FIRSTS AND SECONDS
Yesterday I got TWO of my ten allotted author’s copies of NO MARK UPON HER from Pan Macmillan, UK. For a writer, there’s nothing quite like the first time you hold a book you wrote in your hands. An actual BOOK. Not a printed or copy-edited manuscript, or type-set pages, or a bound galley. A real BOOK. Bliss.
There was, however, one small disappointment. They were second editions. The first printing sold out before the official release date–none left even for the author.
This, of course, is very happy news for me, although not so happy for book collectors who wanted–or ordered–signed first UK editions.
For those who are curious, here’s how you tell a first edition from a second:
There is a string of numbers on the lower half of the copyright page.
A UK first edition looks like this: 135798642
If the 1 is missing, it’s a second printing. If the 2 is also missing, it’s a third printing. And so on.
The numbering is formatted a little differently in the US, strictly from right to left, as in: 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
But the principle is the same. If the 1 is missing, it’s a second printing, etc.
Unfortunately, my photo doesn’t convey how gorgeous this cover is–it’s much greener than it appears in the picture. And it depicts Temple Island, just north of Henley-on-Thames, one of the most scenic spots in Britain and where much of NO MARK UPON HER takes place.
The cover of the US edition, out in February, will be quite different but also very striking. And while the first US printing from William Morrow will undoubtedly be bigger than that of the UK edition, if you want to be sure of a signed first edition, pre-order from The Poisoned Pen or Murder by the Book, where I’ll be signing in February.
And in the meantime, thanks to all you readers for buying up those books!