Friday, 25 November 2011

Collins White Circle Reprints Part V

A couple of recent posts from The Dusty Bookcase about Dyson Carter has inspired this post.

Wm. Collins Sons & Co. Canada Ltd was inconsistent in the way it handled reprints for the White Circle paperback imprint. Usually the reprint is indicated on the copyright page. Sometimes that is missing but new covers or new numbering in the series were used. Once in while there are more subtle differences between copies that might indicate reprints but nothing on the copyright page or anywhere else in the text block to confirm as a reprint.

Dyson Carter's Night of Flame is seen with two cover variants. The more common has a black irregular dot on the "G". It also has a green tint missing from the less common cover. This is most obvious on the bottom of the man's ear and in the shadows under the woman's arm. There is nothing else different about the books.

The Commandos by Elliott Arnold was first published by Collins in 1943 and again in 1945 with a different cover and series number. This version was reprinted in 1946 and indicated as such on the copyright page. There is a clear difference in the covers of the two printings. There is also a variance within the 1945 printing with one copy having a darker blue/green background which makes the black text hard to read.

White Circle 256 - 1946 with dot

White Circle 256 without dot

White Circle 256 back

White Circle 225 - 1945

White Circle 225 - 1945 variant

White Circle 225 - 1946 (2nd printing)

White Circle 225 back

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Westerns IV

The latest Inside Romance from Harlequin Enterprises covers the books published in the 12 week period September 27 to December 20. There are 14 numbered series plus 4 unnumbered series. During this period the cumulative total for the numbered series passes 20,000. With around 65 published every four weeks in the numbered series, this total increases by some 850 every year, 1,100 including the unnumbered books. This is a bit over twice the number of books Harlequin published in their first 10 1/2 years. Another way of saying this is Harlequin now publishes more books in Canada in six months than in their first 10+ years. And this excludes all the foreign editions.

Something that caught my attention is the number of westerns that Harlequin lists for the 12 weeks - 50. All but of a handful are modern with stories about "a rancher who's an undercover FBI agent" or "a wealthy, sexy fun-loving cowboy". My guess is that the Western Writers of America would not consider any of these books western.

Here are a few early Harlequins from the only Harlequin author to have received the WWA's Spur Award (1956) for best western novel.


Harlequin 88 - December 1950

Harlequin 88 back

Harlequin 145 - December 1951

Harlequin 145 back

Harlequin 171 - May 1952

Harlequin 171 back

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Canadian Paperbacks - Other Editions Part V

In an earlier post I showed some of the non-Canadian paperback editions of Mickey Spillane's very popular first book I, the Jury. Once again the very first paperback edition from Wm. Collins Sons & Co. Canada leads followed by the first American, British and French. Then four later editions, two British and two American.

White Circle CD384 - 1948

NAL Signet 699 1st printing - December 1948

Arthur Barker 1st printing - 1952

 Presses de la Cité Coll. Un Mystère n° 2 - 1950

NAL Signet 699 26th printing - December 1952

NAL Signet AE3543 77th printing - nd [after 1982]

Arthur Barker Dragon 31 - 1959

Corgi 9th printing - 1970

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Harlequin Authors Part XIII - William G. Bogart

William G. Bogart (1903-1977) was one of hundreds of writers of pulp fiction during the first half of the twentieth century. His claim to fame is ghosting The Shadow novels but I'm more interested in the fact that he was one of the few who wrote about the world of pulp fiction. In his "Johnny Saxon" stories he told of Saxon's careers as a P.I. and pulp fiction writer. The three novels are:

Hell on Friday (New York: Johnathan Swift, 1941) reprinted as Murder Man
Murder is Forgetful (New York: Mystery House, 1944) reprinted as Johnny Saxon
The Queen City Murder Case (New York: Mystery House, 1946).

Only the first book features Saxon's career in the pulp field.

Harlequin Books published their editions in 1950 and 1951 out of sequence and were the last until 2010 when Altus Press published an omnibus edition Hell on Friday. The cover is from the first edition of Hell on Friday.

Harlequin 57 - June 1950

Harlequin 57 back

Harlequin 68 - August 1950

Harlequin 68 back

Harlequin 114 - May 1951

Harlequin 114 back

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Harlequin Artists Part V

A very few of the 483 illustrated covers seen on the books published between 1949 and 1959 by Harlequin were not original. Here are two. The covers have been recreated for the Harlequin editions - the Heart of Asia more competently than The Valley of Silent Men. Viz., the Mountie with hat in the background. The work was also given the Harlequin treatment - note the décolletage. 

The original Silent artist is Dean Cornwell. Both Harlequin covers are unsigned.

The Valley of Silent Men cover was originally seen on the 1920 Cosmopolitan Books first edition. Heart of Asia's illustration is from the first edition published by Duell, Sloan and Pearce in 1951.


Harlequin 383 - March 1957
(also first printing #176 - June 1952)


Harlequin 291 - March 1954

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Harlequin Authors Part XII

W. Stanley Moss and Dan Carew, two authors published by Harlequin Books, have only two things in common - only one Harlequin reprint each and both published in the same month.

Dan Carew is a rarity - an author about which I can find nothing. There are just two Carew books to be found and one is likely a renamed version of the first. Guntown was first published in 1943 (New York: Phoenix Books) and reprinted by Harlequin. A British Carew book with the title Guntown Boss was published in 1958.

W. Stanley Moss (1921 - 1965) is a much more interesting character. His book Ill Met by Moonlight tells the story of the kidnapping of Generalmajor Heinrich Kreipe in Crete in 1944. Moss's fellow kidnapper, Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915 - 2011), who died in June of this year, was a well known writer. Bats With Baby Faces (London: T.V. Boardman, 1951) was the first of his three novels.

Harlequin 163 - April 1952

Harlequin 163 back

Harlequin 165 - April 1952

Harlequin 165 back

Friday, 4 November 2011

Collins White Circle 1942 Books Part II

In part I I listed the 50 books in the White Circle Pocket Library imprint that Wm. Collins Sons & Co Canada published in 1942. In a May 30, 1942 Financial Post article we learn that "early in the spring from 10,000 to 15,000 copies of a title were printed [now] increased to 15,000 to 20,000 copies a title." The article also notes that "$1,000 [of production costs] is said to be the minimum necessary to bring out one title."

The retailer would receive (based on an American article from 1941) between 7 and 9.5 cents. Doing the math, this means, at 25 cents retail, assuming 15,000 copies sold the publisher's income per title would be between $2,300 and $2,700. The total 1942 publisher's profit, after production costs, for all 50 titles would then be less than $85,000. Of course the cost of reprint rights plus overheads such as advertising, distribution and editorial would have needed to be covered so the net profit in 1942 for the White Circle imprint would likely have been much less.

White Circle S - 1942

White Circle B6 - 1942

White Circle C1 - 1942

White Circle C2 - 1942