Update on BEES mass-market paperback


For those of you who are wondering why we haven't heard any news about a mass-market (small size) paperback edition of Diana Gabaldon's GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE in the US, we now have an answer, and it may not be what you want to hear.

In a recent video interview, Diana was asked about the mass-market paperback, and here is what she said:

Unfortunately, there will not be a mass-market paperback in the US. [....] They have very few distribution outlets for mass-market paperbacks these days, and so they decided it was not [economically feasible] to do that.

HOWEVER, Diana added that the Canadian publisher intends to release a mass market paperback edition of BEES!

[The Canadian edition will have] exactly the same design, format, etc. It just has Doubleday Canada on the spine instead of Delacorte, but it will look just the same. And they said they thought that would be out within the next year. So you'll have to wait a bit longer, but you will be able to get one.

Diana commented in a little more detail about the reasons for this decision on TheLitForum.com this morning. (For those of you who don't know, TheLitForum, formerly the Compuserve Books and Writers Community, is Diana's longtime online hangout, and I have been moderator of her section of the forum since 2008. You have to sign up to read or post on the forum, but it's free.)

Here's what she had to say:

What my editor was telling me was that post-pandemic (the pandemic seriously disordered the publishing industry), there were many fewer outlets that would sell mass-market paperbacks--you used to see a whole wall-rack of them in grocery stores, drug stores, and even (smaller numbers <g>) gas-stations. Most of those places no longer feel that books are a good economic use of their shelf space, and have stopped carrying them altogether, or have reduced their quantities drastically. Ergo, Penguin Random House (US) had decided not to publish a mass-market edition of BEES. But she added that PRH/Canada _did_ (she thought) intend to publish a mass-market edition, sometime within the next year or so.

UPDATE 9/26/2023 8:03 am: If you're wondering what the difference is between the mass-market and trade paperback editions, here's a photo I found on reddit that shows the difference very clearly. The smaller books are the mass-market paperbacks, but BEES, on the far right, is the trade paperback.

That's all we know right now. As soon as I hear anything about a possible publication date for the Canadian edition, I'll post here.


Anonymous said...

Mass market books are much easier to handle for those of us who read in bed. I wrestled Bees for a couple of nights, and finally ordered it on Kindle.

Diane said...

I use ebooks, in this case Barnes and Noble's Nook edition. This is what I find so easy to read in bed. The mass market books have a smaller font which makes it difficult for me to read. Using the ebook version, I don't have this problem and I can read while hubby is asleep. Yes, I do have a personally signed version from DG that my husband bought me for my birthday in 2021. I think electronic books may be the reason the mass marketing versions are not being seen as worth printing.

Anonymous said...

I wanted a mass market paperback so it would match all my other Outlander books. Makes me sad I won’t have the opportunity to purchase a copy. ��

Anonymous said...

I agree.. i have the whole set up until Bees in MMPB and I want to keep them the same, plus as the first poster said, for those of us who read in bed or even on our lunch breaks at our desks and like to carry the books with us to read where we go.. MMPB is the ideal size... will there be any way we can order it at least online?

Tassia Georgieva said...

Any updates?

Karen Henry said...

Tassia - no, not yet! I will post as soon as I hear anything about a Canadian mass-market paperback.


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