No More Mass Market Edition of “To Kill a Mockingbird”

The Hatchette Paperback will be discontinued

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.”

Browse related collectible books:

Harper Lee

Hachette Paperback copies of “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Reprinted with permission from Fine Books & Collections, Nate Pedersen, author

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This entry was written by and posted on March 15, 2016 at 2:25 pm, filed under Rare Finds. Bookmark the permalink

8 Responses to “No More Mass Market Edition of “To Kill a Mockingbird””

  1. JoAnne McMaster

    It’s a sad day when greed takes over the classics; the “estate” knows full well that this is used in schools, and they are looking to line their pockets. I have a hard time believing that Ms. Lee would have approved this move.

  2. Ben Donatelli

    Typical. Once a good person like Harper Lee dies, the greedy, worthless scum rush in to profit from what they didn’t create or are entitled to. Harper Lee probably didn’t see this move coming because she viewed people as being good. A benevolent but naive soul.

  3. Andrew

    Greed is an ugly thing.

  4. Brian Perkins, Sr.

    Mockingbird was wonderful for a 100 pages …. then it turned into maudlin crap. As a (very) longtime bookseller, I’ve always speculated that a paralyzing attack of writer’s block was ended by the publisher’s demand for return of the advance …. precipitating the awful final pages.

  5. David Price

    Greed is the cancer of the world.

    I hope everyone downloads it for free from torrent sites.

    I bet Harper Lee would agree. You cant choose your family….

  6. Shirley S.

    Reread the news article – – it does say that Lee’s Estate MAY renegotiate for a NEW mass market paperback contract for To Kill A Mockingbird with Harper-Collins !! …why are so many folks such sloppy readers

  7. Julian Smith

    It is truly sad when money gets in the way of charity/literacy|.i am sure the Harper Lee herself would be saddened by this.


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