How Much is That Harry Potter in the Window? (pt. 3)


U.S. editions

In part one of this series, I talked a little about the U.K. editions, in this post we’ll focus more on the U.S. editions.

It took the U.S. a year to jump on the popularity wagon with J.K. Rowling’s children’s fantasy (as yet to be) series, but once we did, we were all hooked and clamoring for more.

First print run numbers listed below come from Advanced Reading jacket copies as well as publishers reports. Prices below are the range found at Abebooks.com, at the time of this writing, for First Edition / First Print copies listed in Very Good to Fine condition.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone 
Published: September 1, 1998
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine / Scholastic
# of pages: 309
Size: 8vo
First print run: 30,000

Unsigned: $350 – $1,500

Signed: $2,500 to $7,500










Attributes:

Orig. price: $16.95 

Copyright page

  • Displays the full number line (1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 8 9/9 0/0 01 02)
  • States “Printed in the U.S.A. 23” and “First American edition, October 1998“. 

Book boards: Purple with an embossed diamond pattern 

Spine: Red cloth with gold foil-stamped lettering; “Year 1” is NOT displayed on the spine. 

Dust Jacket: The dust jacket for this edition has several states. 

First State:  

  • Shows a price of $16.95 on the upper corner of the front flap. 
  • The dust jacket back has a cream or white isbn box with two barcodes in it. The smaller barcode has “51695“ above it. 
  • The dust jacket back has a quote from the Guardian stating, “Harry Potter could assume the near-legendary status of Ronald Dahl’s Charlie, of chocolate factory fame.” 
  • The dust jacket spine lists “J.K. ROWLING” at the head 
  • “YEAR 1″ does NOT appear on the spine
  • The gold lettering is raised on the spine of the dust jacket

Second State:

  • The quote on the back cover changes to a quote from Publishers Weekly
  • All other attributes are the same as the First State

Third State:

  • The author name on the spine is listed as just “Rowling” (the J.K. has been dropped)
  • All other attributes match that of the Second State

Fourth State:

  • “Year 1” is added to the spine
  • The price is raised to $17.95
  • The isbn box on the back cover shows “51795” over the smaller barcode box
  • The barcode box is still cream

Fifth State:

  • The isbn / barcode box on the back cover is now red.
  • All other attributes match that of the Fourth State.

Later State:

  • In later states, the price is listed as $19.95 and the isbn box on the back shows “51995.”
Note: Book Club Editions (sometimes listed as BC or BCE) have a tendency to look almost identical to the trade editions. They can have the full number line and the “First Edition” statement. One difference is the book boards, which do not have an embossed diamond pattern. Additionally, the boards may be black or purple and the spine might be a different color as well. Another sign is that there won’t be a second (smaller) barcode in the isbn box on the back cover. Some seller’s state that the BCE is a “stated First edition” when actually what they should say is that it is a “First edition thus” (meaning it was published after the trade First edition).
Not to add to the confusion, but the 6th printing of the First trade edition is the only exception. For whatever reason, either all or part of the print run does not have embossed book boards, but it will have the 2nd, smaller barcode on the back cover. You can check out this post to gauge whether you have a book club edition or not. 


Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 
Published: June 2, 1999
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine / Scholastic, 
# of pages: 341
Size: 8vo
First print run: 250,000

Unsigned: $280 – $900

Signed: $1,000 – $3,600








Attributes:

Orig. price: $17.95 

Copyright page:  

  • has the full number line (10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 9/9 0/0 1 2 3 4)
  • Below the number line is “Printed in the U.S.A. 37 and  “First American edition, June 1999.” 

Book boards: Blue with embossed diamond pattern 

Spine: Green cloth with silver foil-stamped lettering; “Year 2” does NOT appear on spine. 

Dust Jacket

  • No “Year 2” on the spine
  • Diagonal isbn box with 2 barcodes
  • “51795” over small barcode

The book was published by Bloomsbury in the U.K. on July 2, 1998.



Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Year 3)
Published: September 8, 1999
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine / Scholastic, 
# of pages: 435
Size: 8vo
First print run: 500,000

Unsigned: $175 – $450 (assumed 2nd state, see note below)

Signed: $650 – $3,600 (assumed 2nd state, see note below)








Attributes:

Orig. price: $19.95 

Copyright page:  

  • has the full number line (10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 9/9 0/0 1 2 3 4) 

Book boards: Aqua colored boards with embossed diamond pattern 

Spine: Purple cloth spine with foil-stamped lettering; “Year 3” appears on the spine. (This is the first year that the “Year” badge appears on the spine)

Dust Jacket: 

  • “Year 3” appears on the spine 
  •  The isbn box on the back is red and features 2 barcodes, the smaller of which displays the numbers “51995” above it. 
  •  The back has a blurb stating, “Sequel to the #1 New York Times Bestseller HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS

“The initial hardcover print run was stopped mid-printing after it was discovered that ‘Joanne Rowling’ rather than ‘J.K. Rowling’ had been printed on the copyright page. Joanne versions are available for prices starting at around $1,500 and go up to $12,000 for signed pristine copies. “

No one can quite agree on how many books were printed with ‘Joanne Rowling,’ although it’s believed that the mistake was found and corrected fairly early in the run. Still, the ‘Joanne’ copies would be considered First State, and the ‘J.K.’ copies would be considered the Second State — They’re still both First Editions, and can both have the full number lines (indicating a First Printing).

There is also “a block of misaligned text on page seven (see image below).”  The image shows a line break after the word ‘burnt’ and an indention before the next words ‘so much…’

[Resource: Mugglenet]

Prisoner of Azkaban was published first by Bloomsbury in the U.K. on July 8, 1999.

The book won the 1999 Whitbread Children’s Book Award, the Bram Stoker Award, the 2000 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel, and was short-listed for the Hugo. 



Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Year 4)
Published: July 8, 2000
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine / Scholastic, 
# of pages: 734
Size: 8vo
First print run: 1,000,000

Unsigned: $200 – $400

Signed: up to $4,500









Attributes:

Orig. price: $25.95 

Copyright page:  

  • has the full number line (10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1  0/0 01 02 03 04)  
  • Below the number line is “Printed in the U.S.A.” with one of several possible printing plant codes including “37“,”23“, “12“, and probably others. Below that is “First American edition, July 2000.”

Book boards: Rust red with embossed diamond pattern 

Spine: Black cloth with gold foil-stamped lettering; “Year 4” appears on the spine 

Dust Jacket: 

  • “Year 4” appears on the spine 
  •  The isbn box on the back is red and features 2 barcodes, the smaller of which has the numbers “52595” above it.

Goblet of Fire was released simultaneously in the U.S. and U.K. It won the Hugo award in 2001 (the only book in the series to do so). 

At this point Rowling is signing fewer copies of her books. As a result, signed copies of Goblet of Fire tend to have a higher value. 

 


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Year 5)
Published: June 21, 2003
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine / Scholastic, 
# of pages: 870
Size: 8vo
First print run: 6,000,000 +

Unsigned: $100 – $400

Signed: none listed








Attributes:

Orig. price: $29.99 

Copyright page:  

  • has the full number line (10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1  03 04 05 06 07)  
  • Below the number line it can state either “Printed in the U.S.A. or “Printed in Mexico. 59”
  • Because this printing was so large, there are a variety of printing codes that could appear on the copyright page next to the “Printed in the U.S.A.” statement, including “55“,”56“, “57“, or “58“. 
  • Below that is “First American edition, July 2003.”

Book boards: Blue with embossed diamond pattern. 

Spine: Gray cloth spine with blue foil-stamped lettering; “Year 5” appears on the spine. 

Dust Jacket: 

  • The isbn box on the back is red and features 2 barcodes, the smaller of which has the numbers “52999” above it. 
  •  “Year 5” appears on the spine.

The Order of the Phoenix was published simultaneously in the U.S. (Scholastic), U.K. (Bloomsbury), and Canada (Raincoast). 


Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (Year 6)
Published: July 16, 2005
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine / Scholastic, 
# of pages: 652
Size: 8vo
First print run: 10.8 million

Unsigned: $100 – $300

Signed: up to $4,800








Attributes:

Orig. price: $29.99 

Copyright page:  

  • has the full number line (10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1  05 06 07 08 09)  
  • Below the number line is the “Printed in the U.S.A.” (or “Printed in Mexico”) statement followed by a variety of printing codes including, but not limited to: “58“,”23“, “12.” Below that is stated, “First American edition, July 2005.”

Book boards: Purple with an embossed diamond pattern

Spine: Black cloth with purple foil-stamped lettering; “Year 6” appears on the spine

Dust Jacket: 

  • “Year 6” appears on the spine 
  • The isbn box on the back is orange and features 2 barcodes, the smaller of which has the numbers “52999” above it. 

Half-Blood Prince was published simultaneously in the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. It sold 9 million copies worldwide in the first 24 hours it was on sale (6.9 million in the U.S. alone). This prompted Scholastic to rush another 2.9 million copies into print.

At this point, Rowling isn’t doing any book signing tours. What few signed editions there are were thanks, primarily to the publisher. Because it was a rarity and even though there was such a large printing, signed copies of First / Firsts for this title are considered quite valuable. 


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Year 7)
Published: July 21, 2007
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine / Scholastic, 
# of pages: 759
Size: 8vo
First print run: 12,000,000

Unsigned: $75 – $300

Signed: $2,750 – $5,500








Attributes:

Orig. price: $34.99 

Copyright page:  

  • has the full number line (10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1  07 08 09 10 11)  
  • Below the number line is the statement “Printed in the U.S.A.” (or “Printed in Mexico”) followed by a variety of printing codes including, but not limited to: “55“,”12“. Below that it states, “First edition, July 2007.Note of interest: some first printings have a statement regarding the paper used in the printings – it doesn’t have any effect on the value.

Book boards: Green with embossed diamond pattern.

Spine: Yellow cloth with red foil-stamped lettering; “Year 7” appears on the spine.

Dust Jacket: 

  • “Year 7” appears on the spine.
  • The isbn box on the back is orange and features 2 barcodes, the smaller of which has the numbers “53499” above it. 

This was by far, the biggest print run in the series, selling an unheard of 10.95 million copies in the first 24 hours in the U.S. and U.K. combined. Rowling did sign a number of copies for this release, as did the illustrator Mary GrandPré (exact numbers are not available, but the event was recorded and the signatures authenticated, so may be of more value). The unsigned edition / title probably holds the least value in the series because so many were printed.




3 thoughts on “How Much is That Harry Potter in the Window? (pt. 3)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi 1Girl-

    Great series and some fascinating detail provided on the books, particularly the print runs and details on US 1st edition points.

    My only quibble is with the proposed prices for firsts – particularly when it comes to the later books (from Goblet forward). Based on what I've seen, I would suspect that with a little digging, anyone could compile a set of 1sts in VG/F for the last 4 books for under $50 combined. With the huge print runs, there is no shortage of used copies – granted most of these show signs of wear, and some of them are in downright atrocious condition, but with a little sleuthing, I'd guess VG and up coupies could all be obtained reasonably inexpensively.

    For comparison, I have an almost complete set of US 1sts (all except #1) and none of the volumes cost more than $10. Finding 'Chamber of Secrets' at that price was mostly luck, however for any of the rest I have seen multiple collectible copies available in my book meanderings.

    Pricing in the age of the internet is a very interesting topic, worth further commentary. It's fun to look at the prices for copies being offered and think what your own collection might be worth, but the true test is the sale itself, and with the number of copies of most books listed, any honest seller has to ask the question: why would a buyer purchase this book from me and not the next seller? Some sellers are established dealers and can command a premium built on their clientele's trust. However if there are more than 10 comparable copies and no other differentiating factors, then usually it comes down to price, which means realizing a sale price at (or below) the low end. Another thing to consider is that some of the prices displayed are artificially high, particularly where the listing is from a 'bookjacker' (See Murray Media on ABE for a good idea of this phenomenon).

    Food for thought – certainly a great topic. Keep up the good work!

    Chris

  2. I agree. Anyone wanting to dig will find better prices for purchasing. The prices listed here are averages of those found over at Abebooks and are for gauging value more than anything.

  3. I also agree that there is price inflation, especially when "favorite" books are concerned. That's why the question of "What's my book worth?" is so interesting, because no matter how many sources we pull in to try to back up the idea, it's purely subjective at this point. Ask again in 20, 30, 50 years and we'll have a better idea (but very few people want to wait that long).

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