Novel Book books are in a league of their own. They were published in Chicago from 1960 to the beginning of 1964 and included writers like George H. Smith, Connie Sellers, Bob Trailins, Orrie Hitt and even an appearance of Harlan Ellison in their last published book. Their writings may not have been much different from the many sleaze publishers that popped up in the 1960's, but their covers went one step beyond. I'm usually not a big fan of the 1960s sleaze books - many had similar and cheap looking covers. While Novel Book books do not have the usual GGA covers I collect, you gotta love 'em for their wild, over-the-top cover art and titles.
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|George H. Smith has become quite collectable and wrote several Novel Books including this one with a great cover. She seems to be enjoying this but who is that guy on the ground?|
|Another of Smith's works in the Swamp Babes tradition. A number of Novel Books covers were a combination of photo and 'art', like this one. This was one of the few publishers that played around with this.|
|Here's another great example of mixed media and one of my favorites.|
|Near the end of their run, they did many all photo covers, but they are still interesting and unique as this one with the unusual sideways cover.|
|And by 1963 they were completely out of ideas. Although there was an idea brewing that stark white covers could attract the attention of buyers in a book case full of figures and color. The paperback version of The Harrad Experiment had pioneered that idea the same year (and quite successfully).|
|An uncredited cover by the great Bill Ward.|
|Merit Books were a sister publication of Novel Book books. They had a similar layout but the covers were a little more conservative and many are of doctored pin-up photos. Like Novel Book books, over time, they moved from painted covers to photo covers. There is a Merit section below.|
|Diane Webber was a famous model and nudist from the 1960s. She graced several Merit and Novel Book covers.|
|This is Not a Novel Book but the cover falls right into that tradition. It is by Robert Bonfils and I had to find a spot for it someplace.|
Here are some more Novel Books books:
Here are some of those Merit books I promised:
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