Sales Gimmicks at Monarch


Monarch Books (New York) is a favorite publisher among vintage paperback collectors. Many of the books had sexy themes and sexy covers, and there were several paperback originals from important authors. But they used certain copywriting techniques on their covers to increase sales that weren't generally used at other publishing houses.





The first was the use of term "First Publication Anywhere," such as on Monarch 168 and Monarch 444, seen here. The first was printed in 1960, the second in 1964. Despite changing the cover to incorporate the new colophon and price increase from 35 to 40, they obviously felt somehow justified in retaining the boast that it was the first appearance of the work. This happened often in the Monarch run. Collectors beware!













The second copywriting oddity is a term they used on books that were supposedly non-fiction works in their MB series. Despite the often sexually suggestive topics, non-fiction simply doesn't sell as well as fiction. However, based on the immense popularity of books such as those by zoologist Alfred Kinsey on human sexual response written a decade before, they added the tantalizing statement on many covers: "With Case Histories." This offered the reader the prospect of first-person accounts of cases from "psychological studies" (often from authors who had nothing to do with psychology) that otherwise might not be interesting to the average American book-buyer. It was obviously enough to attract sufficient readers, because Monarch used the phrase many, many times.