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Re: Dummy SILMARILLION variations...

Subject: Re: Dummy SILMARILLION variations...
by Khamûl on 2010/11/1 4:58:42

Get on with it Deagol! (Thanks Dior.)

This is slightly off topic, in my own topic...but, I think the black & white view of export/domestic, in respect to distribution, is decidedly grey; or at least the characteristics that books manifest which supposedly represent these two markets.

Clowes clearly produced priced jackets for their "2nd impression" (so marked); these were clearly, like all impressions, physically produced before publication day. So, any Clowes copy turning up with a priced jacket is hardly surprising; & to add to this, not, as seems assumed (there are several “mixed issue” copies listed on ABE), a later marriage of book & dj that did not originally belong together; switching by owners, or by the publisher. While the latter is possible, and shouldn't be ruled out, I think the Billing dj is purple enough to be distinguishable from most Clowes djs --if this subtle difference can be any distinguishing characteristic at all.

In this case (with dummy copies), it might be assumed, that we must be quite early in the pre-publication process. I always wonder: when these dummy copies were produced how close was the full text to the final publication text? I always guessed that the text was fully complete & that perhaps just the index was being finalised.

Either way, in terms of the books physical make-up, the dummy copies must represent the publisher’s view of the finished product; or at least a very close representation. Clowes must have produced priced djs at this time; or at least priced dummy copies suggest they did. I guess this is not surprising as these would all be mock-ups for UK booksellers & therefore a priced dj would be expected; you could argue an unpriced dj less so.

Recently I bought a review copy given to someone in the UK at, or around, publication time. Unfortunately exactly when this was distributed is unclear. But, supporting what was said above, this was a priced Clowes copy. Again, it was suggested to me, that this copy probably had a priced dj “put on to it” i.e. the original unpriced jacket was removed. But this seems highly unlikely given the evidence from the seller (the original recipient) & the dark blue shade of the dj.

Anyway, my convoluted point is this. Yes, Clowes were probably physically producing their copies chronologically first (after all, Billing copies are printed by “offset lithography” --from the Clowes pages I always assumed...), but factors like whether the dj is priced, the binding is cloth, top page edges are dyed blue, headbands are present etc --are not necessarily factors that help determine whether a particular copy is a “true” (terminology commonly used) ‘Export’ 1st impression or not. There are many, many variants out there. Although, having said this, if there are any radically variant Billing copies out there --I haven’t seen any.

BH