VJ Books Blog

Whether you’re a collector or bookseller, one of the first questions you’ll need to be able to answer is, “Is it a first edition?”

And you can find the answers in our sixth edition of A Pocket Guide to the Identification of First Editions.  This book lists 3642 publishers from 1850 to the present and the manner in which they have identified the first printings of their books. It is the largest edition ever, with over 600 publishers added to the fifth edition and many previously-listed publishers clarified and explicated based on added research. No other guide to first editions is as comprehensive, or as easy to use.

Publishers from the United States, the British Empire/Commonwealth and other English-language publishers from around the world are included. Their identification methods are listed in a simple, mnemonic code:

FP = First Printing FE = First Edition FPu = First Published FI = First Impression NAP = No Additional Printings stated, etc.

You’ll know exactly what to look for on the copyright pages of books you are examining. And whenever possible, we pinpoint when a publisher changed methods of identification: many did, some several times in their publishing history. Other guides to first editions merely list the publishers’ statements about first edition identification our scholarship is based on statements compared with thousands of personal examinations of books by publishers over the full span of their existence to determine consistency and changes of methods.