First Edition Points and Criteria for So Big

Year Published: 1924
Author Last Name: Ferber
Author First Name: Edna
Publisher: Doubleday, Page
Original Price: $2.00
Pages: 360

"First Edition" is stated by itself, on its own line, on the very bottom of copyright page. Binding is blue cloth with a gold design that stencils the title and author name on the front. The first printing dust jacket is extremely scarce. Although we have never seen one, we do know that it was bright orange and carried a price of $2.00. We have included photos of the twelfth printing dust jacket, which was printing in the same year as the first printing. We believe this dust jacket likely resembles the original first printing.

Two states of the first edition have been discovered, but no priority has been established. On the title page of State 1, the "Y" in DOUBLEDAY is directly below the "T" in GARDEN CITY. On the title page of State 2, the "Y" in DOUBLEDAY is directly below the "TY" in GARDEN CITY. Refer to the photo for a comparison.

Note: The early printings with orange boards and no printing statements are sometimes sold as first editions without specifying that they are later printings.

So Big won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

This is the twelfth printing of the first edition of So Big.  It was printed in the same
This is the twelfth printing of the first edition of So Big. It was printed in the same year as the first printing of the first edition.

On the true first edition of So Big, "First Edition" is stated on the copyright page.
On the true first edition of So Big, "First Edition" is stated on the copyright page.

This twelfth printing dust jacket carries a $2.00 price on the bottom front flap.  The
This twelfth printing dust jacket carries a $2.00 price on the bottom front flap. The first printing also carries a $2.00 price, and we believe that its front flap looks the same as this one.

This is the back of the twelfth printing dust jacket.  The first printing might have had
This is the back of the twelfth printing dust jacket. The first printing might have had different reviews.

The true first edition of So Big has blue boards.
The true first edition of So Big has blue boards.

The book on the top of this photo has a State 1 title page where the  "Y" in "DOUBLEDAY"
The book on the top of this photo has a State 1 title page where the "Y" in "DOUBLEDAY" is directly below the "T" in "GARDEN CITY". The book on the bottom of this photo has a State 2 title page where the "Y" in "DOUBLEDAY" is directly below the "TY" in "GARDEN CITY".

This is the back flap from the twelfth printing of the first edition dust jacket.
This is the back flap from the twelfth printing of the first edition dust jacket.

The true first printing of the first edition of So Big has blue boards like the one on
The true first printing of the first edition of So Big has blue boards like the one on the left. Early printings are the same size and have the front board and spine design, but they have orange boards like the one on the right.

The front of the twelfth printing dust jacket (on the left) has a review by John Farrar.
The front of the twelfth printing dust jacket (on the left) has a review by John Farrar. The eighteenth printing dust jacket (on the right) has an illustration on the front that is similar to the Grosset and Dunlap reprint. This sequence suggests that the true first edition dust jacket had no illustration on the front.

The dust jacket from Grosset and Dunlap reprint (on the right) is similar in design to
The dust jacket from Grosset and Dunlap reprint (on the right) is similar in design to that of the 18th Doubleday printing (on the left).

The books on the left are worthy of the term "early printings".  They were printed by
The books on the left are worthy of the term "early printings". They were printed by Doubleday, Page and Company around 1924. The book on the right is a very common "later printing" that was published around 1958, after the publisher's name was shortened to Doubleday and Company.

This Doubleday advertisement from 1924 features artwork that shows up on the thirteenth
This Doubleday advertisement from 1924 features artwork that shows up on the thirteenth printing. The ad also has part of a quote from John Farrar that is found on the front of the twelfth printing dust jacket, and a quote from F.P.A.'s Pepysian Diary in the N.Y. World that is found on the back of both the twelfth and eighteenth printing dust jackets. There is also an interesting quote from Grant Overton that says "I do not see how anyone can top it for the Pulitzer Prize for the best novel of 1924."

This fan appears to be made from the thirteenth printing dust jacket.  It was used to
This fan appears to be made from the thirteenth printing dust jacket. It was used to promote So Big in the summer of 1924.

This publisher card is from the advance issue.  It reads: The publication date of SO BIG
This publisher card is from the advance issue. It reads: The publication date of SO BIG is February 20th. We shall appreciate it if you will observe this date in releasing your review.

Autograph: Signature of Edna Ferber.
Autograph: Signature of Edna Ferber.



Other first edition points for books by Edna Ferber include: Giant, Saratoga Trunk, Half Portions.

\"Giant" \"Saratoga \"Half 

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Disclaimer: This website is intended to help guide you and give you insight into what to look for when identifying first editions. The information is compiled from the experience of reputable collectors and dealers in the industry. Gathering and updating information about these books is more an art than a science, and new identication criteria and points of issue are sometimes discovered that may contradict currently accepted identification points. This means that the information presented here may not always be 100% accurate.