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Mass market paperbacks?
Can someone tell me what the difference is in a "paperback" and a "mass market paperback?" I buy used books from Amazon and I see the distinction made fairly frequently.
Mass-market paperbacks are quite low quality and therefore are usually much cheaper. This is as opposed to trade paperbacks (or in Amazon's case, just "paperbacks") which are made with much better paper and will probably last longer. My shelves are filled with mass-market paperbacks, but these will probably be the books that start to discolor or that start to fall apart first.
In other words, if you see a seller on Amazon who is charging quite a lot for a mass-market paperback, you are probably being ripped off.
When Amazon has a book listed as "paperback" it's generally the same size as the hardback edition it just has a paper cover instead of pasteboard. They are what are also known as "first runs" meaning they are part of the initial sells and marketing phase. Independent authors like myself will often not have the choice of hard covers so all of our books will be sold as "paperback". Some well-known authors will have an initial run in hardback, followed by a "paperback" edition which usually costs a little less than a hardback.
"Mass market paperbacks" are the ones that are smaller (length and width, not necessarily thickness). These are what traditional publishing houses release after the initial sells and marketing run. When traditionally published authors have sold a set number of books in hardback or "paperback", the publisher will release the "mass market paperback" which will usually be about half the price of the hardback edition.
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