First Edition

First Edition
First Edition

What is the difference between a “first edition” and a “first impression” when I’m shopping for a special book?

I saw a book for sale that’s autographed by the author. It is described as a first edition AND “UK hardback first impression.” What precisely does that mean?

Thank you.

First edition usually means just that – the initial print run of the initial edition. For new authors this is usually small; but where an author later becomes famous, these first editions attract rarity value.

First impression is a more nebulous term. If there is a second printing of a book, which is in all respects identical to the original, this second print run is still a first impression copy, though not necessarily a first edition.

However – the two terms are often used carelessly.

Kenny Rogers & The First Edition – Just Dropped In

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