Molecular Biologist James D. Watson was born on this day in 1928.
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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.
January 30, 2010
Love Medicine was written by Louise Erdrich. The first edition was published in 1984 by Holt, Rinehart and Winston. It was 272 pages long, and the retail price was $13.95.
First edition criteria: First edition is stated on the copyright page with full number line "1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2". Boards are light blue with gold lettering on a black spine. First issue jacket has only three reviews by Anne Tyler, Kay Boyle, and Peter Matthiessen. Click here for more photos...
Previously Featured Book: In America
January 27, 2010
In America was written by Susan Sontag. The first edition was published in 2000 by Franklin Library. It was 387 pages long. In America won the National Book Award.
Here are the first edition criteria: The first edition was a limited signed edition published by the Franklin Library through a special arrangement with Farrar, Straus and Giroux. It was bound in dark green leather, and limited to 1,300 copies. It was signed by the author on a special page.
The first trade edition was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. First edition, 2000 is stated on the copyright page with no statement of subsequent printings. Boards are orange with black lettering on front, and orange lettering on a black cloth spine. There are no reviews on the dust jacket. Click here for more photos...
January 26, 2010
Lark and Termite was written by Jayne Anne Phillips. The first edition was published in 2009 by Alfred A. Knopf. It was 254 pages long, and the retail price was $24.00.
First edition criteria: First Edition is stated on copyright page with no references to subsequent printings. Boards are light blue with black lettering on blue cloth spine. Back of dust jacket has three reviews - by Alice Munro, Junot Diaz, and Tim O'Brien. Click here for more photos...
Previously Featured Book: New Moon
January 22, 2010
New Moon was written by Stephenie Meyer. The first edition was published in 2006 by Little, Brown and Company (Megan Tingley Books). It was 563 pages long, and the retail price was $17.99.
Here are the first edition criteria: "First Edition: September 2006" is stated in the middle of the copyright page, with full number line "10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1" on the bottom. Boards are black paper with silver lettering on the spine. Similar to the first edition of Twilight, the author's first name is not present on the book spine, nor on the dust jacket spine; and like Twilight, the back of the dust jacket lacks any critical reviews or bestseller touts. It instead has a simple 14 line quote from the book. But unlike the Twilight first issue jacket, the first issue dust jacket of New Moon does have touts (for Twilight) on the front cover and on the back flap. The price on the front dust jacket flap is $17.99.
According to the Advance Reading Copy, the first printing of New Moon consisted of 100,000 copies.
Note: Later printings have more pages than the first edition does. This is because later editions have "sneak peek" portion of the next book in the sequel, Eclipse. This additional material may account for why the number of pages tends to vary on seller listings. Click here for more photos...
January 20, 2010
The Lovely Bones was written by Alice Sebold. The first edition was published in 2002 by Little, Brown and Company. It was 328 pages long, and the retail price was $21.95 .
Here are the first edition criteria: FIRST EDITION stated with number line 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 on copyright page. Boards are light blue, with white lettering on a dark blue spine. The first issue dust jacket has four review quotes on the back - from Michael Chabon, Margot Livesey, Amy Bloom, and Aimee Bender. In later issue jackets, the Livesey quote was removed, and a quote by Anna Quindlen was added at the top. The first issue jacket also lacks any statement of book-of-the-month club selection.
Note: A book-of-the-month club selection statement on the back dust jacket does not necessarily indicate that the book is a book club edition. Rather, it is simply a tout by the publisher that the book was chosen to be printed as a book club edition. Such as statement has been found on jackets from later printings of The Lovely Bones.
Click here for more photos...
Previously Featured Book: Twilight
January 14, 2010
Twilight was written by Stephenie Meyer. The first edition was published in 2005 by Little, Brown and Company (Megan Tingley Books). It was 498 pages long, and the retail price was $17.99.
The first edition criteria are as follows: "First Edition: September 2005" is stated in the middle of the copyright page, with full number line "10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1" on the bottom. Boards are black paper with silver lettering on the spine. The author's first name is not present on the book spine, nor the dust jacket spine. Dust jacket lacks any critical reviews or bestseller touts. The price on the front dust jacket flap is $17.99, and there is no mention of the author's web site - www.stepheniemeyer.com on the back flap.
There is an error on page 466 where line 12 begins with "umidity" rather than "humidity". However, this is not a first edition point because it is found on all first printings and persists through at least the twelfth printing.
There is also a Scholastic Edition where the book, including the copyright page, is identical to the first edition. The only discernible differences between this edition and the true first are found on the dust jacket. The dust jacket on the Scholastic edition lacks a price on the front flap, and the back panel says "Special Scholastic Edition".
Note: Later printings have approximately 533 pages rather than the 498 pages in the first edition, and this is due the insertion of a "sneak peek" portion of the sequel, New Moon. This new material may account for why the number of pages tends to vary on seller listings.
Other Publication information: The first edition copyright page of Twilight states that Little, Brown and Company was part of the Time Warner Book Group. The book group was sold to Hachette shortly after the first edition. Consequently, later printings will state "Hachette Book Group USA". Click here for more photos...
Previously Featured Book: World's End
January 12, 2010
World's End was written by T. Coraghessan Boyle. The first edition was published in 1987 by Viking. It was 456 pages long, and the retail price was $19.95.
Here are the first edition criteria: "First published in 1987 by Viking Penguin Inc." is stated on the coyright page with no statements of subsequent printings. Boards are light blue with gold lettering on brown cloth spine. Back of dust jacket has seven reviews by Village Voice, Andy Weinberger, Dennis Drabelle, Ronald Reed, Peter Ross, Michael Gorra, and Michiko Kakutani. Click here for more photos...
January 11, 2010
The Evening of the Holiday was written by Shirley Hazzard. The first edition was published in 1966 by Alfred A. Knopf. It was 152 pages long, and the retail price was $3.95.
First edition criteria: FIRST EDITION is stated on the copyright page and 1966 is stated on the title page. Boards are gray-green with red cloth spine and gold lettering. Back panel of dust jacket has six reviews for Cliffs of Fall. The back dust jacket flap has a photo and bio of the author. the front dust jacket flap has a review by Paul Horgan on the upper corner near the price. The jacket design was by George Salter. Click here for more photos...
January 10, 2010
Capable of Honor was written by Allen Drury. The first edition was published in 1966 by Doubleday. It was 531 pages long, and the retail price was $5.95.
Here are the first edition criteria: First Edition is stated on the copyright page with no refereneces to subsequent printings nor any dates other than 1966. Title page also states 1966. Binding is black cloth with gold lettering on the spine. Black dust jacket has photo of the author above his bio on the back panel. There are no reviews anywhere on the dust jacket. Capable of Honor is the third volume in a series that began with Advise and Consent.
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January 09, 2010
Marriages and Infidelities was written by Joyce Carol Oates. The first edition was published in 1972 by Vanguard Press. It was 497 pages long, and the retail price was $7.95.
The first edition criteria are as follows: Copyright page has no statements of subsequent printings. Brown cloth boards with gold lettering and a white across the front and spine. Dust jacket has a photo of the author on the back without reviews.
Click here for more photos...
January 05, 2010
The Early Stories: 1953-1975 was written by John Updike. The first edition was published in 2003 by Alfred A. Knopf. It was 838 pages long, and the retail price was $35.00.
The first edition criteria are as follows: First Edition is stated on the copyright page, and 2003 is stated on the title page. Binding is blue cloth with gold and silver lettering on spine, and red top stain. Dust jacket has photo of the author on the back panel with no reviews. Back dust jacket flap has three reviews (by New York Post, The Saturday Review, and The Nation) and biography of the author. Front dust jacket flap has a review by The Hudson Review. 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.