Despite best efforts to ensure quality, the first print run of any book often contains errors that are corrected in subsequent printings. (For example, in the first run of Spark, Volume IV, the page numbers don’t match the numbers in the Table of Contents—they’re off by exactly six! This is corrected in the second printing.)
The interesting side effect is that even with these errors, first printings of many books become highly collectible because only a limited number exist.
So, how do you know if you have a copy from the first printing? Check the copyright page for a clue hidden in plain sight: the Printer’s Key. The last number in the printer’s key tells you which print run your copy comes from.
In Spark, the printer’s key looks like this:
If you have a copy from the first print run, the last number of the printer’s key will be 1. For subsequent runs, the last number will be 2 or higher.
Cool! So how do I get a copy from the first print run?
Volumes I, II, and III
There are no more copies of the first print run of these volumes available! Whether you’re buying directly from Spark or from a major retailer, all copies sold are from the second run or later. Now you’re starting to see why “first print run” tends to be so collectible—if you have one, you’ve got something rare.
The first print run of Volume IV is available only when buying from us directly. Copies available through Amazon*, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository, and other sources are from the second printing—we’ve pulled the first print run back because of the Table of Contents blunder, but the content is still great so we’ll continue to make it available until it’s sold out.
* unless you use the “All Offers” page and select the offer from Empire & Great Jones Creative Arts Foundation.
You can buy first print run copies from us any of the following ways:
- Through the Spark online store (http://store.sparkanthology.org/products/volume-iv)
- February 13-15, 2014 at the Life, The Universe and Everything symposium in Provo, UT
- June 13 – 15, 2014 at Denver Comic Con in Denver, Colorado
- In person by contacting our editor-in-chief, Brian Lewis
- Through Amazon’s All Offers page for Volume IV if you select E&GJ as the seller. (http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0988807297)
- If there are any copies left by then—which is unlikely—we will also sell first print run copies in September at Salt Lake Comic Con in Salt Lake City, UT.
Since these are collectible copies, are you going to charge more?
No. We want you to love Spark for the great content and amazing writers. While it’s exciting that there’s an interest in the collectible copies, we’d rather make sure Spark gets into as many hands as possible than charge a premium that might deter some readers—causing them to miss out on our favorite stories.
We promise that if you order from us, we will ship a first print run copy as long as we have any left. That means the readers who buy early get the collectible copies, and that seems most fair.