Thursday, May 24, 2007

Trade Paperback Originals...

I just got back from a lovely meeting with the own of Third Street Books (wonderful store with a great table selection and a mischievous store cat) in McMinniville, Oregon where I probably talked way too much and should have asked more questions. Next time. Next time (if she'll let me darken her door again) I'll be prepared and not half asleep. So apologies for this short post, but I wanted to know your thoughts on the subject of trade paperback originals.

Trade paperback originals are when a book is released in the Trade format without ever having been released as a hardback (normal chain of book command would be Hard to trade to mass market or Hard to mass market). Personally I like them because a.) I like the trade format and b.) I think it gives an author who might not necessarily get any attention at a hardback price point a chance to grow a following, but I would like to hear your opinion.

So, Trade paperback originals: like 'em, hate 'em, or had no idea what they were before this post?

I'll post some picture examples later.

17 comments:

quichepup said...

I'm a fan of trade paperbacks because I'm cheap. I can usually buy 2 trade pbks for the price of one hardcover.

Brad S. said...

I like both paperbacks and trade paperbacks. What I don't like are trades that aren't made into mass market paperbacks (Chelsea Quinn Yarbro is a good example). It's just a matter of continuity on the book shelf.

Elsandra said...

I like the covers on the trades alot and the prices. I only find their size a bit awkward. I think they put better looking covers on the trades since they are bigger.

julia said...

Trades are a nice size and don't weigh as much as hardcover. That can mean a lot to a person who reads during the commute.

Anonymous said...

I like them a lot because the bigger bookstores usually offer them at a Buy 2 Get 1 Free rate, and they travel easily. The downside? I have lovely bookcases throughout my house and I like the look of hardcovers on them.

Robin L. said...

I love trades! I love the size, love the price, love the way they feel in your hand. I prefer them to both hardback and mass market.

Chris said...

Yes, for all the reasons stated above.

jason evans said...

I would be that the most sales in the trade format. Only hardcore buyers put the money down for hard back, I imagine. Being affordable certainly isn't a bad thing, and that format is great to carry and handle.

Angelle said...

I love TPOs, they are less expensive than a hardcover, and more handsome and durable than a pocket paperback.

Actually, my "vineyard in Tuscany" dream of retirement/lottery winning is to found a small press dedicated to TPOs of early career fiction with the goal of making it easier for readers to take a risk on a new writer.

*sigh* Someday . . .

Tanya said...

I don't have any personal preference: trades are easier to carry around, but hardcovers seem to be better bound and more durable.

At the store where I work, mass markets (mm) outsell them by leaps and bounds. I haven't noticed if new authors in trade sell better than new authors in hardcover. The only time I've really seen a trade sell well (more than 1 copy) is if the author already has some books in mm which are popular.

Rosina Lippi said...

I have this sense that trade paperbacks are the wave of the future. They are less expensive to produce than hardcover, less expensive to ship and store. They also have a classy feeling about them.

Personally I can see an argument for trade paperback as the primary format -- pushing out both hardcover and mass market. It will get harder for the publishing houses to compete with electronic sources, they'll look for ways to minimize cost and maximize profit, and voila: no more hardcovers.

And if you think that sounds unlikely, channel your great grandmother saying those auto-mobiles will never catch on -- horses are what people like and what they want

Robin Brande said...

This probably sounds like blasphemy since my book will be coming out in hardback first, but I really love trade paperback. Love the weight (for traveling), love the smaller commitment to keeping them nice. I buy a lot of HB as gifts and to support authors I really enjoy, but then I'm reluctant to lend those to people because I want to keep them nice. Whereas with TPB I feel free to pass them around and don't care so much what they look like when they come back.

lady t said...

I wasn't a fan of TB at first,due to only being able to afford MM titles for many years(hardcovers were also rare treasures at one point) but I've been won over for many reasons. The size of both book and print is usually better,the cover art ditto.

I've seen books that didn't sell big in HC pick up speed once they hit TB( The Kite Runner is a prime example)and OTP gives new authors a good shot at gaining a readership. One of the things that I noticed on my trip to England a couple of years ago is that the bookstores carried more paperbacks than hardcovers(some of the books there that were still in HC in the US were in PB there). Makes you go "hmmmm....."

bhadd said...

Like because they sell--not that I dislike hardcovers but book artifacts are less important for my use. Economical books rock.

The Hood Company

VampireFaust said...

I think the trade paperback trend is increasing due to the rising costs of publishing and the expanding markets for small presses. I personally love them since I usually buy the paperback version anyways...easier portability factor. ;)

Sylla said...

You can darken my door anytime baby!

I like TPO for all the above reasons, and that they are generally easier to sell than a first novel in hardcover...

Hope to see you again soon.

Sheena said...

I'm not keen on them myself - they're usually too big to fit easily into a handbag. When I buy a book I want to keep, I prefer it to be in hardback. I reread books over and over, and read them everywhere - they get hard wear from me. And if it is of substantial size, as a lot of the books I like are, they are more likely to get damaged if they are paperback. Long live hardbacks, I say!