Marketing Insights

How to Tell the Edition of a Book in 2024 (Three Simple Steps Guide)


A book’s edition determines its value. For instance, the first edition of a book is more expensive and holds more weight than its tenth edition because it’s an original copy. First-edition books are also difficult to access and less likely to be circulating in the market. Nevertheless, this does not mean that later book editions hold no value. Unfortunately, telling the edition of a book is more complicated than you think! Here’s how to find the edition of a book:

Head Over to the Copyright Page

1. Review the text that depicts the book’s edition

The copyright page usually follows the book’s title page. It consists of ISBN information, printing history, publication information, copyright notices, legal notices, and other such content. At times, publishing companies mention the edition of a book on the copyright page, depicting its original publishing date. Other times, readers might not be so lucky!

If a book has more than one publisher, the edition and publishing date gets reset. This may make you feel like you have a rare copy when it’s actually a technical reprint.

2. Check the book’s published and copyright date

To know if your book is the first edition, review the back of the title page and consider the copyright information. Now match the copyright date with its publishing date. If the book’s publication date isn’t mentioned, you can search for it online. Your book is probably the first edition if both the copyright and the publication date match. If they don’t, and you need assistance in clarifying these details, consider hiring a biography writer to help you navigate and document the information accurately.

Please note that a book may have more than one copyright date. So, use the most recent one for reference when comparing it to the publishing date.

Related Post: How to Check When & Where a Book Is Published

3. Determine the print by using the number line

The book’s printing page consists of a line of numbers that tell how many times the book was printed. Your book could be the first edition if the line consists of number one. Amongst all the numbers, the lowest one represents the correct number of printing. The number list may also show the printing date. So, one should always consider the most recent date for reference.

Other Aspects That Depict the Book’s Edition

1. Additional section information

Look out for information that states the addition of new sections. A book’s edition changes if more information is added to it. Therefore, search for new paragraphs in the book to know about the book’s edition. Non-fiction books usually have added information that indicates the addition of a new section in the book.

Also Read: Self-Publishing vs Traditional Publishing [Which Should You Opt?]

2. Find out if your book is a book club edition

Book club editions are produced for book clubs. They are reprints and aren’t much worth. Therefore, it’s important to know whether or not your book is a book club edition if you plan to sell it. Consider the dust jacket of your book. If it has no bar code or a price, your book is probably a book club edition.

3. Limited edition’s ISBN

The ISBN is the international standard book number, consisting of ten to thirteen numbers that determine the book’s edition or variation. You can find the book’s ISBN on its copyright page or the cover. Sometimes, it’s also located on top of the barcode. You can also search for the ISBN online and compare it with the one on the copyright page. If both numbers match, your book is possibly the first edition.

Also Read: A Guide to Become Successful Book Editing Professional


Finding the edition of a book isn’t easy. However, it’s important if you plan on selling a book in the market. Follow these steps to learn your book’s edition and sell it in the market at the right price.