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Examples include many novels, and newer editions or reprintings of older books.
It proved an immediate financial success in the United Kingdom in 1935 when Penguin Books adopted many of Albatross' innovations, including a conspicuous logo and color-coded covers for different genres.
British publisher Allen Lane invested his own financial capital to launch the Penguin Books imprint in 1935, initiating the paperback revolution in the English-language book market by releasing ten reprint titles.
The first released book on Penguin's 1935 list was André Maurois' Ariel. He purchased paperback rights from publishers, ordered large print runs (such as 20,000 copies—large for the time) to keep unit prices low, and looked to non-traditional book-selling retail locations.
Booksellers were initially reluctant to buy his books, but when Woolworths placed a large order, the books sold extremely well.
De Graaf, like Lane, negotiated paperback rights from other publishers, and produced many runs.
His practices contrasted with those of Lane by his adoption of illustrated covers aimed at the North American market.
These paper bound volumes were offered for sale at a fraction of the historic cost of a book, and were of a smaller format, 110 mm × 178 mm ( The German-language market also supported examples of cheap paper-bound books: Bernhard Tauchnitz started the Collection of British and American Authors in 1841.
These inexpensive, paperbound editions, a direct precursor to mass-market paperbacks, eventually ran to over 5,000 volumes.
The early 19th century saw numerous improvements in the printing, publishing and book-distribution processes, with the introduction of steam-powered printing presses, pulp mills, automatic type setting, and a network of railways.
Routledge & Sons (founded in 1836) and Ward & Lock (founded in 1854) to mass-produce cheap uniform yellowback or paperback editions of existing works, and distribute and sell them across the British Isles, principally via the ubiquitous W. Smith & Sons newsagent found at most urban British railway stations.