Publishing Firsts: The VendAvon

Chips, cookies, sodas–and books–from a vending machine. Avon’s entertaining comic books—western, horror, romance, war, science fiction, and gangster titles, mostly—appealed to readers of all ages from 1945 through the mid-1950s. More

Crime & Mystery At HarperCollins

In 1860, Harper & Brothers had paid Wilkie Collins £750 for The Woman in White, which heralded the publisher’s entry into the crime and mystery genre. More

1972: Avon launches the historical romance genre…

Avon launches the historical romance genre when it publishes Kathleen Woodiwiss’s The Flame and the Flower, a historical romance with a strong female lead and sexual situations that go a step beyond the tame romances of earlier eras. More

1941: Avon Books is established…

Avon Books is established by New York businessman Joseph Meyers in association with Edna B. Williams. Now renowned for widely popularizing the historical romance category, the publisher originally begins with a focus on paperback reprints. More

Science Fiction & Fantasy

HarperCollins’s connections to nascent science fiction and fantasy worlds began with works such as Edward Lytton Bulwer’s The Coming Race (1871), and H. G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds (1898) and The Invisible Man (1898). More