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Dust jackets were nothing more than a marketing device. For some reason, somebody in the upper echelon of the publishing house (probably in the Sales Department) didn't want to release the book with the current cover ... or they wanted to change something (like the price). After the wrapper (cover) had already been attached, there were very few options.
You'll see several good reasons for those changes as you peruse this section. Penguin 276, for example, was a British book that included the New York address only on the jacket (Ian Ballantine's apartment was that New York address). #659 was the last Penguin, as far as collectors are concerned. Many reprints bore the Signet name. So here, you'll see several Signet dust jackets for original Penguin book numbers.
The later Penguin dust jackets show how desperately the American management wanted more graphic cover art. Some were later re-released as Signets.
The Cardinal dust jacket above was physically attached (glued) to Pocket Book 757 (at least part of the first printing, as well). Pocket Book glued most of their dust jackets. Many unknowing collectors have ruined books trying to get them off (they obviously thought someone else had attached the DJ to the book).
Several digest-sized books had jackets ... I'm not really sure why. Maybe they just wanted them to look more like regular hardcover books. The "Seal Books" (Blue Seal, Red Seal & Gold Seal) were good examples.
Bantam certainly wins the prize for the most dust jackets. Several were attached to Penguin S-series and Superior Reprint books that Ian Ballantine took with him when he left Penguin. Other books bore jackets that greatly improved the cover art.
Many thanks to contributors. Fred Meyerriecks scanned his DJ collection for me (I already had many of them, but Fred's are in superb condition). Several scans are from Moe Wadle.
This page was updated in April 2013