Copyright page has ISBN 978-0-06-137422-7 and full number line "10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1". The boards are textured cream with beige and red metallic lettering. The front of the dust jacket lacks "NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER" blurb. The back of dust jacket has ISBN 978-0-06-137422-7, which matches the ISBN on the copyright page. The dust jacket is made of textured paper that is most noticeable when looking at the reverse and on the front flap. The back of the dust jacket has reviews by Stephen King, Richard Russo, Mark Doty, Margot Livesey, and Dalia Sofer. The first printing was said to comprise 26,000 copies.
Warning: there is an Oprah version of this book that looks similar to the true first edition, but has several distinguishing points. The most noticeable is that the Oprah version says "NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER" across the top of the front dust jacket. The Oprah version also has a different ISBN (978-0-06-176806-4), which can be found on both the copyright page and the back of the dust jacket. The new ISBN was created to ensure accurate tracking of sales. Please see the comparison photos on the bottom.
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is an Oprah's Book Club selection.
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 2008 first edition dust jacket for The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.
Picture of the first edition copyright page for The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.
Picture of dust jacket where original $25.95 price is found for The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.
Picture of the back dust jacket for the first edition of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.
The true first edition (top) lacks the New York Times Bestseller statement that is present on the Oprah's book club edition (bottom).
The true first edition's copyright page has ISBN 978-0-06-137422-7 and full number line "10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1" like the one on the top. The first printing of the Oprah edition also has a full number line, but the ISBN is different.
The correct ISBN 978-0-06-137422-7 is present on the back of the true first edition dust jacket (top), and this number matches the ISBN on the copyright page. The Oprah edition has ISBN 978-0-06-176806-4 on the dust jacket back (bottom).
The true first edition has textured cream boards like the one on the left. The book underneath it on the right is a fifth printing which has smooth boards. The spine on both books are smooth, but the first printing has a darker beige spine.
The first issue dust jacket has textured paper that is most noticeable when looking at the reverse and on the front flap. The dust jacket on the bottom is the first issue, and the jacket on the top is the second issue.
January 25, 2009, 7:21 am
I have a copy that confirms all the stated first edition points (numberline, ISBN, etc.), except one:
there is no coloring of the "ecco" embossment.
I bought the book in my home town in the Netherlands. Could it be that either the coloring isn't a true 1st edition point, or that there exists a separate export edition?
January 25, 2009, 11:14 am
The red coloring on the embossed "ecco" on the front board may not be a first edition point. It could be a variant and we should collectively watch out for it. I think the full number line and the proper ISBN is enough to identify the true first edition.
January 25, 2009, 11:16 am
We will take it off as a first edition point.
March 11, 2009, 9:03 pm
I have seen several instances on Ebay where prospective buyers have asked sellers of this book whether the inside of the dustjacket is "glossy white" or "plain non-glossy white." I assume that one of these versions corresponds to a first issue dustjacket. Can anyone elaborate on this point and advise me whether a first issue dustjacket has a glossy white or a plain white inside. Thank you in advance for your assistance.
March 27, 2009, 10:44 am
Supposedly the manufacturer ran into problems of tearing with the plain paper dj (dull, matt finish) and so they started putting a coating on the back of the dj to strengthen the dj. Thus the shiny inside dj is a 2nd state dj. So the story goes on Ebay.
April 20, 2009, 1:26 pm
There is, indeed, a difference between the first and second state dust jacket; however, both are glossy on the inside. The first state, which was only present on the first printing, is coarse to the touch whereas the second state is smooth like most dust jackets. It is a fine distinction, probably tough to gauge without having 2 copies side by side (as I did with my first editions compared to my reading copy), but if the book continues to gain value, it will undoubtedly be important.
Also, it may be important to note that the original printings have a deckled edge and the Oprah edition does not.
April 29, 2009, 12:06 pm
Thanks to everyone's help I think we finally have tracked down the important issue points for this difficult book.
May 8, 2009, 8:02 am
I have a copy with all first edition points, except for the textured cream boards. Mine are smooth, so I have to doubt this is a true 1st ed point
May 8, 2009, 8:46 am
Wow, this is a tough book to nail down.
If you have a smooth book with the ISBN 978-0-06-137422-7 and full number line, and I have a textured book with the same ISNB and full number line, then I think there must be two states of the first printing. So now the question is which came first. If the later printings are all smooth and some of the first printings are smooth, then this suggests that the first issue boards were textured, and then they were changed to smooth boards at some point during the first printing. Consequently, I think the textured boards are a first edition point. What does everyone else think?
May 9, 2009, 1:24 pm
If you are correct - and your explanation sounds logical to me - it looks like I have a 1st ed copy with a first state (coarse) DJ and second state boards. And that could mean that the coloured Ecco embossment would be a valid 1st ed point for the textured boards, that is, if your copy has one.
May 9, 2009, 7:02 pm
No my textured board first printing does not have the coloured embossment. I was never able to verify that it was from a first printing. I have however seen the coloured embossment on a fifth printing with smooth boards. Putting that aside, I think we have two states of the first printing - smooth boards and textured boards. I think the textured boards came first.
May 10, 2009, 10:38 am
I agree with your conclusion; sounds like the most logical explanation.
It would be nice if Ecco could give additional info on the exact number of 1st state DJ's and 1st state boards.
This was indeed a tough one to nail down!
March 14, 2012, 12:03 pm
I have a very early copy - signed at the BEA in May 2008 - before the book even officially went on sale - textured boards, Ecco imprint is not colored
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