Introduction To Mass Market Paperback :
As an author, you have come up with a brilliant book. Thereby, you approach a publisher to take up the book and publish it all over the region. Once you have your book out, you have the chance of facing success or ill fortune. Publishers usually offer you two formats, ie, paperbacks and hardcovers. The paperbacks are usually easy to print and sell, as they usually are less costly. However, avid readers looking for a vintage reading time, always opt for Hardcover editions, which are usually expensive. The publisher also charges differently for either of these two. Then there is Mass Market Paperback. Publishers go with this after getting the paperback and hardcover out. Thus, Mass Market Paperback, is more of an after thought, than a package.
What Is A Mass Market Paperback ( MMP ) :
- Publishers go with MMPs, when they want to fill up a requirement for books in casual places. Thus, Publishing houses prepare these books usually small, usually non-illustrated, inexpensive bookbinding format.
- The books are mere simple versions of books, which are bought out towards casual reading. You can see these books probably at airports, bus stations etc, where you can pick up and complete them in a matter of few hours.
- Hence, these books have a very low investment and yet are effective. The main benefit that an author derives is promotion. Even if, a reader cannot buy the hardback edition or paperback edition, he still can go for a mass market paperback at a lesser cost.
Mass Market Paperback – Benefits For Publishers :
The following are a some advantages for publishers in preparing a Mass Market Paperback –
Cost Of Production :
- Most publishers usually opt for MMP, to cut down on production costs in terms of a production. In effect, MMP’s usually are high volumes of books at a fraction of price.
- When you compare this to the usual paperback edition, the cost is almost reduced by a quarter. This is so because, MMP’s UK A format books of 110*178mm as different from US pocketbooks.
- Also, when you look at Mass market paperbacks, they are the smaller, rack sized paperbacks. Publisher’s use recycled pulp paper to print them on.
- Further, publishers go for usually larger fonts within these. This is to allow for the ink spreading on such paper while printing is going on. Thus MMP’s are cost effective in very long runs. Hence, their printing cost per copy is very small, comparatively.
Target Audience For MMP’s :
- Publisher’s usually choose MMP’s as a second re-run for first edition prints. Let’s take a scenario. You are a publisher who has come out with the next bestseller.
- A publisher has got out the prints in paperback and hardcover. However, not all can afford or find it interesting to buy the book.
- Thus, a publisher targets these segments of people, and starts re-publishing the book in a cheaper framework.
- He reduces the costs by way of paper quality, artwork designs, book cover colours and hues, etc, and comes out with a bare minimum book.
Physical Differences For MMP’s :
- As these are make do editions of first editions, you will see that these books look pretty different. The first thing you will see is the difference in paper quality.
- Usually, publishers go for A plus quality for hardcover and paperbacks, which provide a unique reading time to the user.
- The user can feel a sense of good service while reading the book. And thus, he is willing to spend a certain amount on the book if the book in questions picks his interests.
- However, this is not the case in Mass Market Paperback editions. Within this, publishers choose for a lower paper quality for bringing out large number of copies.
Technical Variances For MMP’s :
- While you may see that the paper quality is lesser, you can also observe one more thing. Publishers while printing, use larger fonts, to give them a chance of spill of ink over paper.
- As the paper they use, is recyclable pulp paper usually, there are chances of ink spilling. To counter this, printing is taken up with larger fonts, so that the changes are negligible.
- Eventually, the book will discolour and disintegrate over a matter of time. Thus, publishing houses of mass-market type, use them when you are dealing with books like Comics, Manuals, Yellow Pages etc.
Mass Market Paperback – Production And Other Factors :
- Till now, we saw that Mass Market Paperback is a choice for publishers, for bringing out a certain type of books.
- These books, mostly occupy bookshelves at airports, newsstands, hotel lobby’s etc. Customers who are looking to find something or wait for a thing, end up picking these books and perhaps complete them over the period.
- However, that’s not the end of it. Publishers derive much more with it in terms of post production benefits. The following are a few major things he stands to benefit
Recyclable Pulp Material :
- Publishers when going for mass production, need to look at lowering their costs and make profits. In order to lower the costs, Publishers use pulp material for their paper.
- Though these are low in quality, they come at affordable rates while publishing. Higher bulk bundles of these papers come at a fraction of usual A4 quality.
- Usually, apart from reruns, Publishers use pulp material to support new ventures. Thus, if you are an author who is looking for an initial publication, say for bundle of 100 or so books, he may opt for this.
- You can approach a publisher for MMP’s, and you can get your work out to the public, at a fraction of the normal cost.
Return Of Books To The Source :
- When booksellers note that particular books are not selling, they may return them to the publisher for a refund or credit on future orders.
- However, in the case of mass-market paperbacks, this return usually means removing the front cover. Once that is done, you can return just the cover for credit.
- Also, you can return the remainder of the book for the content, for re-pulping.
- The copyright page often carries a warning that anyone who buys a book missing its front cover, should assume that the publisher has received no payment and the author has received no royalties for that copy.
Evolution And Presence Of MMP’s :
- As per the discussion above, MMP’s help to fill the gap between the demand and supply for a certain title. Though, serious readers, who are looking to buy a book for their own collection, may never opt for MMP’s.
- However, if you are someone who is just looking for a simple casual read, and forget about it once complete, then perhaps MMP’s work for you. Mass Market Paperback publishing works on this very idea.
- You read it, and leave it to dust. You don’t have to look for anything else.
- This type of MMP’s have a specific parlance name of ‘Airport Novel’. Thus, the books usually going for this MMP’s are usually quick reads.
Limitations Of Mass Market Paperback Publishing :
- From the above, we can arrive at a thought that, MMP’s are highly beneficial to the publishers, in terms of low costs and easy processing.
- Thus, they are bringing out large numbers of Books of a certain title, within a fraction of cost. This is mainly because of a series of cost cutting methods that the publishers adopt.
- However, from an author’s perspective, the deal may not exactly be efficient. The below some factors offering a view point here :
Lose Out On Royalties :
- The existence of a writer or author, bases on the idea of a novel. The author offers his story or idea to the world through publishing it in a book.
- The book in turn, when publishers present it in a visually attractive way, further sells his story. The cover images, arts, illustrations, book overall design etc, are just the add-ons to the main content within the book.
- Therefore, the author can claim that the content is his, or the idea is his, and not how it is brought out in the market. The publishers are responsible for these activities.
- By producing cheaper quality of books, the costs are low for the book, but they are still selling the idea or the content. Some authors feel that Mass Market Paperback rips them off of their control.
- The royalties, that they can perhaps earn normally in paperback and hardcover, are lost.
Wrongful Impact Of Content :
- Every author wants the world to hear his stories. Therefore, he writes them and puts in a great deal of time and effort to, shape them as per his need.
- He next approaches a publishing company, which goes through the manuscript and prepares it to produce. The paperback and hardcover come out of the book, and makes the author famous for his work.
- You can read and process the story in a way it was always meant to be.
- The readers connect to the stories with no issues whatsoever. However, this is not the case with Mass Market Paper Back publishing.
- Here, the quality of typesetting, alignment, artwork designs, pictures and quotes, etc are tweaked to come up with the lowest production cost per title.
- Once the publisher perfectly understands this cost, he goes with the production. But, you end up losing out on the essence of the book as a less quality work.
Typography Errors, Look And Feel :
- The general idea behind coming out with a book of reasonable price is to reach as many readers as possible. Most of the writers look for this widespread popularity and public appeal.
- However, when you involve the revenue motive under the initiative, the view point takes a change. Only a select few writers opt to make revenue out of their works, especially if they are within Novels and such.
- When it comes academic books, knowledge proposals is the greater motive. However, everyone as an author needs to show his work in the most proper way.
- Therefore, Typography errors which crop up within the book, owing to poor fonts and paper quality, effects the idea behind the release of such book.
Option For The Reader To Give Away :
- A normal publication is brought out in the lowest of costs, is the basic idea behind Mass Market Paperback over the years. This ensures a customer picks up the title without thinking twice about it.
- These are easy reads and take usually a few hours to complete. Hence Publishers stack up in Airports, Waiting rooms and Lobby rooms, as people will pick it up as a means of quick read.
- Therein, lies the problem for Mass Market Paperback. As these look cheap, the normal investment that you perhaps give to a normal book is lost.
- And this makes you take the book not so seriously. When you mention MMP’s a feeling of cheap and easy comes to the fore. You may wish to give away the book as soon as you finish it. Thus, You never get the book into your library.
Online Portals And Mass Market Paperback :
Though mostly MM Paperbacks, are for quick read within physical means, publishers recently are opting for online sites for it. The following are some of the main websites you can buy MMP titles with ease :
Books A Million :
- If you are looking for a huge repository of titles, both new and old, you need to try this. Books A Million has millions of MMP’s under its website, and offers great value deals on them.
- Also, once you are here, feel free to check the bargain sections of the website. In this section you will find combination reads, Best selling titles, Pre-orders, Comic and Manga and many others.
- You can see that autograph books directly from the authors come within this. You may find author box-sets such as Harry Potter, Lord of The Rings or Game Of Thrones, all made and available for sale in Mass Market Paperback format as well.
Barnes & Nobel Bookstore :
- If you are an author and an avid reader, chances are high that you know Barnes & Nobel. Barnes & Nobel is a popular platform, offering eBook solutions, and publishing services all over the world in the past few decades.
- With eBook readers like Nook under its hood, Barnes & Nobel really took the eBook world by storm. Having said this, you can find that Barnes & Nobel bookstore is a huge library of Mass Market Paperback publication.
- You can filter out the books you need with clicking on categories like best sellers, fiction top 100 etc. As you can see, when you compare it to other paperbacks and hardbacks editions, the books are available at a fraction of cost.
Amazon Website :
- What better way to find anything than on Amazon. As you may know, the internet giant has tie ups and direct deals with individual sellers and publishers regarding Mass Market Paperback.
- You will get your hands on the new and unreleased books before anyone else, with the latest titles taking a large portion.
- Thus, you just have to register for pre-order criteria, to receive the books as and when they are out. Amazon also supports multi buys or bulk orders. Through this you can easily buy and store Mass Market Paperback publications.
Indigo Book Store :
- Another less popular site for you to buy MMP’s at a lower cost than ever is Indigo. Though, Indigo doesn’t have the huge repositories that Amazon, Barnes & Nobel have, it still is a great option to check out books.
- You can easily pick what you want from their smartly designed categories like genre picks, top picks, staff picks, etc with combo orders as well.
- You can also strike great values when you go for combination deals, boxsets etc offering daily. They also offer comic books, graphic novels and do it yourself manuals as well.
Conclusion About Mass Market Paperbacks Publications :
- You as an author may find the concept of getting your work MMP’s a bit worrying.
- However, you will have to remember a fact that with higher number of people most probably picking up your book, you have an advantage.
- You can reach wider and newer audience much easily by focusing just on promoting your idea over and above any other frills.
- We are a publishing services company, having a market experience of more than a decade. We understand market ideas better than anyone else, and promise to help you get the best output for your invaluable work.