Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Book Creations Inc

Book Creations Inc, also called the novel factory, was set up in 1973 by Lyle Kenyon Engel.  They concentrated on series books and were positioned between authors and publishers.  Engel and his staff would create series characters and farm out assignments to various authors, giving them synopses or outlines.  The works were edited and in house before being sold to publishers under house names.  BCI would split the proceeds 50/50 with the author, and they were involved in the marketing as well.

They seemed to have their best success with historical dramas, but there were a few Men's Adventure series as well, including:

John Eagle: Expeditor
Nick Carter

According to an article at Glorious Trash, BCI seems to be inactive as of 1999 and they seem to have no interest in publishing reprints.


  1. BCI didn't have anything to do with The Butcher. That was packed by a different outfit, Script Associates. Lyle Engel was packaging books all the way back in the mid-Fifties before he ever set up BCI, but I don't know a whole lot about his operation back then. The books he packaged just had a line on the copyright page that read "Produced by Lyle Kenyon Engel", as in the early Nick Carters. All the series were sold before they were assigned to writers, usually on the basis of outlines provided by one of the editors working for BCI. I wrote for them for about ten years and turned out almost fifty books in that time. Creatively, most of the editors were very good and the work was enjoyable.

    1. Thanks for the correction! It seemed like a pretty nice set-up all the way around.

  2. I used to wonder back then, who is Lyle Kenyon Engel? I think he made John Jakes rich, but I'm guessing most of his writers made very little from the books. Still, he was offering an outlet for writers. I'm still a fan of Valerie Moolman, one of his editors I believe. She wrote several of the Nick Carter yarns that I enjoyed.

  3. Even though he kept half of it, Lyle got good money for the books he wrote. When I was doing Westerns for BCI, I was making as much from them as I was from the Westerns I sold on my own. But yeah, John Jakes and possibly Noel Gerson are the only writers I can think of who got rich from working for BCI. For the rest of us it was just another market.