|WikiProject Books||(Rated Stub-class)|
|WikiProject Typography||(Rated Stub-class, Mid-importance)|
I deleted the following section because the point of the discussion about Hemingways Old Man in the Sea is to give a concrete example of when a "first" is not a "first edition." This is to address the common misperception that a first edition is the first version of the text. It was not intended to express a "view" of how book collectors should collect but to explain that the adjective "first" has a very specific meaning.
The deleted text, however, points out deficiencies with the previous text, which I have tried to address.
As a factual matter, very few libraries collect proofs in any kind of systematic way. If they have proofs, they usually arrived as part of a collection or an archive. Also, while a proof of Ulysses (1922 Paris edition) would be rare and valuable, the book's troubled publication history make it less than an ideal example. The first edition (Paris, 1922) is perhaps the worst text version of the book as it was printed by people who didn't speak English.
Deleted text: An alternative view here is equally or more widespread than the view expressed above: the LIFE galleys of Hemingway's piece are not collectible because they are a magazine proof, not a book proof. Galleys, proofs, and the more recent (and more widely available) advance reading copies have long been considered important in the book collecting world. Interest in them is not limited to the most fanatical private collectors, but rather many institutions collect them in their Rare Books and Special Collections departments, because they are often textually significant, they precede the first trade edition, and they are done in very small quantities. It is safe to say that a proof copy of James Joyce's Ulysses with significant textual variations from the published book would be considered a most important item in the history of 20th century literature; that being the case, all other book proofs' importance is a matter of degree, not of kind.
Suggestion to rename the article "Edition (books)" and expand accordingly
I suggest that we rename the article from "First edition" to "Edition (books)" and expand accordingly. Right now there is no such article, and this is the logical starting place, because you can't define "first edition" without defining "edition" in general, as reflected by the way the current lead evolved. The present outline would change thus:
Lead: 'The bibliographical definition of an "edition" includes all copies of a book printed “from substantially the same setting of type,” including all minor typographical variants.' [Rest of what currently is the lead moves down under h2 "First edition".]
== First edition ==
[Insert here the rest of what currently is the lead]
=== Bibliographical definition === [demote to h3]
=== Collectors' definition === [demote to h3]
=== Publishers' definition === [demote to h3]
== Co-edition ==
[Discuss co-editions briefly.]
== e-dition ==
[Discuss e-ditions briefly.]
== See also ==
== References ==
== External links ==
Objections? — ¾-10 21:35, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
No objections, so done. And article expanded. — ¾-10 22:27, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
"Edition (books)" moved to "Edition (book)"
Ludvikus recently moved "Edition (books)" to "Edition (book)". Recording here just to aid in following edit history. (Watchlist preferences by default do not show page moves on watchlist.) — ¾-10 16:55, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
How to determine Edition
Potential end of out-of-print era
The following was recently mostly removed as "speculation". It is more like a description of the threshold currently existing. As with a ball near the edge of a table: you can speculate whether it's going to roll off, but describing the ball's proximity to the edge is just a description of facts. For example, Google has already built the pathway for this with millions of titles (they could POD tomorrow if the copyright owner simply "flipped the switch"). Not sure that this counts as something that doesn't belong.
"With the advent of print on demand and e-book technologies, publishers can keep all their titles perpetually in print, and there are now few good reasons why any new book should ever become unavailable. As for old books, many are currently still out of print, but an era in which any book from any time can be downloaded or printed on demand, either for free or for the right price, is conceivable. Properly handling copyrights and sales will present a larger hindrance to arriving at this era than will technical limitations."
- I do think it would be good to include a statement about POD and how those are judged as editions. Clearly such books have "edition-ness" to the same extent as any other printed book, and the same criteria apply: when printed from the same, unaltered file, they are of the same edition; major changes should make them a new edition, and presumably this would be noted on the title page and with a change of publication date.LaMona (talk) 16:07, 9 April 2013 (UTC)