Category Archives: Circulation

Bestseller Mystery Magazine #225

bmm225_500Bestseller Mystery was a numbered series of digest-sized novels that began (as near as I can tell) in the 1940s, published by American Mercury. In July 1958, Bestseller Mystery Magazine appeared on newsstands, from Mercury Press. The new series continued the numbering from the earlier novel series, beginning with #210 and ran 17 issues, ending with #226. In addition to the whole numbering system, the Magazine also began with Vol. 1 No. 1.

The bi-monthly Magazine featured a novel (actually a novelette) and a few short stories. The issue shown here was the second to last issue, #225, featuring John W. Vandercook’s “Murder in Haiti,” reprinted by arrangement with The Macmillan Company.

“John W. Vandercook is perhaps best known as a news commentator. He is also an extremely able mystery writer. In this mystery, his first in twenty year, Mr. Vandercook is at the top of his form, his reflexes quick as ever, he footwork as nimble, his control as cool and his punches as decisive. In fact, his detective team of Bertram Lynch and Robert Deane seem sharper and sassier than ever.”

The short stories in this issue are “Cat and Mouse” by Kermit Rolland and “The Case of the Unhurried Thief” by Paul F. Serpas.

The issue is dated Feb. 1961 and includes the publisher’s statement on page 129. The average number of copies sold or distributed during the preceding 12 months (from Oct. 1, 1960): 28,970.

Manhunt distribution, 1964

Manhunt July 1965

Manhunt July 1965

The statement of management, ownership and circulation, filed on October 1, 1964, appears in Manhunt July 1965:

Average number of copies each issue during preceding 12 months with listing of single issue nearest to filing date (Nov. issue).

152,785 Total number copies printed (153,100 Nov.1964 )
800 Subscribers (850 Nov. 1964)
151,960 Agents, newsdealers (152,230 Nov. 1964)
25 Free distribution (20 Nov. 1964)
152,785 Total number of copies distributed (153,100 Nov. 1964)

The returns are not listed. I recall actual circulation reported in other magazines, but unfortunately this issue of Manhunt doesn’t give us that important detail.

In 1993, Dierdre Carmondy reporting for the New York TImes wrote “Last year [1992], almost half of all magazines placed on newsstands were eventually shredded. . .” There’s no telling how this relates to Manhunt in 1964, but I think it’s fair to assume the returns cut into 153K substantially.