Glossary of Terms

Book Collecting Terms

floating booksFirst edition
A real first edition should be designated “first edition, first printing,” that describes a copy from the first print run of a book’s first edition.

A first edition can have more than one print run.

First trade edition
The first published edition for release to the trade and to the public. This could be the real first edition, or it could have been preceded by a first limited edition.

First limited edition
An edition limited to a number of copies, usually specially bound and numbered or lettered and signed by the author.

First separate edition
Writing, which could be a story, a poem, an essay or a section of a book that previously appeared as part of another book and is being published for the first time as a “stand-alone” volume.

Second printing before publication
“Before publication” does not mean a printing that precedes the first edition. Sometimes when the forthcoming release of a book isannounced, the publisher will receive orders for more copies than the first printing will fulfill. The publisher will then order more copies to >be printed previous to the release of the book.

Grading Books. How books are graded.

The Anatomy of a Book

The front and back covers of a hardcover book.

The material covering the spine.

Colophon page
In modern limited editions, the colophon page is the page where the publication and limitation information is printed.

Copyright page
In modern trade editions, the copyright page is the page that contains the publication, edition identifier and copyright information.

Dust jacket
Also called a dust cover or dust wrapper, this term describes the paper cover on a hardbound book.

Dust jacket protector
A clear plastic cover that protects the dust jacket.

Open the front or back board, and you will see a large leaf of paper facing you. The half of the sheet attached to the board is the paste-down. The half that is left as a “page” is the free endpaper.

Half-title page
The page that precedes the title page, containing only the title of the book.

The right-hand page of an open book. Considered the “front” of a page.

Title page
The page preceding the text that carries on its recto the book’s title, the author’s name and the name of the publisher (and, sometimes, the location and logo of the publisher).

The left-hand page of an open book. Considered the “back” of a page.

The covers of a paper-bound book.