In Anticipation of Mass Market


I’m an odd duck, in terms of publishing. I happened to step into the publication realm just when bookstores were keening for trade paperback-sized novels (unlike now, when they’re keening for mass market due to the recession), and so my debut novel and in fact every single one since then under the CE Murphy byline has been a trade paperback.

This is a wonderful thing in many ways. It means a higher percentage of royalties on a higher-priced book. It means starting out in a format that for many authors is the midway point between mass market and hardcover. It means the books are physically larger and might perhaps more easily catch the eye.

It also means people who can’t afford to drop fifteen dollars on a book are not buying anything I write.

My agent and editor were both bemused by my genuine agitation to try to have the Negotiator trilogy released in mass market, when the publisher’s plan was to release it in trade. It wasn’t that I didn’t want the extra money; it was that I hoped they’d become gateways for people who hadn’t read my books to start convincing themselves they could afford $15 *this* time…

That moment is finally arriving. The first three Walker Papers are being re-released in mass market at the beginning of June. I got boxes full of the new, smaller versions of the books, and for some reason it’s just as exciting as it was to get the original trades. They’re brand-new books to me, and obviously I’m hoping they’ll become brand-new books to zillions of readers who haven’t yet picked up my books.

And! Tangently! Several tangents, actually. One is that I’d kind of like to do a contest give-away for all 3 books here, but I haven’t thought of a good contest, so people should suggest some. Perhaps I’ll send books to the person who comes up with the contest idea I use, as well as to the winner. 🙂

Tangent the second and third: I’m participating in Brenda Novak‘s annual charity fundraiser for diabetes research, and have a couple of Walker-Papers-related auctions running in it: you can bid to have your name as a character in book five, or you can bid on an Irish gift basket which will include all 3 of the mass markets.


11 comments to In Anticipation of Mass Market

  • Congrats on the mass market releases, Catie. Very cool. I’ve actually always wanted to have a book come out in trade, mostly because I’ve only had hardcover and mass market and I have always associated trade format books with *quality*. Guess this is a grass is always greener thing.

  • I might be odd but I want every book I write (with Roxi or solo) to be an audiobook because audiobooks are easier to read for people who have physical disabilities.

  • Congratz on the Mass Market release! 🙂

    If you want a contest to bring in new readers who have never read your books, it will have to be something not directly related to your current books (a la: trivia contest, or series themes). How about this, give a prize for who can write the best clean limmerick? Or give a prize to whoever comes up with the best story in 10 sentences or less?

  • QUOTE: Or give a prize to whoever comes up with the best story in 10 sentences or less?

    This is a fun exercise as well, and tougher than it sounds. On an RPG forum I’m on we once did micro-stories. Basically one time we did what we called Survivor Mini Sagas of 50 words or less and you could use up to 15 words aside from that for the title. The other time I think it was 150 words or less. Tough, but fun.

    I’m not much for thinking up cool contests, so I probably won’t be much help. I could suggest the 5 words contest. Each person gets 5 random nouns to base a short story on. Give it a max word count of maybe one or two thousand words. I’d recommend 1000 though, maybe even 500, otherwise, those you appoint as the judges will have to do a lot of reading.

    Probably too involved a contest though, as everyone who wanted to participate would have to be given 5 random words to base the story around. Though I just looked up a random noun generator online that would work.

  • QUOTE: Or fantasy Haikus

    two thumbs up. 😀

  • Congratulations on the mass market publications!

    And thank you for participating in a fundraiser for diabetes research. My dad is a diabetic.

    I hope someone comes up with a great contest idea for you. Maybe people could submit videos of themselves reading a paragraph from one of your books?

  • I have only recently started to buy trade paperback books. I prefer hardcover but, some of my fav. authors only come out in trade or mass market. When money is running light, I use my family to buy the hardcover or trade paper backs. (Mother’s Day, B-day, Vanentines etc.) They know if all else fails, just give me a BAM card.

  • The five word story thing is a fun idea but likely too much work to judge, unless of course you’re into that sort of thing and have the time to do it. You could do something shorter though, blurb style. Not having read The Walker Papers, maybe have people come up with an original blurb on what The Walker Papers might actually be, 250 words or less.

  • Jackie B

    I don’t have any grand contest ideas, but I did want to say how excited I am that they will be available in mass market. Urban Shaman and the Negotiator series are all on my bookshelf, but they were purchased when I had a little bit more money. It’s killing me not being able to finish The Walker Papers series, but now that at least the first three are a little cheaper, I’ll get that much closer. : )

  • I, personally, prefer to hold a mass market paperback. I’ve got small hands, they fit in my (large) purse and I can lean back and read it almost anywhere.