Book collectors are always concerned about collecting first edition books. If you want to become a book collector, you will come across the need to do the same as well. However, you must make sure that you have a strong understanding about what exactly the first edition books are. Then you can make sure that you are spending your money correctly to purchase the first edition books.

We often see how the newcomers to book collecting as well as experience book collectors get confused in between first edition and first book. This is the main reason on why we thought of providing you with a clear picture of the differences that are available. Based on these differences, you can spend your money accordingly and purchase the books.

What exactly is a first edition book?

A first edition book can be considered as a book that belongs to the first commercial print run of a book. When a book author hands over a book to a publisher, the very first edition of it will be published. This will be limited quantity in the number. That’s because the publisher is not much confident about the fact whether the book will be sold at a higher price tag or not.

If the book becomes successful, the second batch will be published as well. However, the book publishers tend to have multiple batches within the editions as well. They will be able to test the success of the books in a better way through this approach. For example, the first batch of the first edition books will be published initially. If that gets sold out, the second printing of the first edition will take place. There will not be any alternations to the content of the book. The books that belong to the second batch will be identical to the books that were published within the first edition.

This is a concept that you can easily understand. While keeping that in mind, let’s take a look at the other concept, where we explain about the first book.

What is the first book?

The first book will be the very first book to be published commercially. However, the book publishers will not just print one book. They will print several copies of the book. Therefore, you can consider all these copies as the first book.

First book will be something that belongs to the first batch of the books that are being printed. Since all the books that are printed within the first batch are identical, you will be able to call all of them as the first book. The first book has a high value when compared to the books that were printed in the second batch. This is the main difference that exist in between a first edition and a first book.

Why do book collectors show an interest in getting the first books?

The book collectors who live out there in the world show an interest in getting the first books. Numerous reasons are available behind this fact. Scarcity can be considered as the main reason behind why the book collectors are interested in doing this. The book collectors often tend to pay a high price to get these books as well.

Understanding the differences between first edition and first printing of the books

Now you have a basic understanding about the differences that exist in between the first edition and first printing of the books. You should keep this in your mind and then pay more attention towards purchasing the books accordingly.

When a book is sold to the market for the very first time, it will be called as the first edition book. In simple terms, this will be the initial printing of a book. However, you should take a look at the technical definition as well. The first edition will contain the very first printing as well as the subsequent printings. You will only be able to get to know about it by taking a look at the technical aspect of the first edition books.

If the author or the publisher needs to add new information to the book or alter the existing information provided by the book, a new edition has to be printed. That edition will be the second one. Even if the author corrects a single spelling mistake in the first edition book, it will fall into the second edition book. This is applicable for the text books and non-fiction books as well. You will be able to find lots of examples for that out there in the world.

As a book collector, first book is the most valuable one to you. Hence, you need to make sure that you are paying special attention towards the collection of first books at all times. You should not just take a look at the edition. Even if the copyright page says that the book is a first edition book, it will not really be the first edition. Hence, you should keep the fact in your mind and invest your money on the books accordingly.

The first prints of the book, or the first books are quite difficult to find. Due to the same reason, there is a high demand for them as well. However, it is worthy to go through some trouble and make sure that you are spending your money accordingly on the first printings of the books. You will be able to notice how the value associated with these first prints are appreciating along with time. Hence, you will come across the need to stick to the books and go for excellent investments along with time.

It is up to you to keep the differences in between first edition books and first books in your mind and invest your money on them accordingly. Then you can get maximum returns out of them.

By Syed Khubaib Saifi

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