modern magic

Fri May 24 10:59:43 EDT 2002

Book clubs negotiate rights with the original publisher to 
bring out a book club edition in the same way that the ML 
and paperback reprinters negotiate reprint rights.  The Book-
of-the-Month Club generally manufactures its own editions 
using the original publisher's plates, imitating all or most 
of the design characteristics of the original edition.  
Having a book selected by a major book club like BOMC meant 
big bucks and prestige to everyone concerned.  When the ML 
indicated on the Darkness at Noon jacket that it was a Book-
of-the-Month Club selection it was similar to saying that 
the book had been a bestseller.  Just a way of attracting 
attention to and promoting the ML edition.

When the ML licensed book club editions of Modern Magic and 
Les Miserables, it received income from the book club 
editions.  The book club editions were probably manufactured 
by the clubs.  Since the text of Les Miserables was in the 
public domain, the Quality Paperback Book Club was paying to 
use the ML's plates and cover design.  In the case of Modern 
Magic, Alcott's stories had long since passed into the 
public domain but Madeleine Stern's introduction and 
editorial work were copyrighed, as was the ML's biographical 
note, so the publishers of the book club editions were also 
paying for the use of copyrighted content.


---- Original message ----
>Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 10:18:29 -0400
>From: "John M. Wolansky" <jwol at>  
>Subject: Re: modern magic  
>To: <modlib at>
>Having little knowledge of the Book of the Month Club, can 
someone provide a
>thirty word or less peek?  Does the statement "A Book of 
the Month Club
>Selection" on the front of the Darkness at Noon, Koestler, 
#74, dust jacket
>relate to this point?
>> You say in your ABE listing that Modern Magic was the only
>> ML book club edition.  I don't think that's true.  I 
>> (but don't have confirming evidence at hand) that the
>> paperback LES MISERABLES was issued by the Quality 
>> Book Club.
>> Anyone know for sure?
Gordon B. Neavill
Associate Professor
Library and Information Science Program
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI 48202
aa3401 at 

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