To Kill A Mockingbird – First Edition Points


To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Only 5000 copies of the first edition. It has a blurb about Truman Capote on the inside book jacket flap. He is the photographer of Harper lee the author.

To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel by Harper Lee published in 1960. It was instantly successful, winning the Pulitzer Prize, and has become a classic of modern American literature. The plot and characters are loosely based on the author’s observations of her family and neighbors, as well as on an event that occurred near her hometown in 1936, when she was 10 years old. The novel is renowned for its warmth and humor, despite dealing with the serious issues of rape and racial inequality. The narrator’s father, Atticus Finch, has served as a moral hero for many readers and as a model of integrity for lawyers. One critic explains the novel’s impact by writing, “In the twentieth century, To Kill a Mockingbird is probably the most widely read book dealing with race in America, and its protagonist, Atticus Finch, the most enduring fictional image of racial heroism.” ( The 1962 film adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird earned an Oscar for both Gregory Peck and screenwriter, Horton Foote.



There is a copy that recently sold on eBay for $99. The seller had no idea what he really had. Usually the first editions, even the later printings, sell for at least 3-5 times as much as he sold his copy on the Buy It Now listing. eBay closed auction link He sold this for $99.99 on the same day he listed it BIN. Seems to me if you know the points you can easily arbitrage this book.


A first edition sold on 4/2012 for $2,358 37 bids starting $19.99 no dj and cocked… STATES first edition on the copyright page 1960 Harper Lee


Sold for $650

Twelth printing of the first edition, (NOT A BOOK CLUB), showing $3.95 original price on jacket & does not have a book club mark on back cover. There were 14 printings of the first edition in the first year. The “w” on the copyright page are consistently found on the seventh through the thirtenth printings of the first editions and also appear on bomc editions. One possible explanation is that it is a printing plant indicator. See (Pulitizer Prize first edition guide).   Hardcover with jacket, brown paper covered boards with green cloth spine, brown lettering on spine, dimensions 5 1/2″ X 8 1/8th, 296 pages.


Careful: the book club editions can be tricky. The early edition and most collectible does not include Capote’s pic on back flap, currently selling on ebay foe around $50 however the three other bce’s do. They are smaller and have inferior quality papers. The “w” on the copyright page requires further research. It can be an indicator of either a bce or a later 7-13th printing of the first edition.


Identification points of the true first edition of To Kill a Mockingbird

4 colors on the dust jacket — brown, green, black, and white

dust jacket has $3.95 on the lower corner

a picture of Harper Lee taken by Truman Capote

blurb about Truman Capote of the dust jacket flap

copyright page has “First Edition” stated (second impression says so and is the second issue of the first edition, as well as the third issue of the first edition. There are no further true first edition states only first, second and third impressions all stated…. )


Subsequent printings all fall under later edition (not first)

The later editions are collectible just not quite as collectible as the first editions.

BCE can be collectible if they are early printings. They all include the picture of the author but have no designation of a first printing by saying third impression as all the FE do. They also will not not book club edition on the copyright page which can make it confusing for some less knowledgeable book dealers. Some early printings of the BCE do state book club edition on the dust jacket.




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About Julie Schultz

My name is Julie Anna Schultz. I live in rural upstate NY. I have eleven children, one husband, three chickens, a bunny and a dog. Not acquired in that order. :) Since 2002, I’ve been teaching people how to buy and sell children’s collectible books online. Learn More

One Response to “To Kill A Mockingbird – First Edition Points”

  1. Patti York at

    Do early BCE have the printing stated on inside of DJ? On it states they do not but I am running across some that do. Do you have any information about that?

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