To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The first edition of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee was published in 1960 by J. B. Lippincott in Philadelphia in Hardcover. It was Lee’s first and only book (until 2015, when Go Set a Watchman was published) and was instantly acclaimed, winning the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for 1960. There is some controversy on the authorship, with some thinking that it was actually written by Truman Capote. It is estimated that only 5,000 copies were printed of the first printing.

First Edition Points:

  • Published by J. B. Lippincott Company.
  • “First Edition” stated on the copyright page below the copyright information. Later printings are also stated in this format: “Twenty-third Impression”. If no printing is stated it is a book club edition.
  • Capote quote in green ink on front flap.
  • $3.95 price on the bottom of front flap ( didn’t change on later printings but is helpful to rule out book club editions).
  • No mention of printing on front flap of dust jacket (later printings are stated by printing like: “Second Printing”)
  • Some first printings have Shirley Ann Grau and Phyllis McGinley reviews on the rear flap and some have a Jonathan Daniels on the rear flap. It seems that there is a preference for the Daniels state.
  • Photo of Lee on the rear panel of the dust jacket (not a real point as this was kept until the third printing and also appeared on early book club editions. However any printings, even book club editions that have the author photo are in demand).

Check for the letters FEL on the rear flap as a FACSIMILE reprint was issued that is exactly the same except for those letters.

First Printing:
Fine in Dust Jacket, $40,000
Very Good in Dust Jacket, $12,000
Fine without DJ, $4000
Very Good without DJ, $1500
Second Printing:
Fine in Dust Jacket, $4500
Very Good in Dust Jacket, $1500
Other Printings up to the Tenth are worth between $50 for a nice Tenth to $1800 for a nice Third Printing.
Book Club Editions that have the Harper Lee photo of the back are worth up to $200 for a very nice example.

First UK Edition Published by Heinemann in 1960 (Points: “FIRST PUBLISHED IN GREAT BRITAIN 1960” with no additional printings listed and jacket priced at 16s.):
Fine in Dust Jacket: $4000
Very Good in Dust Jacket: $750

Signed copies usually command at least a couple hundred more but signed first editions are fairly hard to find so expect quite a bit more on signed first editions.

First Editions on Abebooks and Ebay


  1. Denton Garrett said:

    Hi, I have a Book club Edition of To Kill A Mockingbird. I bought this book on ebay years ago. The seller stated that this book could be considered a 1st edition due to the stamp of the book club was not stamped on the book. He stated that this would be considered an oversight and the book could be considered a First Edition. Could someone get back to me on this my email is provided.


    March 9, 2016
    • gutenburg said:

      Denton: The seller wasn’t correct. The only first edition is the one that has “first edition” stated on the copyright page. I know of no copies of To Kill a Mcokingbird that are stamped “Book Club Edition” although book club editions are stated as “book club edition” on the front flap of the dust jacket.

      March 18, 2016

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