Figuring out when a book was printed ?

Asked by: Jennifer Williams

Publishers usually list the printing date on the inside cover. Look at the title page to see if you can find a date. On some books, usually newer ones, you can find a printing date right underneath the title.

How do I find when a book was published?

For a book, the date (usually just the year of publication) will be listed on the title page or at the copyright statement on the reverse of the title page.

How do you find out where a book was printed?

Look directly below the line that reads “publishing history,” or find the copyright symbol and date. You will find the name of the publishing company and its address either directly above or below the copyright date. You may also find where previous editions were published.

When was the book printed?

Fast forward to the 15th century and printing had gone mainstream, all thanks to the invention of the printing press in 1439 CE by Johannes Gutenberg. This mechanical device allowed for the printing of books, newspapers, and pamphlets to be brought to the masses.

How can I tell when a book was ISBN printed?

Look for the text that states the edition of the book

The copyright page is usually found on the back of the book’s title page. There may be other information on there, such as legal notices, copyright notices, publication information, printing history and ISBN information.

How do you tell if a book is a first printing?

Identifying the First Edition of a Book

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The publisher may actually state the words ‘first edition’ or ‘first printing’ on the copyright page. Another common method of identification is the number line – that’s a line of numbers on the copyright page. Usually, if a one is present in the line then it’s a first edition.

How do you tell a first edition?

Look for the Words “First Edition” on the Copyright Page

To collectors, it refers to the very first version of the physical book to be printed. For publishers, “first edition” may just mean the first version of the text, without significant revisions.

Can you tell if a book is first edition by the ISBN number?

Generally speaking, if the “1” is present, the book is a first edition (first edition, first printing). For the second printing, the “1” is removed, so the “2” is the lowest number present. For example, a number line that reads 5 6 7 8 9 indicates a fifth printing.

Is copyright date the same as publishing date?

Sometimes yes, but generally no. The author of a work has a copyright to the work as soon as it is created. All s/he has to do is “fix the original work in a tangible medium of expression,” meaning either putting pen to paper or just saving a word document.

What is the number line in a book?

The printer’s key, also known as the number line, is a line of text printed on the copyright page (often the verso of the title page, especially in English-language publishing) of books, used to indicate the print run.

What do printing numbers mean?

“ Also known as a “printer’s key” or “publisher’s code,” the number line is a string of numbers printed on the copyright page, and it is used to indicate the print run for the book.

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How do I know if my book is worth money?

To check the value of your books, go or You can also sell on these sites or on eBay. Dealers pay immediately, usually about one-third of the retail price.

How do you read the publication information in a book?

View the first few lines of the copyright page of the book. Note the name of the author of the publication along with the title of the work. Move your eyes down the page and you will see the book’s ISBN numbers. These are the numbers book distributors use when ordering books.

Is my book a first edition?

If the date on a copyright page matches the date on the title page, it’s likely that your copy is a first edition. These dates can differ if the publication date is earlier than copyright is acquired, but if this is the indicator used you will want to ensure both dates match.

How do I read an ISBN number?

An ISBN is an International Standard Book Number. ISBNs were 10 digits in length up to the end of December 2006, but since they now always consist of 13 digits. ISBNs are calculated using a specific mathematical formula and include a check digit to validate the number.

What does the copyright page tell you?

The edition notice (or copyright page) is the page in a book containing information about the current edition, usually on the back of the title page.

Where is the copyright information in a book?

Readers usually ignore one of the most important pages in the book: the copyright page. In a physical book, it’s usually printed on the back of the title page. In an e-Book, it comes right after the title page.

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What if a book has no copyright page?

The book could be in the public domain for some reason. Therefore no one would own the copyright to it. The copyright may have expired or the copyright owner may have released it to the public domain, or it may not have been eligible for federal copyright in the first place.