Ace Books

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Ace Books is an American publishing company of fantasy and science fiction books that was edited by Donald A. Wollheim. Ace Books published an unauthorized edition of The Lord of the Rings.

In 1965, Ace Books discovered a copyright loophole regarding the American edition of The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. The Houghton Mifflin edition had been bound using pages printed in the United Kingdom for the George Allen & Unwin edition. This placed them outside of U.S. copyright law as it stood at the time. Exploiting this loophole, Ace Books published the first ever paperback edition of Tolkien's work, for only $0.75,[1] featuring cover art and hand-drawn title pages by Jack Gaughan.

In the meantime Tolkien learned about this and was asked to make revisions in order to renew the copyright; after the release of a competitive, authorized (and more complete) edition by Houghton Mifflin and Ballantine Books,[1] and a considerable controversy, Ace agreed to pay royalties to Tolkien and let its still-popular edition go out of print.[2]