Saturday, 9 June 2012

This Harlequin Book Part I

Between May 1949 and June 1954 Harlequin published 303 books, all, but 20, of which have the following phrase (or some variant) at the top of the copyright page:

edition is published by arrangement with

Most of the names to follow are the author or original publisher but not always. This is the first of a series about the "not always".

Donald MacCampbell (1909 - 1994) was a NY literary agent. Here is his NYT obituary:

Donald MacCampbell, a literary agent in Manhattan for more than 50 years, died on Dec. 26 at Stamford Hospital in Connecticut. He was 85 and lived in Darien. He suffered a brief illness, said Maureen Moran, an editor at Donald MacCampbell Inc. in Manhattan. A few months ago, Mr. MacCampbell figured that he had negotiated some 3,000 paperback contracts. Most of them were for romances, mysteries and Westerns aimed at the mass market, many of them written under pseudonyms. But in 1960 he found a publisher for a series called Capitol Hill Books, which featured the writings of prominent legislators, among them Eugene McCarthy, Paul Douglas, Henry Jackson and William Proxmire. By Mr. MacCampbell's own account, most of the books were ghost-written. Mr. MacCampbell was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University. He worked as a writer and editor at American Mercury and Atlantic Monthly Press before becoming a literary agent in Boston. He set up shop in Manhattan in 1939.

MacCampbell placed 15 books with Harlequin between June 1950 and November 1950, over half of the books published in that stretch. Wonder why the partnership ended? Sales level not worth the trouble for MacCampbell? Harlequin balked at an request for an increased royalty rate? I would love to get my hands on an early Harlequin contract. Must be some in an archive or two somewhere.

Harlequin 57 - June 1950

Harlequin 57 back

Harlequin 66 - August 1950

Harlequin 66 back

Harlequin 68 - August 1950

Harlequin 68 back

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