5 Differences Between Mass-Market Paperback Vs. Paperback

mass-market paperback vs. paperback

Mostly if you shop for books online, there are chances that you know these two terms of mass-market paperback and paperback alone. However, on Amazon, both these types of books are also enlisted separately. So, you must know that these two are different.

Usually, both of these books look different also, and sometimes they also have other covers. You can buy either of them as it deems fit to your budget. But, there is less guarantee on one of them. So, let’s find out which one is in the mass-market paperback vs. paperback battle.


What Is A Mass-Market Paperback? 

If you want to know the winner of mass-market paperback vs. paperback, it’s essential to know about each of them first. 

Mass-market paperbacks are cheap in quality, and they are a smaller edition of the actual book. They don’t have any illustration, they use cheap binding, and they can become discoloured over a specific period. Sometimes they even come in pocket editions so that you can fit them in your pocket as you travel.

Mass-market paperbacks are primarily available in shops that do not mainly book shops. For example, you can get them at a pharmacy store, airport, gift shop, supermarket, etc. They are priced far less than the original book, which is why people are often attracted to purchase them.  But, the poor quality of paper and binding makes readers donate the book to a charity or discard it as soon as they are done reading it.

There is a particular fixation on the genre of the mass-market paperback books. You will mostly find books in the History, romance, thriller, and mystery genres. Once you return these books, they cannot be resold. So, the distributors simply strip the cover and recycle the rest of the book. 

What Is A Paper Back?

It is an eternal debate of which one is better in the mass-market paperback vs. paperback fight. We have already found out what a mass-market paperback is, so let’s find out what a paperback is.

Paperbacks are the softcover edition of the previous hardcover edition of the original book. They indeed cost more than the mass-market paperbacks, but they also cost lesser than the hardcovers. This is because the illustrations, pagination, binding quality, and page numbers are the same in paperbacks and hardcovers. So, the price only varies for the hardness and the softness of the cover.

People often release their books in a paperback format so that they can acquire reviews from critics. Once the necessary adjustments are made, the book is finally released in the hardcover format. Unfortunately, as the mass-market paperbacks, the distributors cannot strip the front covers of the paperbacks too. 

You can find paperbacks at traditional book shops, and even book dealers and book distributors can also help you get these. But, again, there is no fixation on the book’s genre here so that you can get paperbacks on any possible categories. 

May You Like: How To Build An Ecommerce Website To Boost Your Business

What Are Some Differences Between Mass-Market Paperback vs Paperback?

If we want to know which one is better between the mass-market paperback vs. paperback, we have to find some differences between them. Of course, there are plenty of differences between these two types of books, but some of the most prominent ones are mentioned below.

1: Difference In Price

The significant difference between a mass-market paperback and a paperback is their price difference. This is because lower-quality papers are used for printing mass-market paperbacks. These kinds of books even discolor within a specific period. So, they are usually cheaper in terms of price. 

However, paperback books are usually better in terms of quality. They use good quality paper, good quality binding, and illustrations. In addition, these books won’t discolor over a certain period, so you will find them the same looking no matter how many years after you reopen them. That’s why paperbacks are more expensive than mass-market paperbacks.

2: Difference In Pagination

Pagination is a significant factor of difference in the debate of mass-market paperback vs. paperback. Mass-market paperbacks use a smaller size for pages, so there are usually more pages in these books than the paperback edition. When the mass-market paperbacks come in the pocket edition, the page numbers are even more, and the font quality is inferior on those books too.

Nevertheless, the pagination in paperbacks is precisely the same as the hardcover editions. Moreover, theIn addition, these page quality is the same as the hardcover editions, and it even includes all the illustrations. Hence, the number of pages is lesser in paperbacks than the mass-market paperbacks.

3: Difference In Releasing Time

First comes the hardcovers, and then the paperbacks are released. It is the usual trend that authors and publishers follow. But, sometimes, the paperbacks are released first because they are sent to critics to review the book. Once they make all the necessary corrections based on the review, the final hardcover edition comes into the market.

On the other hand, the mass-market paperbacks appear very late in the market. This is because they are released after the hardcover editions and the softcover paperback editions. But, this is not a rule that everyone must follow. Some new authors first go for mass-market paperback options because they want to appeal to a larger audience. Then, if the book is loved by all, they go for the paperbacks.

4: Difference In Return And Refund Policy

We are telling a buyer to return one of these types of books between the mass-market paperback vs. paperback battle. No, they can’t. However, the booksellers can return the mass-market paperbacks to the publishers. They only have to strip the cover, and they can apply for store credit, or a refund after returning it.

On the contrary, the paperbacks’ return policy doesn’t work like that. If the bookseller wants to return a paperback, he has to replace the whole book, not just the cover. The covers of paperbacks are not strippable, too, so you can’t ask for a refund unless and until you return the whole book.

5: Difference In Genre

The fight of mass-market paperback vs. paperback will remain incomplete if we don’t discuss the book genre of these two types of books. In mass-market paperbacks, the usual fiction books like romance, thriller, mystery are available. On the other hand, if you are looking for a religious book or a political book, those won’t be available in the mass-market paperback format.

Nonetheless, in the paperback format, there is no rigidity in the genre. Thus, no book is only available in hardcover and not in the softcover paperback editions. Instead, you can access books of any possible genre in the paperback format more than the hardcover and mass-market paperback combined.

Sum It Up

If you are an avid reader, you should buy paperback rather than mass-market paperbacks. The page quality, originality, binding, illustration-everything is better in the paperbacks. The price is also not very high like the hardcovers. So, we declare paperback as the winner in the mass-market paperback vs. paperback battle. 

Frequently Asked Questions :

1: How long Can A Paperback last?

Ans: A paperback can last for almost 40-50 years without changing a tiny portion of colour, page quality, or binding. While the mass-market paperbacks don’t even last for an entire month. But, essentially, it all depends upon how well you take care of the book.

2: What Is A Trade Paperback?

Ans: Trade paperbacks are the same as paperbacks. You can find them, on traditional bookshops, unlike the mass-market paperbacks. Even the booksellers can’t return them once they buy them. They are meant for trading purposes, so the name appears such.

3: Can I protect My Mass-Market Paperback Book For Long?

Ans: No, you can’t protect them for a longer time. If you handle them with care, they may last longer than a month. But, you can’t put plastic covers on them, and the binding will become loose sooner, or later. 

Read More,


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here