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Facsimile Book Jackets
September 12, 2011 2:02 PM   Subscribe

We create and sell reproductions of dust jackets for rare and collectable books

Facsimile Dust Jackets LLC is the sole funding for Mark Terry’s “Dust Jacket Archives” project. Our goal is to scan and archive images of as many vintage dust jackets as we can. We feel these dust jackets are an important part of our heritage.

A brief selection:
posted by zamboni (26 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
Poor Kurt Vonnegut; not one of his books has ever had an attractive cover.
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:13 PM on September 12, 2011


That is way cool. I've been buying old Modern Library editions with dust jackets wherever I find them since the eighties. Those original jackets provide context.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 2:14 PM on September 12, 2011


This is great. I put in Asimov and the results were quite good.
posted by SpacemanStix at 2:21 PM on September 12, 2011


Well, I guess you'll have to but Asmiov in for yourself... the link doesn't carry over to the search result.
posted by SpacemanStix at 2:22 PM on September 12, 2011


Cool? perhaps it is, but it is most definitely grossly overpriced. I also see he isn't paying the artists as he uses work that assumes the copyright has expired. The profit margin seems through the roof.
posted by 2manyusernames at 2:24 PM on September 12, 2011


"Each jacket also has 'Facsimile Dust Jacket L.L.C.' printed on the front flap." --- I hope that's enough.
posted by crunchland at 2:25 PM on September 12, 2011


I've just realized that I had never seen a picture of Vonnegut as a young man before. It's a little unsettling.
posted by Ideal Impulse at 2:25 PM on September 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


then again it may be overpriced but it is art and who is to say the "correct" profit for art. Plus he came up with the idea and implemented and his initial profits will go into the large expense of starting it up so maybe the price isn't so excessive after all
posted by 2manyusernames at 2:28 PM on September 12, 2011


I was just going to say the same thing about Asimov. No the same without the muttonchops.

On the legal front, I would assume at least some of the publishers of these editions are still the current publishers for the works, and will smack this down righteously. Handwaving away copyrights is pretty douchey.
posted by smackfu at 2:28 PM on September 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Trust Aleister Crowley to have a great dust jacket. You know, to go with his great ritual jacket.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:32 PM on September 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


A replacement for that useless book wrapper, that you use once or twice as a half-assed bookmark until it rips and you throw it away? What? Why?
posted by Blue Meanie at 2:44 PM on September 12, 2011


Think I'll start a club called Gay for Hannay.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 2:46 PM on September 12, 2011


At first I was sharing the outrage over the price, but if colors are printed very nicely and it's on good paper (and it sounds like it is), $22 is not too bad. This could be a good substitute for that "collecting first editions" urge that I can't afford.

What is missing is a size for each jacket, and a link to a recent edition that's the same size.
posted by benito.strauss at 2:58 PM on September 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


What is missing is a size for each jacket, and a link to a recent edition that's the same size.

That is a spectacular idea.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:02 PM on September 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Strumpet Sea listed on villanelles at dawn's Hannay link had a good pulp cover (but is nothing to do with this site apart from being listed on the Hannay cover).
posted by paduasoy at 3:06 PM on September 12, 2011


Where the native girls swim out to meet you, playing around your ship like brown seals.

Hoo boy.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 3:12 PM on September 12, 2011


What is missing is a size for each jacket, and a link to a recent edition that's the same size.

You're missing the target audience: people who want to cultivate what appears to be like a large personal library of rare books. So all they need to provide is the size, so that potential purchasers can run down to the $1 book store and dig around.
posted by davejay at 3:30 PM on September 12, 2011


Handwaving away copyrights is pretty douchey.

Not nearly as douchey as asserting them against preservationists.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 3:39 PM on September 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


I really like some of the orange and black covers under the Arthur Conan Doyle listing.
posted by Hoopo at 3:54 PM on September 12, 2011


The profit margin seems through the roof.

No doubt they could lower the price through volume, but let's be realistic here- how big a market is there for some of this stuff? It requires someone who has a hard cover copy of an old book (of which there may not be all that many to begin with) and who cares enough about getting the jacket at all. I've got some of the titles listed and I'd think it a kick to have the covers, but not that much of a kick.

Copyright is an interesting question. I'd assume the art work was bought outright by the publisher. From their point of view, would it really be worth it to go after an outfit that caters to book fetishists? Don't see that it would interfere with their core business, so long as the hardbacks are out of print. Indeed, according to the about us section, "Family members of the authors or artists have purchased them as well as publishers who wish to produce or reissue a book."

Though I still side with the copyright holders' rights and all that. Just on principle.
posted by IndigoJones at 4:33 PM on September 12, 2011


Yes, but will it have that vintage smell?
posted by Horselover Phattie at 4:33 PM on September 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


A missing jacket affects the value of a book. Usually you'll see the condition noted as book/jacket: VG/G or some such. See this note.

This only applies to old school booksellers. The new internet style is take a wild guess and oops you mean that first edition was a recent reprint?
posted by warbaby at 4:39 PM on September 12, 2011


I've just realized that I had never seen a picture of Vonnegut as a young man before. It's a little unsettling.

I see in that picture what I see less of in later later jacket photos. I see the young man who survived the fire bombing of Dresden, and it's fresh, and yeah, it really touched him.

I miss you, you *.

Vonnegut eventually married one of his jacket photo photographers, btw—Jill Krementz. Some of the most iconic author/jacket photos you've seen were photographed by Ms. Krementz.
posted by Toekneesan at 6:12 PM on September 12, 2011


Wow
posted by growabrain at 7:33 PM on September 12, 2011


Ah, The infamous naked ladies in the eyes gatsby cover, pretty cool. I'm pretty sure they still us the same image.

I have 4 hardcovers of Leaves of Grass, none of them have dust jackets, but I'm not sure what putting fakes on them would accomplish, they look pretty nice on the shelf as it is.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:40 PM on September 12, 2011


Let's be realistic here- how big a market is there for some of this stuff? It requires someone who has a hard cover copy of an old book (of which there may not be all that many to begin with) and who cares enough about getting the jacket at all.

The market may be bigger than you think, because of the huge difference that the presence, or absence, of an original dust jacket can make to the price of a modern first edition. Just compare some of the prices currently being charged on ABE:

The Great Gatsby (1925), first edition with original jacket: $500,000
The Great Gatsby (1925), first edition in a heavily restored jacket: $85,000
The Great Gatsby (1925), first edition without jacket: $7,150

The Fellowship of the Ring (1954), first edition with original jacket: £5000
The Fellowship of the Ring (1954), first edition without jacket: £1624

Presumably there is a market for facsimile dust jackets among dealers and collectors who want to 'upgrade' their jacketless copies of Gatsby, or The Hobbit, or whatever, without having to pay crazy prices for an original jacket. All a bit silly, really, but since it gives us a free online gallery of classic dust jacket art, I'm not complaining. I particularly like Misha Black's design for Venusburg, and Vanessa Bell's for The Waves.
posted by verstegan at 11:13 AM on September 13, 2011


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