"First published in Great Britain in 1997" is stated on the copyright page with full number line "10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1". Copyright page also states "Joanne Rowling" rather than "J.K. Rowling", and lacks a space between Thomas Taylor and the copyright date ("Taylor1997" rather than "Taylor 1997"). Issued simultaneously in both hardcover and paperback, the copyright page for both books are identical. The copyright page lists the ISBN for both books (0 7475 3274 5 Paperback, and 0 7475 3269 9 Hardback). The hardcover has pictorial laminated boards, and was issued without dust jacket. Dust jackets were introduced on the third printing. Bloomsbury has stated that 500 hardcovers were produced in the first printing. The hardcover is more desirable than the paperback. The cover price is printed on the back of both books - £10.99 for the hardcover and £4.99 for the paperback. Both hardcover and paperback has a quote by Wendy Cooling on the front cover.
The first Australian edition was also published by Bloomsbury. It has a full number line and looks similar to the first UK edition. However it lacks the Wendy Cooling quote on the front cover, and it was issued with a dust jacket. The first Canadian edition was published by Raincoast Books in Vancouver. It looks similar to the UK edition, but there are several small differences including a different quote on the cover and Raincoast on the spine. The Ted Smart edition also looks like the true first edition, but it lacks the Wendy Cooling quote on the cover, it says "Ted Smart" on the spine, and it says "This edition produced for The Book People Ltd 1998" on the copyright page. The Large Print Edition was published by Bloomsbury in 2001 it also looks similar to the true first, but it says "Large Print Edition" in the place of the Cooling quote, and the copyright page states "This edition first published in Great Britain in 2001".
The first printings of both the paperback and the hardcover has a typographical error on page 53 where "1 wand" is repeated (as the first item and last item) on the "Other Equipment" list. This error is present on all UK first printings, and on other very early printings. It has also been observed on early printings of the Canadian first edition, which was likely produced from the Bloomsbury printing proofs. The error is not found on any of the U.S. editions.
There is another error that is also present on early printings where "highchair" is found on the first line of page 8. It was eventually changed to "high chair". It can be found on early UK and Canadian printings, but is not on any U.S. printing. Neither of the two errors are technically first edition points, because they exist on all first editions and on some early printings.
The first edition hardcover of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone has pictorial laminated boards, and was issued without dust jacket. The cover price of £10.99 is printed on the back. The hardcover and paperback were issued simultaneously.
The copyright page for the hardcover and paperback first editions are identical.
The first edition paperback of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. The hardcover and paperback were issued simultaneously.
The first edition paperback of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone has a cover price of £4.99 printed on the back.
The title plage from the first edition paperback of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. All early printings lack the Hogwarts coat of arms.
Early printings of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone featured a young wizard on the back. This was changed to an older wizard on later printings. Because the change happened after the first printing, this is not a first edition point.
The early printing typographical error on page 53 where "1 wand" is repeated on the "Other Equipment" list.
There is an error found on early printings where it says "highchair" on the first line of page 8. It was eventually changed to "high chair".
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.