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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 8, February 19, 2006, Article 12

WHY PUBLISH IN MULTIPLE FORMATS?

Michael Savinelli writes: "I was at an airport about a month
ago, and I saw a book in the bookstore that I wanted to buy.
The book was not numismatically related, unfortunately (it
was published in October, 2005).  As I thumbed through the
book, I noticed that the paper used had a ragged edge on the
right side. Personally, I really don't like that ragged edge
paper in a book, so I think that is why it stood out in my mind.

Ever looking for a deal, I checked for the book on eBay. I
found a new copy (again, copyright 2005) for half the price
that the bookstore was selling it for, so I bought it. When
I received the book, much to my surprise, the paper had a
straight edge on the right side.  Does anyone know if different
versions of books are generally printed with different paper?
I know that the book that I bought is not an abridged version.
I am just curious about this paper issue.  What would be the
purpose of printing the same book with two different types
of paper?  Why would such a new book be printed in two
different “formats”?"

[It is not uncommon for publishers to produce multiple versions
for marketing reasons.  Just last week for example, I noticed a
book store display of two copies of the same book, side-by-side,
where each had a different color scheme for the dust jacket
cover.  The store could track which version sells best to know
which one to reorder from the publisher.  Magazines also print
different covers, sometimes vastly different ones, for the same
reason.   Perhaps the uncut paper in the airport bookstore was
expressly designed to catch the eye of a business traveler -
if so, it apparently worked!

Numismatic books are often known to exist in multiple formats.
Sometimes this was by design, and sometimes it was just happenstance.
For example, the George Evans "History of the U.S. Mint" books are
available in a very wide range of cover colors and styles.  Call
me nuts, but I've accumulated an entire shelf full of such binding
variants.  It could be that there was some marketing purpose behind
this, or it could be that the binder used whatever material he
happened to have on hand when the order came in.  -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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