Some first edition books can be worth millions of dollars! If you have books that you believe are first editions in your home, you could be sitting on a lot of money.

In order to sell a first edition book, you need to make sure that it’s authentic. Keep reading the learn all about what a first edition is and how to determine if it’s real.

First Editions

The first edition of a book is its first appearance on the market. This is the book produced by the original deal that the author had with a publishing house.

A first edition will have the original formatting, artwork, description, and binding that the public could see of the book.

There are some things that make it a little difficult to tell if you have a first edition. Sometimes they’re marked as the first edition when they’re translated into a new language (but that isn’t a true first edition) or upon a second printing of the original edition.

To know the full value of first edition books, it’s important to know everything to look for. This is especially important to know for sure when trying to sell a first edition book.

First Edition, First Print

If you have a first edition, first print of a book it increases the first edition book worth.

When books get released, a certain amount is printed. When all of those books are sold, the publisher may choose to print another batch of the same version of the book. They may be the same format as the first edition, but as a second or later print they’re of less value.

Signed First Editions

Sometimes publishers have authors sign a certain amount of first edition books. Other times people will bring their first edition to an author signing, and then later it ends up being resold.

A first edition with a genuine signature is worth even more money.

How to Tell If You Have a First Edition Book

Rare book buyers are highly trained in their ability to tell a real first edition from a fake. If you’re trying to get cash for a book collection, make sure that you’re offering a real first edition with these guidelines.

Copyright Date

The first thing you should check in a book is the copyright date. You should know the year that your book was first published. If the year is the same as its release date, you may have a first edition on your hands. However, it’s just a first sign so keep looking for more.

First Edition on Front Page

Often, books will have the words “first edition” printed on their copyright page if this is the first edition of the book. Read through carefully as there’s a lot of information on those pages.

Sometimes it will even say “first edition, first print” so that you can know that it wasn’t a subsequent print of the book.

Print Run Number

You can check the print run number as well. It’s a list of descending numbers on the bottom of the page. If the numbers descend all the way from 10 – 1 this is the first print of a first edition.

Unfortunately, print run numbers didn’t start being used until after WWII, so with any book from an earlier year, you’ll need to trust the copyright date and “first edition” writing.

Collecting First Editions

Finding a first edition book is envigorating whether you plan on selling it or adding it to your own book collection. Make sure it’s real by using the above tips and checking all the writing on the copyright page.