Charles Frazier and the Books of Cold Mountain
On the pictorial dust jacket, the back cover presents pre-publication praise by Kaye Gibbons, Rick Bass, Ann Beattie, and Willie Morris. The front flap quotes Larry Brown and substantially revises the original blurb from the advance review copies. The author-note on the back flap is similarly revised, while a silver sticker on the front cover prints praise from John Berendt.
This broadside was produced to commemorate one of the author's early readings from his novel. A total of 126 copies were printed, 26 lettered A-Z and 100 numbered 1-100; this is number 27.
Frazier flew to London in July 1997 for the British launch of the book, which was first issued there in large-format paperback, before hardback.
Printings differ in a reading that occurs on page 25 of the published novel. The word "manwoman" in the advance proofs acquired a hyphen in the first printing, and this was altered further to "madwoman" in subsequent printings. The illustrations are from the advance proofs, the first printing, and the thirteenth printing.
The original exhibit included a large print edition, primarily sold to libraries for older readers, with the text of first printing.
Following the National Book Award announcement, the gold award seal shown here was substituted for the earlier silver seal with the Berendt quote. This copy also shows a typical chain store sticker, this one advertising Books-a-Million's 40% discount to club members. While the initial sales impetus for Cold Mountain came from the enthusiasm of smaller, independent booksellers, especially in the South, mass discount sales came through the larger chains (Barnes & Noble, Crown, Books-a-Million, etc.) and even general discount stores (Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, etc.). By 1998, the market-share of independent booksellers had reportedly fallen to 17%.
The Vintage Contemporaries trade paperback, delayed in publication till August 18 1998 because of continuing sales of the hardback, uses the same front jacket design, with the National Book Award seal, with the addition of "#1 National Bestseller" at the head and a quote from Newsweek at the foot. The endpaper maps are included after the titlepage and epigraphs. A final ad leaf draws attention to the two audio versions of the book, both published by Random House: an unabridged version (14 1/2 hours) read by Frazier himself, and an abridge 3 hour one, read by Dylan Baker.
The image includes Newsweek's article on Frazier from the 28 July 1997 issue, Polly Paddock Gossett's article on Frazier from the Raleigh News and Observer, George Will's Washington Post article on America's literary marketplace (with substantial reference to Frazier), and the bestsellers list from the 31 August 1997 issue of the New York Times Book Review showing Cold Mountain at the top of the fiction list.