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Saturday, February 28, 2009


Just saw something very cool today - a 14th printing copy of Transformation. This is very cool, even in the day of better technology so that publishers can reprint in smaller, more $-efficient quantities.

So, here are some questions I'm often asked:

How can you tell what printing?

Is a 14th printing the same as a 14th edition?

If one of your books is only in 2nd printing, does that mean it's less popular than a book in its 14th printing?

How can you tell what printing?

For some books you can't tell by looking at the book. But for many books, including mine, you can look at the copyright page in the front of the book. Look at the list of numbers in reverse order. Something like this

20 19 18 17 16 15 14

Look at the last number, and it will tell you which printing. This list says 14th.

Is a 14th printing the same as a 14th edition?

Nope. An edition is a typeset version of the text. So a new edition is something that requires re-typesetting. That is, the text is revised in some way, such as the "2010 edition of Rick Steves' Europe Through the Back Door, or the text is typeset for a different format, eg. a mass-market-paperback edition or a trade paperback edition." A reprint is just a new batch of the same book, and usually does not include any revision of the book's text. It just signifies that the publisher is getting low on the book in the warehouse and needs to print up some more to keep in on the market. A 14th edition would have been revised at least 14 times, and I've not touched the text of Transformation since it was published.

If one of your books is only in 2nd printing, does that mean it's less popular than a book in its 14th printing?

No. If an author's books do well, then chances are that the first printing of subsequent books are larger than the first printing of previous books. So it might take longer to empty the warehouse and get to that second (or later) printing. Breath and Bone reprinted within a month of its initial release - which is great.

My current tally on the rai-kirah books (which have been out longest):

Transformation 14
Revelation 11
Restoration 8

Some others: Son of Avonar - 7th, Breath and Bone - 2nd.

All of my books, have gone to multiple printings, which is very gratifying. It shows that my publisher has faith that readers will continue to buy my books and tell other people about them.

Thanks, all of you!


Anonymous said...

For the record, I loved Transformation and have read it several times. (If I weren't feeling so lazy and it weren't so late, I'd go dig out my copy so I could tell you which printing it was.) I think "Song of the Beast" is my second favorite, though "Son of Avonar" is right up there, too...

Anonymous said...

I don't believe it! I checked your blog every day for so long, and never found an update, and now I fail to check it for a couple of days and I find three updates!!!!

Reprints... I work in a university bookshop, and getting the students understand what's the difference between a reprint and a new edition is one of the worst tasks.
Serious! :-(


carolwriter said...

Needless to say, I was trying to catch up before getting immersed in The Soul Mirror.

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy for you Mrs. Berg! Transformation is and probably always will remain my favorite book. I have read it so many times I can quote most of it.

"Be safe, my guardian."
"Be wise, my prince."