A yellowback is a book with a yellow paper cover, often printed on low-quality paper and bound with staples. These books were popular in the 19th century, as they were cheaper to produce than cloth-bound books. Yellowbacks were often issued by railway companies as a way to promote travel, and were also popular among Victorian readers who were looking for light entertainment. Many yellowbacks were published by dime novel companies, and they often featured stories of crime, romance, and adventure. Today, yellowbacks are collectors’ items, and some libraries have started to digitize them so that they can be enjoyed by a wider audience.
The first yellowbacks were published in the 1830s by Edward Lloyd in London. He noticed that people were more likely to buy a book if it was bound in a bright, eye-catching cover. To make his books stand out from the competition, he began printing them on yellow paper. The tactic worked, and yellowbacks soon became very popular.
Other publishers soon followed suit, and the yellowback became a standard format for paperbacks in the 19th century. Many classic novels were first published in yellowback form, including works by Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, and Arthur Conan Doyle.
The importance of the yellowback cannot be overstated. It was a key development in the history of books and publishing, and had a profound impact on the way books were produced and marketed. The yellowback allowed publishers to reach a wider audience by making books more affordable and accessible. It also helped to standardize the book industry and made it easier for readers to find the books they were looking for. The yellowback was a major force in the growth of the book industry, and its importance cannot be underestimated.