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Topic: Mass Market Paperbacks

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Subject: Mass Market Paperbacks
Date Posted: 3/12/2008 8:03 PM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2008
Posts: 341
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I am a little confused and thrown off by Mass Market Paperbacks.. What are these?? I read on a thread tonight that people do not accept these because they are smaller than normal books...?? I have several Mass Market Paperbacks on my Bookshelf that are regular sized books. My ISBN just came up for the Mass Market Paperback. There isn't any difference in the size of the book though.. Am I understanding this right?!?!

Date Posted: 3/12/2008 8:07 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,689
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Definitions listed below are generalities...not exact measurements.

FYI Definition:  Mass Market Paperbacks are 110mm x 178mm (4.33" x 7.01")in size and 130mm x 198mm (5.12" x 7.8")

FYI Definition:  Trade Paperbacks are 135mm x 216mm (5.32" x 8.51")

 

Mass Market Paperbacks and Trade Size Paperbacks are not the same...

Date Posted: 3/12/2008 8:09 PM ET
Member Since: 2/1/2008
Posts: 3,384
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Trisha,

Mass Market Paperbacks (MMP) are the regular sized paperbacks that you would find on your shelves (about 4"x6").  Usually when you see just plain paperback, at least for me, that means it could be a trade sized paperback--the larger ones (5x8 or larger).  These are the ones that usually cost $12+  Just to make things more confusing is the new size paperback that is slightly thinner and taller than a MMP and is price usually at 9.99.

Hope that helps :p

Date Posted: 3/12/2008 8:11 PM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2008
Posts: 341
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Still confused!!!!

Date Posted: 3/12/2008 8:12 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Size really does matter, to some book people :-)  Mass market paperbacks are simply an issue of size.

Generally speaking, mass market paperbacks are the fairly uniform size you generally see at the supermarket, drugstore etc., about 7" by 4" (I say "about" because there is also a type of mass market used by some publishers which is about .5" taller).  A lot of people, when they think of a paperback, think of mass markets, because they are so common.  Most romance novels, for example, like Harliquins, are mass market paperbacks. 

Non-mass market paperbacks are generally called "trade paperbacks".  They tend to be larger, often about the size of a hardcover copy, but can be any size.  They often have a higher quality paper, etc as well.

Some folks don't like mass markets because they often have smaller text, thinner paper and can be harder, for those reasons, to read.  Personally, I prefer mass markets because they're easier for me to hold and they all fit nicely on my shelf, but that's a whole different thread :-) 

In many PBS listings, the format is simply given as "paperback", and sometimes publishers will publish both a trade and mass market edition under the same ISBN.   Unless someone's RC restricts the type of paperback they'll accept, either one is acceptable, and you should expect you may receive either if the format listed in PBS is simply "paperback".

There are a number of threads on this topic if you search the forums as well.

Hope this helps,

Catt



Last Edited on: 3/12/08 8:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 3/12/2008 8:17 PM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2008
Posts: 341
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Thanks Elizabeth!! I thought I might have done something wrong when this was listed!!!! Now I know I am okay.. :)

Date Posted: 3/12/2008 8:21 PM ET
Member Since: 11/12/2007
Posts: 946
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Trisha,

Think of the books you might see at the grocery store.  Most of those are mass-market sized.  Then picture some recent bestsellers "Middlesex", "Eat, Pray, Love", "Into the Wild".  They are taller and wider.  Those are trade-sized, they are usually just slightly smaller than hardcovers.

 

Date Posted: 3/12/2008 8:26 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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I read on a thread tonight that people do not accept these because they are smaller than normal books...??

There's your confusion. MMPBs ARE regular sized books. The trade are larger than normal books. The majority of the paperback books you find in any bookstore are approx 7" x 4.25" Trade size are approx 8" x 5" The are larger than the majority of the books on the shelves.

Date Posted: 3/12/2008 8:33 PM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2008
Posts: 341
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Why do some people not want Mass Market Paperbacks then if they are just regular books???

Date Posted: 3/12/2008 8:49 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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<<Why do some people not want Mass Market Paperbacks then if they are just regular books???>>

Depends on the reader.  Mass markets are sometimes considered to be lower quality, and sometimes lower in durability.  They can be harder to read, due to thinner paper and smaller font size.  They can be difficult for some hands to hold.  They might not fit someone's book cover/book light/book holder.  Some folks simply like "bigger" books.  Some are collectors.  It is simply a matter of individual preference.  Some don't like hard covers, some don't like mass markets, some don't care.

Cheers,

Catt

Date Posted: 3/12/2008 9:03 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,689
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MMPBs ARE regular sized books. The trade are larger than normal books.

Well now that would depend on who's definition of regular sized books you are going by.  I think that trade size are normal size books so, I guess it is all a matter like I said of who's definition you go by.

Personally, if the paperback is about the size of a typical hardback I consider it trade size.

 

Date Posted: 3/12/2008 9:35 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2008
Posts: 204
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Good luck swapping those. I have only been able to trade one MMPB during my year on various swap sites. Luckily my library took a few off of my hands, and a local reading program took the rest. From now on, I'm just going to donate the mmpb's.

Date Posted: 3/12/2008 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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<<Good luck swapping those.>>

I've sent and received lots (100+) of mass-market paperbacks in the last year on PBS, and I've yet to receive requestor conditions declining them. I'm not sure Mike's experience is typical of PBS, so don't lose hope :-)

Cheers,

Catt

Date Posted: 3/12/2008 9:55 PM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 3,313
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Ditto Catt!  Out of 800 or so sent books, I'd say about 700 or so are MMPB.  Just depends on if it's a popular book/genre or if it's Grishams to keep the fire stoked in winter.

Date Posted: 3/13/2008 12:16 AM ET
Member Since: 1/13/2005
Posts: 2,317
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I'm not sure if Mike's experience is at all typical.  Most of the 200+ books I've traded here have been MMPB's and though I will happily take any size book if it's something I want to read, I do tend to "prefer" the MMPB because they're easier for me to carry around.  Of course, there are some books that are only published as MMPB's, like (I think) Harlequins.  I just haven't found them that hard to trade .... . 

Date Posted: 3/13/2008 12:19 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Trisha--

Don't feel badly about not knowing; a lot of folks aren't sure about the differences between mass-market and trade paperbacks.

As a test, I asked my husband, which I thought would be sort of a gimme, given that he's a reader, owns a ton of books himself and has been married to a librarian for nearly 15 years.  I was wrong.  The conversation went something like this:

Me: "Hon, do you know what a mass-market paperback is?"

Him: "Yeah, they're the bigger ones."

Me: .....?

Me: "Could you please get a mass-market out of the book case and show me?"

Him: "Sure!"  :::goes to the bookshelf, bypasses the stacks of MMPs and leans over and pulls out a trade paperback:::

Me: ...!

Me: "And ... what do you call those?" ::pointing to the stacks of MMPs:::

Him: "Those?  Regular paperbacks."

So....don't sweat it -- it is confusing even to those who should have learned by osmosis :-)

Cheers,

Catt