How To Identify First Edition Books


Does the term “first edition” have to be on the copyright page in order to be a “first edition”? Any other hints to identify valuable books? I’m going through a library that my deceased friend had and I don’t know much about books. THANK YOU!!!

Most modern publication do have First edition stated on the copyright page. Also you can check the printing record of books printed within 30-40 years by the line of numbers near the bottom From memory I can’t remember if they go 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 but I believe that’s the order. The lowest number there is the printing of the book. So if the 1 is missing it is not a true first.As far as older books go, they do not have to be leatherbound to be valuable. Some do not even have to be “first editions”. They do however have to be in good condition and by an author who is “collectable” There are tons of old books that are worthless in monetary value.Most books published earlier will have the Printing Company and a Date at the bottom of the Title page.If you want to find out the value of your friends’ books, go to www.abebooks.comUse the Advanced search options to enter the Author, Title, Publishing company, publishing date(if listed), hardback or paperback. Any information you can find to fill in as much as you will then get a list most of all the copies of that book for sale around the world.You can compare the info, number of illustrations, dustjacket or not, color of the binding and see if it matches what you have.That is also a good way to tell if a book is a first edition, if it is not stated in the book itself. Most sellers will list such details. You can have first editions or” first thus” editions which first printings of the book by a different publisher. Which sometimes can be valuable too.There are many factors involved with book collecting. I have done so for years.Also remember if you can find a bookstore or antiquarian dealer willing to buy any of the books, you will only get up to a maximum of 50% of its “value”.Some will pay you much less, so if you know the true value of your books, you can tell if you are getting jobbed by an unscrupulous dealer.

How can you tell if a book is a first edition.

Different publishers over the years have devised various systems of identifying first editions. Often, in modern books, it will say “First Edition” somewhere on the copyright page. In order to determine whether it’s the first PRINTING of the First Edition, there is sometimes a number line, like this:10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1If the “1” is missing, that means the book is NOT the first printing. If 1, 2, 3, and 4 are missing, for instance, that particular book would be from the fifth printing.Older books are somewhat harder to identify because the publishers didn’t use any kind of standard system. Collecting first editions didn’t become a big deal until the 20th century, so it wasn’t something the publishers thought about.You can find a lot more information on this subject here:

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When buying first edition copies of a book……..

how much does the printing take away from the value? Is, for example, a 4th printing of a first edition still considered a first edition? Or is the first printing of the first edition really the only true first edition? Thank you!!Also, if there is a better category to place this question, please let me know.

The first printing is the first edition. The link below has info on identifying first editions. Hope it helps!

How do I identify a first edition if no information is given about it’s publication.

I have looked up so many ways of identifying first editions but none of them apply to this book, there is literally no information regarding dates or anything in it.

the first thing to do is find out when and by whom the first edition of the book was publishedis it the same publisher? if no you need go no furtherif you are still in the hunt – go to reputable online book sellers like or – do they have a first edition of the book for sale? if they do has it got a picture of the book?if after this it still seems possible that you have a first edition find two or three reputable book appraisers/ antique book sellers in your area and ask them to look at the book

I fallow up question for smart people about books, How do you identify a first edition.

I was told a few days ago you can spot a first edition of a book by the ISBN number ending in 1 i got the book and it ends in 0.. what does that mean? i dont want to look like a [email protected] when i tell the chick its a first edition and she points out its not (and she would)BQ* What was the last book so bad you…

An ISBN number is a number on the first few pages of a book before any legitimate writing begins (i.e. any introductions written by author people, author’s notes, prefaces, prologues, or straight up storyline).It basically a huge labeling system to keep track of books. Sort of like the Dewey Decimal system, except to an exponential degree. It encompasses every book ever published. Every book gets their own number, and it’s something like ten or thirteen digits. The only time I’ve ever used it is when I’m using a book in a bibliography. I know at least on, if you just type in the ISBN number, all of the information from the book will pop up.I haven’t heard anything about using the number to identify a first edition, though. But that doesn’t mean it’s not true. However, generally if there is more than one edition, it’ll say “first” edition on the title page (or around there at least). If you can’t find what edition it is anywhere in the book, it’s a safe bet there is only one edition with no immediate plans of a second, so no labeling is necessary.Don’t shoot me, anyone, but I just could NOT get through The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. It started off excellently, and just went downhill from there.

First print first edition book.

I have a couple of books that have the numbers 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 like so.What does this mean exactly? I remember reading about how to identify first print first edition books, but still I don’t know much about this.There is no first edition written on them, just the numbers 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1.Does that…

The printers key, also known as the number line, is a convention that publishers started to use after World War II (1945) to indicate the print run of a book. It is found on the copyright page (the verso of the title page).The purpose of this arrangement is to keep the line of numbers roughly centered even as the numbers are removed with subsequent printings.If “1” is seen then the book is the first printing of that edition. If it is the second printing then the “1” is removed. Which means that the lowest number seen will be “2”.So any book you have with this centered number line which includes a one is a first edition.Be aware, though, that the numbers start over again for paperback, re-issues with new covers (such as a movie tie-in), etc.

Does anyone know how to identify a Japanese first edition.

I own a Japanese book which is a paperback (but it was never published in Japan as a hardcover, so that’s not an issue) and I can’t find any indication on the copyright page for whichever edition/printing it is.Is there anyway for me to find out if it’s a first edition, a later edition or do they keep that a…


how to tell if a book is a first edition.

hi i have a collection of books if they dont say first edition does that mean there not

I know you’d like a quick and easy answer, but it doesn’t work like that. You have to do some research about the publisher of the book to find out how they denote first editions.Some books do say “First Edition” on the copyright pages. Most don’t. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t first editions. In that case, you should trying doing the following things:- check the publisher’s website to find out how they use serial numbers (the string of numbers on the bottom of a book’s copyright page) to indicate a book’s edition- do some internet research for identifying features of a first edition of that particular book – if it’s a collector’s item (very rare or very famous) you should be able to find a description of an authentic first edition- visit sites like and and search for the titles that you have – see if your book is similar to the first editions described by sellers on those sites- have your books appraised by a professional appraiser who specializes in rare booksYou should be aware that the most valuable books are “true first editions” – the first edition of the book published, and the first print run ever to roll off the presses. “Edition” really refers to the content of the book – a first edition is the first way that the book ever appeared in print. Print run refers to the “batches” in which the books were printed – back when printing was expensive, a first print run might contain only a few hundred books, until the publisher could be sure the book would sell. A “first edition, first printing,” or true first edition, will usually be more valuable than a first edition from a later print run. Again, doing some research on the particular publisher should help you determine what print run your book is from.And here’s the bottom line – if the book was published recently, you may have a first edition but it’s not valuable. Popular fiction is printed in runs of tens of thousands (sometimes millions) of copies – the only thing they’re worth is the price on the cover (less if they’ve been read already).But antique books – especially hardback books from the early 20th century and before – may be valuable to a collector, if they are books that are very rare or are now popular. A first edition of Robert Penn Warren’s “All the King’s Men” in pristine condition could be worth thousands of dollars. A first edition of some random book that no one cares about may be worth a few dollars to a collector.The biggest determining factor of value, aside from rarity, is condition. A dinged-up book missing the dust jacket and with pen marks on the pages is not going to be worth as much as a well-preserved copy.

how can i identify a first edition, second edition antique book.

I have an antique book “The Scarlet Letter” I don’t know how to tell if it is a 1st edition

Look in the first couple of pages to see if the publishing information is there. If it is it will probably tell the publisher, city of publication, and the edition of the book.If the information isn’t there, you’re going to need the advice of someone experienced in the field–maybe an antiques dealer that deals with books?I hope this helps!

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