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December 27th, 2002, 08:29 AM
Have always wondered what the official description is of those new release paperbacks that are hardback-sized. I never buy them because they're... well, too big!

Why do books come out in this size? For example, I had to wait nearly 6 months for Memories of Ice to come in a regular size that matched my copies of Gardens and Deadhouse. Do people buy the bigger size? What is the point of it?

December 27th, 2002, 08:52 AM
They're called trade-paperbacks. (as opposed to mass market paperbacks). It's an idea used in the states - it's supposed to combine the advantages of both hard and paperbacks. It works in the US cos their mass-market copies are such awful quality - but our books were fine as they are - not sure why they interferred with it, really!

December 27th, 2002, 09:49 AM
Actually, in the U.S. most trade paperbacks are not the same size as hardbound books; they're smaller than hardbound but larger than mass-market paperbacks. It's only occasionally--and usually only with very long books--that the trade paperback ends up being as large as the hardbound (e.g., Martin's Storm of Swords, which apparently will not be released in mass-market format). The Memories of Ice thing would be fairly unusual in the U.S., though not unheard-of.

December 27th, 2002, 09:51 AM
Maybe I'm cynical, but I always saw the trade paperback thing as a ploy by the publishers to make more money. Sometimes (not always), a year or so after a new book comes out in hardback, they'll come out with the trade paperback version instead of the mass market paperback. I think the publishers know that many people hold out until until books come out in an affordable mass-market version, rather than pay $25-$30 for the hardback one. If a tradepaper back comes out instead, then I think many of those hold outs will say 'screw it' and buy it because they've waited so long.

I could be way off base here, but I'm coming from the standpoint of being cheap and hating to pay too much for books.

December 27th, 2002, 10:13 AM
It is called market tolerance.. and I agree with you... but we are a bit more tight with our dosh in the UK, and refuse to pay above £8 for a PB.

It is only in the last few years or so that Trade Paperbacks have started to become more common in the UK. Sammie's point is right though... Mass Market PB's in the UK do tend to be of better quality.. because we are not prepared to put up with anything less. Also... as said before we usually go from HB to MMPB, without a trade 'stop gap'. This may be the reason for better print, paper and cover quality.

I have a few imported MMPB's from the US... the paper and cover quality is abysmal... but they are cheeper. PB is the UK are quite expensive... but will last longer than one or two reads before falling apart.

Having said that... Amazon and B&N are making it more cost effective to go for the Trade version... sometimes for the same price as the mass market version in the stores.

December 27th, 2002, 10:28 AM
Agree with the posts here - I hate the Trade Paperbacks which IMO combine the DISadvantages of HB & PB - same size (almost) and therefore weight of a HB, but without the robustness of a HB (and more expensive than the 'normal' PB would be!).

Cadf - agree with what you've said with one recent exception - Steven Erikson's Memories of Ice as a TPB in the UK was on abysmal paper. (They've redeemed themselves with the House of Chains HB, which is much better!)

Also to be contrary, I have bought HB's from the States and find that on the whole the quality of the HB's are usually better (though the covers can be worse! :) ) The PB's are a different thing altogether, though if you can't get the book in the UK then you have to get what you can!


December 27th, 2002, 10:35 AM
I love em, I always buy Trades when I can, much more preferably than the Mass markets, in many ways.

December 27th, 2002, 11:01 AM
I always seem to find myself refering back to the Last Rune series by Mark Anthony, but here goes again. I bought the first book in the series in MMPB. Then the second and third books I could only find in trade paper back, and then the last book I could only find in MMPB. So my series is now 2 and 2 and it looks funny on my shelf ;)

December 27th, 2002, 11:18 AM
As far as I am concerned there is no advantage to hardbacks and I really wish that publishers would quite insulting my intelligence with these trade paperbacks.

December 27th, 2002, 12:14 PM
I hate these trade paperbacks as well. There was recently a book I wanted to read (Carter Beats the Devil) and I was waiting for it to come out in paperback, because the hardback was something like $28 bucks. So I wait patiently, and when finally the book is released in paperback, instead of the small $7.50 mass market version I'm expecting, I find a $17 trade paperback. I was truly pissed. I whole-heartedly agree that this is a ploy by the publishers to screw the people who wait for paperback copies to come out. Its not bad enough that the price of a new hardback has risen to almost $30, now we're going to have several 'stops' before the book gets to the mass-market version. Its kinda like movies...box office, pay-per-view, rental, cable, then on basic TV. I hate marketing departments.