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A reference for Used and Rare Books, Periodicals, and Paper Ephemera courtesy of an International Co-Op of Independent Dealers.
Book Glossary
Terminology used by book publishers, dealers, and collectors.
Information about book conditions, the various parts of books, sizes and formats, and various terms used in the book world.
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Glossary I
Impression: In the context of a collector's interest in the process of printing books, the actual copies printed during any given Press Run. See Printing, with which it is synonymous, for additional information. It is also used to reference the run itself.
Imprint: Used as a noun to reference:
the publisher and any publication information given on a title page or in a colophon such as where and when it was published;
a name under which a general publisher issues a special or distinctive line of books, or continues to issue books after acquiring another publisher who used that name. Amistad Press, an imprint of Harper-Collins, publishes works by and about people of African descent. It also uses the William Morrow imprint, a publisher founded in 1926 it acquired in 1999; and
printed material from a specific location or period of time, e.g. an auction lot of early 19th century Philadelphia imprints.
Inscribed: An Author inscribes a book adding extra lines above or below the signature, presenting the book to a particular person. Also referred to as Presentation Copy.
Issue: Created when a publisher intentionally decides to create differences (other than those requiring changes in the plates or typesetting) among the books produced during the first printing. Perhaps the publisher wishes to give customers a choice of bindings, type of paper, or even format. If the first printing is without States, then issues become the focus for determining Priority. Sometimes one issue can be determined to have priority over another (e.g. if the printer kept a record indicating the printing order) in which case one can identify a book as a first issue. More often, no priority can be established and the various issues are simply called Variants.
Issue points: Changes, often small, between issued copies of a book. Noted especially by Collectors who generally prefer the earliest issue of a book. For example a correction in spelling or change in page numbering.
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