The Mass-Market Edition of To Kill a Mockingbird Is DeadBreaking News
tags: Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
We may never know what Lee’s will stipulates, but the estate’s first action in the wake of Lee’s death is both bold and somewhat baffling: The New Republic has obtained an email from Hachette Book Group, sent on Friday, March 4 to booksellers across the country, revealing that Lee’s estate will no longer allow publication of the mass-market paperback edition of To Kill a Mockingbird.
According to the email, which a number of booksellers in multiple states have confirmed that they received a variation of, no other publisher will be able to produce the edition either, meaning there will no longer be a mass-market version of To Kill a Mockingbird available in the United States. 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.
The email contains a discount code for the mass-market paperback effective Tuesday, March 1, one day after Lee’s will was sealed—Hachette has to liquidate its stock, since it will only be able to sell its edition for a limited amount of time, so it’s offering an additional discount for booksellers. A spokesperson for Hachette confirmed that they were ceasing publication of the mass-market paperback of To Kill a Mockingbird.
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