Although the term was most likely coined, or at the least popularized for the genre by Forrest J Ackerman, the first monster movie "filmbooks" were not found in FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND. Instead, literally thousands of hardbacks consisting of movie novelizations called PHOTOPLAY EDITIONS were published beginning circa 1912 and lasting through the 1930s.
The books, published by numerous imprints such as Grosset & Dunlap in the States and Reader's Library in the UK, were marketed and sold as movie tie-ins, usually to coincide with the film's release. Each contained a novel-length text story and included scene stills and production photographs to add to the "cinematic" experience. Not surprising, the most sought after editions are the ones that feature monster movies, such as DRACULA, FRANKENSTEIN, and, like pictured below, the lost Lon Chaney Sr. LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT.
It's hard to say whether or not that FAMOUS MONSTERS' very popular filmbooks were inspired from the PHOTOPLAY EDITIONS, but they bear a striking resemblance, despite their shorter form when compared to the novel-length versions.
The copy shown here is currently for sale on eBay for $575.
"[PHOTOPLAY EDITIONS]. RASK, MARIE COOLIDGE. London After Midnight. Illustrated with Scenes from the Motion Picture. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1928. First Edition. Photoplay edition, an original novel written and issued to coincide with the release of the silent Tod Browning directed film starring Lon Chaney Senior in the first American vampire film. London After Midnight is the most famous of all “lost films” - films which there is no known surviving print. Illustrated with photographs showing Chaney in his striking makeup and vampire costume. 8 illustrations. Some staining and aging to the original cloth, a very good copy in an excellent facsimile dust jacket."