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Initial post: 26 Apr 2012 08:58:18 BDT
Kevan James says:
This may have been discussed before so apologies if it has and I've missed it.

Does anyone know why paperback books are now almost all in large format? I'm guessing it's going to be something to do with publishers not having to spend cash on two sets of typefacing (probably not called that now!) and different size print runs.

I used to like the smaller format which would more often than not fit in a pocket. Now when I'm out and about I find myself having to carry enormous volumes around. And then there's the size of the text - sometimes it's like reading a book designed for a 10 year old!!

And, please, don't tell me to buy a kindle (other ebook readers available), I like books and I hope to carry on using 'em!

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Apr 2012 11:13:12 BDT
I Readalot says:
Ok. The large format paperbacks are generally known as trade paper backs and are published at the same time as or instead of hardbacks. They have been around for a long time but were only available at airports (hence their other name 'Airsides'). They have become more widely available now as they are cheaper and lighter than hardbacks. The smaller format paperback ('A' or 'B' formats) will still be published, generally around 6 months (although with some books it can be as much as a year) after the trades/hardbacks as has always been the case. So they are not replacing the small formats but are in addition to them.

Posted on 26 Apr 2012 13:20:05 BDT
monica says:
Trade paperbacks are a scourge. They are unnecessary. They are awkward. They are too large. They are impractical. They are unattractive.

Don't much care for them myself.

Posted on 26 Apr 2012 20:36:49 BDT
gille liath says:
Does it have anything to do with the price of paper? A decade or so ago, books (and print) were getting noticeably smaller - not so good for my poor old eyes. There's a happy medium, in typeface, between Remedial and Invisible.

The alternative explanation could be that publishers think people will pay more for a big book. Never mind the quality, feel the weight...
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Posted on 26 Apr 2012 20:59:35 BDT
It's amazing how many readers on here all talk about prefering a big book with lots of pages: even though it's well known that new authors with indie publishing houses are forced by economics to produce smaller books because of the higher unit print costs with POD (compared to offset)

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2012 00:55:35 BDT
Oracle says:
The price of paper has actually been going up in the past few years though: http://www.printweek.com/Business/article/1085565/soaring-paper-prices-will-kill-off-printers/

I think it's a money making scheme in a recession. The difference in cost to the publishers between the large and small paperbacks will be a matter of pennies, but they're charging nearly twice as much. Plus people probably can't afford to fork out for hardbacks at the moment, but might stretch to a mid-price paperback.

Posted on 27 Apr 2012 13:18:12 BDT
Jennyfer says:
I don't like these trade paperback books either - it means waiting another long while before the 'normal' size paperback comes out. Why can't publishers make books all the same size ? In both hardback and paperback, as it would save a lot of fuss.

Posted on 27 Apr 2012 15:02:37 BDT
J.Yasimoto says:
Even the smaller paperbacks (A and B) have been getting larger. eg. A Song of Ice and Fire seems to be only available now in the larger small paperback. I think it's all down to profit. Companies can charge more for a perceived better product when in reality it doesn't cost that much more to print.

Posted on 27 Apr 2012 15:32:44 BDT
Fee fee says:
Rather than the size of the book, it's the size of the font that matters most to me. Some of the smaller paperbacks have a really tiny font..can't stand it. I simply won't read a book with a tiny font, I've tried and I can't enjoy the experience at all. So for me, I prefer the larger books because of the generally larger font and more comfortable reading for my eyes.

Posted on 27 Apr 2012 16:13:48 BDT
S Riaz says:
Possibly a larger paperback is more noticable in a shop display as well, but I agree with the OP, the size of paperbacks are often larger (and more cumbersome) than hardbacks now. It took me time to convert to an ereader ( it is a matter of choice obviously and I still buy and read books as well) but they are useful when you travel and you can change the font size, so they are not without advantages.

Posted on 27 Apr 2012 20:31:42 BDT
From the publishers point of view, these trade paperbacks often use less pages than an ordinary sized paperback. And for indies using POD, the charge is by page, not word, so the book actually works out cheaper to print.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Apr 2012 20:45:02 BDT
Last edited by the author on 30 Apr 2012 20:30:38 BDT
LEP says:
I wasn't aware that they were all in large print format. You can get large print editions certainly, but I think that you will find that most aren't. What they are doing now however, is printing larger format paperbacks (trade paperbacks), as opposed to large print. They are the size of hardbacks. I don't know why, but as someone above says, perhaps it's to do with cheaper printing costs.
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Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  11
Total posts:  12
Initial post:  26 Apr 2012
Latest post:  28 Apr 2012

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