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1,118 Views 5 Replies Last post: Oct 25, 2017 10:44 AM by awin RSS
Level 0 49 posts since
Sep 16, 2014
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Jun 3, 2017 3:33 PM

Release of both HC and SC simultaneously?

Have an acquaintaince who works for one of the big publishing houses in marketing dept. He is working with a high power client/author. I have to keep it confidential. I looked up the title and see it is still pre-release for both HC and SC.


I thought books were generally released HC, then SC, then E-book. Then maybe audible.


Is that correct?

Level 5 19,170 posts since
Sep 5, 2009
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1. Jun 3, 2017 3:41 PM in response to: FelixC
Re: Release of both HC and SC simultaneously?

While that may be the general pattern, a lot depends on the marketing strategy.  And some books are only in one or the other.




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Level 5 12,995 posts since
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2. Jun 4, 2017 7:26 AM in response to: FelixC
Re: Release of both HC and SC simultaneously?

Be aware that "softcover" includes both trade paperbacks and mass market paperbacks.


Trade paperbacks generally use the same design, layout, and trim size as the hardcover. In the past, major publishers would often produce the interior pages for both a hardcover and a trade paperback in a single run (using the same paper), and distribute the traditional jacketed hardcover to established markets and sales platforms, and the less-costly perfect-bound trade paperback to newer markets and platforms for which shipping costs and wholesale/retail returns might be higher. More and more, these publishers are using print-on-demand paperbacks to accomplish the latter.


Mass market paperbacks are manufactured using cheaper paper, covers, and binding methods in print runs as large as 200K copies with the expectation (in most genres) that about 50% will go unsold and eventually be stripped or returned. So unless/until a new release has become a bestseller or classic, it is unlikely that a mass market edition will ever be produced. Therefore the mass market release is usually a year or two after the original hardcover and/or trade paperback release.


In most genres, publishers are now releasing an ebook edition at the same time as the initial hardcover or trade paperback release. The same may be true of audiobooks by well-established authors, although the more complex production issues associated with audio (for example, if the book is being read by the author) may delay these releases.


In general, the "hotter" and more anticipated the release, the more different formats the publisher will make available initially. The more specialized the topic or the bigger the unknown as far as the market and sales expectations, the more likely the publisher is to limit the initial release to one format.

Level 1 242 posts since
Oct 6, 2014
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4. Jun 4, 2017 1:32 PM in response to: Lighthouse24
Re: Release of both HC and SC simultaneously?

50%? That's sad.

Level 2 137 posts since
Sep 19, 2017
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5. Oct 25, 2017 10:44 AM in response to: FelixC
Re: Release of both HC and SC simultaneously?

Decades ago the pattern was to release the higher-price higher-profit HC first, then the trade ppb, then the mass market.  This was a way to first sell the expensive HC to those willing to pay a high price, then the medium price trade PB to those willing to wait for a cheaper price, and so on.  However, given the fact that publicity (such as reviews) only happens on initial publication many publishers now feel it better to release HC and trade ppb simultaneously, and the mass market ppb later (if the book is a bestseller, that is.)


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