Changes afoot for the Fate of the Jedi paperbacks

UPDATE 11/11: Sue Rostoni says that Del Rey is dropping the plan to print the Fate of the Jedi paperbacks as premiums. They will be the regular mass market.

Someone asked a question about the higher price ($9.99) listed for the first Fate of the Jedi paperback reprint over at, and today we get an answer from Sue Rostoni:

They’re making the books a little larger and calling them “premium” paperbacks — they’re 3/4″ taller and a touch wider. Seems to be the trend in paperbacks now. I don’t know yet whether this change is for all our paperbacks, or just the FotJ ones…

The format has been around for a while, but I can’t recall seeing it on any SF/F before…

UPDATE: See the comments for pictures of a premium format paperback with a trade and mass market.

22 Replies to “Changes afoot for the Fate of the Jedi paperbacks”

  1. They did that with the most recent Dresden Files paperback and I *hate* it. I need my paperbacks shorter, so I can squash more of them on a shelf! (Also, $10 for a paperback is highway robbery.)

  2. The exact same content in a slightly larger package as justification for a higher price? Ridiculous. It just wastes paper. I hate the “premium” paperback format, and the effect it’s had on me so far is to rely even more on used booksellers.

  3. Hate it, hate it, hate it!
    People set their shelves so that the regular format paperbacks fit on there and this kind of messing about just ruins that.
    Why mess with a good thing – do people in bookland think we need bigger books because the print is too small, or we might lose a smaller book? Or is it just another excuse to charge an extra few percent?

    Yes, I AM cynical about this.

  4. In the UK it’s quite common to find this ‘premium’ format used quite frequently for sf/f books, but it’s fairly rare for books that tie-in to fanchises (like SW) to use it. The only examples I’m aware of are the Indiana Jones books and the novelisation of the latest Star Trek.
    As a rule thought they don’t tend to cost anymore than traditional MM format books, but I think most people will be torqued about the fact it breaks up the shelf profile of existing collections :(

  5. I bet it’s all about demographics. They know Star Wars fans are growing older (1977 – age 12, 2009 – age 44; 1977 – age 25…), so they give us oldtimers slightly bigger letters. Considering those teeny tiny fonts used on most websites, that’s a step in the right direction. Go seniors! :-P

  6. First off, I’m anal-retentive. I have not been a fan of this size because it screws with my shelf layout, first off.

    Secondly, I don’t like the size in my hands. It’s just a bit too big, but not big enough to make up for it.


  7. The new format is nothing more than a justification for charging more. They’ve usually stuck the format on larger authors like James Patterson and John Sandford. The taller books have been slow to multiply, but we’d been told at work that all the publishers were going to eventually go them. It’s stupid and a waste of space.

  8. It’s not a trade paperback. It’s kind of in-between, but only slightly bigger (mostly taller) than a normal paperback. I believe part of the selling point on them is that they can fit on the existing book racks at places like drugstores, which even smaller trades can’t. So maybe it’s about getting more books in the view of casual readers. (I have noticed less and less SF/F at places like Meijer than there was ten years ago…)

    Neither price nor size really bothers me, but I have yet to read anything in this format so there may be issues there. But if I want a book enough, I’ll buy it in the first available format, whatever that may be. I don’t care what shape it’s in, as long as it’s readable.

  9. Is Sue new to publishing? This format is called trade paperback and it’s very common. And you guys really shouldn’t complain about the $10 price tag, that’s really not high for a trade paperback.
    And be thankful none of you live up in Canada, we’ve been paying $10 for mass market paperbacks for years and upwards of $30 for hardcovers (unless you’re me and you get amazon pre-orders).

  10. Yeah. Those look to be the size of the Clone Wars ones.


    I can’t WAIT to go to my store and see these wondrous things. (Not so. I lie.)

  11. Okay. It’ll still disturb my OCD, but it might not annoy my hands as feared.

    Thanks for doing that, Dunc!

  12. with those pictures, it’s clear purpose is defined.. fit in the carousels that regular paperbacks fit in, but be taller! thus stick out behind regular paperbacks and entice you with different colored covers.

    pretty soon in a few years:
    “Hey, aren’t you a little short for a paperback?”

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