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Cheap Editions of Popular Authors

ANOTHER ATTEMPT at issuing twenty-five cent novels was made in 1875. In advertisements they were sometimes called the New Twenty-Five Cent Novels, although the proper title was Cheap Edition of Popular Authors. No. 1 was announced for May 15, 1875. The blurb proclaimed: The Cheapest Novels in the World. A Dollar Book for Twenty-five Cents. The Best Works of the Most Popular Living Authors. The booklets (Fig. 55) are 9 by 6 inches in size, with trimmed edges and stabbed binding, and contain from 100 to 150 or more double-column pages. There is no inside illustration, not even a frontispiece. The wrappers are fairly heavy cream paper, with an advertisement of the series on the outside of the back cover, but both wrappers are plain inside. The front cover has, within a one-eighth-inch red border, the title of the series and of the novel above a woodcut illustration. Below the cut is the name of the publishers, Beadle and Adams, 98 William Street, New York. The authors of these booklets were announced as "leading living American writers who are 'the Stars' of the popular weeklies, and whose creations are the admiration of all who demand strength of story, originality of character, and that subtle interest of plot and construction which separates the masters of the pen from the common writer." In other words, the novels were to have the "It" of the successful stories of that day. Most of the tales in this series are love stories, and all are reprints, many from the Saturday Journal, but some from the issues of other publishers. Only twenty-nine numbers were issued, the last one appearing September 15, 1877.

Fig 55.  Cheap Edition of Popular Authors.

Fig 55. Cheap Edition of Popular Authors.
Twenty-nine numbers were issued between 1875 and 1877.

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