Publisher:Fawcett Gold Medal

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Paperback imprint of Fawcett Publications. To avoid a breach of contract with NAL, whose Mentor and Signet titles Fawcett were distributing, these had to be original content, not reprints. The book numbering started at 101.

Gold Medal and Fawcett Gold Medal

At some point between catalog # k1495 and k1535 (in 1965) Fawcett added the line "A Fawcett Gold Medal Book" at the top of the front cover though continued to use "Gold Medal Books" on the spine and title page.

At some point between catalog #d1583 and d1823 (between the years 1965 to 1967) Fawcett changed the name of the imprint from "Gold Medal Books" to "Fawcett Gold Medal Books" with

  • The spine changing from "A Gold Medal Book" to "A Fawcett Gold Medal Book"
  • The imprint listed on the title page changing from "Gold Medal Books" to "A Fawcett Gold Medal Book"

Catalog numbers and price coding

The Gold Medal imprint started in 1950 with catalog #101 and was priced at 25 cents. New titles continued to be priced at 25 cents up to 1960 and Gold Medal #1031. At that point the price was increased to 35 cents and the next title was s1032. The "s" series continued until 1962 when the "k" series was introduced at 40 cents. If a title was reprinted at a higher price then it was assigned a new catalog number. Note that the "s" though "d" series catalog numbers were stated in lower case and "R" on out are in upper case. Catalog numbers and dates when available are also listed to help indicate when the price and letter code was changed.

  • (none) 25¢ (#101 1950, #107 1950, #1031 1960)
  • s 35¢ (S1032 1960, S1067 Nov-1960, S1192 Feb-1962, s1241 1962, Fawcett/Gold Medal skipped #1242)
  • k 40¢ (K1243 Sep-1962, K1442, K1495, K1535 May-1965, K1547 1965)
  • l 45¢ (L1474 and L1494, 1964)
  • d 50¢ (D1548 1965, D1549 1965, D1583, D1823 1967)
  • R 60¢ (R2024 Dec-1968)
  • T 75¢ (T2301 1970, T1322 Apr-1970, T2390 Feb-1971, T2471 Sep-1971)
  • M 95¢ (M2735 Jun-1973, M2888 Nov-1973)
  • P $1.25 (P1876 Aug-1973, P3354 Nov-1975)
  • Q $1.50 (Q3529 Jun-1976)
  • (none) $2.50 (12440-1 Oct-1983 has full ISBN on spine and barcode on back cover)

At some point after 1976 Fawcett/Gold Medal switched to using ISBNs and also started to keep the same ISBN as a title was reprinted at a higher price. If a publication had been printed with a catalog # then the same number was used in the ISBN in the next printing(s) for example, P3449 was printed in 1976 and reprinted as ISBN 0-449-13449-0 in 1979.

(note - this table is not complete. The transition from "d" to "R" and further transitions need to be researched and it's possible there are more letters than what's listed here.)

(follow-up note - while I noted "If a title was reprinted at a higher price then it was assigned a new catalog number." above the Fawcett printings for Nine Tomorrows has both T1344 and T1632 at 75¢ indication Fawcett sometimes, or perhaps always, issued a new catalog # for each printing. --Marc Kupper|talk 07:30, 4 January 2009 (UTC))

Catalog numbers, SBNs, and ISBNs

The introduction of SBNs, and then ISBNs to the Gold Medal imprint needs further research. Known data points are

  • d1823 - Catalog # only on the front cover and spine.
  • R2024 - Has an SBN like number "231-02024-060" on the spine.
  • T2390 - Has the SBN and price encoded into "449-02390-075" on the spine.
  • P3354 - Has the SBN and price encoded into "449-03354-125" on the spine.
  • 12440-1 Oct-1983 has full ISBN on spine and barcode on back cover.

From 1976 onwards the full ISBN is available on each publication. For earlier publications the Gold Medal catalog #s and SBNs can be translated into ISBNs. To translate a catalog # into an ISBN you insert "0-449-0" in front of the numeric part and append the computed check digit. For example, d1823 translates into ISBN 0-449-01823-7. 449 series SBNs are translated using a similar method except they already have the 449 prefix and you remove the price. For example, SBN 449-03354-125 translates into ISBN 0449-03354-6. The usefulness of these back-formed ISBNs is questionable. However, when reprinting a publication from the catalog # or SBN eras Fawcett Gold Medal will take the last catalog # used for that title and translate it into an ISBN. Thus the transition into the ISBN era also ended the practice of issuing a new number each time the price was increased.

In addition, some publications are coded on the spine with a catalog #, a horizontal bar, and then a number. It is not known what the number is though it's clearly stated in bold print. Known data points are

  • k1442 (just the catalog # on the spine)
  • k1535 / 5
  • d1583 / 3, d1823 / 3

Publication Dating

Some Fawcett Gold Medal publications are dated on the very last page of the story. For example Fawcett #k1535 is Edward S. Aarons' Assignment Angelina (not specfict) has no printing date/number on the copyright page but the last page of the store has "65-5-3" in the lower-right corner. This is followed by a page for a 1965 book and movie, Major Dundee, which confirms the 1965 printing. It's not known if "65-5-3" means

  • May 3, 1965
  • March 5, 1965
  • May 1965, 3rd printing (it's quite likely that k1535 is the 3rd printing)

Some verified data points are:

  • k1535 with "65-5-3" on page 158 (copyright is 1958 and research finds this is the 3rd printing)
  • R2024 with "68-12-3" on page 192 (copyright is 1967)
    • 1st printing is d1849
    • 3rd printing is presumed to be R2024 with "68-12-3"
    • 4th printing is presumed to be R2024 with "69-01-4" - This is from an AbeBooks dealer listing which reports D2024 with "Dated 1967, but actually a Jan/4/69". This is probably R2024 with "69-01-04" on the last page implying this is a 4th printing in January 1969.
    • M3055 - later printing - seller reports it's a 1974 edition, "449-03055-095" on spine