Found Quotes 3

9050082847_275270264c_z-1This really isn’t a quote, but a marketing point.

If Ian and Betty Ballantine, who started Ballantine Books in the 1950s, and who published Mildred Clingerman’s A Cupful of Space believed that women didn’t read science fiction, they never would have marketed the book the way that they did.

How did they market it? With a Richard M. Powers cover that screamed 1960s science fiction, and with this as the back cover copy:

Recipe: Recommended Ingredients:

•A few well-chosen characters—human or otherwise

A sprinkle of suspense

A dash of danger

A pinch of peculiarity

One tablespoon of terror

Blend the above with the bygone and beyond, sifting in the supernatural. Mix at the high speed of magic, then season to the taste of science fiction lovers.

Now cook over a low flame of fantasy and allow to cool.

Yeilds: An unnmeasurable serving of pleasure in A Cupful of Space.

Remember, in 1961, the kitchen was considered the province of the woman. This book was marketed to female sf readers (as well as men). You target an audience when you market, and clearly the Ballantines believed that women would buy this book.

4 comments for “Found Quotes 3

  1. September 8, 2015 at 9:10 am

    You raise an excellent point, Kris. I don’t think the Ballantines get enough credit these days for just how savvy they were. They understood the market extremely well. All you have to do is look at the publishing house they built to see the proof.

    I read this book over 30 years ago when I was in high school, so my memory of the stories has faded. But I do remember two things. One that I enjoyed the stories, and two that they weren’t just like sf of the time that was written by men. Clingerman had a distinctive voice that was feminine and entertaining.

  2. Stephen M. Saintonge
    September 8, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Heck, the TITLE is marketing. “A Cupful of” anything was marketing to women.

  3. Barbara
    September 12, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Thanks for writing about A Cupful of Space. It’s apparently kind of rare in libraries around the country, but I was able to find a copy via Amazon and as soon as I finish it (and the othe 5 science fiction readers in my house read it) it is going to the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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