Difference between Paperback and Mass Market Paperback

Difference between Paperback and Mass Market Paperback


Reading a book is considered the world’s most favorable hobby. Reading a book gives mental peace and soothes the soul of the reader. Book readers are always in the search of new books in good publication editions. There is a term named Paperback that is not unfamiliar to many regular book readers. Along with this, there is also a term that is mass market paperback which is seen by the readers on the front book cover.


These terms look similar but there is a prominent difference between paperback and mass market paperback. In this article, we will be seeing the meaning, purpose, and facts about these terms. Along with this, we will observe the difference between these terms to facilitate readers.

What is Paperback?

In the publication industry, a paperback is called a trade paperback or in other words, it is called a trade paper edition. The previous editions in hardcover are republished as a softcover this is called a paperback. Sometimes a paperback does not belong to a hardcover. It means readers release a paperback of a new book that is not available in the market before.

As it is a duplicate edition of hardcover but its price is low as compared to hardcover. However, the size of the pages along with the quality and illustration of the paperback is the same as a hardcover. Not only this, the pagination is the same as an original edition.


There is a folded flap of the front cover that could be seen by flipping the front book cover it is a mark of identification for the people who find it hard to recognize the difference between paperback and original edition. It is done to keep the element of similarity between hardcover and paperback. The price of a paperback is much more affordable as compared to a hardcover. The release of a paperback before the actual release of the original edition is done so that it could be sent to scholars, researchers, and institutions for the final reviewing of the book before the final release of the book.

The front flap of a paperback could not be stripped. If the book is left on the bookshelf for too long as no one buys it then it will be returned to the company instead of stripping the front flap. One can find a paperback edition in a traditional trade outlet like a bookstore, book distributor, and book dealers.

What is Mass Market Paperback?

A Mass Market Paperback is a cheap copy of an original edition of the book. The size of the book pages is also small. Not only this, but the quality of the printing is also low. Sometimes the printing on the pages fades away. The illustrations in the original edition of the book are not present in the mass market paperback. The binding of a mass market paperback edition is also not very good.

The people who love reading but cannot afford to buy the original edition can buy this edition to fulfill their cravings for book reading. Because of the small size and low quality, these books are referred to as “pocket edition”. These books easily fit in the pocket and handbags.

The people looking to buy such books can look in gift shops, pharmacies, supermarkets, airports, and other convenient stores. These books are present at the checkout counter so that they can catch the attention of the customer. Due to the low quality, people can easily dispose of these books or put them up for charity.

The front cover of these books could be striped. The shopkeeper stripes off the cover and sends the book back for the credit. The book then will be shredded and destroyed. This is done if the book isn’t purchased. Usually, new writers publish their books in mass market paperback editions.

Difference between Paperback and Mass Market Paperback:

There is a distinct yet unnoticeable difference between paperback and mass market paperback. We have presented a table below to elaborate on the difference between these two terms.



Mass Market Paperback


It is affordable.

It is cheap.


The quality of the pages, illustration, and ink is fine.

It has low-quality pages and no illustrations are available.

Size of Page

It has equal size same as the original.

Its size is small as compared to the original.

Another name

It is also called a trade paper edition.

It is also called a pocket edition.

Available at

It is available in bookstores.

It is available in pharmacies and airports.



To conclude we would like to say that for reading a book, the quality of the book does not matter. The purpose of reading is to provide inner peace which could be achieved from a cheap stack of books. In this article, we have provided the difference between paperback and mass market paperback. Along with this, we have stated some facts about these terms as well.

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