Saturday 27 January 2024

Avon Books in Canada Part III

In part II I introduced a short-lived (1952-3) series of paperbacks from Avon Canada. Here's more about them.

The early numbers (at least to C762) in the series do not have a price on the covers. Later books have the price (35 cents) on both covers. All titles have “Printed in Canada” on the back cover and the copyright page. The Canadian subsidiary of American News Corporation (474 Wellington Street West in Toronto), the owner of Avon, is the distributor. The number on all books is on 
the top left front cover and lower spine.

Avon (Canadian printing) C788
(US printing number 467)

Avon (Canadian printing) C788 back

Avon (Canadian printing) C792
(US printing number 373)

Avon (Canadian printing) C792 back

Avon (Canadian printing) C798 - May 1953
(US printing number 504)

Avon (Canadian printing) C798 back

Monday 22 January 2024

Avon Books in Canada Part II

Part I described the introduction of Avon paperbacks into Canada in late 1941. Here I'll skip ahead a decade to a short lived series of Avon titles that were renumbered for the Canadian market. 

There are 62 titles starting at C751 and ending at C812, 57 of which I have identified. Most have no print date but the few I've seen that do are spring 1953. I'm guessing the series ran from 1952 to 1953. They sold for 35 cents.

The US numbers range from 300 to 526. There are also four titles from Avon's Eton subsidiary in the series.

Here are a few examples.

Avon (Canadian printing) C757
(US printing number 366)

Avon (Canadian printing) C769
(US printing number 474)

Avon (Canadian printing) C775
(US printing number 481)

Avon (Canadian printing) C762
(US printing number 455)

Sunday 21 January 2024

Heed the Thunder

I haven't published a post about Toronto paperback publisher Export Publishing Enterprises in a while. But a couple of recent bookseller listings for one of Export's books has inspired.

Export's primary imprint was "News Stand Library". Between May 1948 and January 1951 Export published 159 News Stand titles. Number 54 is Jim Thompson's Heed the Thunder, his second book, originally published in 1946 (New York: Greenberg).

Thanks to Thompson's reputation the two listed copies are expensive - here at $500CAN (this bookseller happens to be a 5 minute drive from our house) and here at $442CAN. This is one of the few Export titles still in print and is abridged at 160 pages (the Amazon listed edition in print is 352 pages). 

In common with many of Export's books there are different states for the book. One has red brown inner covers and the other brown. Cover art by D. Rickard.

News Stand Library 54 June 1949

Tuesday 28 November 2023

Whispering City

The latest title in Montreal publisher Vehicule Press's Ricochet imprint has just been published.

Whispering City was first published in 1947 as a paperback original by Global Publishing Company in Pickering, Ontario, a city just east of Toronto. The publisher was Horace Brown who was also the author. It is a novelization of a movie which takes place in Quebec City that was released in both French and English. 

The new edition has an introduction by series editor Brian Busby and the original foreword by the author. Unable to be reproduced are three photos from the movie on the inside covers and back cover. Also unseen is a "Camera Quiz" from the original edition. This is a set of 12 photos from the movie with captions and the reader is invited to put them in their correct order after reading the book.

Global Publishing -1947

Global Publishing - back

Vehicule Press - 2023

Vehicule Press - back

Monday 7 August 2023

Newspaper Novels Part I

Recently I did a series on the Star Weekly Novels which were published from 1938 to 1973 as inserts in the Saturday Toronto Star, one of 21 US (18) and Canadian (3) newspapers with novel inserts that I've so far identified. 

There is very little information on these inserts on-line but I've cobbled together lists totaling 2500. An early guess is at least 12,000 were published. The dates so far are 1910/11 and 1928 to 1973. At least six US newspapers used inserts produced in Canada, just changing the newspaper name on the first page.

Here are three US examples. The Philadelphia Inquirer Gold Seal Novel was published at least from 1934 to 1949 and, unlike the Long Island Sunday Press, were original novel inserts.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, Sunday, November 2, 1941 - The Affair of the Circus Queen by Clifford Knight, illustrated by Harry Weinert

The Philadelphia Inquirer, Sunday, August 10, 1941 - A World in Spell by D. E. Stevenson, illustrated by Harry Weinert

Long Island Sunday Press, Sunday, November 13, 1949 - Lord of Atlantis by John Russell Fearn, illustrated by William Book. First published as Toronto Star Weekly Complete Novel, October 8, 1949

The Philadelphia Inquirer - November 2, 1941

The Philadelphia Inquirer - August 10, 1941

Long Island Sunday Press - November 13, 1949