Limited edition books

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A limited edition book is a book that is released in a limited quantity print run, usually much smaller than publishing industry standards, usually less than 1000 copies. The term connotes a level of scarcity or exclusivity. A limited edition book of more than about 1000 copies is misleading as it would be much less likely in general to become scarce.

The term also implies that no further additional printings of the book will be released with the same design treatment, unlike open-ended trade editions wherein further copies may be released in more print runs as the first and subsequent printings are sold out.[1]

Limited edition books may also be numbered or lettered to distinguish in that set each book. For example, a numbered, limited book could have a marking such as "Copy 1 of a limited edition of 250 copies" or "1/250". Much less common is the lettered limited edition book that could have denotations such as "1 of 26" or "1/26" or "A of 26" or "Copy A", etc. Sometimes a copy of a limited edition book is stated as being "out of series": this is an unnumbered copy, often a review copy.

Limited edition books are also sometimes signed by the author, illustrator and/or other contributors to make them more exclusive and collectible. In some instances, the limited edition version contains additional material not found in the mass market (or trade) version of the book. Likewise, they are sometimes housed in slipcases.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Carter, John (1998). ABC for Book Collectors (7th ed., revised by Nicholas Barker). New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press