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Topic: Does somebody know the answer to this question?

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Subject: Does somebody know the answer to this question?
Date Posted: 1/20/2008 1:51 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2007
Posts: 1,559
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Can somebody please tell me the difference between mass market paperbacks and regular paperbacks and how do you tell the difference? I had never heard the term before until I started using PBS.

Shirley



Last Edited on: 1/20/08 2:23 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/20/2008 3:08 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I don't think there really is a difference. Although a lot of books that are tradesize paperbacks will just say paperback.  Then there's that new goofy size thats the length of a tradesize but the width of a regular paperback. 

Date Posted: 1/20/2008 3:17 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,309
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Mass market paperbacks are smaller and printed on lower grade paper.  They'd be the size you'd generally pick up at the supermarket checkstand, or at the airport.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rlz=1T4DKUS_enUS249US249&defl=en&q=define:Mass+Market+Paperback&sa=X&oi=glossary_definition&ct=title

Date Posted: 1/20/2008 4:33 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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But, Patty, that just seems to be the definition of a plain paperback. What is a plain paperback? Is there a difference between "just a paperback" and a "mass market paperback"?

Date Posted: 1/20/2008 5:38 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 1,385
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The terms mass market and trade have to do with the size of the book and the quality of the paper.

It used to be that only certain books from more literary authors or houses went to Trade paperback, but now there seems to be more books that are being reprinted in Trade or going from hardback to trade, rather than the smaller mass market. Money probably has something to do with it.

I would assume that if people say 'regular' paperback, they probably mean mass market. "Regular" is not an official term. From the publishers, paperback books come in Trade size or mass market size.

Date Posted: 1/20/2008 5:44 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,309
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I'm thinking that the question might have come up because someone had "no mass market paperbacks" in their requestor conditions.  I don't know of an official definition for "regular paperback," or "plain paperback," but I think Shirley was basically asking what a mass market paperback is, since she hadn't heard the term before. :-)

Let us know if we've answered your question, Shirley!  Inquiring minds want to know! lol!

 

Date Posted: 1/20/2008 6:06 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 1,385
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I always thought that "mass market" was a weird term. I kinda think all books are for the mass market, huh?

I think you are right, Patty. I had to refuse a request, because the person specified the trade size, and I only had the smaller mass market version.

Date Posted: 1/20/2008 9:09 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,689
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Actually you shouldn't have to refuse the request because when the book is posted it should be posted as a Mass Market Paperback.  As we post our books we need to be careful and make sure that the cover type as well as the ISBN match, if it doesn't we have to post by the alternate method so that we can indicate the correct information.

General idea of size difference:

Trade size paperback (width x Height) 5in x 8 in

Mass Market paperback (width x height) 4in x 6.75in

The Mass Market are the ones that will usually fit in a ladies purse and typically the paper that it is printed on is not as good a quality and if you purchased it say like at Wal-mart you would pay $2-$3 less than you would a Trade size version of the book.

just my 2 cents

 

 

Date Posted: 1/20/2008 9:14 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2007
Posts: 445
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why would she not have t refuse the request if the person stated "no mass market pp:". 

it seems the person requested a book that they actually didnt want but i would be scared to send it b/c then they would blame ME for their mistake. 

i think i would always refuse a request like that b/c though i know alot about books, i wouldnt take the chance that i didnt know a book was MMP vs. Trade, yk.

 

Date Posted: 1/20/2008 9:47 AM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2007
Posts: 16,596
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The request should absolutely be refused if conditions state "no mass market pb's". That member  probably just wants Trade size pb's.  I also like Trade better because it's larger and easier to read.

Date Posted: 1/20/2008 10:07 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2007
Posts: 1,559
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Thanks for all the responses!! I'm still not sure how to know which is which, other than wait to see what comes up when a book is posted. I just had never heard the term before and wondered if it was some weird kind of book that I wasn't aware of. I'd hate to have to carry a ruler around and measure every book to see what size it was. Basically any paperback will fit in a woman's purse, at least if it's a purse like I usually carry!! I've never had that requestor condition, but if I did I don't know that I would still be able to tell the difference. I've gone through a lot of books and have never noticed the difference in the feel of the paper, etc. Maybe I'm just not that observant!! Thanks anyway for trying to help me out. I'll just see if I can tell what's what from now on.

Shirley

Date Posted: 1/20/2008 1:45 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
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I think the term had to be changed from plain "paperback" to MMPB once Trade Paperbacks came on the market, since trades are paperbacks also. 

I truly have no idea what the taller but not wider PB's are called.  I just looked at one of mine to see if it said anything on it, but of course it didn't.

Date Posted: 1/20/2008 1:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I think it would be easier if under the description it said tradesize or mass market. Some just say paperback when they are trade size.  I can't tell by the size which it is-but then I don't have a preference so it doesn't matter to me.

Date Posted: 1/20/2008 2:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,183
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Yeah, I think the confusion in the system is that  "paperback" is not used exclusively for trade size. If I post a MMP book and it comes up as "paperback" I would certainly post it. There is no way for me to know if there is a trade size out there for that particular book and if the ISBN is the same. I would have done exactly what Christy did.



Last Edited on: 1/20/08 2:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/20/2008 4:30 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,689
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When I said "you shouldn't have had to decline it" I meant when you posted it it should have been posted as a Mass Market Paperback but, if you didn't post it correctly then yes you were correct in declining it because of requestor conditions.

Even if a book comes up with the same ISBN and it states Paperback and you in actuality have a Mass Market Paperback you cannot correctly post it under that ISBN, you are told in the directions to post it using the alternate method.

I guess I will have to add this to my conditions...I did receive a book one time that was a Mass Market Paperback , it was not listed that way and I wasn't happy about it.  It had the same ISBN as the Trade size but should not have been listed with the Trade size...it should have been listed as a Mass Market.

 

 

Date Posted: 1/20/2008 4:48 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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The "taller, but not wider" paperbacks are called Premium mass paperbacks - published by Penguin Group and a few other publishers.   Premium mass paperbacks were introduced several years ago.   They are indeed, taller but not wider, and (at least according to the publishers) have higher quality bindings and more white space on the pages.  All of this is to justify their increased cost - which, at $9.99,  is $2-3 more than a standard mass paperback.

For many of the most popular authors (Stephen King, Sandra Brown, James Patterson, Nora Roberts, etc.), books are being published in this new premium mass paperback size  - usually about a year after the initial hardback publication of the book.

Personally, I have an extreme dislike of these new premium mass paperback books.  Yes, the binding may be a little better, and for some people they are easier to read - but they are hard to hold, they don't fit on my bookshelf with all of the other mass paperbacks - and none of this justifies the increased cost to me.   I realize that the quality of the binding and paper in regular mass paperbacks is getting lower and lower, but I would rather the publishers just keep the quality of the regular mass paperbacks up and increase the cost $0.50 to $1.00.   I have vowed never to buy one new.  If I have to have the book, I'll buy it second hand or get it through PBS - but I won't support the publishers by buying the book new.

 For those interested, here are several links with more information about premium mass paperbacks:

http://www.pearson.com/press/2005/Lehman_Brothers_Penguin_presentation.pdf - Presentation by Penguin Group publishers  - includes results of their survey about why readers prefers the new premium size.

I could swear that I read somewhere that Nora Roberts had put her foot down and told her publishers she didn't want her books published in the premium format, but I can't find an backup for that on the web.

ETA:  Here'a link to some discussion on a romance reader website where they talk about Nora Robert's response to the premium mass paperbacks.   At least she was considerate enough of her readers to ask them what they thought!   http://aarboards.com/viewtopic.php?p=17124&sid=a374dab933f696f316c987746dac0448



Last Edited on: 1/20/08 5:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 5
Date Posted: 1/20/2008 6:00 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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Since no one has ever explained to me that there is a difference between "paperback" and "mass market paperback", I disagree with Christy's statement, because to me, they can be the same thing.

If it just says paperback, IMO, I can post a Trade size, premium PB or MMPB, because they are all paperbacks. If it says MM then I cannot post a Trade, and if it says Trade, then I cannot post a MM, but if it just says paperback, to me, that is any paperback.

Until R&R provide some kind of differentiating statement to the contrary, that is the way I always have posted, and I have seen others comment the same. There is nothing on this site that says "if it doesn't say MM then you can't post a MM to that listing" anywhere. There is nothing in the Help Center at all describing the difference between paperbacks, it only refers to Hardcover or Paperback.

I guess my belief that "paperback" means any paperback, is as much as anything based on this statement in the HC, which is the only place these two types of books are referred to:

 

  • You may want to use Requestor Conditions because of health issues (allergies) or personal preferences (you like dust jackets with your hardcovers, or you prefer mass-market paperback size to Trade size paperbacks)

    If it wasn't correct to post either/both to the same listing, why would you need RCs specifying them? And if it wasn't ok with R&R, why would they have this in the HC? This must mean, in my mind, that if it just says "paperback" it could be either, so if you have a preference, state so in your RCs, because the poster may post anything to the listing of "paperback"

    Mind you, this is no official say so from anybody, it's just me stating my opinion. I have a right to my opinions, and the right to state them whether they agree with yours or not. It does not mean I'm right, it just means that this is my opinion, and no offense is meant to your opinion by me stating mine  :)

    ETA: And to top it off, if you will look at most of the books listed in this site, very FEW actually have MM if they are not Trade. The majority of them simply say paperback. So, if we weren't supposed to list MM to just PB, then most of the PBs on here would be listed as NON-ISBNs and that would just be silly, IMO.

     



  • Last Edited on: 1/20/08 6:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
    Date Posted: 1/20/2008 6:04 PM ET
    Member Since: 11/11/2005
    Posts: 5,238
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    To me, paperback is a generic term.  It doesn't indicate size at all - just that the book isn't a hardcover.

    Date Posted: 1/20/2008 8:12 PM ET
    Member Since: 11/14/2005
    Posts: 6,421
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    Exactly my point, Lynne, said with much fewer words! Thanks ;)

    Date Posted: 1/20/2008 8:31 PM ET
    Member Since: 12/28/2007
    Posts: 445
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    how in the heck can i figure out how to post anythign if i cant post by ISBN? i just read someone was upset b/c they got the book w/ the same ISBN but it was a MM paperback. i would have NOOOO clue at all about that.

     

    Date Posted: 1/21/2008 7:39 AM ET
    Member Since: 12/28/2007
    Posts: 445
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    due to this thread i amended my siggy. 

    Date Posted: 1/21/2008 10:19 AM ET
    Member Since: 11/14/2005
    Posts: 6,421
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    Alex, you also have to make sure the other 3 questions match. Author, Title, and Binding. If it says Trade, don't post what you know is not a trade. If it says MM don't post what you know is not a MM.

    Everybody seems to agrees on the approximate measurements given above:

    Trade size paperback (width x Height) 5in x 8 in

    Mass Market paperback (width x height) 4in x 6.75in

    The only thing I see discussed is when it just says "paperback" then, in my opinion, all it has to be is a non-hardcover. Then paperback is all that counts, premium, trade, mass-market, whatever, but it has to be paperback. But, remember, that is ONLY my opinion, I see nothing in the Help Center that backs it up or disputes it, other than what I stated above.

    The thing you will run into with your philosophy of just making sure the ISBN matches is that publishers will re-use the ISBN for other bindings. So, if it's a HC with the same ISBN as a PB or Audio even, and the other is already in the database, you will have to post your HC as a non-ISBN.

    You can tell the difference between a Trade and other paperbacks, so your sig line, really isn't accurate, and I hope you don't post that way, as it will get you into trouble eventually :)  Not to mention, the person that orders from you, can't see your sig line, and so you're not telling them anything. So far, we don't have Poster Conditions! hahahaha



    Last Edited on: 1/21/08 3:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
    Date Posted: 1/21/2008 12:20 PM ET
    Member Since: 12/28/2007
    Posts: 445
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    ok, amended my siggy again. :)

     

    all i can ensure is that the questions pbs asks me when posting are answered honestly.  as i said in my pm to you, i have nearly 300 pb books posted here and have several thousand books and i still have no idea whether they are Trade, MM or regular books.  if i ever run into a requester condition, i will just refuse to ship b/c i dont know and honestly, i am doing this for fun.  i dont have my books in front of me when i see a request. i dont want to have to see the request online, then have to run downstairs to see what kind of book it is.  as far as im concerned, when i post according to pbs questions, my end is satisfied.  as long as my book has the same author, isbn and binding, and is in postable condition...if the requestor has an issue then they should ask or post a condition, right?   but i certainly dont want anyone to be disappointed with a book i send. that just adds too much stress! :)