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An Illustrated Tolkien Bibliography Print Run Sizes

Relatively little is known about the size of print runs for most editions of books in The History of Middle-earth.  The information presented below gives the print run sizes for the first impression of a variety of editions.  The figures given for the first nine volumes are taken from J.R.R. Tolkien: A Descriptive Bibliography by Wayne G. Hammond ("Hammond"), while those for the final three volumes have been supplied by HarperCollins.

Title

Edition

Year

Publisher

No. of Copies

Comments

The Book of
Lost Tales 1

1st Edition

1983

George Allen & Unwin

5,000

 

1st PB Edition

1985

Unwin Paperbacks

25,000

 

BCA Edition

1986

Guild Publishing

1,000?

Hammond gives year as 1983

The Book of
Lost Tales 2

1st Edition

1984

George Allen & Unwin

7,500?

 

1st PB Edition

1986

Unwin Paperbacks

25,000

 

BCA Edition

1986

Guild Publishing

1,000

Hammond gives year as 1984

The Lays of Beleriand

1st Edition

1985

George Allen & Unwin

6,000

 

BCA Edition

1986

Guild Publishing

2,000

 

1st PB Edition

1987

Unwin Paperbacks

24,000

Plus 6,000 copies for Methuen

The Shaping of Middle-earth

1st Edition

1986

George Allen & Unwin

6,000

Three variants of the dustwrapper

Library Edition

1986

George Allen & Unwin

150

Bound by Cedric Chivers of Bath

BCA Edition

1986

Guild Publishing

4,000

 

1st PB Edition

1988

Unwin Paperbacks

20,000

 

The Lost Road

1st Edition

1987

Unwin Hyman

6,000

 

Library Edition

1987

Unwin Hyman

150

Bound by Cedric Chivers of Bath

BCA Edition

1987

Guild Publishing

2,500

Hammond gives year as 1985 - a typo?

1st PB Edition

1989

Unwin Paperbacks

15,000

 

The Return of
the Shadow

1st Edition

1988

Unwin Hyman

5,000

 

Library Edition

1988

Unwin Hyman

120

Bound by Cedric Chivers of Bath

1st PB Edition

1990

Unwin Paperbacks

25,000

 

The Treason
of Isengard

1st Edition

1989

Unwin Hyman

5,000

Plus 3,000 unpriced copies for BCA

1st PB Edition

1992

Grafton

?

 

The War of
the Ring

1st Edition

1990

Unwin Hyman

4,000

Plus 3,500 unpriced copies for BCA

Library Edition

1990

Unwin Hyman

100

Bound by Morley Books of Leeds

1st PB Edition

1992

Grafton

?

 

Sauron
Defeated

1st Edition

1992

HarperCollins

3,000

Plus 2,000 unpriced copies for BCA

1st PB Edition

1993

HarperCollins

?

 

Morgoth's Ring

1st Edition

1993

HarperCollins

4,500

Plus 1,500 unpriced copies for BCA*

1st PB Edition

1994

HarperCollins

?

 

The War of
the Jewels

1st Edition

1994

HarperCollins

3,000

Plus 1,500 unpriced copies for BCA**

1st PB Edition

1995

HarperCollins

?

 

The Peoples of
Middle-earth

1st Edition

1996

HarperCollins

2,500

Plus 1,500 unpriced copies for BCA***

1st PB Edition

1997

HarperCollins

?

 

* BCA subsequently called off 2,200 additional copies from the HarperCollins trade edition. HarperCollins afterwards produced a small reprint of 500 copies.

** Two additional lots of 200 copies from the trade edition were sold to BCA.

*** BCA sold their copies very quickly and then bought 500 copies from the trade edition.

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