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|Parent company||Random House|
|Founder||George T. Delacorte Jr.|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Headquarters location||New York City|
|Imprints||Dial, Delacorte, Laurel Leaf, Yearling|
|Official website|| www|
Dell Publishing is an American publisher of books, magazines and comic books, that was founded in 1921 by George T. Delacorte Jr. with $10,000, two employees and one magazine title, I Confess, and soon began turning out dozens of pulp magazines, which included penny-a-word detective stories, articles about films, and romance books (or "smoochies" as they were known in the slang of the day).
During the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, Dell was one of the largest publishers of magazines, including pulp magazines. Their line of humor magazines included 1000 Jokes , launched in 1938. From 1929 to 1974, they published comics under the Dell Comics line, the bulk of which (1938–68) was done in partnership with Western Publishing. In 1943, Dell entered into paperback book publishing with Dell Paperbacks. They also used the book imprints of Dial Press , Delacorte Books, Delacorte Press, Yearling Books, and Laurel Leaf Library.
Dell's earliest venture into paperback publishing began because of its close association with Western Publishing. William Lyles wrote, "Dell needed paper, which Western had in 1942, and because Western by this time needed printing work, which Dell could supply in the form of its new paperback line. So Dell Books was born, created by Delacorte of Dell and Lloyd E. Smith of Western."
Dell began publishing paperbacks in 1942 at a time when mass-market paperbacks were a relatively new idea for the United States market—its principal competitor, Pocket Books, had only been publishing since 1939. An examination of paperback books available at this time shows no consensus on standardization of any feature; each early company was attempting to distinguish itself from its competitors. Lyles commented, "Dell achieved more variety than any of its early competitors. It did so, at first, with an instantly identifiable format of vibrant airbrushed covers for its predominantly genre fiction, varying 'eye-in-keyhole' logos, maps on the back covers, lists of the books' characters, and 'tantalizer-pages'. The design was merchandising genius; it successfully attracted buyers, it sold books."
The first four books did not feature maps on the back cover; this began with Dell #5, Four Frightened Women by George Harmon Coxe. (A later re-issue of Dell #4, The American Gun Mystery by Ellery Queen, added a map.) The map was meant as an aid to the reader, to show the location of the principal activity of the novel. Some were incredibly detailed; others somewhat stylized and abstract. The books were almost immediately known as "mapbacks", and that nomenclature has lasted among collectors to this day.The maps were "delicate and detailed".
The novels in the mapback series were primarily mysteries/detective fiction but ran the gamut from romances (Self-Made Woman by Faith Baldwin, #163) to science fiction ( The First Men in the Moon by H.G. Wells, #201), war books (I Was A Nazi Flyer by Gottfried Leske, #21 and Eisenhower Was My Boss by Kay Summersby, #286), many Westerns (Gunsmoke and Trail Dust by Bliss Lomax, #271), joke books (Liberty Laughs, Cavanah & Weir, #38) and even crossword puzzles (Second Dell Book of Crossword Puzzles, ed. Kathleen Rafferty, #278, one of the rarest titles today). There were a few movie tie-in editions ( The Harvey Girls by Samuel Hopkins Adams, #130, and Rope as by Alfred Hitchcock, #262) and the occasional attempt at more artistic non-genre fiction ( To A God Unknown by John Steinbeck, #407). Novels which are today long forgotten, by largely unknown authors (Death Wears A White Gardenia, by Zelda Popkin, #13) are in the same series as valuable original paperback editions of famous authors (A Man Called Spade, by Dashiell Hammett, #90). "The back cover map was very popular with readers and remains popular with collectors... the Dell "mapbacks" are among the most well-known vintage paperbacks."
In the early 1950s, as series numbering reached the 400s, Dell began updating the appearance of its books. In 1951, the back cover maps began to be gradually replaced with conventional text and "blurb" covers.Some later, more stylized maps were the product of Milton Glaser and Push Pin Studios. These innovations were brought in by editor-in-chief Frank Taylor. He introduced classics in paperback form under the umbrella imprint "Laurel Editions" which included Henry James and a poetry series edited by the distinguished poet Richard Wilbur.
At about this time, Dell launched two short-lived experiments which are also considered very collectible, Dell First Editions and Dell Ten Cent Books. The Ten Cent Books, 36 in all, were thin, paperback-sized editions containing a single short story told in only 64 pages (advertised as "too short for popular reprint at a higher price"), such as Robert A. Heinlein's Universe (1951).
Dell First Editions included novels by John D. MacDonald, Fredric Brown, Jim Thompson, Elmore Leonard and Charles Williams.
In 1947, Dell published two unnumbered paperbacks based on newspaper comic strips, Blondie and Dagwood in Footlight Folly and Dick Tracy and the Woo Woo Sisters. Both are popular with collectors today.
Dell was also the publisher between 1982 and 1987 of the series Twilight: Where Darkness Begins .
Dell Publishing no longer exists as an independent entity. Dell was acquired by Doubleday in 1976.Doubleday was acquired by Bertelsmann in 1986, who formed Bantam Doubleday Dell as its US subsidiary. Bertelsmann acquired Random House in 1998 and renamed its US business after the acquisition. After the merger, Bantam was merged with Dell Publishing. In 2001, Random House purchased Golden Books' book publishing properties effectively reuniting the remnants of Dell and Western Publishing. Bantam Dell became part of the Random House publishing group in 2008. Ballantine Books was merged with Bantam Dell in 2010. In 2013, Random House merged with Penguin to form Penguin Random House.
Dell Magazines was sold in 1997, and it still exists as a major publisher of puzzle magazines, also publishing science fiction, mystery and horoscope magazines.
Random House is an American book publisher and the largest general-interest paperback publisher in the world. It is part of Penguin Random House, which is owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann.
A paperback, also known as a softcover or softback, is a type of book characterized by a thick paper or paperboard cover, and often held together with glue rather than stitches or staples. In contrast, hardcover or hardback books are bound with cardboard covered with cloth, plastic, or leather. The pages on the inside are made of paper.
Doubleday is an American publishing company. It was founded as the Doubleday & McClure Company in 1897 and was the largest in the United States by 1947. It published the work of mostly U.S. authors under a number of imprints and distributed them through its own stores. In 2009 Doubleday merged with Knopf Publishing Group to form the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, which is now part of Penguin Random House. In 2019, the official website presents Doubleday as an imprint, not a publisher.
Ballantine Books is a major book publisher located in the United States, founded in 1952 by Ian Ballantine with his wife, Betty Ballantine. It was acquired by Random House in 1973, which in turn was acquired by Bertelsmann in 1998 and remains part of that company today. Ballantine's logo is a pair of mirrored letter Bs back to back. The firm's early editors were Stanley Kauffmann and Bernard Shir-Cliff.
Hutchinson was a British publishing firm which operated from 1887 until 1985, when it underwent several mergers. It is currently an imprint which is ultimately owned by Bertelsmann, the German publishing conglomerate.
Penguin Group is a British trade book publisher and part of Penguin Random House, which is owned by the German media conglomerate Bertelsmann. The new company was created by a merger that was finalised on 1 July 2013, with Bertelsmann initially owning 53% of the joint venture, and Pearson PLC initially owning the remaining 47%. Since December 2019, Penguin Random House has been wholly owned by Bertelsmann.
Simon & Schuster is an American publishing company and a subsidiary of ViacomCBS founded in New York City in 1924 by Richard L. Simon and M. Lincoln Schuster. As of 2016, Simon & Schuster was the third largest publisher in the United States, publishing 2,000 titles annually under 35 different imprints.
Dell Comics was the comic book publishing arm of Dell Publishing, which got its start in pulp magazines. It published comics from 1929 to 1974. At its peak, it was the most prominent and successful American company in the medium. In 1953 Dell claimed to be the world's largest comics publisher, selling 26 million copies each month.
Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. is an American publishing house that was founded by Alfred A. Knopf Sr. and Blanche Knopf in 1915. Blanche and Alfred traveled abroad regularly and were known for publishing European, Asian, and Latin American writers in addition to leading American literary trends. It was acquired by Random House in 1960, and is now part of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group division of Penguin Random House which is owned by the German conglomerate Bertelsmann. The Knopf publishing house is associated with its borzoi colophon, which was designed by co-founder Blanche Knopf in 1925.
Grosset & Dunlap is a United States publishing house founded in 1898.
The New American Library (NAL) is an American publisher based in New York, founded in 1948. Its initial focus was affordable paperback reprints of classics and scholarly works as well as popular and pulp fiction, but it now publishes trade and hardcover titles. It is currently an imprint of Penguin Random House; it was announced in 2015 that the imprint would publish only nonfiction titles.
Bantam Books is an American publishing house owned entirely by parent company Random House, a subsidiary of Penguin Random House; it is an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group. It was formed in 1945 by Walter B. Pitkin, Jr., Sidney B. Kramer, and Ian and Betty Ballantine, with funding from Grosset & Dunlap and Curtis Publishing Company. It has since been purchased several times by companies including National General, Carl Lindner's American Financial and, most recently, Bertelsmann; it became part of Random House in 1998, when Bertelsmann purchased it to form Bantam Doubleday Dell. It began as a mass market publisher, mostly of reprints of hardcover books, with some original paperbacks as well. It expanded into both trade paperback and hardcover books, including original works, often reprinted in house as mass-market editions.
Vintage Books is a trade paperback publishing imprint established in 1954 by Alfred A. Knopf.
The Crown Publishing Group is a subsidiary of Penguin Random House that publishes across several categories including fiction, non-fiction, biography, autobiography and memoir, cooking, health, business, and lifestyle. Its imprints include Crown, Crown Archetype, Crown Business, Crown Forum, Hogarth, Three Rivers Press, Clarkson Potter, Potter Craft, Potter Style, Broadway Books, Broadway Paperbacks, Image, WaterBrook/Multnomah, Harmony Books, Rodale Books, Watson-Guptill, Amphoto Books, and Ten Speed Press. Formerly, the company also used the Bell Tower Press, Orion Books, and related imprints and subsidiaries, such as Gramercy Publishing Company. However, these have now either been discontinued or transferred to other Random House units.
Transworld Publishers Ltd. is a British publishing house in Ealing, London that is a division of Penguin Random House, one of the world's largest mass media groups. It was established in 1950 as the British division of American company Bantam Books. It publishes fiction and non fiction titles by various best-selling authors including Val Wood under several different imprints. Hardbacks are either published under the Doubleday or the Bantam Press imprint, whereas paperbacks are published under the Black Swan, Bantam or Corgi imprint.
Mapback is a term used by paperback collectors to refer to the earliest paperback books published by Dell Books, beginning in 1943. The books are known as mapbacks because the back cover of the book contains a map that illustrates the location of the action. Dell books were numbered in series. Mapbacks extend from #5 to at least #550; then maps became less of a fixed feature of the books and disappeared entirely in 1951. The occasional number in the series between #5 and #550 contains no map, but some sort of full-page graphic or text connected with the book's contents.
Broadway Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a Division of Random House, Inc., released its first list in Fall, 1996. Broadway was founded in 1995 as a unit of Bantam Doubleday Dell a unit of Bertelsmann. Bertelsmann acquired Random House in 1998 and merged Broadway into a combined group with Doubleday the next year. Random House reorganized again in 2008, with Doubleday moving to Knopf and Broadway moving to its current home at Crown. Broadway's general-interest publishing was combined with Crown in 2010. Broadway became the paperback publishing for the Crown imprint in 2010.
Random House of Canada was the Canadian distributor for Random House, Inc. from 1944 until 2013. On July 1, 2013, it amalgamated with Penguin Canada to become Penguin Random House Canada.
"Omit Flowers" is a Nero Wolfe mystery novella by Rex Stout, first published in the November 1948 issue of The American Magazine. It first appeared in book form in the short-story collection Three Doors to Death, published by the Viking Press in 1950.
Penguin Random House is a multinational conglomerate publishing company formed in 2013, from the merger of Random House, owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann, and Penguin Group, owned by British publishing company Pearson plc.