Second Printing

So Many Africas: Six Years in a Zambian Village is officially going into a second printing! That means my book has sold beyond the expected selling numbers! COOL BEANS!

It got me thinking, what exactly is a second printing? Is it the same or different from a second edition? Here’s what I found out.

An edition compromises all copies of a book printed at any time without substantial change.

A printing compromises the whole number of copies of that edition printed at one time, without the type or plates being removed from the press.

My Second Printing has no substantial changes and therefore remains a First Edition. Technically, a first edition, second printing.

The copyright page is where you find all the book-ish information about editions and printings.

According to Literary Agent Barbara Doyen:

* Older books often contain a list of dates that might look like this:

  • First Printing, July 1944
  • Second Printing, December 1944
  • Third Printing, February 1945
  • Fourth Printing, August 1945

* Newer books contain a sort of coding that might look like one of these:

  • 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  • 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2
  • A B C D E F g H I J

When the publisher is going to do a second edition print run, the printer has only to remove the numeral 1 or the letter A. So, a second print run would look like one of these:

  • 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  • 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2
  • B C D E F g H I J

All of the above indicate a first edition book. 

I asked Autumn House Press if they were going to put any type of indication on the copyright page indicating it was a second run. They are currently negotiating that process. I’ll keep you up to date. In the meantime, if you have a signed first edition, first run, maybe someday it will pay out more than you dished when you bought it. Maybe not. Here’s hoping. And thank you to each of you who made this second run a reality. 


Jill Kandel
  • Gianna
    Posted at 11:58h, 10 September Reply

    But why would I want to sell a signed first edition first printing? Well, ok, but why would I want to sell a signed first edition first printing of one of YOUR books?


    • Jill Kandel
      Posted at 12:00h, 10 September Reply

      You are too funny! It made me think…guess I’d better nab one for myself, too! Thanks, Gianna. You are a pal.

  • Gianna
    Posted at 11:59h, 10 September Reply

    Erm, I missed the important bit:

    Congratulations! Gah – so glad for you! 🙂 Yay yay yay.

    • Jill Kandel
      Posted at 12:00h, 10 September Reply

      Thank you!!!

  • Gianna Anderson
    Posted at 13:09h, 10 September Reply

    Way to go Jill!!! I’m so excited for you and I am sure that a large part of this is all the work you have been doing. You are amazing. I have so enjoyed your book. Waiting for that next one too. Elisa

    • Jill Kandel
      Posted at 11:55h, 11 September Reply

      Thank you, Elisa! It IS a lot of work, but I’m enjoying it and learning so much new information. Writing is one thing. Being a published author and doing promo is entirely something else! It’s been an interesting trip.

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