Why Do Book Copyright Pages Have 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Written in Them?

Why Do Book Copyright Pages Have 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Written in Them?

The number line, or printer’s key, often seen
on the copyright page of books is simply a method of record-keeping that helps identify
the book’s printing and, for some, year of printing a specific book, which may or may
not be different than the original copyright date listed elsewhere on the page. Common examples of these number lines include:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 or
2 3 4 5 6 93 92 91 90 or
3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 MPC 19 18 17 16 or even
1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2. While different publishers use different conventions
for these number lines, generally speaking, the smallest number in the line indicates
a books printing. So if 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 is at the bottom
of the page, it is a first printing; if the number one has been removed, so the number
line is 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10, it is a second printing; and if it’s 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10, it
is a third printing, etc. The reason they remove a number each time
instead of, say, just changing one number has to do with the way publishers have historically
printed books. For instance, in offset printing, you can
relatively easily remove something from the printing plate, but adding a number would
require creating a whole new plate. In any event, sometimes number lines are accompanied
by the words First edition but that does not necessarily mean it is the first printing;
for example, this would indicate a third printing of a first edition:
First edition 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
There may be many printings of an edition, the latter of which may be defined as a single
“setting-up of type without substantial change.” So, if the author doesn’t change the text
of the book (like text books authors frequently do), and the pages all stay the same, then
if the publisher simply makes another round of copies, it isn’t a new edition, it’s just
a new printing. If, however, the pages are substantially modified,
or the book is reformatted, such as for printing in paperback, then the printings in this new
format will be a new edition. Note, though, that it may not be designated
as a second edition (or third or fourth), and instead may be called a first paperback
edition, first US edition or Penguin Classics first edition. Serious collectors typically consider these
last inferior to the cherished first edition, first printing. Depending on the publisher, the number line
might also indicate the year the printing was done, like 2 3 4 5 6 93 92 91 90. This reveals that this second printing was
done in 1990. Much like with the print run numbers, if the
book is printed again the following year, the 90 would be removed, leaving the year
part of the string as 93 92 91. Moreover, if the publisher contracts with
an outside company to do the printing, that company may be indicated in the number line
as well; in this example, the number line shows Melissa’s Printing Company was hired
to do a third printing in 2016: 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 MPC 19 18 17 16. In addition, some publishers prefer other
kinds of lines; for example, Anness Publishing uses a number line that alternates its digits
as 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2, where a second printing would read 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2, and a fifth
printing would look like 5 7 9 10 8 6. This particular schema is used to keep the
number line relatively centered over multiple print runs. Further demonstrating the lack of standardization
across publishers for the printer’s key, the publishing giant Random House has indicated
its first edition, first printing with the words first edition but with a number line
that begins with 2 (as opposed to 1) such as 23456789; but, it uses this same number,
just without the words first edition, to indicate a second printing
Bonus Fact: Ever wonder why some pages are intentionally
left blank? Well, wonder no more: To begin with, the practise
of marking intentionally blank pages some form of “intentionally blank” goes all the
way back to the dawn of automated printing itself, where mistakes in printing were relatively
common. Like today, the main purpose of marking these
pages in this way was simply to make sure people knew that the blank page wasn’t a result
of a printing error. Given this, it’s no surprise that you’ll almost
always only see this text on pages that you might otherwise think shouldn’t be blank given
their position in the written work. This brings us around to the much more interesting
question of why any pages are left blank in the first place. After all, this is a waste of paper and potentially
a lot of money given the print volume of some tests, pamphlets, books, etc. As for the first on that list, in timed tests
an intentionally blank page is often used as a shield of sorts to stop wily students
from trying to read the next section’s questions before they’re supposed to. To make sure no student is confused about
a random blank page in their test, they simply indicate on the page some form of the somewhat
contradictory statement, “This page is intentionally left blank”. Alternatively, they might put something like
“Stop Here” instead, so the student knows to wait until the next timed section starts
and that the page is mostly blank for a reason. Another reason to include a blank page, particularly
in certain official documents, is to avoid ink from a pen potentially bleeding through
to another section of the document. This is also one of the reasons you may sometimes
encounter otherwise blank pages saying something like “Do not write anything on this page”. In both cases, the page is there simply to
prevent processing errors due to ink-bleed. Blank pages in books and other bound works,
on the other hand, are generally there because these works are often created by folding single,
large sheets of paper in very specific ways and binding them all together. This group of pages is known as a “signature”
and might include something like 4, 8, 16, or 32 pages out of a single large sheet. Regardless of how the paper is folded, the
end result is going to be a book or booklet with an even number of pages. If you look carefully at the spine of a book
you have lying around, you may even be able to see this sort of grouping of pages if you
let it flair open a bit. So, for example, if the content of the book
fills 299 pages, the layout artist might choose a signature of 4- thus a minimum of 75 folded
sheets making up 300 total pages, including one blank page. On the somewhat extreme end, if the signature
comprises 32 pages (so 10 folded sheets making up 320 pages), you’ll have a whopping 21 blank
pages, making this signature likely a poor choice here, though there still might be financial
or technical reasons to use it anyway. Of course, savvy editors or layout artists
tend to try to tweak formatting to help the book fit the chosen signature while minimizing
needed pages. But inevitably there’s going to be times where
nothing can be done and there will be a blank page or pages. In this case, they might resort to tricks
such as putting advertisements about some of the other works by the author or publisher
in. Alternatively, they might put in a short biography
on the author, rather than have it somewhere on the cover. Or, if necessary, they might move such a biography
to the cover to save a page within the book. Alternatively, they might indicate the blank
page(s) are for the reader to take notes, particularly in works like textbooks. All of these tricks are basically ways of
avoiding a random blank page, or in some cases needing to put something like “This page is
intentionally left blank” in the book. Nevertheless, you’ll still occasionally see
this text in some bound works, again in these cases generally only put there in cases where
the editor in question thinks the reader might think the page was not supposed to be blank. So, for instance, you may have noticed that
many books have a blank page at the start or end or both; this is a safe bet not to
confuse anyone, so is a handy way to mask that the book’s content didn’t quite fit the
signature without needing to put “This page intentionally left blank”.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Signatures are all in multiples of 4. therefore unless done intentionally or planned improperly, the most blanks you should ever see at the end should be 3 or less. 64 pages is the largest signature possible on the equipment I used to work on. which is 4 sheets of 8 pages and printed on both sides (16×4). there may be printing presses capable of larger, but the larger the signature, the more the issue if push-out becomes a problem. (the central Folds stick out further than the outer folds, so the the text had to be moved towards the fold margins to compensate, otherwise the push-out into the trim area or there's a notice staggering as you flip through the pages)

  2. I know this, if you have the right combination you've got a first edition which are worth more if it's a particularly important book.📙

  3. I've got a book that's rarely printed, the explaination of The Large Glass which is an important art work by Marcel Duchamp, which only gets printed once every decade. Mine is an early 1980s copy.🎨

  4. The Life and The Opinions Of Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne is full of both crazy and blank pages, as part of its conceits.🤓

  5. We do the same "intentionally left blank" for classified material in the military and other government stuff.
    One time I had a lot of fun replacing intentionally with other "ly" words. Maliciously left blank, accidently left blank, angrily left blank….
    People laughed the whole time i got in trouble for it.

  6. I kind of got lost with the 123456789 explanation somewhere, not sure it's important to me. I used to work in law firms where they'd use that "this page intentionally left blank" if something was redacted and the attorneys didn't want anyone thinking pages got left out or didn't print during reproduction, to avoid being accused of hiding or intentionally not providing things.

  7. I used to do some technical writing a few careers ago, and the phrase "This page intentionally left blank" used to irritate me as being self-contradictory. So when I had to write (and format) a manual, I instead used the phrase "This page intentionally contains only this statement." It never caught on.

  8. I good topic might be how music publishing works. Who owns the songs? What is a publisher’s catalog? How do writers get paid? How does money from radio station play get to the musicians? At church the other day the choir did bridge over troubled waters? Does the church have to pay to use the song? Did Paul Simon get any money for it?

  9. While interesting i found myself feeling confused an then i forgot that this was just for fun an started to think maybe i was studying for a test an now i think i failed the test ummm help….

  10. Thanks people….You have used my eyes and ears + my littebity brain…For that you owe me some money big time….Cause l hold a "copy rite " on lt….IF you don't pay me 2 million dollar's l will sue you with one of Presedent Trump many lawyers…lol !

  11. Back in the Eighties, I worked for a company that was very proud of its detailed procedural handbooks. They were printed with ordinal page numbers in their first edition, but subsequent revisions would simply add decimal-numbered pages to follow the ordinal pages which neighbored them. Sometimes steps were removed or shortened, and one of the two pages would be left blank. So in order to avoid breaking the decimal sequence which was already mandated by the following pages, they would put "This page intentionally left blank" so that the page number could be retained. In other cases, they wanted to save a particular page number for revised content which would be sent in a later packet of revision pages.

  12. Another place where the "notes pages" approach was common was the instruction manuals for video games…back when games came with printed instructions.

  13. Why do people say porcelain and china interchangeably? Is it just like that in North America or English in general? What’s the word for porcelain in Chinese?

  14. I just skipped where i was meant to stop, i used to be studious academic and forgot to stop 99.999999999999999999% of the time

  15. The last bank I did business with had "This page intentionally left blank" on their statements, which I always found somewhat paradoxical as by printing "This page intentionally left blank", the page was no longer, technically, blank and rendered the statement false.

  16. The best use of blank pages that I have seen is in the book: The Host by Stephanie Meyer. At the end of the book, there is an emotional scene that is kind of a "WTF" cliffhanger. There are a group of blank pages afterwards that makes it feel like the book ends. Then, there is one last chapter to wrap up the story. It is brilliantly done and had a huge impact, the first time that I read it.

  17. One curious side effect of this is that the wire racks of paperbacks in some shops are designed to take paperbacks with exactly six 32 page inserts giving 192 pages or 96 physical leaves. That's why editors object if you go even slightly over 60,000 words.

  18. Some books I have bought in Australia have the numbers in reverse. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1.

    Sort of OT, but….International Paper Company wanted a slogan with no possibility of any 'double entendre'. After much consideration they came up with "Send me a man who reads". Very shortly after they received a letter from a woman which said: "Send me a man! Who reads?"

    Almost as good as the copy boy aspiring to be a reporter, when assigned to write a short headline about an inmate escaping from a local mental hospital breaking into a woman's house and sexually assaulting her, came up with "Nut Bolts and Screws".

  19. I've noticed that the code for the same printer from publisher to publisher may vary, like, Crossway uses "RRDS" for RR Donnelly Shenzhen(iirc), while Harper-Collins (i.e., Nelson and Zondervan) uses "DSC" for the same printer.

  20. The first 40 seconds felt like codes to activate sleeper agents across the globe.

    i spaced out and now i'm cleaning a gun i dont own a gun help

  21. Perhaps you should have mentioned the sheet signature that is very significant to binders. Assuming that the US does use sheet signatures. The weird codes appearing at the lower part of some pages indication the number of the printed sheet and the recto and the verso. They make it easy to assure that the sheets are bound in the correct order (if bound by hand).

  22. I don't want to ever see commercials, about dogs eating excrement, There should Never be an algorithm, that is nauseating, Let me assure you I will not spend money on a product that tried to make me sick, to bully me into buying it, Never,
    ,period. #knowyourmarket.🐅💙🐱✌🏻

  23. So what about a book that just has


    and absolutely no numbers anywhere? In the editor's notes there are two prefatory notes, one in 1908 and another in 1910. I'm wanting to say it is the third edition. Wouldn't you say so?

  24. I got a question: What do animals do if they have a winter coat and are moved to the southern hemisphere? Or vice versa?
    Like dogs or horses?

  25. I work at Better world books and I just transferred to the scanning department this information will definitely help thanks 😄👍

  26. Even funnier are government guidance for industry documents may have pages intentionally left blank, and identified as such, even though the documents were created and distributed electronically.

  27. The oddest thing about the intentionally blank page that isn't quite explained by this answer is something I run into almost daily at work. Guidelines and Regulations with my work are not bound via signatures but from single sheets printed on both sides and after binding are three hole punched. Yet, seemingly without fail, there is always an intentionally blank page between each major section of the guideline/regulation, that is between the intro, the table of contents, the main text, and any appendices.

  28. You see things like "This page intentionally left blank" in voters' pamphlets and government regulations quite a bit. The time I was asked to type up some military operating instructions for a part of my job, I was told to redo it because, as I was told by our head sergeant, "too much of your personality is coming through." So I had to purposefully make the instructions dry and boring.

  29. If you’re buying a work of fiction or poetry, the first edition is the most valuable. However, for factual works you want the latest edition because it’s the one that’s going to be the most accurate.

  30. This is an idea for a future episode – Today I found out : Why do birth certificates have a financial institution name printed in small letters at the bottom or How did birth certificates start out or Why did birth certificates begin after Washington D.C. was instituted and incorporated.

  31. When I I was doing book repair in a college library, I asked my trainer if I should remove the blank pages from the end of a book that we had effectively rebound. She said, "No. It's part of the book!" Now I understand why.

  32. I worked for a bit at a print shop and we did emergency and some technical manuals.  those always have blank pages in them, always labeled intentionally left blank, and always numbered.  it was done that way so during an emergency when whoever was reading the manual came across a blank page, it was because they knew they finished the section rather than missing pages when they possibly were not thinking clearly or in a normal presence of mind.  im sure that starbucks barista cleaning the machine didn't give a damn, but that boeing airplane pilot that somehow finds out they are heading into a volcanic ash cloud needs to be 100% sure.  plus, it was also done so that each section could be tabbed the same so that the user knows that whichever tabbed section they need to get to will start the same.  flip the tab, start reading on the left.

  33. It would've been great to see a single blank frame at the end of this video stating "This frame was intentionally left blank"!

  34. You get this sometimes in bound music books for more convenient page turns during a performance. AMEB Music books often have this.

  35. I'm ashamed I forgot about this since I have worked in a book publication and archived many old versions using a similar method.

  36. Will someone please tie Simon’s hands to the chair!!!
    While the information he presents is indeed interesting, that flailing of the hands is really distracting!

    I have to admit, I’ve wondered what the numbers on the copyright page meant. Thanks for presenting this!

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