In comics, a trade paperback (often shortened to TPB or trade) refers to a collection of stories originally published in comic books, reprinted in book format, usually capturing one story arc from a single title or a series of stories with a connected story arc or common theme from one or more titles. Although trade paperback is actually a publishing term that refers to any book with a flexible cardstock cover which is larger than the standard mass market paperback format, comics fans unfamiliar with that meaning have come to use the term to refer to the type of material traditionally sold in comics shops in that format: collected editions of previously-serialized stories. The term graphic novel is sometimes used interchangeably, but some people maintain that the terms are distinct.
Traditionally, a trade paperback will reproduce the stories at the same size as they were originally presented in comic book format; recently, however, certain trades have been published in a smaller, "digest"-sized format, similar in size to a paperback novel. This smaller size is familiar to readers of similarly-sized Japanese comics, also known as manga.
Note that many comics collections are published in hardcover (or in both formats). The bulk of this article applies to both paperback and hardcover collections. Indeed, in the comics industry, the "trade paperback market" can be casually used to refer to the market for any collection, regardless of actual cover.