Friday, September 17, 2010

What are softcover books and why are they priced higher than paperbacks?

Since I was used to paying less than $10 for paperback books, I was really shocked at the price my publisher placed on my newly published books. Wondering if I was really that out of touch on prices, I did some research and was quite surprised by what I learned.

What are softcover books and why are they priced higher than paperbacks?
These terms are often used interchangeably. However, some publishers, including mine, use the term softcover to refer to what is also known as trade paperback. These books are generally larger than the standard mass market paperback and the paper is a higher quality. Softcover or trade paperbacks are priced higher (around $17-$25) for fiction and higher for nonfiction, than standard mass market paperbacks but not quite as high as hardcovers.
Flickertail & Paint, Barnyard Sleuths and Rudolph, a Child’s Love Story are both softcover/trade paperbacks and measure 6” x 9”.


  1. Neat. I hadn't really thought about whether softcover and trade paperback were the same, but that makes perfect sense. And now there's yet another format partway in-between--smaller than trade, still paper-backed, they've started using it when hardbacks become paperbacks, but just before they become mass market paperbacks. Aghghgh!

  2. Oh no! Just when I thought I was starting to understand this.

  3. Thanks for the info, Mary!

    And, for your other site, The Active Dog,
    I've nominated you for a Talent Award! You can pick it up, along with instructions, here:
    I couldn't seem to leave a comment anywhere at The Active Dog.

  4. Thank you, Ruth. I think I still have comments disabled on The Active Dog.



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