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Click here to see first edition criteria for National Book Award winners
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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.
November 29, 2009
The Dogs of War (UK) was written by Frederick Forsyth. The first edition was published in 1974 by Hutchinson. It was 384 pages long, and the retail price was £2.50 net.
Here are the first edition criteria: First published 1974 is stated on the copyright page. Boards are black with gold lettering and silver grenade emblem on spine. Two reviews on the back of dust jacket - one for The Day of the Jackal, and one for The Odessa File. The back dust jacket flap has a bio and photo of the author.
Note: While we have no explicit evidence that the UK editions of Frederick Forsyth's books precede the U.S. editions, the UK editions are generally believed to be the true first editions because the author is British. We also have observed that the UK editions tend to be more desireable in the market than the U.S. editions. Click here for more photos...
November 19, 2009
Let the Great World Spin was written by Colum McCann. The first edition was published in 2009 by Random House. It was 349 pages long, and the retail price was $25.00. Let the Great World Spin won the National Book Award.
First edition criteria: FIRST EDITION is stated on the copyright page below full number line "9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1". Boards are beige with copper lettering on a cream spine. Review on front dust jacket by Dave Eggers. Reviews on the back of dust jacket by Richard Price, Frank McCourt, Amy Bloom, Dave Eggers, Peter Carey, and John Boyne. Click here for more photos...
November 17, 2009
The Hard Blue Sky was written by Shirley Ann Grau. The first edition was published in 1958 by Alfred A. Knopf. It was 466 pages long, and the retail price was $5.00.
Here are the first edition criteria: FIRST EDITION is stated on the copyright page. Boards are red cloth with tan cloth spine, and black top stain. Author's initials are on the front in black. Title on spine is white on blue, author name is white on red, and publisher is white on black. Photo and biography of the author is on the back panel of the dust jacket. Click here for more photos...
November 11, 2009
Easy In The Islands was written by Bob Shacochis. The first edition was published in 1985 by Crown. It was 213 pages long, and the retail price was $13.95.
Here are the first edition criteria: First Edition is stated on the copyright page beneath full number line "10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1". Boards are red with purple metallic lettering on an orange cloth spine. Back of dust jacket has four reviews by Barry Hannah, Joy Williams, James Alan McPherson, and Robert Stone. 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.