I remember way back when I was a young girl walking to the library by myself in Jamaica, Queens (yes, you read that right - I used to walk to the library by myself when I was about 9 or 10 years old in the midst of one of the most crime-ridden areas of New York!) But I digress.
Anyway, way back when.... there weren't too many different media types to choose from. It was either paperback or hardcover. One size paperback, and one size hardcover.
It seems now that there are many different sizes of books out there, both paperback & hardcover. And I wonder why that is.
We have regular, trusty old mass-market paperbacks. Love these. Most of my favorite cozy mysteries are done in this size.
Then there is the "premium" mass-market size paperbacks - a taller, skinnier version of the regular paperback. (I wish there would be a "premium" size for humans... I would definitely take a taller, skinnier version of myself!)
And, we also have the "trade" size paperback - larger, wider version of the mass-market.
As for hardcovers, we have the regular standard sized hardcover, and many shorter novels are a smaller, more compact hardcover.
My question is: why all the different sizes? I was perfectly content with the mass-market size for all of my paperbacks. Like I said, most of my favorite mystery series are this size. And I also wonder why sometimes a series will have the first few books done in mass-market, then when the series really starts to take off, the publisher starts making them a different size (i.e. - trade size, or even switch to hardcover).
This is not a rant. I really am simply curious as to why the publishing world feels the need to change things up.
For instance, my most favorite cozy series of all time is the "Gaslight" mysteries by Victoria Thompson. When I discovered this series way back when, the books were produced as mass-market. Then, around the fourth or so book in, the newest book came out in hardcover.
For this series, as with many others I really love, I buy every book. I would much rather have the mass-market than the hardcover, just so they are all uniform on my shelf (obsessive-compulsive, I know). But, I want to read the new one so bad, that I can't wait for it to come out in paperback!
Is this the publishers' way of making more of a profit? Does the author profit more this way - by changing to hardcover for new releases?
I didn't think that authors really had a say in that kind of decision (forgive my naivete here). And I think they don't really have a say in the cover art, too... right?
I'm hoping maybe a few authors will respond here to help me understand. Mass-markets are usually in the ballpark of $6.99 or $7.99. Premium mass-markets - usually $9.99. Trades - usually anywhere from $11.95 to $14.95.
Rarely do I buy a full-sized hardcover because I just don't have that kind of money. I buy a lot of books, and I'd be in the poorhouse so quickly if I bought all the hardcover new releases I want!
I do like the larger trade size, but I would still rather a mass-market... so easy to stick in my pocketbook, keep in the glove compartment, take out in the waiting room, etc. Just so portable!
How does everyone else feel about the different sizes out there? Do you have a preference?
Most of all, the one I'd really like answered is why some series start out as mass-market, then a few books in, change to hardcover or trade size? (***remember - not a rant.... just a curiosity).
Hope you all had a great Sunday.... Happy Reading!