The mass market edition of To Kill a Mockingbird, long a staple in classrooms across the country, will soon be discontinued.
The cheap version of the classic novel, which retailed from Hachette for $8.99, was sold en masse (and at a discount) to schools around America. Over twenty million copies have sold in that format. At the wishes of the Lee estate, however, the mass market edition will be discontinued after April. Instead buyers, including schools, will be forced to purchase the more expensive trade paperback editions ($14.99 to $16.99) from HarperCollins.
It’s a curious move from Lee’s estate, who issued a statement to Hachette that the license for the mass market paperback would not be renewed “at the wishes of the author.” The estate may instead renegotiate a new mass market paperback contract (and enjoy its accompanying advance) with HarperCollins, who also published Go Set a Watchman.
Claudia Durst Johnson, a friend of Lee and the author of Understanding To Kill a Mockingbird was quoted in The New York Times expressing her frustration with the decision. “This book is a standard in our schools, which are struggling financially now.”
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Reprinted with permission from Fine Books & Collections, Nate Pedersen, author
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