Frequently Asked Questions

Is My Book Valuable?

People run across old books everyday, and one of the first questions they ask us is - How much is it worth? The best way to determine book value is to find out how much people are selling a comparable book for in the market on places such as eBay.com and AbeBooks.com. But the key phrase here is "comparable book". So before you can say that your book has the same value as an expensive one you see listed, you first need to evaluate your book to make sure it has all of the same points (or attributes).

The first step in evaluating a book is to identify whether it is a first edition. Generally speaking first editions are the most desirable books. A signed first edition is even better, and some limited editions can have value, but as a rule of thumb your book should be a first edition to have a shot at being something of value to collectors. There are exceptions to this rule in cases where a first edition is very scarce or very expensive to the point where collectors turn to a second printing as an affordable alternative, but these instances are few and far between.

What is so special about first editions? Collectors are drawn to books that are as close as possible to the author's original work, so they want the first book that was published for a particular novel. But they aren't just looking for any first edition. They want the first printing of the first edition. Sometimes if the author is established, the very first printings are special signed and numbered books that are produced before the books that show up in stores (those books are then called "first trade editions"). First printings of first editions are sometimes simply called "first editions", while second printings of first editions are reffered to as "later printings".

So how do you know if you have a first edition? That's where FirstEditionPoints.com comes in handy. It will show you photos of true first editions for a particular novel. You can use this information to decide whether you have a first edition, or something published later. You can then click on pre-filled links to see the prices people are charging for comparable books on eBay.com and AbeBooks.com. To get started, use the menu on top to browse lists for Classics, Science, Politics, History, Sports, and Crime; or search for a particular book with the Advanced Search or Quick Search.