Readers Editions

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Years: 1950-

Related Series:

Format: perfect bound

Unnumbered perfect-bound paperbound editions at $1, published simultaneously with the higher-priced clothbound edition.

Five Essandess Spring Books to Have $1 Paper Editions, PW, Jan. 14, 1950, at 160-161, 160:

"With a few exceptions," Richard Simon, Essandess president, says, "I have always felt, as a consumer, that books cost too. And I wish they didn't. It was with this thought in mind that more than ten years ago we began publishing books simultaneously in the $1 pamphlet style along with the regular publication. . . . In each case the most successful combination in publishing was when a book was both good and timely. Because it was good and timely and cheap, the reader was always given a break.

"One of the big features in the plan we have in dual publication is that the public can get a reading copy complete and unabridged at much less than the regular-bound copy which sells for much more. If we were to bring out a new book at only the lower price, the public would feel that there must be something wrong with it. That is exactly what happened in the early 1930's when Doubleday, Farrar and Rinehart, and Simon and Schuster made the experiment of bringing out new books at $1.

Frederic G. Melcher, New Fiction at a Dollar, PW, Feb. 4, 1950, at 793 ("The publication this spring of new fiction in paper covers at a dollar brings a new element into the price structure," discussing Essandess Readers Editions).

"Cardinal" a Hit, but Dollar Book Plan Depends on All Titles in Series, PW, Apr. 15, 1950, at 1743-1747 (more on the economics of the Readers Editions).

Trade Opinion Divided on Benefits of S&S Readers' Editions, PW, Apr. 22, 1950, at 1805-1808.

OPNION, PW, June 17, 1950, at 2620 (brief report on the June 7 Bookstore Clinic, at which consensus was against S&S's Readers Edition idea, but S&S says they haven't decided plans for the venture yet).

The ABA Department Store Clinic, PW, July 1, 1950, at 24-29, 29 ("DEPARTMENT STORE" section, sellers saying that the $1 original paperbound has killed the reprint market).

SIMON AND SCHUSTER, PW, Nov. 4, 1950, at 2053 (S&S will continue its $1 simultaneous paperbound experiment).