varielle's printshop pursuit

ConversesPublisher and Printer Challenge

Afegeix-te a LibraryThing per participar.

varielle's printshop pursuit

Editat: abr. 7, 2010, 12:38pm

I have a massive TBR pile, so I should be able to keep going for quite some time. I'm not going to exclude minor divisions of bigger publishers, as so many specialty printers would have disappeared otherwise. These I brought over from my alphabet challenge. Method is always subject to change, but preference in the future will be given to the most obscure. Ticker to follow shortly. I've written brief reviews for most of these.

Avon Books Doorways in the Sand by Roger Zelazny
Bantam Publishing The Caliph's House by Tahir Shah
Bloomsbury USA Reporting at Wit's End: Tales from the New Yorker by St. Clair McKelway * an early reviewer book
Folio Society The Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaulay
Headline Book Publishing The Eagle and the Wolves by Simon Scarrow
Lomond Books The Complete Illustrated Poems, Songs and Ballads of Robert Burns
W.W. Norton Monster of God by David Quammen

These are bigger houses, but I plan to be more attentive to lesser known publishers with this challenge.

abr. 8, 2010, 8:41am

Avon and Bantam I've heard of... the others I'm not sure.

Editat: març 7, 2013, 10:49am

abr. 9, 2010, 10:25am

Briefly here are a few bits of info about my publisher list so far. Some of these are, of course, huge, but we shall do better in the future.

Avon Books has been around since 1941 and is currently owned by Harper Collins. Apparently there are lots of buy outs and acquisitions in the publishing business. They specialize in inexpensive paperbacks and have over the years done everything from romance, to comics, to sci fi and fantasy.

Bantam has been around since 1945 also doing a wide variety of paperbacks. It's currently owned by Random House.

Bloomsbury USA is the American division of the British publishing house. They are independent and specialize in literary novels. They've expanded quite a bit in recent years by virtue of publishing the Harry Potter series.

I love the Folio Society. They are headquartered in London. They sell to their subscribers. I joined a couple of years ago and have to restrain myself. They specialize in fine printing of classic works that generally come with slipcases. Occasionally they do limited editions. When I win the lottery I will buy everything they ever did.

I couldn't dredge up much on Headline Book Publishing. I believe they are out of the UK doing fiction and non-fiction and have a few other imprints.

Lomond Books is a Scottish publisher and book wholesaler that's been around since 1984. I found my copy of Burns' poems at a Highland Games event.

W.W. Norton is of course huge and located in NYC. They print a bit of everything from textbooks to fiction. They are still independent and have been around since 1923.

If I'm askew on my facts or if you have more info on these please let me know.

abr. 9, 2010, 10:25am

Aquest missatge ha estat suprimit pel seu autor.

Editat: abr. 12, 2010, 10:21am

I just finished Desperate Passage: The Donner Party's Perilous Journey West by Ethan Rarick which I absolutely loathed. I was determined to finish however as people are perpetually making jokes about the Donner party, particularly during this last winter, and I was determined to figure out what the fuss was about. Regardless, it was published by Oxford University Press, USA, the American branch of the OUP already discussed in another thread. Another big one. In fact it is the largest and oldest continually operating press in the world.

Editat: abr. 27, 2010, 11:00am

I just finished a Heritage Press edition of The Last of the Mohicans. Heritage Press was a by subscription publisher of classics and was an imprint of the George Macy Companies. They are usually known by their slip cases and the quality of the printing, illustrations and bindings. I've seen varying dates that they were published from 1935-1992 or from 1937-1982. As I know there are some avid collectors of HP editions over in the Fine Press group, Folio Society group and several others, I'm sure someone will come along and set me straight.

Editat: abr. 26, 2010, 9:34pm

No, you got it right. Heritage Press operated from 1935 to 1992. Heritage Press books were sold through the subscription-based Heritage Club but also in bookstores. The Heritage Press and Club were preceded by the Limited Editions Club which produced very small (ca. 1500) print runs of luxurious editions for members. Heritage Press books had much larger print runs and a mid-range price. George Macy, who founded and ran these publishing houses and others, was one of the most creative figures in 20th century American publishing.

abr. 27, 2010, 11:05am

I just finished a Peter Pauper Press edition of An Uncensored Anthology by Divers Hands and illustrated by Carl Cobbledick which was an anonymous collection of naughty little poems printed in 1938. Peter Pauper has been around since 1928 and still kicking. Here's their blurb.

In 1928, after studying with famed book and type designer Frederic W. Goudy, printer William Edwin Rudge, and Melbert B. Cary, 22-year-old Peter Beilenson set up a small press in the basement of his father’s home in Larchmont, New York, and designed and printed about 200 copies of J. M. Synge’s With Petrarch. The entire print run was purchased by a New York bookseller, and the volume was lauded as one of the American Institute of Graphic Arts’ "50 Books of the Year." This was the auspicious beginning of the Peter Pauper Press.

The next year, Edmund B. Thompson joined Beilenson as a partner in the Walpole Printing Office, a limited-editions press named for 18th-century author and private press owner Horace Walpole. Beilenson also began a third imprint for less respectable offerings, entitled “At the Sign of the Blue-Behinded Ape.” After three years, Thompson left the business, and Peter’s wife, Edna Beilenson, became partner. In 1935, they moved Peter Pauper Press to Mount Vernon, New York, where Peter printed special edition books for publishers such as Random House, New Directions, and the Limited Editions Club.

Peter’s son, Nick, in a 1998 New York Times interview, remembered his father as “a very intense, quiet art designer.” His more extroverted mother enjoyed her involvement in the company’s general operations and sales; in 1968, she was named “Who’s Who of American Women” Outstanding Business Woman of the Year.

From the 1930s through the 1950s, Peter Pauper Press produced handsome, finely bound letterpress volumes of prose and poetry, including works by John Donne (which are thought to have sparked new interest in the Jacobean poet), Shakespeare, Benjamin Franklin, and hundreds more.

The books were sold at “prices even a pauper could afford,” according to Nick, though many included slipcovers, handmade paper, one- or two-color printing, and illustrations, woodcuts, and graphics by some of the 20th century’s most acclaimed artists, including Valenti Angelo, Fritz Kredel, Lynd Ward, Fritz Eichenberg, Raymond Lufkin, and Richard Floethe.

Edna Beilenson also started a cookbook series in the 1950s; she once said it covered everything “from abalone to zabaglione.” She also initiated the use of decorative bindings for smaller gift books. The couple published 10 to 12 new titles each year until Peter’s death in 1962 at the age of 56.

Edna then took over the business, which thrived until the late 1970s. In a magazine interview at that time, she said, “My career at the Peter Pauper Press has been a lifelong romance.” In addition to her duties at the press, she was also the first woman president of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, among the first women elected to the Grolier Club, a president and chairman of the Board of the Goudy Society, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Today, the Beilensons’ fine press and gift book editions are sought-after collectibles, and a number of rare book libraries have held exhibitions of their work. Janet Borgerson and Jonathan Schroeder of the University of Exeter, in the U.K., founding members of the Information Society Network, consider these titles “culturally notable artifacts" that served as "guidebooks to a mobile, articulate, cultured life.” According to Borgerson and Schroeder, “These little books made belles-lettres authors, exotic ingredients, and foreign figures available to mainstream U.S. consumers. . . . Peter Pauper Press’s attractive books contributed small signals of success in the quest for adventurous dining, broader horizons, and cultural capital.”

Peter Pauper’s presses kept running until Edna’s death in 1981; after her passing, they almost stopped for good. But her son, Nick Beilenson, a lawyer, and his wife, Evelyn Beilenson, an interior decorator, chose not to let that happen; both changed careers and re-launched the business, moving it to White Plains, New York.

Currently, Evelyn remains Publisher of Peter Pauper Press, Nick has retired, and a third generation is very much involved. Nick and Evelyn’s son, Laurence Beilenson, is now Chief Executive Officer, and his wife, Esther, is Director of Special Sales. Another Beilenson son, John, is a free-lance Peter Pauper author, as is daughter Suzanne.

Anticipating its 80th anniversary, Peter Pauper Press is prospering with a customer-pleasing line of books, stationery, journals, holiday cards, engagement calendars, children’s books, travel guides, and vibrant new and backlist bestsellers with titles ranging from Angels Are Forever to Zen Cowboy. Please visit the rest of our Web site and get acquainted with our newest offerings!

abr. 28, 2010, 2:44am

Thanks for the info on Peter Pauper Press! I did not know they were still going. I was very scornful of my Dad's extensive collection of Peter Pauper titles in the 1950's, thinking them boring and prissy. Oh to have them now! They went to my more appreciative brother-in-law. I have one, containing the Odes of Keats and Shelley, beautiful but disintegrating from lack of appropriate care over the years.

maig 19, 2010, 10:23am

I finished up The African Queen by C.S. Forester last weekend. See my review and push Bogart and Hepburn out of your head. I think it's time for a remake of the movie.

My edition was published in the forties by The Modern Library. Lots of folks collect Modern Library books and I believe there's a group specifically devoted to them on LT. Although it was originally the parent it eventually became an imprint of its own creation Random House. Here's their blurb from their website.

The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. For decades, young Americans cut their intellectual teeth on Modern Library books. The series shaped their tastes, educated them, provided them with a window on the world. Many of the country's celebrated writers are quick to attest that they "grew up with the Modern Library."

The Modern Library was founded in 1917 by Boni and Liveright, one of the most important publishing houses of the early 1920s. It was their idea to provide American readers with inexpensive reprints of European modernist titles, plus the work of a few contemporary Americans. The series was a cash cow for the publishers, but by 1925 the rest of Horace Liveright's business wasn't doing well (he had bought out Albert Boni a few years earlier). Needing the money, Liveright sold the Modern Library to one of his employees, a twenty-seven-year-old vice-president who wanted to go into business for himself. The new publisher was Bennett Cerf.

Cerf and his friend Donald Klopfer set up the Modern Library, Inc., on August 1, 1925. They added more American writers to the series and some older classics, and two years later, finding that they had time to spare, they started Random House as a subsidiary of the Modern Library. Random House enabled them to publish, "at random," other books that interested them. It soon was a major publishing force in its own right, and the Modern Library would become an imprint of its own offspring.

The Modern Library billed itself as "The Modern Library of the World's Best Books," and book buyers relied on it to provide them with just that. Titles were added to and taken out of the series according to their popularity or the availability of rights, jackets were tinkered with, and the colophon redesigned, but the essential purpose of the Modern Library has remained the same.

In 1992, on the occasion of the Modern Library's seventy-fifth anniversary, Random House embarked on an ambitious project to refurbish the series, reviving the torchbearer emblem that Cerf and Klopfer commissioned in 1925 from Lucian Bernhard. The Promethean bearer of enlightenment (known informally around the old Modern Library offices as the "dame running away from Bennett Cerf") was redesigned several times over the years, most notably by Rockwell Kent.

In 2000, Modern Library launched The Paperback Classics, a visionary program that continues to expand, featuring treasured classics, volumes of essential writings, major translations of great works from around the globe, and rediscoveries of keen literary and historical merit. These editions feature exciting new introductions by today's leading writers and scholars, stunning translations by acclaimed translators, critical editions of the texts, scholarly endnotes, reading group guides, production values that emphasize superior quality and readability, and competitive prices.

The year 2000 also marked the launch of Modern Library Chronicles, a popular and lively series of original, small-format "short histories" featuring the world's great historians on the world's great subjects.

A Board of prominent thinkers advises us on selections, and is famous for the 100 Best polls for the best novels and nonfiction of the 20th century. We are grateful to our readers who are participating as never before in the workings of the Modern Library via this website, and responses to the Modern Library Newsletter.

Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books.

maig 19, 2010, 10:25am

I was right. Here's the link to the Modern Library Collector's group.

maig 19, 2010, 10:40am

I also polished off Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love. It was originally published by Walker & Co., but my edition was by Penguin. I'm not sure what the business relationship is there, but I assume that when it started to take off in sales Penguin bought the rights. Englightenment about the business practices of publishing house is welcome.

Poor Galileo. When not tiptoeing around the Church he was constantly having to deal with the neediness of all his relations who expected them to keep them up. What might have happened if he had just been allowed to think great thoughts?

Here's the blurb from the website of everybody's favorite flightless bird, Penguin.

Penguin Group (USA) Inc. is the U.S. affiliate of the internationally renowned Penguin Group, one of the largest English-language trade book publishers in the world. Formed in 1996 as a result of the merger between Penguin Books USA and The Putnam Berkley Group, Penguin Group (USA), under the stewardship of Chief Executive Officer, David Shanks, and President, Susan Petersen Kennedy, is a leading U.S. adult and children's trade book publisher. The Penguin Group, with operations in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa and China, is led by CEO and Chairman, John Makinson, and is owned by Pearson plc. Pearson is an international media company with market-leading businesses in education, business information, and consumer publishing.

Penguin Group (USA) publishes under a wide range of prominent imprints and trademarks, among them Viking, G. P. Putnam's Sons, The Penguin Press, Riverhead Books, Dutton, Penguin Books, Berkley Books, Gotham Books, Portfolio, New American Library, Plume, Tarcher, Philomel, Grosset & Dunlap, Puffin, and Frederick Warne. The company possesses perhaps the world's most prestigious list of bestselling, award-winning authors and a backlist of unparalleled breadth, depth, and quality. The Penguin Group's roster of bestselling authors is a Who's Who of the industry, including Patricia Cornwell, Nora Roberts, Tom Clancy, Jan Karon, Khaled Hosseini, Elizabeth Gilbert, Eckhart Tolle, Junot Díaz, Kim Edwards, Sue Monk Kidd, Sue Grafton, Ken Follett, Greg Mortenson, Clive Cussler, Alan Greenspan, Al Gore, A. Scott Berg, Nevada Barr, Saul Bellow, Harold Bloom, Geraldine Brooks, Sylvia Browne, Ron Chernow, Harlan Coben, J.M. Coetzee, Robin Cook, Catherine Coulter, Eric Jerome Dickey, Helen Fielding, Dick Francis, Al Franken, W. E. B. Griffin, Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, John Hodgman, Nick Hornby, the Dalai Lama, Kate Jacobs, Diane Johnson, Spencer Johnson, Garrison Keillor, Anne Lamott, John Lescroart, James McBride, Terry McMillan, Arthur Miller, Toni Morrison, Kathleen Norris, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert B. Parker, Ridley Pearson, Michael Pollan, John Sandford, Carol Shields, Daniel Silva, John Steinbeck, Amy Tan, Kurt Vonnegut and Stuart Woods.

Penguin Group (USA) Inc. is also a global leader in children's publishing, through its Young Readers Group, with preeminent imprints such as Dial Books, Dutton, Grosset & Dunlap, Philomel, Puffin, Speak, Firebird, G. P. Putnam's Sons, Razorbill, Viking, and Frederick Warne. These imprints are home to Laurie Halse Anderson, Frank Beddor, Judy Blume, Jan Brett, Eric Carle, Roald Dahl, Tomie dePaola, John Green, Eric Hill, Anthony Horowitz, Brian Jacques, Mike Lupica, Richard Peck, Patricia Polacco, and dozens of other popular authors. Penguin Young Readers Group is also proud of perennial favorites such as The Little Engine That Could and the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series.

maig 19, 2010, 2:06pm

Interesting info about the early years of Modern Library. I never knew they started out focusing on modernist works. I'm going to have to look into what the titles were that they published before the Bennet Cerf era.

Editat: maig 24, 2010, 1:14pm

I just finished and posted a review for my Early Reviewer copy of How to Mix Drinks or The Bon Vivant's Companion published by the delightfully quirky, independent, London-based Hesperus Press. I once had aspirations to become a bon vivant's companion, but gave it up after finding the best I could do was slinging beer in a red neck pool hall. Here's what they have to say about themselves on their blog.

Independent publishers of neglected and translated classics; ranters extraordinaire.;
A small, London-based independent publisher, Hesperus Press is committed to bringing near what is far – far both in space and time. Works written by the greatest authors, and unjustly neglected or simply little known in the English-speaking world, are made accessible through new translations and a completely fresh editorial approach. Through these short classic works, each around 100 pages in length, the reader will be introduced to the greatest writers from all times and cultures.

maig 24, 2010, 3:15pm

Hey Varielle - this looks interesting. I never heard of Hesperus. I will check it out. The links don't go anywhere, but I will find ways. Thanks for the info.

Editat: juny 1, 2010, 1:19pm

Back to that bird in the tuxedo, there seems to be two groups on LT dedicated to Penguin lovers. Here are the links.

I thought there were three, but the third one is actually about the bird not the publisher.

Editat: juny 2, 2010, 5:38am

Aquest missatge ha estat suprimit pel seu autor.

juny 16, 2010, 3:31pm

I've posted a brief review of my Early Reviewer book Little Big World: Collecting Louis Marx and the American Fifties by Jeffrey Hammond. An interesting read for collectors of all stripes, and I am guilty. It was published by the University of Iowa Press. Here's their blurb about themselves from their website

History & Mission
Established in 1969, the University of Iowa Press publishes books that fill the needs of scholars and students throughout the world, poetry and short fiction, and works of creative nonfiction. As the only university press in the state, Iowa is also dedicated to preserving the literature, history, culture, wildlife, and natural areas of the Midwest.

For scholars and students, we publish reference and course books in the areas of archaeology, American studies, American history, literary studies, theatre studies, and the craft of writing.

For general readers, we publish the winners of the Iowa Short Fiction Award and the Iowa Poetry Prize, poetry anthologies, books on the archaeology and natural history of the Midwest, cookbooks, letters and diaries, biographies, memoirs, regional history, and collections of historic and contemporary photographs.

The Press reports to the Graduate College and is a member of the Association of American University Presses and Green Press Initiative.

In the Kuhl House on the University of Iowa campus, a small but energetic staff handles acquisitions, manuscript editing and proofreading, design, production, and marketing. Constructed around 1840 using limestone that was quarried nearby, the Kuhl House is the oldest house still standing in Iowa City.

The UI Press is a place where first-class writing matters, whether the subject is Whitman or Shakespeare, prairie or poetry, memoirs or American literature. We are committed to the vital role played by small presses as publishers of scholarly and creative works that may not attract commercial attention. For more information, please call us at 319-335-2000, fax us at 319-335-2055, e-mail us at, or write us at the University of Iowa Press, 119 West Park Road, 100 Kuhl House, Iowa City IA 52242-1000

juny 16, 2010, 8:42pm

Have to check my uncatalogged books for U of Iowa. Must have something, but I can't think of it.

juny 16, 2010, 8:48pm

BTW varielle I enjoyed your Robert Burns review. I love him when I can understand him, which is only about half the time. My high-school band leader was Scottish and every year on the appropriate day we would play a few Scottish songs then have a party for "Bobbie Burns' Birthday!"

Editat: juny 29, 2010, 3:46pm

I finished a very old edition (1945) of Brideshead Revisited while on vacation. It was published by Little, Brown & Co., a very old American publishing house, but like everything else is now a division of a much larger company, Hachette Book Group. Here's their history from their website.

Little, Brown and Company was founded in 1837 and for close to two centuries has published fiction and nonfiction by many of America's finest writers. Early lists featured Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Emily Dickinson's poetry, and Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, all of which are still available today. In 1993 Little, Brown created a new trade paperback imprint, Back Bay Books, to focus on long-term publication of the company's best fiction and nonfiction and to publish original trade paperbacks. Little, Brown is also the home of Bulfinch Press, a leading publisher of art and photography books. Bestselling novelists on our Little, Brown hardcover and Back Bay paperback lists include J. D. Salinger, James Patterson, Herman Wouk, Alice Sebold, Anita Shreve, Walter Mosley, Janet Fitch, John le Carre, Jimmy Buffett, Pete Hamill, David Foster Wallace, and Michael Connelly. In nonfiction, Little, Brown's bestselling and prizewinning works include such distinguished writers as Nelson Mandela, James Bradley, William Manchester, George Stephanopoulos, Gloria Steinem, the Dalai Lama, David Sedaris, John Feinstein, Malcolm Gladwell, and the cartoonist R. Crumb. Bulfinch publishes the distinguished photography of Ansel Adams, Sally Mann, Irving Penn, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Joyce Tenneson, Howard Schatz and Abelardo Morell.

jul. 3, 2010, 10:54am

I much prefer this original, longer version of Brideshead (1945) to the later and shorter version which is the standard edition available today. Presumably the Little, Brown edition is the first American edition of the novel.

Editat: jul. 12, 2010, 10:50am

I finished off Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped this weekend. I can't believe I've never read it before and I do believe I've fallen for the Scotsman Alan Breck. Regardless, my copy was published by the Limited Editions Club in 1938. We've briefly mentioned the LEC before, but despite it's age it has stood time very well. Just by holding it in your hand you can tell it's a better made book. It even still smells good. Here's info about the Limited Editions Club that I borrowed from a bookseller at .


The Limited Editions Club was founded in 1929 by George Macy (1900-1956) to publish finely made and finely illustrated limited editions of the classics of literature - and of a few carefully selected contemporary titles, such as The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.

Most of the books were beautifully illustrated with original artwork by leading book illustrators. In most cases, the illustrators handsigned each copy of the books that they illustrated for the LEC. Some books were published without that signature due to the unexpected death of the artist before publication, as happened with the The Arabian Nights illustrated by Arthur Szyk, Comus illustrated by Edmund Dulac, and the Arthur Rackham illustrated Wind In The Willows.

George Macy also commissioned some major fine art artists to illustrate LEC books with original finely printed etchings, lithographs, and engravings, which were bound into the books; including artists such as Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Marie Laurencin and other members of the Paris School of Art. He also commissioned a number of American masters of that period, largely from the Social Realism and American Regionalism schools of art. Included were Reginald Marsh, Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, and John Steuart Curry. In addition, he commissioned major photographers, including Edward Weston and Edward Steichen, to illustrate LEC books. Those artists and photographers handsigned all copies of the books that they illustrated.

Some LEC books were signed not only by the artist, but also by famous book designers and by the authors, such as The Complete Poems of Robert Frost (1950), which was signed by the poet, Robert Frost; the book-designer, Bruce Rogers; and the artist/illustrator, Thomas Nason. And most copies of the books, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass, were signed by Alice Hargreaves, the original Alice, who inspired the story.

A small number of LEC books were issued unillustrated, in which case they were usually signed by the book-designer and/or the printer.

The two most sought after (and valuable) LEC books published under Macy's leadership are Lysistrata, illustrated and signed by Pablo Picasso, 1934; and Ulysses, illustrated and signed by Henri Matisse, 1935. A limited number of the copies of Ulysses were also signed by the author, James Joyce.

The LEC issued up to twelve books each year to a small group of subscribers. During ownership by the Macy family, LEC books were usually limited to 1500 copies, but with several exceptions. The original subscription price in 1929 of an LEC book was $10, discounted by 10% if the subscriber paid a year in advance.

After George Macy's death in 1956, his wife, Helen (1904-1978), took over and directed the operations of the LEC until 1968. From 1968 until 1970, the club was operated by her son, Jonathan Macy, and other family members. In 1970, the LEC (together with The Heritage Press and The Heritage Club), was sold to Boise Cascade Corporation. Boise Cascade sold it to Ziff-Davis Publishing Company. Ziff-Davis sold it to Cardavon Press. Cardavon operated the LEC with limited success for most of the 1970's, finally putting it on the block for sale.

Cardavon had raised the limitation to 2000 copies, and had sold The Heritage Press & The Heritage Club to The Danbury Mint (a sister company to The Easton Press) to generate needed cash. The Heritage Press and The Heritage Club were, respectively, the publisher and distributor of inexpensive, unlimited, and unsigned reprint editions of books which had previously been published by the Limited Editions Club. And as a result of that sale, today The Easton Press has the reprint publishing rights for those LEC titles. A great many of the Easton Press leather books are reprints of the great Limited Editions Club editions.

Sidney Shiff (1924-2010) acquired the LEC from Cardavon in 1978. Over the next decade, Mr. Shiff gradually changed the focus of the club, and eventually began producing only Livres d'Artiste illustrated with original artwork by major "fine art" artists, rather than professional graphic artists & illustrators. And he also gradually reduced the number of copies printed. As of 2004, the limitation per edition was 300 copies, and the annual subscription rate was $5,000 for from one to four books per year.

The books from the later Shiff years are for serious collectors of fine art, as well as for collectors of fine literature published in fine press editions.

The artists commissioned by Mr. Shiff include such lofty names as Jacob Lawrence, Balthus, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Elizabeth Catlett, Francesco Clemente, Ellsworth Kelly, Sean Scully, Alice Neel, and others.

After Sidney Shiff's passing on March 18, 2010, Jeanne Shiff became president of the company, and the Limited Editions Club continues Mr. Shiff's inspired mission today under her leadership.

jul. 12, 2010, 10:54am

Here's the link to the George Macy devotees group. Mr. Macy was responsible for the wonderful books of the Limited Editions Club and the Heritage Press.

Editat: oct. 4, 2010, 2:15pm

Over the summer I blew through all of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight books. *hangs head in shame*, but it does present an opportunity to add a new publisher, Little, Brown & Co. It is now a division of the Hatchett Book Group. Here's their history blurb from the parent website

Little, Brown and CompanyOverviewPublisher BioHistoryOn this page you will find information on Little, Brown and Company’s books and authors. One of the country’s oldest and most distinguished publishing houses, Little, Brown is committed to publishing fiction of the highest quality and non-fiction of lasting significance, by many of America’s finest writers.
Michael Pietsch is Executive Vice President and Publisher of Little, Brown and Company, and he acquires literary novels, thrillers, biography, and narrative non-fiction. Some of the writers he has had the pleasure of working with: Martin Amis, Michael Connelly, R. Crumb, John Feinstein, Janet Fitch, Peter Guralnick, Mark Leyner, Rick Moody, Walter Mosley, James Patterson, George Pelecanos, Alice Sebold, David Sedaris, Anita Shreve, Nick Tosches, David Foster Wallace, and Stephen Wright. Prior to joining Little, Brown in 1991, Michael worked at Harmony Books and before that at Scribner, where he edited Ernest Hemingway’s posthumous memoir The Dangerous Summer.

Little, Brown and Company was founded in 1837 and for close to two centuries has published fiction and nonfiction by many of America's finest writers. Early lists featured Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Emily Dickinson's poetry, and Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, all of which are still available today. In 1993 Little, Brown created a new trade paperback imprint, Back Bay Books, to focus on long-term publication of the company's best fiction and nonfiction and to publish original trade paperbacks. Little, Brown is also the home of Bulfinch Press, a leading publisher of art and photography books. Bestselling novelists on our Little, Brown hardcover and Back Bay paperback lists include J. D. Salinger, James Patterson, Herman Wouk, Alice Sebold, Anita Shreve, Walter Mosley, Janet Fitch, John le Carre, Jimmy Buffett, Pete Hamill, David Foster Wallace, and Michael Connelly. In nonfiction, Little, Brown's bestselling and prizewinning works include such distinguished writers as Nelson Mandela, James Bradley, William Manchester, George Stephanopoulos, Gloria Steinem, the Dalai Lama, David Sedaris, John Feinstein, Malcolm Gladwell, and the cartoonist R. Crumb. Bulfinch publishes the distinguished photography of Ansel Adams, Sally Mann, Irving Penn, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Joyce Tenneson, Howard Schatz and Abelardo Morell.

des. 9, 2010, 10:41am

I finally finished Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson. This edition was published by NTC/Contemporary Publishing Co. They are a publisher of children's and young adult books. I can't quite make out the publishing relationship, but it's also showing that it is a Wordsworth Classics of World Literature. Their very pretty site is here Can anyone explain how these two publishers are working together?

des. 29, 2010, 10:56am

Knocked off Jerry Seinfeld's Letters from a Nut. Not funny. However it did let me add another publisher, Scholastic Books. I remember them from elementary school days. They are the world's largest publisher of books for children. Here's their wiki story

Editat: gen. 5, 2011, 3:29pm

Sped through Anne Sexton's book of religious poetry The Awful Rowing Toward God. It was published by Houghton Mifflin. You can read their story on themselves from their site or see more history on wikipedia here

gen. 31, 2011, 1:22pm

While on vacation I finished Anne Fadiman's The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. It's the story of the terrible miscommunication between medical caregivers and the family of a Hmong girl which ended with disastrous consequences. Mrs. Fadiman was brought to my home town to lecture to our local hospital as we have a large Hmong population. I thought it was excellently and humanely researched. Everyone in the medical field that cares for people from an ethnic and belief background vastly different from their own should read it. I'll be back with info on the publisher Farrar, Strauss and Giroux shortly.

gen. 31, 2011, 1:24pm

They appear to be part of Macmillan. Here's their story from Wikipedia followed by their official link.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Founded 1946
Founder John C. Farrar
Roger W. Straus, Jr.
Country of origin United States
Headquarters location New York, New York
Key people Jonathan Galassi
Imprints Faber and Faber (US), Hill & Wang, Sarah Crichton
Official website Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Farrar, Straus and Giroux is an American book publishing company, founded in 1946 by Roger W. Straus, Jr. and John C. Farrar. Known primarily as Farrar, Straus in its first decade of existence, the company was renamed several times, including Farrar, Straus and Young and Farrar, Straus and Cudahy and finally to its current name in 1964, after hiring Robert Giroux from rival Harcourt, Brace, who brought with him such important writers as T. S. Eliot and Flannery O'Connor. Straus continued to run the company for twenty years after his partner Farrar died, until 1993 when he sold a majority interest of the company to the privately owned German publishing conglomerate Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group. Nevertheless, FSG is considered one of the last of the old-fashioned literary publishers and is widely celebrated for its renowned lines of literary fiction, narrative nonfiction, poetry, and children's literature.1

Jonathan Galassi is president and publisher. Andrew Mandel joined in 2004 as deputy publisher. Eric Chinski is editor-in-chief. In 2008, Mitzi Angel came from Fourth Estate in the UK to be publisher of the Faber and Faber Inc. imprint. Other notable editors include Courtney Hodell, Hill & Wang publisher Thomas LeBien, Paul Elie, Sean McDonald, and Sarah Crichton (publisher of her own eponymous imprint).

abr. 1, 2011, 11:01am

I've always liked Knopf books. They always seemed better edited and put together than anybody else. Just finished The Girl Who Played with Fire and am now hooked on the series and awaiting the English version of the movie. Though I may go ahead and get the Swedish version from Netflix. I even follow Knopf on Twitter and will be back in a minutte with that link. Here's what wikipedia has to say about Knopf.

Parent company Random House
Founded 1915
Founder Alfred A. Knopf, Sr.
Country of origin United States
Headquarters location New York, New York
Official website

Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. is a New York publishing house, founded by Alfred A. Knopf, Sr. in 1915. It was acquired by Random House in 1960 and is now part of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group at Random House.1 The publishing house is known for its borzoi trademark, which was designed by co-founder Blanche Knopf. Many of its hardcover books later appear as Vintage paperbacks. Vintage is a sister imprint under the Knopf Publishing Group. In late 2008 and early 2009, the Knopf Publishing Group merged with the Doubleday Publishing Group to form the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.2

HistoryKnopf was founded in 1915 and officially incorporated in 1918, with Alfred Knopf as president, Blanche Knopf as vice-president, and Samuel Knopf as treasurer. Blanche and Alfred traveled abroad regularly and were known for publishing European, Asian, and Latin American writers in addition to leading American literary trends. Samuel Knopf died in 1932. William A. Koshland joined the company in 1934, and worked with the firm for more than fifty years, rising to take the positions of President and Chairman of the Board. Blanch became President in 1957 when Alfred became Chairman of the Board, and worked steadily for the firm until her death in 1966. Alfred Knopf retired in 1972, becoming chairman emeritus of the firm until his death in 1984.

In 1923 Knopf also started publishing periodicals, beginning with The American Mercury, founded by H. L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan, which it published through 1934. Knopf also produced a quarterly, The Borzoi Quarterly, for the purpose of promoting new books.

Blanche Knopf visited South America in 1942, so the firm could start producing texts from there. She was one of the first publishers to visit Europe after World War II. Her trips, and those of other editors, brought in new talent from Europe, South America, and Asia. Alfred traveled to Brazil in 1961, which spurred a corresponding interest on his part in South America. Their son, Alfred "Pat" Jr. was hired on as secretary and trade books manager after the war. Other influential editors at Knopf included Harold Strauss (Japanese literature), Herbert Weinstock (biography of musical jargon composers), Judith Jones (culinary texts), as well as Angus Cameron, Charles Elliott, Lee Goerner, Robert Gottlieb, Ashbel Green, Carol Brown Janeway, Michael Magzis, Anne McCormick, Nancy Nicholas, Daniel Okrent, Regina Ryan, Sophie Wilkins, and Vicky Wilson. Knopf also employed literary scouts to good advantage.3

A publisher of hardcover fiction and nonfiction, Knopf's list of authors includes John Banville, Max Beerbohm, Carl Bernstein, Julia Child, Bill Clinton, Michael Crichton, Joan Didion, Fernanda Eberstadt, Bret Easton Ellis, Joseph J. Ellis, James Ellroy, Anne Frank, Lee H. Hamilton, Carl Hiaasen, Kazuo Ishiguro, Thomas Kean, John Keegan, Christopher Lasch, Jack London, Thomas Mann, Gabriel García Márquez, Gabriella De Ferrari, Cormac McCarthy, H. L. Mencken, Toni Morrison, Alice Munro, Haruki Murakami, P. D. Ouspensky, Christopher Paolini, Henry Petroski, Ezra Pound, Anne Rice, Dorothy Richardson, Susan Swan, Donna Tartt, Anne Tyler, John Updike, Andrew Vachss, Carl Van Vechten, James D. Watson, Edmund White and Elinor Wylie. At least 17 Nobel Prize and 47 Pulitzer Prize winning authors have been published by Knopf, though they have also passed at times on subsequently notable books.4

Since its founding, Knopf has paid close attention to design and typography,5 employing notable designers and typographers including William Addison Dwiggins, Harry Ford, Steven Heller, Chip Kidd, Bruce Rogers, Rudolf Ruzicka, and Beatrice Warde.

In 1991, Knopf revived the "Everyman's Library" series, originally published in England in the early twentieth century. This series consists of classics of world literature in affordable hardcover editions. The series has grown over the years to include lines of Children's Classics and Pocket Poets.

Editat: abr. 1, 2011, 11:09am

Today they are tweeting about national poetry month.!/AAKnopf

Editat: set. 15, 2011, 3:32pm

I just finished You Know Me Al by Ring Lardner. I wasn't thrilled with the book, but the printing and binding were great since they were done by Westvaco as a Chirstmas presentation volume. Back in a few with details on Westvaco...

Here's a whole thread from the Folio Society group about the West Virginia Pulp and Paper Co. and some of their wonderful books that says it all much better than I can.

Here's a link to their history. They merged with Mead in 2002.

gen. 25, 2012, 1:53pm

In 32 I mentioned that Random House is now the parent company of Knopf, but I've not said anything about them individually. I'm working on Being Logical which was published by Random House's Trade paperback division. Here's a link to their website and what they have to say about themselves.

feb. 17, 2012, 1:35pm

I've finished with an abecedarium of mildly naughty drawings called Animerotics: A Forbidden Cabaret in 26 Acts. Not much reading to it, but the graphics and print quality were excellent. It was printed by The Collector's Press. They have apparently ceased publication. The only information that I can find about them is that they specialized in pop culture and printed fulll color soft and hard bound books. If anyone knows more please advise.

març 5, 2012, 1:56pm

>35 varielle:

Some of the big publishing houses keep creating divisions and subdivisions. Which is all well... except that sometimes it creates the false sense that there is a lot of publishing outside of the main publishing houses...

Editat: març 16, 2012, 2:12pm

I'm reading a book of Welsh poetry called Cell Angel by Menna Elfyn published by Bloodaxe Books. Bloodaxe Books apparently only publishes "poetry with an edge". They are funded by the English Arts Council. Here's their link. I saw Ms. Elfyn read a number of years ago (sometime in the late '90s) and picked up her book. She was gracious enough to even sign it for me. I feel bad that it's taken me so many years to get around to reading it.

Editat: gen. 30, 2013, 4:06pm

I've been neglecting this challenge. I just finished Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell published by Anchor Books. Currently it is an imprint of Random House. I'll try to research its history. In the meantime here's a link.

Editat: nov. 12, 2021, 4:21pm

In an effort to make it more visible and not have to re-read every post I'm collecting my publishers in one place.

Algonquin Books
Anchor Books
Bloodaxe Books
Chronicle Books
Collector's Press
Farrar, Strauss, Giroux
Folio Society
Houghton Mifflin
IT Books
Knickerbocker Press
Lakeside Classics (R. R. Donnelly)
Limited Editions Club
Little Brown
Lulu Press
Modern Library
Oxford University
NTC Contemporary
Peter Pauper
Running Press
Sarah Crichton Books
Univ. of Iowa
Willow Creek Press

Editat: març 7, 2013, 10:42am

I just added Lakeside Classics, an imprint of R. R. Donnelly. These are gift books put out every Christmas for their customers and employees. They are not marketed to the public, but have become very collectible as they have been putting them out for over 100 years. There's an entire group on LT dedicated to them. Typically, they are American based travelogues or autobiographies. I've been hunting them down for years. They are hardbacks, but are a perfect size for slipping into a pocket. Typically they have nice period illustrations or photos. Every few decades they change the color of the binding, but the little Indian head logo is always on the front. I just finished Narratives of the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906. I'll be back with some links in a moment.

eta- Here's a link to the LT group

This is a link to a vendor, but they do have nice info on the history.

març 8, 2013, 12:03am

Interesting... now I need to have one of those...

oct. 10, 2013, 2:01pm

Finally another new one. I just finished Sandtiquity published by Willow Creek Press. They are a small press in Wisconsin focused on nature and outdoors topics. This one was about how to build the best darn sand castles anyone can imagine. I'm giving it to my sister for her beach house. Here's a link to their website and their history.

ag. 2, 2016, 3:24pm

Let's talk about vanity presses. In particular Lulu Press. For the right money, you too can become a published author. I bring it up because I did read a book published by them written by a distant cousin about my great-great grandfather called A True Confederate Hero: John Franklin Murphy. Since it's family I'll refrain from a review.

From Wikipedia: Lulu Press, Inc. is an online print-on-demand, self-publishing and distribution platform. Since its founding in 2002, Lulu has published nearly two million titles by authors in over 225 countries and territories. The company's founder is Red Hat co-founder Bob Young. Lulu's CEO is Nigel Lee and their headquarters are in Raleigh, North Carolina.

set. 14, 2016, 1:19pm

I just finished Paul Gauguin's Tahitian memoir Noa Noa, published by Chronicle Books.

Chronicle was founded in San Francisco in 1968 by an executive of the publisher of the San Francisco Chronicle. Their parent company is the McEvoy group with Hachette Book Group handling distribution. They publish a variety of books, but seem to have a bend towards art. Their web page is

Editat: set. 14, 2017, 12:06pm

I can't believe I've overlooked Algonquin Books, since they were born not that far from me. They were founded in 1983 in Chapel Hill and purchased by Workman in 1989. Once aquired by Workman they also opened an office in NYC. They continue to be an independent press, but have brought out some heavy hitters and garnered a few international awards.

I just finished their Love, Loss and What I Wore which was a quirky little illustrated autobiography by Ilene Beckerman about the history of her life through fashion from her teenage years into maturity. Loved it. Very cute illustrations. I had actually forgotten about rag curlers. She made me remember what I hated about crinolines. I had to write my own fashion autobiography afterwards. Toni permanent waves and patent leather shoes figure prominently.

oct. 12, 2018, 10:28am

I'm finishing the second in the excellent series about Ottoman detective Yashim, called The Snake Stone published by Sarah Crichton Books, an imprint of Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Crichton was a former Newsweek editor.

març 1, 2019, 3:57pm

IT Books is a division of Harper Collins. Here's a story about how it came to be. The book I read that they had put out was The Rat Pack: Neon Nights with the Kings of Cool.

gen. 28, 2021, 8:23pm

Running Press is part of the Perseus Book Group located in Philadelphia. They were founded in 1972. Their website is

Added this one from The Art of Belly Dancing. I once had aspirations to learn to belly dance and after twenty years finally got around to reading the book. I think the dancing ship has sailed.

nov. 12, 2021, 4:20pm

From watching too many episodes of Rare Book Cafe I’ve developed an interest in miniature books. Yesterday I came across the 24 volume tiny set of Shakespeare published by Knickerbocker Press. Knickerbocker published between 1850-2018. They were the printing division of G. P. Putnam, now part of Penguin.