If you preorder books you may have noticed that Kensington paperback books that come out starting on September 29th are a dollar more. I asked Kensington publicist Larissa Ackerman to explain the price increase and all the wonderful benefits that come with it.
Thank you so much Sherry and the Wickeds for inviting me on to talk about our new format for paperback books! As Sherry mentioned, beginning with our September 29th, 2020 releases, the Kensington books that previously would’ve been available as mass market paperbacks for $7.99 or $8.99 will now cost $8.99 or $9.99. That’s because starting that month, Kensington will be replacing the traditional mass market paperback size – those are the small books that usually measure about 4.125 x 6.75 inches – with a bigger, better format called Mass Max.
The Mass Max paperbacks are larger than your standard mass market book; at 4.75in by 7in, the new format will be more than half an inch wider, and a quarter of an inch taller. It almost looks like a “gift size” trade paperback, and will come with two huge benefits: the larger sizing means that the books will now have more spaced-out margins, and the fonts will be easier to read.
Let me pause for a moment to talk about book formats for those of you who are asking yourselves, “What on earth is this lady rambling about? Mass market? Mass Max? Mass capacity? Is she talking about paperbacks or what?” Print books are traditionally produced in three formats: hardcover, trade paperback, and mass market paperback. Mass markets are the smallest books out of the three formats listed, and the typeset in them tends to be much tighter than the other two. As a comparison, the average trade paperback size is 5 x 8 inches, and the average mass market size is 4.125 x 6.75 inches. But now, there is a new format that is in between the mass market and trade paperback size that we will be publishing our paperbacks in, called Mass Max.
With their larger size, more legible fonts and wider margins, the Mass Max format will provide readers with a more comfortable reading experience than with traditional mass market paperbacks, while still being convenient to hold and stow into your handbag or backpack. The paper quality and spine design will also have the more enhanced, high-end feel of a trade paperback, while remaining smaller and less pricey than the $15 – $18 usually charged for the trade paperbacks.
For those of us who hate it when a book’s spine gets cracked, another perk of the Mass Max format is you can actually read them without having to peek between the pages in order to avoid breaking the spine!
Another great aspect about the new Mass Max format is that with their more refined look, they’ll appeal more to independent bookstores and retailers that were formerly uninterested in carrying mass market paperback sizes. At the same time, the stores that have always been the main retailers for mass market books—like Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Target, and airport stores—are super excited and very supportive about the new Mass Max format. Kensington is the first publisher to completely eliminate the mass market size on future releases, instead shifting our entire Kensington Mass, Zebra and Pinnacle lists to the new-and-improved Mass Max size.
For only a dollar more per book, the new Mass Max format is providing our readers with a more convenient, comfortable, and quality reading experience!
Want to know more? Read the following articles. Book Riot: https://bookriot.com/2020/05/15/different-types-of-book-formats/
Press release for Kensington Mass Max: https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/83133-kensington-to-introduce-larger-mass-market-format.html
Bio: Larissa Ackerman is a Communications Manager at Kensington Publishing Corp., where she handles publicity and marketing campaigns for many of their cozy and historical mystery series. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College in 2012 and has been working in book publicity ever since. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two cats, and she is still trying to solve the mystery of how to stop eating so much chocolate.
Readers: What do you think?