On this day in 1940, the Pulitzer Prize was awarded to John Steinbeck for The Grapes of Wrath.
Click here to see first edition criteria for all First American Editions in the Harry Potter series
Click here to see first edition criteria for Classic Science Books
Click here to see first edition criteria for National Book Award winners
Click here to see first edition criteria for Oprah Book Club Selections
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.
October 30, 2009
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was written by J.K. Rowling. The first edition was published in 2000 by Bloomsbury. It was 636 pages long, and the retail price was £14.99.
First edition criteria: "First published in Great Britain in 2000" is stated on the copyright page toward the top, and "First Edition" is stated near the bottom. The boards are illustrated to match the dust jacket. A portion of the first edition was printed by Omnia, and the rest was printed by Clays. There is no priority of printers, however there seems to be less Omnia editions in the market. Click here for more photos...
October 14, 2009
In Other Rooms, Other Wonders was written by Daniyal Mueenuddin. The first edition was published in 2009 by Norton & Company. It was 247 pages long, and the retail price was $23.95.
Here are the first edition criteria: Copyright page has full number line "1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0" on the bottom, and First Edition is stated in the middle. Boards are textured black with solid black spine and gold lettering. Back dust jacket flap has photo of the author. Back of dust jacket has six reviews by William Dalrymple of the Financial Times, Moshin Hamid, Manil Suri, Nadeem Aslam, David Davidar, and Anita Desai. The book was first published in February 2009. Click here for more photos...
October 13, 2009
Midnight's Children was written by Salman Rushdie. The first edition was published in 1981 by Knopf. It was 446 pages long, and the retail price was $13.95.
The first edition criteria are as follows: The consensus is that the American edition (Knopf) precedes the UK edition (Jonathan Cape). The UK edition was intended to be first, and the wording of the copyright pages on both editions support this intention. There was however a printer strike in the UK, and as a consequence, the American edition was published first. That said, the UK edition is scarcer and thus commands a higher price than the American edition in the book market. Below is the first American edition.
FIRST AMERICAN EDITION is stated on the copyright page. Boards are gray with maroon cloth boards and silver lettering. The back of the dust jacket has a single centered review from Publishers Weekly and 394-51470-X on the bottom right corner. The back dust jacket flap has a photo of the author above a short bio saying that he is the author of one other novel, Grimus. The code on the bottom of the back flap states 4/81 indicating that it was published in April, 1981. Click here for more photos...
October 08, 2009
The Third Life Of Grange Copeland was written by Alice Walker. The first edition was published in 1970 by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. It was 247 pages long, and the retail price was $5.95.
Here are the first edition criteria: First edition is stated on the copyright page. Boards are gray with red cloth spine and silver lettering. Photo of the author is on the back of the dust jacket below a single review by Atlantic Journal. Click here for more photos...
October 05, 2009
The Complete Stories was written by Flannery O'Connor. The first edition was published in 1971 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. It was 555 pages long, and the retail price was $10.00. The Complete Stories won the National Book Award.
The first edition criteria are as follows: "First printing, 1971" is stated on the copyright page with no references to subsequent printings. Boards are light green cloth with gold lettering. The front of the dust jacket has peacock design. The back of the dust jacket has mirror image of the front design with no reviews. 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.