from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A publisher's list of older titles kept in print.
  • transitive verb To place (a title) on a backlist.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To hold back a student's application (to a college etc.) based on whether a preferred candidate declines their offer.
  • verb transitive, publishing To place (a book) on a backlist.
  • noun publishing A list of older books available from a publisher, as opposed to the frontlist of more recent titles.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

back +‎ list


  • New fans hooked by this one will be happy to know that his backlist is even richer.

    The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly: Book summary

  • It's great that my backlist is still available, and I'm glad it still perks along, but the Spanish edition of TWO BOYS IN LOVE came out in 2001, so it's been 7 years since I had a book of adult fiction out here.

    Breakfast in Bed

  • The backlist is likely to have a resurgence of popularity in the light of Sue Grafton's recent, deserved winning of the 2008 CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger.

    February 2008

  • At the same time, I learned that my publisher was paying a large sum for the 1,500-title backlist of a bankrupt publishing company.

    Cleveland Scene

  • (See my husband Dean Wesley Smith’s post on The Magic Bakery to understand how backlist translates into money for writers.)

    Kristine Kathryn Rusch » 2010 » May » 20

  • "Chelsea Green, along with many other small publishers, could not have survived and thrived without the innovations that Amazon has brought to the book marketplace, including being able to showcase our entire 350 title backlist online where it can be found by our customers.

    Robert Kuttner: Amazon, Barnes & Noble Battle Over My Obama Book

  • Back-lists are also being digitised: Penguin is already working on turning its 5,000 title backlist into e-books for publication this and next year, and Bloomsbury recently joined Microsoft's Live Search programme to enable the digitisation of its entire backlist, which it will then sell as e-books and print on demand.


  • And it's going to be publishing what's known as the backlist, backlist titles, titles like "The Invisible Man," "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," books published before digital books existed.

    Conflict Widens In E-Books Publishing

  • Jeri Smith-Ready, author of the quite wonderful EYES OF CROW and the much-anticipated sequel VOICE OF CROW, sent me a copy of Harlequin's single-title backlist catalogue for Q4, which is, I gather, what booksellers use to re-order books.


  • The discussions about the digital fate of Mr. Styron's work are similar to the negotiations playing out across the book industry as publishers hustle to capture the rights to release e-book versions of so-called backlist books.

    NYT > Home Page


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  • In bookselling, the list of previously released books that are the proven favorites and strong sellers, ordered regularly and kept in stock. See frontlist and midlist.

    October 23, 2007