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Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 1 decade ago

What's the row of numbers on the copyright page of books?

you open a book and like at the copyright page - you see a list of number

example: (taken from Harry Potter book 1)

7 9 10 8 6 8 9/9 0/0 01 02

What does this mean? I know it must have something to do with the printing. but the 9/9 and 0/0 have me all confused!

usually the numbers will look like this in a book:

0 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2

and the lowest means it's a second printing of the book.

can someone explain these numbers to me?

5 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    My father in law use to be a book aprasal person in his younger years and we actually went through a whole afternoon one time him telling me all about books and books he's read and he could even recall old, really old books and their authors and publishers! LoL. Well, I thought it was cool.... but...here goes...

    The smallest number tells you which printing of the book you have. For example, if you see "10 9 8 7 6 5 4" then you have a fourth printing.

    It has to do with how books are historically made. Each page of a book is converted to a metal plate which is used to make impressions. If another printing run is necessary, you load the plates back onto the printing machine and off you go. But how do you indicate that this is a second printing? It would be expensive to burn a brand new plate just to change the word "first" to "second" on the copyright page. Instead, you pre-load all the printing numbers onto your master, and each time you start a new printing run, you scratch off the lowest number.

    Even though a lot of book printing nowadays is done with computers rather than metal plates, the old method of indicating a printing is retained out of tradition.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    If it says First version on the copyright internet site, it probable is. although -- there are greater advantageous than one first version. there's a regular British version, a regular American version, a regular paperback version. the rather first is greater efficient. ANd -- the fee of a regular version vareies broadly with a million) how important the e book is seen to be on the time and 2) how many copies of the 1st version have been revealed. The print run of Harry Potter became extensive, so the fee of a regular version of the later books isn't very great.

  • 1 decade ago

    As far as I know, those are the catalog numbers, used by publishers to help find out which print that the book came from. It's used for not only keeping records of sales, but also if a misprint happens, they can narrow it down to a certain selection of books that also might have the misprint in it, just by those numbers.

  • 1 decade ago

    I believe it is identification for the publishers. So many books are published that they put the number on the copywrite pages.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Sure, it's the Library of Congress catalog #.

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