Danse Macabre (UK PB) - Stephen King
London, England: Macdonald Futura Publishers. Stephen King's Danse Macabre. 400pp, soft cover. First U.K. Paperback Edition.
Book Condition: Near-Fine with slight rubbing at extremities, and a 1/4" scratch on the front cover that does not extend through. Correct price of £5.95 present.
One of the rarest Stephen King Paperback First Editions.
The hard cover of Danse Macabre, like Carrie, was published in an exceptionally limited print run. An Uncorrected Proof copy in my collection shows that the publisher had anticipated a print run of only 500 copies in the First Edition, but having been collecting this title and searching for nearly 20 years, the general consensus is that as few as 100 copies were actually printed. As this was not a fiction novel that Stephen King fans came to expect, Macdonald believed that Stephen's core fans would not be interested, and they did not want to be stuck with an excess number of copies on hand. Obviously, they were wrong, but in 1981, Stephen's fame in the UK was still in its infancy.
In an unusual move at the time, Macdonald chose to publish the hard cover and paperback simultaneously, which may have led to the feeling that most fans would opt for the cheaper copy, as opposed to the more expensive hard cover. At £5.95, this soft cover was £3 cheaper, which represented a 50% increase in price, so they pushed their marketing efforts on the paperback, which was also printed in limited numbers.
With an unusually low print run, market forces have only served to help keep the price of a Fine paperback copy quite high.