PUBLISHING: The Professors Step Out

Publishing houses, like men, can have "dangerous years." Manhattan's Prentice-Hall, Inc., staid publisher of textbooks, was behaving last week like a middleaged family man on a fling. Its light-o'-love: Duchess Hotspur,† a bedroomy historical novel. Less than a fortnight after publication it had sold 70,000 copies (at $2.75).

Spurred by its first successful invasion of the fiction field, Prentice-Hall kicked over the traces of promotional conservatism. It spent some $12,000 on corny ads, handouts (see cut), and a crosscountry autographing jaunt for Author Rosamond Marshall.

Ros Marshall, 44, a onetime pulp-fictionist whose earlier bedroom gambol, Kitty, was turned into a bland costume...

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