The Wonderful Wizard of Oz publishing information

According to the L. Frank Baum biography, the first 10,000 copies of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" were published by Geo M. Hill in September, 1899. Only those 10,000 copies constitute what is known as the first state of the first editions. The remaining 90,000 titles of the book were printed before 1900 and constitute the second state of the first edition.

It is interesting to note that the first state copies contain three different copyright notices on the verso of the inserted title page. Bilbiographia Oziana, one of the well-known and respected resources for the Oz books, only indicates that verso on those pages are either blank or have rubber-stamped copyright notices. However, through the books that I own and also by talking to other Oz collectors, I also discovered that there are numerous copies of the first state copies of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz that contain printed copyright notices that match the second, rather than the first, state copies.

I believe that the publisher, Geo M. Hill, initially published books with blank verso. The second "batch" of copies have had rubber-stamped notices. Finally, the third issue contained the printed copyright of 1899.

Thus, using the elementary principle of division, there should be approximately 3,333 copies published with blank verso, next 3,333 with rubber-stamped and next 3,334 with printed copyright notice on the verso of the title page. Therefore, with all other factors being equal, the copy with the blank verso, as the earliest one, should demand a premium price as compared to other first state copies.



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