The copyright page has the full number line "1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2     8 9/9 0/0 01 02". Below the number line is "Printed in the U.S.A. 23", and below that is "First American edition, October 1998." Boards are purple with an embossed diamond pattern, and a red cloth spine. The dust jacket has a $16.95 price on the upper corner of the front flap. The dust jacket back has a cream/light yellow bar code field with two bar codes in it, and the smaller bar code says "51695". The dust jacket back also has a single quote from the Guardian saying "Harry Potter could assume the near-legendary status of Ronald Dahl's Charlie, of chocolate factory fame." Later issue dust jackets have a substitute quote from Publishers Weekly. The top spine of both the book and the dust jacket lists "J.K. ROWLING" and lacks the "YEAR 1" badge, and the gold lettering is raised on the spine of the dust jacket.
Note: There are book club editions that have the same full number line as the true first U.S. edition. But they lack the embossed diamond pattern on the book boards. A book club edition is far less valuable than the true first U.S. edition.
To find the market value for this book, click on the pre-filled eBay, AbeBooks, or Biblio links to the right and look for comparable listings that have all of these first edition criteria.
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Picture of the 1998 first edition dust jacket for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (U.S.).
Picture of the first edition copyright page for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (U.S.).
Picture of dust jacket where original $16.95 price is found for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (U.S.).
Picture of the back dust jacket for the first edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (U.S.).
Boards are purple with an embossed diamond pattern, and a red spine. The book club edition has plain boards which lack the embossed diamond pattern.
On the back of the dust jacket, there is a single quote on the top from the Guardian in London saying "Harry Potter could assume the near-legendary status of Ronald Dahl's Charlie, of chocolate factory fame." On the bottom left there is a cream/light yellow bar code field with two bar codes in it, and the smaller bar code says "51695".
The true first edition dust jacket has "J.K." on the spine.
The true first edition dust jacket has "J.K." on the spine like the one on the right. The "J.K." was removed in early printings like the one in the middle. "Year 1" was added to later printings like the one on the left.
These are the bar codes from (top to bottom) the first printing, the 11th printing, the 21st printing, and the 39th printing. The bar code is the same until the price is changed somewhere between the 11th and 21st printings. The bar code background and price is changed in much later printings.
This is the front cover of the Advance Reader's Edition, which is a softcover.
This is the copyright page from the Advance Reader's Edition. It is slightly different than the first edition. It states the text copyright as 1998 rather than 1997, and Bloomsbury for permissions rather than Scholastic. It also lists the ISBN for the paperback edition (0-590-35342-X).
This is the back of the Advance Reader's Edition. It states that the first printing will be 30,000 copies.
This is the spine of the Advance Reader's Edition. It has "J.K. ROWLING" just as the first edition does.
This is the table of contents from the Advance Reader's Edition. The page numbers have not been set.
The Advance Reader's Edition included a note from the publisher, Arthur A. Levine, who makes a very insightful prediction: "I predict you'll also face another quandary; whether to share this [book] with a friend, or to keep it for yourself, knowing how much this Reader's Edition of J.K. Rowling's first book will be worth in years to come."
Some of the sixth printings had plain boards (on the top) instead of the normal embossed diamond pattern (underneath).
October 30, 2008, 10:09 pm
I have another version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone that I just bought at a garage sale.
I don't think that it is one of the editions listed here. I can't find anything about it online, please help me identify and value it.
*It has a glossy cover that is the typical Mary GrandPre art but the letter's aren't raised.
*Under the cover the board is solid red, no imprint. On the side it has non-HP font, not Garamound, saying "Rowling", underlined, and then big "Harry Potter," with "and the sorcerer's stone" under it. On the bottom of the edge it just says "Scholastic" over "Press", centered.
*It doesn't have a price on it anywhere that I can find.
*It has the Publisher's Weekly review on the back
*Here are pictures. http://s140.photobucket.com/albums/r40/HPmnFan62442/HPatSS%20Unknown%20Edition/?albumview=grid
Please e-mail me at email@example.com if you know anything!
Thanks in advance,
p.s. I have a similar style of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, but it's obvious that that came later.
November 6, 2008, 10:30 am
There is are various redprint or book club editions out there worth noting. One reprint has the same copyright page as the true first, but the boards are solid black - this one is probably the book club edition. Another reprint has solid red boards, but the copyright is different than the first in that it lacks any number line and it does not say First American edition. Unfortunately these reprints do not have much value. I hope that helps.
December 29, 2008, 4:06 pm
I have a book with almost everything above, but it has a publishers weekly quote and a red barcode. The barcode has 51795 on the little one. The copyright page says text c J.K. Rowling 1997 and the numbers are 30 29 28 27 25 24 9/9 0/0 01 02 it has the year one seal and says on the title page that it is a first edition.
December 29, 2008, 11:11 pm
A book with 30 29 28 27 25 24 9/9 0/0 01 02 on the copyright page means that it is the 24th printing, and it was produced in 1999. The reason the book says it is a first edition is because technically it is a first - but it is a 24th printing of the first edition. Check out the FAQ section for a more details about editions and printings, but to make a long story short, collectors are looking for first edition, first printings.
September 30, 2009, 12:42 pm
I am thinking about starting a modest collection of Harry Potter. I guess that the British Bloomsbery first editions are the most desirable, but how about the American, Canadian, or Australian Ists
Philosophers Stone is very expensive, will the value hold for the next 2 books that also had a small run
Thanks very much
September 30, 2009, 1:07 pm
Yes, the British Bloomsbury edition are the gold standard. They are the ones that most people would want if they can afford it. I personally think that the value will hold for the next 2 Bloomsbury first edition books in the series because most collectors would like a complete set. I would think about the Canadian and Australian editions if you want something that looks like the true first British, or if you live in one of those countries. The Canadian and Australian are first editions (just not the true first) and they are reasonably priced. The first American edition of Sorcerer's Stone is interesting because it has a different title, and because 30,000 is not a huge amount considering the amount of collectors for all things Harry Potter. Even with the slightly high price of Sorcerer's Stone, the first American editions can be attained on a modest budget if you shop smart. I personally collect the first American editions, and a mix of British (for later books in the series), Canadian, and Australian so that they look similar.
I hope that helps.
November 27, 2009, 6:10 pm
I too have run into questions about this book I recently came across. I will do my best to descirbe it. Copyright page states it is a 6th printing. Rowling is in raised gilt lettering...no J.K. is above it. It looks like the middle book pictured above comparing the 3 states of the jacket spines. As it is a 6th printing, the pulishers weekly coments are on the back. The cram barcode box is present, along with both ISBN numbers (ISBN 10 & 13). It also has the smaller barcode with 51695 above it (which indicates the price of the book was 16.95. The dustjacket flap also has the price on it. All points above seem to be present (not the first printing points, but everything else save the numberline and JK missing from the spine.
The questionable thing is that the actual boards of the book are different. It is not the book club plain boards (solid black or solid red) as seen above or in seller listings on alibris and abebooks) but the coloration of the boards are the same...minus the diamond embossing. Did later printings (namely 6th) still have the raised diamonds on the boards? The book has red cloth over purple boards.
I have read that BCE's lack the price on the jacket, as well as the little barcode numbers on the back of the jacket. Sometimes the book itself has solid colored boards. I just cant seem to find any information that indicates that any editions that were not BCE's lacked the diamonds.
My conclusion, if all non-BCE's had the raised patterns, used a second state jacket without the badge, and placed it on a BCE that stated 6th printing.
So...long to short, I have 2 questions.
1) do ALL non book-club-editions have the diamond pattern on the boards?
2) were there any book club editions that had look EXACTLY like the real book (red cloth over purple boards)?
If this is a BCE, the only way to explain the price on both spots on the jacket would be that someone wrapped a non BCE jacket around a BCE.
Please help!! Thank you SO much. This website has been SO helpful. please feel free to email me a firstname.lastname@example.org
November 27, 2009, 6:54 pm
I did just come across some information regarding the 6th printing of this book...and that the 6th printing was missing the embossed pattern. Does anyone know if ALL of the 6th printings were this way or if only some of them were? Someone mentioned that Azkaban had some this way too.
Thank you for all your help!
December 11, 2009, 1:15 pm
I too just came across a 6th printing that also lacks the diamond embossment. Very strange. It has a second issue DJ with the $16.95 price ROWLING on the spine as expected.
December 14, 2009, 9:51 pm
Many 6th printings are that way for whatever reason.
The only 6th I own has the diamond imprints, but both are out there.
December 14, 2009, 10:00 pm
I've noticed in at least a couple of articles about this book mention of a "Gazette" quote/review jacket as the 2nd State of the 1st printing,
but no pictures or evidence of such a jacket are currently on the internet.
In over 2 years of searching I have not yet seen a single one.
I am highly skeptical of this info since the Guardian jacket has been on every legit 2nd printing of the book I have located. (3rd print changed to P. Weekly)
December 17, 2009, 8:52 am
There are two trade versions of the 6th Printing. The one with boards lacking the diamond embossing "seems" to be the more common version but I have now seen at least two copies with the diamond-embossed boards. I have a collecting friend that has verified this for me as well. I really have not seen enough books to know if one is more common but if I had to guess I would lean toward the smooth version being more common. I own two smooth board copies and I believe I have a pictue from the publishing page of a diamond-embossed copy that I will check to see if they come from different plants. I rather doubt it with this book. Two other non-trade Sorcerers Stone versions exist that are worth mentioning. There is a large print version (slightly smaller hardback with more pages) and a very neat Literary Guild copy that has the cover graphic imprinted directly on the boards and also has the Guardian quote on the back. This attractive book seems to show up less often than the ARCs. For great information on all these books, go the ebay and do a search for their guides. There is one written by "Jackie" that is very comprehensive and well written.
December 21, 2009, 4:27 pm
I was able to check my "smooth" board publication page version of the 6th with scans of the publication page from a diamond-embossed version, 6th Printing of Sorcerers Stone......there is no other difference indicating a different printing plant for one version versus the other....both have the plant indiated as "23". Apparently both versions originated from the same plant. If the embossing was done at the plant I guess the machime that did that was not working for those printings!
December 21, 2009, 5:13 pm
My smooth board 6th printing is also from plant 23.
May 2, 2011, 6:54 am
I figured it out that print facility 37 did the trim on the edge but no other facility did it and it appears on other books in the series as well
July 14, 2011, 2:53 pm
I am trying to research what my Harry Potter edition and print is. If anyone can help me I would appreciate it. Here is what my book has: 40 39 0/0 01 02 - Printed in the USA 12 - First American Edition, October 1998. - $19.95 - Publishers Weekly blurb on back jacket cover - Purple boards with diamonds and red spine with year 1 written on it.
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. If you spot a mistake, drop us an e-mail and we will do our best to investigate and correct it.