Harry Potter and The Recycled Spanish Cover

MSpiegel brought something to my attention that collectors should be aware of. A later Salamandra edition, 978-84-7888-611-1, is in the wild with a first edition Emecé cover complete with the first edition ISBN, 978-950-04-1957-4.

This does not appear to be an attempt to scam unwary collectors by swapping out covers; it appears to be genuinely how the book was published. And looking at the actual text, it is clearly not one of the first editions; the text is consistent with the book being 978-84-7888-611-1. My best guess without more information is that Salamandra used surplus covers printed by Emecé for the early printings of 978-84-7888-611-1. This odd one is the second printing (February 2001) so I would guess that at least the first printings also have first edition cover. If other early Salamandra editions also have the first edition cover, this would go a long way to explaining why, in the wild, so many editions list either Emecé or Salamandra or both as the publisher. If anyone has editions from around this time, do let me know!

Fortunately, there do seem to be some obvious clues as to whether you’re looking at a genuine first edition or whether you’re looking at a recycled cover even if you can’t compare the cover/internal ISBNs. Below are some photos of my genuine first edition and MSpiegel’s 978-84-7888-611-1. The most telling indicator on the cover is that the title is not centred properly. This is because the later edition is narrower than the original. Both covers have a fold-in; however on the later edition, it is folded more, slightly trimming the front cover graphic and causing the title spacing to be messed up.

Also note that the “emecé” at the bottom is missing from the later edition (although it does still appear on the spine). Until we see more of these though, I don’t think that that can be used as a decision criteria. If I’m correct that 978-84-7888-611-1 is using covers originally printed for 978-950-04-1957-4, then presumably there are also 978-950-04-1957-4 that were published with this exact cover.

Of course, it’s always best to be 100% sure and ask for a photo of the copyright page before buying!

Genuine Recycled

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