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Monday, April 03, 2017

Continental editions

I picked up a copy of Geoffrey Jenkins The Unripe Gold yesterday as it was a nice, clean copy of a book I only had in a rather battered state. But looking through the two copies I found that they were different editions.

I don't know how prevalent this situation is now, but in the early Eighties, certain books – I only know of thrillers, but it likely affected a lot of popular authors – were pirated abroad and, to undercut these pirate editions, British publishers put out a continental paperback edition at the same time they published the hardback here in the UK.

So the example to hand was published in hardback by Collins in 1983 and in a continental paperback edition at the same time. It is recognisable as it has only a British price (£1.75) on the back cover.

This was followed in 1984 by what should be considered the first UK paperback edition, which was also distributed to some foreign parts. The copy I have has the UK price (£1.75) and a New Zealand price.

The second UK paperback edition was published in 1979 and does not mention the continental edition at all, but states the first Fontana edition was published in 1984.

I've seen continental editions mentioned before and also had later editions of paperbacks that seem to make no mention of these earlier paperbacks. I think this is probably the first time I've had all three early paperback editions.

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