Trivia

Hard

Sci-Fi Classic Dune Was Published By A Publisher Specializing In?

Phonebooks
Artillery Guides
Automotive Manuals
Legal Encylopedias
The original first edition cover of the book Dune by Frank Herbert.
Chilton Company/Cengage

Answer: Automotive Manuals

If you’re a mechanic, professional or amateur, then you’re definitely familiar with the Chilton Company, the publisher of thousands of automotive repair handbooks for nearly every automobile under the sun. What you may not realize, however, while looking over pages devoted to spark plug changes and timing belt replacements is that a company specializing in automotive repair manuals is also responsible for putting Frank Herbert’s iconic book Dune into the hands of hungry sci-fi readers.

Back in the early 1960s, Herbert had published an early version of Dune in a serialized format in the sci-fi magazine Analog. When he edited and expanded the work to full novel length, he had significant trouble pitching it; he was rejected by over twenty publishers before finding somebody to put the book into print. Curiously, that somebody was the Chilton Company, a company that specialized in printing automotive repair manuals.

Despite the success of the book, the Chilton Company wasn’t interested in getting into the popular fiction business and handed the sequels off to G. P. Putnam’s Sons, a publisher more experienced in mass producing fiction novels. The five remaining books of the original six-book series was published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons.

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