Upon first reading Rachel Deahl‘s story in PW Daily yesterday, I couldn’t help but wonder how feasible Bantam Dell‘s upcoming Discovery imprint – which will publish select titles in trade and mass market paperback – would be. But then, enough publishers (think McAdam/Cage or many a UK publisher) have simultaneous hardback/paperback releases that do rather well, so why not? And whether to publish a book in mass market or trade paperback is one of the toughest decisions in the editorial boardroom, according to Bantam Dell’s senior v-p and executive director of publicity, Barb Burg, so from February 2008 on they’ll roll out titles in both formats starting with Tess Stimson‘s UK bestseller THE ADULTERY CLUB.
Announcing a seven-figure marketing campaign behind the list, Deahl reports that Bantam Dell is taking a pricey gamble on whether offering readers and booksellers more choice will help them sell more books. The “dream”, Burg said, is to see some accounts take both formats and have booksellers sell the same title, in paper and trade paper, side by side. And, as Bantam Dell president Irwyn Applebaum noted, bring these authors to market with “immediacy and impact.”