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Policies & Practices > Book Formats

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message 1: by Rindis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:34PM) (new)

Rindis | 20 comments Okay, we have this nice blank for "format". Is anyone using it for more than Hardcover vs. Paperback?

There's a bunch of 'Mass-market Paperbacks' from Amazon, but I haven't the foggiest what the difference between that and a regular paperback would be.

I've been thinking it might be nice if we could be a bit more descriptive about the formats out there. (Though if you start worrying about size and things like saddlestiching, there's a lot of formats out there!)

message 2: by Lisa (not getting friends updates) (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:35PM) (new)

Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan (lisavegan) | 2403 comments Rindis, Personally I prefer Paperback and Hardcover, but I have also seen Library Binding, Mass Market Paperback, Unknown Binding, and others. If you're manually adding a book, guess you can put what seems like the best fit to you.

message 3: by Rindis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:35PM) (new)

Rindis | 20 comments Those others seem to be from Amazon, and are really unreliable.

I'm just wondering if we want to go into more detail - at least some of the time. But I'd like to be consistent about it.

There's a few where I've used "Box set" for where you get a few books inside a box (games).

I've thought about 'Oversized paperback' for paperbacks about the size of most hardcover books. This is one of the things that made me post this thread.

But once I start thinking about going down that road, it's hard to stop. I start wondering about books in an 8 1/2 x 11 format (very common in certain niches, unknown outside them). Or graphic novels, which have a common format of... 7 x 10 (I think, have to check again...), except for the smaller format ones that have gotten popular.

I wouldn't want to tie anything down to strict definitions. But 'paperback' and 'hardcover' do have certain connotations of size associated with them for me that aren't always true.

(That said, even if there were guidelines for a more expansive system, it should still default back down to paperback/hardcover.)

message 4: by Laura (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:35PM) (new)

Laura (laurahogan) | 38 comments Popularly, "mass market paperback" is generally the standard rack-sized paperback book that you buy at the drugstore. Stuff like James Patterson, Nora Roberts, etc. is typically mass market, while the bigger and more irregularly-sized stuff, like The Onion books or volumes of poetry, are trade paperbacks. So for the "oversized paperback" label you propose, "trade paperback" would be the more accurate label.

To be really accurate, "mass market" versus "trade paperback" is used to differentiate between methods of distribution, not really format -- unsold mass market paperbacks are destroyed while unsold trade paperbacks are sent back to the publisher. But in popular parlance, "mass market" = standard paperbacks and "trade paperback" = oversized paperbacks, smaller paperbacks, paperbacks bound on the short side, etc. So broadly speaking, you'd be fine putting one of three descriptions in "format": hardcover, mass market paperback, trade paperback.

message 5: by John (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:35PM) (new)

John | 73 comments I use that field for audiobooks to specify abridged vs unabridged.

message 6: by Lobstergirl (new)


"Big Book"?

That's an official format from onix firebrand?

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