Sunday, May 01, 2005

Mass market sales

Wendy has an interesting post about how mass market sales are dropping and speculates on the reason, and several people have offered suggestions. My guesses? Ebooks (a small but growing market-- I know quite a few rabid readers who hardly read anything from the big publishers any more), the prevalence of used books (readers use those half-price books to stretch their book budget out), and trade paperbacks.

Trade paperbacks have become really big in the last few years, rather to my surprise. A member of my family, upon learning I write for EC and might eventually have trade-sized books in the stores, asked, "Yes, but who pays that much for books?" Uh... pretty much everyone nowadays, it seems:-). When smaller presses first started producing trades, they were at something of a disadvantage, because most paperbacks from big publishers were about half the price. But now readers have gotten used to buying Bravas and chick lit and various other books in the larger size. I think this is one reason why EC's trade paperbacks are doing so well in the stores... readers don't really blink an eye at the price any more.

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