Tauchnitz Editions


Selling advertising

Posted by Baronbern on November 27, 2010 at 4:00 AM

Right from the start, Tauchnitz books carried advertising for other Tauchnitz books, on the covers as well as sometimes on internal pages. Later on, catalogues of various kinds were inserted, as well as advertising bookmarks and leaflets, and then separate free catalogues produced that were almost the size of the books themselves. So Tauchnitz were well aware of the value of advertising and marketing. But they almost never carried any advertising for companies other than themselves.




So it’s a bit of a surprise to come across a small number of Tauchnitz paperbacks carrying advertising for shoe polish, and meat extracts.

They appear to be limited to a handful of issues around 1892 / 1893 and be linked to the launch of the Tauchnitz magazine. The magazine, like most other similar magazines, carried extensive advertising, and for this purpose Tauchnitz appointed as advertising agents, Rudolf Mosse in Leipzig and Berlin, and John Hart in London. A high proportion of the adverts were for hotels in Europe, presumably reflecting the sale of the magazine to travellers on the Continent, but there were others for, amongst others, an invalid chair manufacturer and a supplier of dogs to the crowned heads of Europe.




Was it perhaps Mosse or Hart who suggested to Tauchnitz that they could also supply advertisements for the books as well as the magazines? Whoever it was who took the initiative, the magazine launched with adverts in August 1891, and the earliest book I have seen carrying similar adverts was in September 1892. They lasted only for a few months through to February 1893 and then seem to have stopped.



Perhaps the most intriguing adverts are for other publishers. There are adverts for both the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK) and for George Allen. The first of these includes in the books listed, ‘Jackanapes’ by Mrs. Ewing, already published by Tauchnitz several years earlier, and the second a series of works by John Ruskin, none of them at that time published by Tauchnitz, although two would be later. There can’t be many examples of publishers including adverts in their books for versions by other publishers, of books they published themselves.

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