Do not assume that because you have identified your book as a first edition that the accompanying dustwrapper (or dustjacket) you have is also the first edition or first printing dustwrapper.
The task of identifying the correct DW involves just as much work as identifying the book – as a guide you should note the following:
(a) None of the first edition DW’s state “First Edition”
(b) For Pre-1948 titles, the 2nd and later edition DW's clearly state (normally on the spine) which edition the DW belongs to.
(c) For post-1948 titles, most DW’s do not indicate clearly which edition they belong to.
(d) In general, DW’s do not vary much between editions or printings and so extra care is required.
To identify the correct DW you should therefore first look for a clear indication on the DW of the actual edition.
Examine the DW spine - for example, the 3rd edition of Drums of Mer states ‘THIRD EDITION’ on the spine. The 5th edition of The Desert Column is clearly stated thus on the top right hand corner.
Examine the blurb on the front and rear flap and rear cover of the DW – this may confirm the edition for you.
If there is no indication, then the DW is likely a first edition.
There is a final check that you can make if you are still unsure. The rear flap or rear cover normally contains press opinions of a few other titles, and includes the edition of these titles. The text cannot possibly be describing the edition of a book that has not yet been released!
By reading these details and by referring to the Chronological page, you should be able to determine exactly which DW you have.
Please be sure to read our individual notes on each of the books. The DW's for some titles have more than one colour scheme, for example there are both yellow AND orange DW versions on Forty Fathoms Deep, amongst others.