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Mass-Market Paperback posted 22 Feb 2006, 06:02 by Kingmanor, Candidate

There has been a disturbing trend in the Fantasy genre lately that irks me to no end: the disappearence of the mass-market paperback. Now publishers seem content to supply only trade paperbacks, and they aren't even true trade paperbacks. The layouts, font size, text spacing has not changed at all. I'd rather think of it as a hardcover book with a cheap paperback binding. Scott, I know you're friends with Steven Erikson, and they pull this crap with his books too. His book 1, Gardens of the Moon, is a nice normal size paperback that quite nicely fits in my jacket pocket. It doesn't even use the cheap thicker pages used to artificially increase the thickness of some other authors books. But since book 1 we have gotten no mass-market paperback. Tor printing a book the size of Memories of Ice and calling that a trade paperback is a disgrace. If somehow publishers found a way to make a mass-market paperback out of GRRM's Storm of Swords at 1100 pages, then I firmly believe not publishing a smaller word count book in that format is unacceptable. So Scott I ask you point-blank: [b:3kuqjn72]Will we ever see the Prince of Nothing in mass-market paperback?[/b:3kuqjn72] view post

posted 22 Feb 2006, 07:02 by rycanada, Peralogue

I'd KILL for the trade paperback of TDTCB, original Canadian edition. The mass-market paperback I got smelled like fish, the pages were flimsy and thin, and the ink rubbed somewhat across the pages. I'm all for the TPs. view post

posted 22 Feb 2006, 08:02 by Kingmanor, Candidate

rycanada: After reading your reply I took a look at, and apparently there is a Canadian mass-market paperback (though I cannot find any evidence of a Canadian trade paperback of any edition). This makes it even more ridiculous that in the USA we only get enourmous trade paperbacks. So I revise my original question. Scott, will we ever see the Prince of Nothing in mass-market paperback [b:28evm7vj]in the United States?[/b:28evm7vj] view post

posted 22 Feb 2006, 13:02 by selfnoise, Commoner

People like trade paperbacks, and they provide a greater margin of profit. They're here to stay, sorry. I find them easier to read from but harder to carry, so it's a bit of a wash. view post

posted 22 Feb 2006, 20:02 by rycanada, Peralogue

Kingmanor, if you have the grey / text of Ajencis version of the trade paperback, I'll trade you in a second. I have two copies of the Canadian mass-market paperback (neither is pristine, the second one is pretty standard used bookstore condition). view post

posted 23 Feb 2006, 00:02 by Kingmanor, Candidate

Sorry rycanada I only have the "face" trade paperback from the US, not the gray cover. I'm still not sure who's face it is. Maybe its the same guy who's on the cover of the french edition (see my other Author Q) Selfnoise I understand the appeal of trade paperbacks, and I have nothing against them in and of themselves. I only dislike when they are basically photocopies of the original hardcover, and when no mass-market paperback is released after them. Basically most of my reading is done on my commute to work by train and subway. I'd rather have a smaller book that can fit in my pocket and be easily held open with one hand, rather than some huge book whose flimsy binding cannot support its own weight. view post

posted 23 Feb 2006, 00:02 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

The only thing that puts TPB's above MMPB's in my opinion is they tend to be a little more rugged and stay together better. Mass Market's read often enough do tend to get pretty ragged. view post

More than meets the eye... posted 23 Feb 2006, 01:02 by Altarego, Commoner

This isn't simply a matter of big business trying to squeeze out a few more $$. In general, mass market paperbacks cost almost as much as hardbounds. This is due to the retailer's ability to return destroy books for credit from the publisher (a throwback to the days when paperbacks were sold like magazines). Subsequently, they potentially have to sell 4-5x as many paperbacks to recoup production/return costs. For those authors that are only published in mass market format, they have to meet projections before publishing at all. In the end, it's not entirely the publisher's fault; the consumers have their role as well. A book that exceeds hardbound sales expectations will often be "mass-marketed". view post

posted 28 Feb 2006, 13:02 by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Too true, Alterego. But for new authors, inexpensive mmpbs are pretty much a necessity. This is why, I think, my 'US market share' (why do I shudder saying that?) is so much smaller than my Canadian or UK one. Especially when it comes to series, mmpbs also help to leverage sales of tpbs and hcs. Since I grew up reading mmpbs, they remains my personal favourites. To be honest, I never quite felt like a 'published author' until I received the first of Penguins too cool mmpb versions of TDTCB. view post


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