Collins, Jackie: Lady Boss
(researched by Leah Smith)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description

1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)

Jackie Collins. Lady Boss. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990

2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?

The first edition is published in trade cloth.

3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available

4 Pagination

304 leaves, pp.[1-11] 12-608 Note: There are endpapers.

5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?

The book is not edited or introduced. However, there is a prologue and a dedication from the author.

6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?

Yes, A panther at the start of each chapter. There is no direct reference to the illustrator but the book's designer is Eve Metz.

7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available

8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)

The physical appearance of the book is very attractive. The text is laid out very neatly. It appears to be in 12 point size. The spacing adds to the book's overall neat appearance. The book is well printed. There is no bleeding of the words to the next word or letter.

9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available

10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)

The paper used for the book is very sturdy. This is a book first printed 10 years ago and the book almost looks new. The paper is heavy and is an ivory color. There is no indication of wear and tear on this book.

11 Description of binding(s)

Regular trade cloth binding. The binding is red and black and has the author's autograph impressed into the front cover. the spine has the title, a panther, the author's name and the publisher all imprinted in gold.

12 Transcription of title page


13 JPEG image of title page, if available

14 Manuscript Holdings

Information not available

15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)

The dust jacket from this book is made of a plastic type material. It is red, black, and gold and makes the cover very appealing to the eye. A later edition has the same appearance with different colors. Those colors are different shades of blue. That cover is not as commanding as this first edition. The image of the cover art was off of the web. However, the book was printed in that color and black.

Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History

1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A

The original publisher issued a book club edition later in the same year the first edition was published. This edition had fewer pages and a different color cover design. The illustrations were the same as on the first edition. This edition has a gold cover.

2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available

3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available

4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?

There is no known information about the books printings or impressions.

5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A

There were several editions of this book published by other publishers. Here is a list of them: Large Print: Chivers Publishers, 1992 G.K. Hall, 1991 Macmillan Library Reference, Aug.1991 Paperbacks: Pocket Books, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1998 Pan, 1990, 1991 Heinemann, 1990 Viking Penguin, Aug.1991

6 Last date in print?

The book is currently in print as of 2/28/00.

7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)

There was no information on the total copies sold. However, there was a note printed in Bowker's Annual that stated that the sales figures were submitted to PW in confidence for use only in placing the title in its correct position on the list.

8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)

Same note applicable as in question 7.

9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)

There were no advertisements just for the book. However, there was a full page ad in Publisher's Weekly about the release of the audio book. This ad featured Jackie Collins and the cover of the audio book. It also had a little blurb about the novel now being available to buy.

10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available

11 Other promotion


12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A

There was an audio book published in Dec. 1990 by Simon & Schuster that featured Jackie Collins reading the book. There was also a television miniseries that was released for NBC in 1992, entitled "Lady Boss." The screenplay for the movie was actually written by Jackie Collins. The movie starred Kim Delaney of "NYPD Blue" as the heroine, Lucky Santangelo.

13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A

There are several translations of the novel. They include: 1. Ledi Boss: roman [Moskva], Novosti: "ESKMO", 1994,1997 [Russian] 2. Lady Boss [Barcelona], Plaza & Janes, 1993, 1994 [Spanish] 3. Yin hai ch'ing yuan [T'ai-pei shih], T'ai-wan Chung-hua shu chu yin hsing, 1992 [Chinese] 4. Lady Boss [Milano] Bompiani, 1993 [Italian] 5. Lady Boss [Buenos Aires] J. Vergara, 1992 [Spanish] 6. Lady Boss: Roman [Munchen] Hestia, 1983 [German] (Note that WorldCat says that this is a translation of Chances)

14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A


15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A

There are five books in the Santangelo series. Lady Boss is in the middle. It has two prequels and two sequels. Here are all the novels listed in correct order. Chances, [New York] Warner Bros., 1981 Lucky, [New York] Simon & Schuster, 1985 Lady Boss Vendetta: Lucky's Revenge: Regan Books 1997 Dangerous Kiss: Simon & Schuster 1999

Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author

1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)

(Please see entry for Hollywood Husbands by Kate Duvall for biographical overview of Jackie Collins) Following the success of her previous bestseller in the Lucky Santangelo series, Jackie Collins began production on her third novel in the series, Lady Boss. Lady Boss follows many of the same patterns as the two previous novels, Chances and Lucky, but the setting is different. For this novel, Jackie wanted to bring her heroine to Hollywood to experience the glitz and glamour of the scene. Jackie Collins drew on her own experiences in Hollywood for this novel. As Jackie Collins states in her March 9, 1998 interview with Hollywood Spotlight, "You ARE getting the Real Hollywood with a Jackie Collins book. But, the characters are combinations of real celebrities. The guessing game is always fun." Jackie Collins admits that she is often a voyeur at industry parties, "I like to sit back at parties and observe. I like to write things down. I like to watch people (LexisNexis). Jackie also uses many current events in her novels. Although there were no documented major events in the author's life happening during the time Lady Boss was written, she inserted some actual events from the media in her novel. For example, in the novel Chances, she sets the novel during the actual blackout in New York in the 70's. Collins admits that she likes writing about strong women and Lucky Santangelo is one of her favorite characters because of her strength (HS). Many sources also say that Jackie modeled her character, Lucky after herself, including her looks. Like her character, Collins was expelled from school.In Lady Boss, Bridget does not want to return to school and no one really has a high respect for education. Lucky makes her way through real life experiences. Jackie also admits to liking to write about good-looking people and in Lady Boss, she makes Lucky virtually irresistible to men. She credits her parents for setting examples about her characters. Her father was also very handsome and he was a womanizer. Collins writes Lucky this way as a gender reversal of her father. Jackie also admits to disliking the falsities of many Hollywood actors and actresses. In an interview with Time Out Tony, she says that many actresses recreate themselves to fit the Hollywood mold. In Lady Boss, she goes out of her way to have actress Venus Maria described to have grown into her role instead of actually being born "beautiful." She depicts how the character works extra hard to keeps herself in line with the Hollywood image and how she feels a certain amount of pressure to look a certain way. Most of all, Collins want her readers to see the REAL side of Hollywood in her novels. She wants the readers to relate to her characters and not just envy them. Collins is also credited with bringing her characters in Lady Boss to screen. She wrote and produced the made for TV movie. Although most of her stories involve scandal, Collins won't admit to which plots she has actually been a part of (lexis-nexis). However, she does admit to basing Lucky's producer, Mickey Stolli, on a producer she knew who was a total pig. Overall, Jackie Collins believes that life truly imitates art, and vice versa. Sources Lexis-Nexis academic universe

Assignment 4: Reception History

1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)

The book reviews for Lady Boss were less than pleasant. Most of the reviewers thought the book left much to be desired. A reviewer from the August 1991 edition of Publishers Weekly said the book was a "hilarious satire of Hollywood passion, porn, and politics." The novel that Collins had written surprised Jill Gerston of the New York Times. Although she did not expect it to be a phenomenal work of literary proportions, she states the book is, "flat, tasteless, prepackaged bouillabaisse lacking the crude energy and exuberant, trashy style Ms. Collins' fans crave." In other words, Gerston like other reviewers, found the book to be boring. The novel lacks depth and a real sense of suspense. In addition Gerston felt that the characters lack any real development and that much of the dialogue is cliched. As Gerston states, "Ms. Collins creates people so wooden they could be made into coffee tables." Andrea Lindman from the Sunday Times felt that the character of Gino the Ram (a.k.a. main characteLucky's father) was what made the two previous novels intriguing. Lindman feels bored with the current role of the main characters and compares their dramas to "watching a very long animated cartoon." Overall, this bestseller was not positively received, displaying no link between best sellers status and the actual quality of the work. Books in Print Publishers Weekly, Jun 28,1991 Lexis Nexis The New York Times, Sept. 30, 1990 Sunday, Late Edition - Final Section 7; Page 37, Column 1 Times Limited Newspapers, The Sunday Times Sept. 30, 1999, Sunday

2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)

There were no available subsequent reviews from professional critics that could be found on "Lady Boss." However, the reviews from found the novel to be worthy of five stars. All of the readers felt the novel had a soap opera feel and they were easily swept into the storyline. The novel is mentioned in articles on subsequent novels, but only as a chronological reference. The book stayed on the bestsellers list as a paperback and a TV movie was produced for the novel. Many of the reviews following the novel either really praised the Santangelo Clan, or bashed Collins for trying to make the heroine more wimpy. The movie did not receive good reviews and was chastised because it did not follow the plot of book. Many readers that enjoyed the novel wanted to see the characters they read about brought to life. Many felt that the movie was a totally different story. All in all, the same Collins' hollywood expose style storylines remain in the writing of "Lady Boss."

Assignment 5: Critical Analysis

1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)

Jackie Collins' best-selling novel Lady Boss published by Simon & Schuster in 1990 is a book that displays many of the same qualities that Collins' other books have. Lady Boss is the third offering from the writer in a series based on the Mafia and Hollywood lifestyles. This book remained on the bestsellers' list for several weeks and is still read by many today. I actually started reading the series on my own a couple years ago when I was intrigued by the television mini-series that the her novels spawned. However, when asking myself "What does Lady Boss teach us about bestsellers?" I am left with some obvious answers and some subliminal ones. At the end of the eighties and early nineties, a time filled with reckless habits, Lady Boss provided stability to many women still searching for the heroine in themselves. Lucky Santangelo, the main character, is a woman who can provide things for herself and her family. With feminism in full swing at this time, Lucky was a woman that many women could identify with or possibly envy. Therefore, the time period in which Lady Boss was written plays a substantial role in its rise to the bestseller list. Also, the subject matter of her novel, the Mob and Hollywood scandal are subjects that have intrigued audiences for years. Collins became another author to tap into celebrity and scandal selling more books because of it. Bestsellers have no exact formula to their success. Some have been written by authors who have tried many years for a best-selling novel, first time authors who did well immediately have written others. And yet, an author who has for many years seen her novels successfully reach the status of BESTSELLER writes Lady Boss! After reading Lady Boss, I was severely unimpressed by the novel. Though entertaining, the novel lacked any real depth. However, although subliminal, the novel came at a perfect time for its type. Firstly, as stated by The Bowker Annual 36th edition, "Whether one counts 1990 as the end of a decade marked by reckless growth and spending or the beginning of a more sobering decade, the residual effects of some of the high-powered marketing, publishing, and selling techniques of past years were still evident at the end of the year when the year's bestsellers were being assessed (Bowker, 566). The 1990's were a time where the era of "big spending" had just left. The lifestyles of celebrities were beginning to become more immortalized, but in a down to earth way. Whereas before many celebrities seemed to be untouchable, the 90's brought these celebrities to a more reachable level. Part of this stemmed from the constant bashing of celebrities in the press and the newly media obsessed American public. In this era, anyone from an MTV VJ to the President of the United States was considered news worthy and important to the public. Even many authors such as Danielle Steel and Jackie Collins were considered popular celebrities, not just boring writers. Collins, whose sister Joan is also a celebrity, was able to tap into this world with her novels and has continued to have success doing so. Since the world of the celebrity shifted into a new era in the early 90's, the need for some sort of scandal or even role models was upon many Americans. Housewives enjoyed reading novels to tap into lifestyles totally different from their own and career women need novels to escape from the daily grind. Although the Lucky Santangelo novels first appeared in the early 80's, the main character was now much stronger. Her days of youth and recklessness were also behind her. Like many women, Lucky now looked to the future that included owning her own business and providing stability for her family and herself. The first two novels in the series told of Lucky's rise to the point that she is at in Lady Boss. She is now a married woman with a child and, by the end of the novel, another on the way. To the average new modern woman, Lucky is able to bring home the bacon, nurture her husband, look beautiful and take care of her children all without much stress. She is also is able to own one of the biggest studios in Hollywood which is a big feat for a woman, even now. In other words, Lucky is the woman that every woman wants to be and every man wants to have. So what does all of this mean? It means that Lady Boss is automatically a bestseller. Although the story, in my opinion, is not the best, readers read this novel out of curiosity alone. How does she do it all? What other obstacles are going to come her way? How will she handle them? On the same line as comic books are to a kid these novels are that way to many adult readers. Not even to mention the hot sex scenes that Collins' characters always seems to be involved in. Lucky's name alone creates high expectations of the character. The best selling success of Lady Boss is not strictly based on women and their need for a heroine. It is also based on the similarities to the Mafia. The Santangelo family is a Mafia family similar to the Corleone's in The Godfather. Although the bulk of the mob story is featured in Chances, the first novel in the series, many of the mob families and rivals resurface in Lady Boss. Collins' presents her mob family centering with Gino Santangelo, who is the head of the family. From the beginning of the series, the reader set up to like the Santangelo family even though Gino commits many crimes. Collins intentionally makes his character strong to depict the strength that Lucky has built her strength on. As shown in Jennifer Crist's The Godfather entry, Mario Puzo tried to give the same appeal to Don Corleone. This appeal makes for a more likeable and realistic character. The audience tends to like characters that possess a more realistic feel. Although the Mafia story line adds a sensational edge to Lady Boss, the other main backdrop for the novel is Hollywood. The Hollywood story line introduces the reader to new characters and displays a unique appeal. This appeal is symbolized by the crossing of the real and false. Jackie has stated many times and in several interviews regarding Lady Boss and subsequent novels that Lady Boss was written after observing many of the big players in Hollywood. Much of the novel deals with Lucky buying a movie studio. Within the studio, there are many scandals and dirty dealings that include sex and drugs. This made my book a bestseller because many people in the American public rushed out to find out some inside Hollywood scandal. This also appealed to the elite of Hollywood because they wanted to see if they had been written about, expose style. Collins wrote at the perfect time because most of Hollywood and the American public were starting to become aware of the hard drugs and over the top lifestyles of many actors, actresses and Hollywood executives. This topic had become a popular subject. As The Bowker Annual states in its few telling points, "The three leading nonfiction sellers all had TV tie-ins of some sort, and celebrity status - on the entertainment, sports, political, or journalistic fronts- was highly visible among the books that did score." As is evident by that quick fact, this celebrity phenomena crosses genre, ethnic groups and political standing. There is something appealing about scandal that all venues of media tap into. Collins was not an anomaly to this procedure. Collins became so successful at finding out information and putting it into her novels that in her most recent novel, Dangerous Kiss, she highlighted an infamous President who has also recently been in the news. This type of writing makes the American public want to read more. This fact is thoroughly proven by the sales in tabloids and in novels of this sort. As an author, it is an honor to have your novel created into a movie. Through this visual venue, an audience can see the same characters they are used to envisioning, come to life. This is true especially for television mini-series. Although the movie, Lady Boss, did not come out until after the novel was on the bestseller list, the prequel movie, Lucky/Chances, had a subsequent impact of the novel. As stated earlier, part of the new financial success of best selling novels was the great marketing and advertising tactics used. The invention of the miniseries has helped many novels including the sequel to Gone With the Wind, Scarlett and the sequel to Alex Haley's Roots, Queen. Danielle Steel is also another author who has had many of her books made into television miniseries. The miniseries Lucky/Chances introduced the American public and the world (that does not read) to the great heroine Lucky Santangelo. Although the movie did not receive critical acclaim, it was viewed by many and had many big name (or soon to be) actors and actresses, including Sandra Bullock in it. Through this miniseries, viewers who did like the movie wanted to see a sequel or continuation. I can personally remember watching the miniseries and loving it. The two novels the movie was based on were also bestsellers. By the time Lady Boss came out, the viewing audience was primed to find out, "What happened next?" The order of the series also has a lot to do with its bestseller status. The novel is the third in a series of five. This novel has two sequels and two prequels. As Jackie Collins states in one of her interviews, the Lucky Santangelo series is one of her personal favorites and the one she gets asked about the most. Since the novel is third in the series many readers believed in the first two novels enough to make a commitment to reading another one. In between novels Jackie appeared on many shows and made several appearances to advertise and market the novel. Showing that the novel is the third in a series depicts longevity. Also since it is the third in the series and among many other novels of Collins that have reached bestseller status, bestseller lists can act as an advertisement for Lady Boss's success. The novel after this one, Vendetta, did not do as well or sell as many copies due to some nasty criticism about Lady Boss and the television miniseries with the same name. So what does this entire mean, again? It means that the content of the book does not dictate what will be a bestseller and what won't be. In the context of Jackie Collins, her best-selling status, according to my argument, could be just because of her name alone. She is a celebrity herself who possesses many of the qualities that her central character Lucky does. Collins even stated in an interview that she modeled the character of Lucky somewhat after herself. Or, some bestsellers can reach that status just by having an intriguing cover. Whatever the case, Lady Boss shows us that with the right ingredients any novel can become a bestseller. Lady Boss received negative reviews from professional critics and even some reviewers. But whatever the case, the novel is still in paperback production and still being read. This basically means that the critics don't count as much as they think they do and the American public wants to form there own opinion. It is my prediction that Collins will continue to have best-selling success as long as she sticks to the formula that has always worked for her. That formula includes continuing to observe her celebrity peers, writing from the heart, and staying informed through the media. As a wise person once said, "Sometimes art depicts reality," and Collins knows how to use this to her advantage. Lady Boss is just the artistic visual of her reality. Sources The Bowker Annual, 1991 36th edition Crist, Jennifer

Supplemental Material

Picture of the author from the back cover

Cover of the 1st edition

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