Why First Editions? | Book Collecting TipsAbeBooks offers an immense collection of first edition books for sale, including some of the most famous books ever published. Find a first edition of your favorite book to add to your own collection or as a gift for the bibliophile in your life. In publishing terms, a first edition book is all copies that were printed from the same setting of type as when first published. The book is only described as a second edition if significant changes are made to the copy. In collecting terms, a general definition of 1st edition book would be a work's first commercially available appearance in book form, printed with the original setting of type. The first time a publisher releases a new book, all copies of that book printed without major changes can be considered a first edition book.
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A first edition is the first printing of a book. It's true that a first edition may have one or more printings and that a second edition will normally be noted only if there are actual changes, usually major, in the text. But for a collector, a first printing is the only true first edition. Within the first printing there can be differences that make the earlier books in the printing more valuable than the later books in the same printing. These differences are identified by "points," which are discussed elsewhere.
First Edition Stated
Contact me by fax. Rarity does not simply mean that something is old or hard to find.
A first edition is the first published separate edition of a story, novel, poem, or any work of nonfiction in its earliest version. Sometimes an error is discovered while a book is being printed, or a change is made to the text or dust-jacket. The printing process is then stopped, the error corrected, and the printing is resumed until the specified order to the printer is filled. The earliest copies without the change are then called the "first issue" or "first state", while the corrected copies are called the "second issue" or "corrected issue". Both issues are part of the first printing of the first edition.
The numbering of book editions is a special case of the wider field of revision control. The traditional conventions for numbering book editions evolved spontaneously for several centuries before any greater applied science of revision control became important to humanity, which did not occur until the era of widespread computing had arrived when software and electronic publishing came into existence. The old and new aspects of book edition numbering from before and since the advent of computing are discussed below. According to the definition of edition above, a book printed today, by the same publisher , and from the same type as when it was first published, is still the first edition of that book to a bibliographer. However, book collectors generally use the term first edition to mean specifically the first print run of the first edition aka "first edition, first impression". Since World War II, books often include a number line printer's key that indicates the print run. A "first edition" per se is not a valuable collectible book.
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