follows: The UK and Canadian editions were both published in 1993 and precede the U.S. edition which was published in 1994. The UK and Canadian editions have the same jacket art and are of similar size, and both were printed and bound in the UK.
The U.S. edition has different cover art and is larger. Because the U.S. edition was published a year later (1994), it was eligible to win the Pulitzer in 1995 even though it was first published in 1993.
Click here for more photos...
April 26, 2009
Amy and Isabelle was written by Elizabeth Strout. The first edition was published in 1998 by Random House. It was 304 pages long, and the retail price was $22.95.
Here are the first edition criteria: First Edition is stated below Random House number line "24689753". Board are white with gold lettering on a beige spine. Back of dust jacket has a single review by Alice Munro. According to the Advance Reader's Edition, there were 35,000 first printings. Click here for more photos...
April 19, 2009
The Lazarus Project was written by Aleksandar Hemon. The first edition was published in 2008 by Riverhead Books. It was 294 pages long, and the retail price was $24.95.
First edition criteria: Copyright page has full number line "1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2". Boards are blue with brown cloth spine. Back of dust jacket has four reviews - by The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times Book Review, and Los Angeles Times. The back flap has a photo and bio of the author. Click here for more photos...
Previously Featured Book: Indignation
April 16, 2009
Indignation was written by Philip Roth. The first edition was published in 2008 by Houghton Mifflin Company. It was 233 pages long, and the retail price was $26.00.
Here are the first edition criteria: Copyright pages has full number line "MP 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1". Boards are black with gold lettering on a black cloth spine. Back of dust jacket has no reviews. Back flap has photo of the author. Indignation is Roth's twenty-ninth book.
Some first editions have a special tipped-in page signed by the author. Click here for more photos...
April 05, 2009
The Pillars of the Earth was written by Ken Follett. The first edition was published in 1989 by Macmillan. It was 806 pages long, and the retail price was £13.95. The Pillars of the Earth is an Oprah's Book Club selection.
The first edition criteria are as follows: The true first edition was published in the UK. "First published 1989" is stated on the copyright page with no references to additional impressions. Boards are black cloth with gold lettering on the spine. Photo of the author on the back dust jacket flap, and no reviews anywhere on the jacket.
For the first American Edition, First Edition is stated about full number line "1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10". Photo of the author on the back dust jacket with no reviews anywhere on the jacket. Click here for more photos...
April 02, 2009
The Widows of Eastwick was written by John Updike. The first edition was published in 2008 by Alfred A. Knopf. It was 308 pages long, and the retail price was $24.95.
Here are the first edition criteria: First Edition is stated on the copyright page with no references to subsequent printings. Boards are light blue cloth with gold lettering on spine. Dust Jacket back has five reviews for the Witches of Eastwick - by Paul Gray, Margaret Atwood, Gail Godwin, Frederick Busch, and Rhoda Koenig. Back dust jacket flap has photo of the author. According to the Advance Reader's Edition, 200,000 first printings were produced. 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.