Harper Lee’s Estate Wants To Stop Printing Money
Only a week after a judge sealed author Harper Lee’s will from the public, booksellers across the country received a notice from the Hachette Book Group stipulating that they will no longer be selling the mass-market version of To Kill a Mockingbird. Why is this a big deal? Allow The New Republic to explain:
Mass-market paperbacks are smaller and significantly cheaper than trade paperbacks—sometimes called “airport books,” mass-market paperbacks are typically available in non-bookstore retail outlets, like airports and supermarkets. The most popular trade paperback of the last few years is almost certainly the stout paperbacks of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. Another place people are likely to encounter mass-market paperbacks is in schools, where they are popular due to their low cost.
This decision is probably going to affect schools the most:
Without a mass-market option, schools will likely be forced to pay higher prices for bulk orders of the trade paperback edition—and given the perilous state of many school budgets, that could very easily lead to it being assigned in fewer schools. (Schools typically receive a bulk sale rate that gives them more than 50 percent off of the list price of a book—they most likely pay less than $4.50 per copy of the mass-market paperback of TKAM, whereas a copy of the trade paperback would cost no more than $7.50.)
Are students rejoicing? Or is this a really terrible idea?