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The New Dime Novels

beginning with number 322, the dime novels were called Beadle's New Dime Novels. Each novel bears two serial numbers; one for the old or complete series, and one for the new.

The new novels do not differ in type of story from those previously published, and the real reason for beginning a new series seems to have been to give the publishers an excuse for reprinting the older novels. Beginning with the first number of the new series, reprints became the usual thing, and among the New Dime Novels there are very few that are not reprints. Later, the early novels were reprinted again and again in other editions, and some of the best sellers were reprinted as many as ten times in different forms. The stories in the New Dime Novels usually bear the same titles as the originals, but in some cases they are entirely different, and occasionally, even, the author's name was replaced by a pseudonym.

The covers of the new novels (Fig. 24) bear no resemblance to the covers of the well-known yellow-backs that had preceded them. The coming change was announced in No. 321 of the original novels where the statement was made that they would appear "in new and unique covers hereafter." White paper was used for the wrappers, instead of orange, but the cover was "illuminated," according to the advertisements. This illumination consisted of a background of orange-red or red-orange in which white mortises were left for the name New Dime Novels, for a central cut, and for the title. There was also a space at the bottom for the imprint of the news agent. The space for the cut was a rectangle with the two upper corners truncated. The cut itself, when the novel is a reprint, usually differs from that used in the original dime novels. It was printed in black but had an overprint of several colors. In many newspaper and magazine articles describing these novels, the covers are said to be "hand colored." This, in a way, is true, for the process was, in most cases, color stenciling. This is similar to the method by which, at the present time, some colored picture postcards are produced, except that a brush was used instead of an air brush. The type of cover of the whole series remained the same without change until the end.

Fig 24.  <i>Beadle's New Dime Novels</i><br>
Between 1874 and 1885 310 numbers were issued.

Beadle's New Dime Novels
Between 1874 and 1885 310 numbers were issued

In size the new novels are the same as those of the old series, ca. 6 3/8 by 4 1/8 inches. There is no blurb of the succeeding number inside the front cover, which is either blank or contains a general advertisement of the Beadle publications. The back cover generally carries a list of the New Dime Novels. In first and early editions the new numbers listed amount to only four or five beyond the number of the novel itself, and after each new title is given the date at which it is to appear. In later printings, the list may extend even to 200 numbers beyond the number of the novel itself.

The text of the new series seems to have been printed from the original stereotype plates, although in most cases the title page is new. The quality of the paper, especially in the later reprints, is not nearly as good as in the original novels, although it is still much better than that which was used later for the broadleaves.

The total number of New Dime Novels issued was 309 or 310, which makes the final number of the complete series 630 or 631. (No. 631 was advertised but I have never seen it.) The time which elapsed between the issuing of Dime Novel No. 1, June 9, 1860, and New Dime Novel No. 631, November 3, 1885, was 25 years, 4 months, and 25 days, making this the longest run of any of the Beadle booklet novels. They were the first of the booklet type novels as well as the last, having survived the Pocket Novels, the next to the last series, by 49 weeks.

In the following list, the numbers given are those of the complete series. Synopses of the stories are given only when the New Dime Novel was a first printing. The first of the numbers after the date indicates the novel where synopses may be found.

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