Today is the birthday of Pulitzer Prize winning authors Toni Morrison (1931) and Wallace Stegner (1909).
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.
July 30, 2009
Nobody's Fool was written by Richard Russo. The first edition was published in 1993 by Random House. It was 549 pages long, and the retail price was $23.00.
The first edition criteria are as follows: First Edition is stated on the bottom of the copyright page, directly below the full Random House number line "24689753". Boards are light purple with slate blue cloth spine and metallic blue lettering. The back of the dust jacket has two reviews: by John Irving and Publishers Weekly. Click here for more photos...
July 29, 2009
So Dear to My Heart was written by Sterling North. The first edition was published in 1947 by Doubleday & Company. It was 255 pages long, and the retail price was $2.75.
Here are the first edition criteria: Copyright page says First Edition with no references to subsequent printings. Boards are tan. Front of dust jacket has title, author, and the phrase "A LAMPLIGHTED NOVEL OF INDIANA IN 1903 BY". There are no reviews on the front or back cover of the dust jacket. But there is a single review on the top of the front flap by Daniel A. Poling. Click here for more photos...
July 25, 2009
The Secret History was written by Donna Tartt. The first edition was published in 1992 by Alfred A. Knopf. It was 524 pages long, and the retail price was $23.00.
Here are the first edition criteria: FIRST EDITION is stated on the copyright page with no statements of subsequent printings. Dust Jacket is transparent with price of $23.00 and three review blurbs by John Grisham, Jay McInerney, and Ruth Rendell. Click here for more photos...
July 17, 2009
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (U.S.) was written by J.K. Rowling. The first edition was published in 2005 by Scholastic Press. It was 652 pages long, and the retail price was $29.99 .
The first edition criteria are as follows: The copyright page has the full number line "10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1     05 06 07 08 09". Below the number line is "Printed in the U.S.A." with one of several possible printing plant codes including "58","23", "12", and probably others. Below that is "First American edition, July 2005." Boards are purple with an embossed diamond pattern, and a black cloth spine with metallic purple lettering. The dust jacket has $29.99 price on the upper corner of the front flap. The dust jacket back has an orange bar code field on the right side, and the small bar code within has the number "52999". The spine on both the book and dust jacket have the YEAR 6 badge.
More about the number to the right of "Printed in U.S.A": This is the printing plant number, and it signifies the printing press where the American editions were produced. The first three books in the series seem to have come out of a single printing plant. But the Goblet of Fire and the subsequent books in the series had such large first printings that the job was split up between several plants throughout the U.S. and even in Mexico. Also, printing in multiple plants all over the country allows the publisher to distribute the books faster. So far one number doesn't seem more valuable than another for these later series books. One school of thought is that the press runs were so large for Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince, and Deathly Hallows that they will never be scarce - so nobody is paying much attention to where it was printed. Another thought is the possibility that one printing press may have produced very few books, and that fact could make one printing plant number more collectible and more valuable than another. But so far we see no evidence that this happened. Click here for more photos...
July 12, 2009
The Tale Of Despereaux was written by Kate DiCamllo. The first edition was published in 2003 by Candlewick Press. It was 270 pages long, and the retail price was $17.99.
The first edition criteria are as follows: Copyright page states "First edition 2003" with full number line "2 4 8 10 9 7 5 3 1" and no mention of Scholastic anywhere on the book. Boards are marbled brownish red with a picture of Despereaux in an ornate frame on the cover. First state of dust jacket has no reference to "Because of Winn-Dixie" on the front. Dust jackets from the first, and as late as the seventh printings lack a printed price on the dustjacket flap - they instead have a price sticker on the back of the dust jacket.
Note: The Newbery Medal award sticker has been found on first printings (probably added while on book store shelves.)
The first paperback edition was published by Candlewick in 2006. It too has a full number line "2 4 8 10 9 7 5 3 1". Click here for more photos...
July 01, 2009
The Fortunate Pilgrim was written by Mario Puzo. The first edition was published in 1965 by Atheneum. It was 301 pages long, and the retail price was $5.75.
First edition criteria: First Edition is stated on the copyright page. Boards are maroon with brown cloth spine and gold lettering and orange top stain. Endpapers are pea-green and author's name is blindstamped on front. The illustrator, John O'Hara Cosgrave II, also designed the dust jacket for James A. Michener's Tales of the South Pacific. 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.