So, I'm a collector of obscure editions of Goosebumps books. It wasn't until around last year where I came across a couple books from ebay that had some of the original Goosebumps books, only these had different isbn numbers and were thin printed. upon buying a couple I noticed something weird about them. They had no barcode on the back, nor was there a price. The spine of the book, which if there was an isbn number there would be 2 lines, it only had one line of text. All the books were first printing. the pages were smooth instead of the slight roughness of the original releases. and some (#44) only has the story itself, while others (#56) has the story, preview, and advertisements in the back. The lettering in the books are printed normal, not large or small printed as some might believe. I've searched everywhere in the books and they hold nothing that say it is a "special edition" "limited edition" "school market" I wanna say they might be review copies of the books, but i have a few newer uncorrected proof Goosebumps books and they have a page in there stating its an uncorrected proof.
If anyone knows anything about these books let me know
I have a copy of I Live in Your Basement that kind fits some of that. Pages feel smoother and there's no sneak peak or ads and such. Don't recall where I got it, it was ages ago and it;s the only one i have that is like this.
I have #44 (ISBN 059086933) and #56 (ISBN 0590212451) of this type and I know there is one of #7 as well, but I don't own it (#7 says "Scholastic Special Edition" on the back cover, but 44 and 56 don't). I have been looking into different editions and publishing details of various goosebumps books as well as other scholastic books, and here is my best guess: I believe these books are effectively Scholastic School Market Editions, but were not called that at the time, because they didn't have a particular name then.
By "scholastic school market editions" I mean books that would be ordered out of book order catalogs, or by teachers who were ordering in bulk and wanted cheaper editions of the books (or simply would be sent books with ads for collector's clubs scholastic wanted kids to subscribe to). Since these particular goosebumps books are smaller they would be cheaper to produce, which would be ideal for schools. In addition, they don't have barcodes or prices, unlike the regular editions, presumably because they don't need to be scanned when purchased, in contrast to buying books at a book store.
I believe there are quite a few books that could be considered proto-"school market editions" but after June 1997 or so they started to be specifically labelled as "school market editions". I have never seen a book labelled a school market edition published before June 1997 (and more commonly this label started around the fall of 1997). #44 was first published in June 1996 and #56 was first published in June 1997. #7 was first published in May 1993, and it is labelled a "Scholastic Special Edition". I believe that label was dropped after 1993 though. I also own a Baby-sitters Club book labelled a "Scholastic Special Edition" on the back cover, published in June 1993. The only difference between that and the regular (besides the thickness) was the special edition had an ad for the fan club, and the regular one didn't. I don't know about #7 goosebumps though.
You may be interested in my article, Goosebumps_(original_series)/Printing_differences, where I talk about the different publications of Goosebumps books (I'm not done yet with what I want to say, so I haven't yet gotten to the #44 and #56 books discussed here). However, I do have front and back cover images and tables of the books #47-#53 which include stickers and the ones which don't. The ones that have stickers have a different ISBN and no barcode on the back cover, compared to the ones that do not have stickers (in both cases, these are first printings). I believe the ones with stickers were sold in Book Order Catalogs, and the ones without were sold in bookstores. However, proving this is virtually impossible because as far as I know, nobody saved book order catalogs and they are very rare to find scans/pictures of.
However, some low quality scans are scattered throughout the web. One picture which supports my theory is this: https://i.redd.it/8k78c2bv2fe01.jpg which is the May 1995 Scholastic Arrow book order advertising Original Series #32 The Barking Ghost with the text "Free Poster Inside!" You may know that there are two editions of that book, one comes with a poster and the first printing of the other comes with a "terrifying tattoo". For that book, the edition with the poster has a different ISBN and no barcode on the back cover, and that is indeed the one advertised in the book order catalog.
Anyway, tl;dr: if there is not barcode on the back, that's probably because it was ordered through a catalog and not a bookstore, either by a student through book orders, or by a teacher ordering a huge quantity all at once more cheaply.
I've recently increased my collection of these thin printed books with #7 and #19. #7 does have the Scholastic Special Edition on the back cover, but it doesn't include anything else inside, special ads in it or anything else. it's a legit first printing though, because it has the misprint on the back, saying Kris where it should say Lindy. The only ads in the back are, 1, an order form for the first 4 books in the Clue series, and 2, the Goosebumps series, which include the first 7 books, each of them not including their numbers, nor in order of publication. Other than that, it's just like the print book, including the preview of the next book.
I found a way to tell these books, post-36, if they're one of these editions, by having a single line of white text on the side of the cover. However, this lead me to #49 and #50, which are both the size of a regular Goosebumps book. Other than not being thin printed, they follow the same rules as the thin printed. I'm uncertain if they are the same type of book, and it leads me to question why they would choose to make some of these thin and some not.
7, however, does break one rule of the thin printed books. This book features a price on it, on the line of text on the front cover as well as on the binding, having 2 lines of text as on the original version, the price being $2.95 US/$3.95 CAN.
19 looks the same way the original 1st printing would look, same ads, same "what gives you Goosebumps?" contest in the back. However, it doesn't mention the contest on the front cover at all, while the first printing did. Other than that, following the same rules as the thin printed books, the single line of text on the side, Scholastic and isbn numbers on the cover.
I havent done much research into seeing if these were from book orders or any kind of special edition scholastic school market books.
Starting with book #37, the line of text on the left side of the front cover of the book (aka the price and ISBN) was removed. The first printing of #37 occurred in November 1995, and this removal of price/isbn from the cover applies to any Goosebumps book published after November 1995 (with the possible exception of any special editions as we are talking about here) including later printings of earlier books. However, this removal of price/isbn from the front cover does not apply to the editions of books #47-53 which include stickers (it does apply to the regular editions).
My personal opinion, which is hard to prove or disprove because I doubt Scholastic has ever stated this explicitly anywhere, is that all of these books are variations of what would later be called 'Scholastic School Market editions' and the slight variations between books that you see (and so far we know that #7,19,44,and 56 are the books that exist like this) have more to do with the year the book was published than being a different type of thing. I think that Scholastic called these 'Scholastic Special editions' in 1993 and dropped that moniker after that year (I have a baby-sitters club book from 1993 with the same logo on the back cover). Then they had no particular name, then in 1997 they were explicitly called 'school market editions' on the back cover of the books. The purpose of these was either:
- to produce a cheap editions so teachers/educators buying in bulk could spend less
- to promote scholastic book clubs to kids who get the book orders, or otherwise to promote the book by adding stickers or another tear-out.
Also, to prove that these books come from book orders or teacher catalogs is almost impossible because only a few scans exist on the internet and they are very rare to find.
I would also be interested in pictures of 7 and 19, including the copyright page.
(and if they are international editions, they would probably be Scholastic India, and would say so on the back cover or copyright page, but I doubt it in this case). I also feel like any pre-release copies would be called 'uncorrected proofs' because a lot of low quality Goosebumps books stock images include the text 'This is only a proof' and presumably physical copies of these existed at one point. Also, these goosebumps books match in form to some school market Animorphs books I have (#30 and #31) which are also half size and have distinct ISBNs (and, because they are published more cheaply, lack raised print, foiled print, or die-cuts).
I can get some photos up of these books. They are for sure printed in the US, and I can confirm from 2 of the books that these books were legit first printings instead of printed at a later date and saying first printing. The inside, ads and all for #19 line up exactly with my original first printing #19, as well as the typo on the back of #7 and the book catalog in the back having no numbers (because #7 was the first 1st printing Goosebumps book to have a number on it). And all of them have the raised Goosebumps on the cover. For the bindings of the books, #7, #19, and #56, each of these books, they formated the side of the books to fit perfectly, making the text smaller and such, so that none of the lettering hangs over the side.
But later today I will get some pictures of these books up!
I checked the school market editions for #60 and #62 and.... I can confirm these thin printed books are school market editions. Because with those books as well, the isbn numbers on the back are not the same ones that are on the copyright page.
I'll still get some pictures up for these books after I get off work later today
But it looks like that's the definative way to tell if a Goosebumps book is a school market edition, if the ISBN number on the outside isn't the same as the one on the copyright page
I have a Canadian copy of Monster Blood (There's an ad on the cover for the tv show on YTV, the network they aired it on in canada)
On the side of the front cover, there's a white box with black lettering that says Scholastic, as well as the isbn number. the isbn number on the side is black instead of white, and it has the barcode and $3.99 on the back.
I bring this up because, the isbn number on the outside doesn't match the one on the copyright page. (29th printing, 1996)