Critical Linking

Harlequin Mass Paperbacks Getting Sized Up: Critical Linking, May 6, 2020

Critical Linking, a daily roundup of the most interesting bookish links from around the web is sponsored by Sourcebooks.

“Beginning in March, Harlequin quietly began introducing a new size for its mass market paperbacks, the Mass Market Paperback Max. All Max titles will have a larger trim size (4.75 inches x 7 inches) than standard mass market and premium mass market formats, and will be priced at $9.99.

Harlequin started introducing the Max by releasing four new titles in the format in both March and April. The publisher will remain on a four-title-a-month schedule for the next two months before publishing all mass market standalone titles in the format in September. Paperbacks that are part of a series will remain in the traditional mass market size.”

Do you want slightly bigger mass market paperbacks?

“But the question remains: How can we rest assured that the recent turmoil wasn’t all for nothing? Below, I invited four writers to reflect on the revolution in their industry—and their passions for romance. And with people of color writing just 8.3% of romance novels that hit shelves in 2019, they’ve got a message for publishing: It’s time for you to step-up.”

Jasmine Guillory, Beverly Jenkins, Kwana Jackson, and Alyssa Cole on racism in publishing.

“Jemisin decided to rewrite The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, making nearly the entire cast white. ‘All of them were horrible people. They’d shank each other for, like, nothing. And I wrote this angry story about this lone brown girl going into this place full of mean white people,’ she says. It went to auction, with three different publishers fighting over it. “And I’m like, this is what you want?” she says. ‘I was pretty bitter … I’d taken such care in [The Killing Moon] to include sympathetic white people, but that wasn’t what they wanted.’”

A great chat where N.K. Jemisin talks about her writing career.