As the popularity of dime novels increased, original stories came to be the norm.
The term dime novel has been used as a catchall term for several different but related forms, referring to dime novels, story papers, five- and ten-cent weeklies, "thick book" reprints, and sometimes early pulp magazines.
Nonetheless, the pocket-sized sea, Western, railway, circus, gold-digger, and other adventures were an instant success.
Author Armin Jaemmrich observes that Alexis de Tocqueville's theses in Democracy in America (1835) says that in democratic and socially permeable societies, like that of the U.
Also, there were a number of ten-cent, paper-covered books of the period that featured medieval romance stories and melodramatic tales.
This makes it hard to define what falls in the category of the dime novel, with classification depending on format, price, or style of material.