If you’re just about ready to publish your first book and eBooks don’t simply cut it for you, you might be faced with the ultimate question: paperback or hardcover? Some of you might not even know what these terms completely mean or encompass, and yet here you are, having to make a decision.
Fear not. We are here to make it easy for you.
We understand that publishing your book for the first time, whether it’s on a digital or print medium, can be overwhelming. Things that would normally not even cross your mind have now turned into decisions that could potentially impact your book’s fate.
So, in this blog, we will:
- Explain the meaning of paperback and its benefits
- Tell you about the different types of paperback books
- Share the definition of hardcover, its types, and benefits
- Explain the difference between hardcover and paperback
- Answer some frequently asked questions
What Is Paperback?
If you’re wondering, “What does paperback mean?” they’re just books with soft or thin card covers. This is why they are sometimes referred to as softcovers instead.
Paperback books are significantly less expensive to produce than hardback books and are often printed in big quantities by book publishers. This version is frequently released after the hardback edition, and the publisher markets it to a larger audience.
Paperbacks are lightweight and a better choice for travelers due to their lower cost of manufacture.
What Is Paperback Book For The Masses?
It’s still paperback—just a different type.
A mass market paperback book (MMPB), often known as a mass paperback, is a type of mass-produced book that is generally compact, with thin paper covers and comparatively small pages to reduce printing costs. Bestsellers are frequently produced as mass-market paperbacks for widespread dissemination.
They are frequently marketed in airports, drugstores, and grocers to provide readers with a quick distraction, whether on vacation or business.
This is a very little book with no illustrations. A mass-market paperback is one that measures 4 3/8 x 7 inches in width and height in the United Kingdom. They are also notorious for being printed on low-quality paper.
These paperback editions are typically released after the hardcover copy.
Benefits of a Paperback Book
So, now that you know what paperbacks are, it’s time to see what makes them an option worth considering.
They are Inexpensive
Soft cover binding is a cost-effective option for your needs. If cost is a consideration, a soft cover run is certainly worth considering.
They are Long-Lasting
Paperbacks today aren’t the inexpensive throwaway books of yesteryear. Modern binding processes make today’s paperback books extremely sturdy, ensuring that your effort will survive.
Effective for both Short and Long Runs
If you’re thinking about the long term, you should realize that paperbacks are also fantastic in the long run. This binding technique may adapt to the demands of your project regardless of time constraints.
What Is A Hardcover?
Simply put: a hardcover book has a thick protective cover. Hardcovers typically have a dust jacket over the main cover. These dust jackets are often made of paper but can also be made of leather on more costly books.
Publishers create a hardcover to safeguard the book over time. They do not wear as rapidly as paperback books and are not as readily damaged.
A hardback book’s printing is also superior, and the paper quality is generally significantly greater as well. Along with the cover, the paper used in hardcover books is generally exceedingly sturdy and meant to endure a long time. Because of this, many collector’s versions are hardcovers.
The Different Types of Hardcover
Hardcovers without dust jackets are known as case laminate books. Instead, the artwork and content are printed right on the cover. The final pages of case laminate books are attached to the hardcover.
Jacketed Case Laminate
As the name implies, a jacketed case laminate book is a case laminate with a dust jacket.
Jackets may elevate the status of your book. It is an excellent choice for literary works because that is what most readers anticipate. You may also select to print your cover on both the book and the jacket.
A dust jacket sometimes referred to as a dust wrapper or book jacket, is a printed cover that surrounds a hardcover book as protection. Similar to covers, they include details about the book, such as extra promotional material.
Benefits of A Hard Cover Book
Now comes the essential question: what is it that makes hardcovers worth buying? Why would your readers even opt for them?
There’s a reason why professional books are nearly always case-bound, and it’s all about the quality. What more could you ask for from your print than a sophisticated, durable result with a high-quality finish?
People adore their appearance and how they feel, the sensation of being taken back in time, and the sense of luxury they offer.
Each hardback is distinct and elevates the product to a new level.
It’s tough to make your paperback print stand out, but we can advise you on cover material and finishes if you choose to go that route.
Hardcover binding, on the other hand, can’t help but stand out even more because there are so many finishing possibilities to create a genuinely distinctive product.
Hardcover books are made to survive year after year; therefore, hard case binding is the way to go if you require a robust and durable product. Modern binding techniques not only give strength but also provide flexibility, allowing you to lay your book flat.
The Difference between Hardcover and Paperback
If you are an author who is self-publishing a book, you will quickly discover that hardcover printing is far more expensive and difficult to obtain. For these reasons, paperback printing is most likely the most practical alternative for both you and your customer.
However, it would be best to examine whether your target audience prefers a hardcover edition. You can consider some factors to objectively reach an answer.
Paperback vs. Hardcover
Different readers will interpret functionality differently. A paperback is light, small, and readily transportable, with the ability to be twisted and squeezed into a bag’s corner.
A hardcover, on the other hand, is a sturdy and attractive alternative. They are significantly more durable than paperbacks, and because of their beauty and collectability, they keep their worth far better.
Consider your audience. There’s a reason Encyclopaedia Britannica is published in hardback while most poetry books are published in paperback.
Unfortunately, self-publishing a hardback is getting increasingly challenging. Only a small number of printers work with self-publishing authors for printing hardcover, and their minimums frequently surpass the authors. Before you commit to a hardcover project, be sure you have access to a suitable printer.
Hardcovers are pricey. Print expenses can be up to five times that of a paperback, and although you can pass the extra cost on to your consumers by asking much more for a hardcover, many seem to be unwilling to pay it. To maximize profit, highly anticipated novels are typically issued in hardcover months or even years before a paperback version is available.
Paperbacks, on the other hand, are a cheap and cheerful alternative. They are less expensive and have the added benefit of being more readily damaged or worn out with continuous usage, enticing the readers to buy another copy.
One of the most important indications of format is genre. Hardcover books are commonly found in the areas of business, first-edition fiction, or collector’s editions of classics.
Traditionally, fiction is published in hardcover first, followed by paperback. Because of the economic circumstances, many fiction works, particularly from newer authors, are now being released in paperback to tempt readers with a reduced price point.
Paperback versions of topics with constantly changing content, such as health, technology, science, and politics, are typically provided so fresh editions can be released and consumed more quickly. Of course, these are broad generalizations intended to give some direction, and researching related titles might help influence your selection of the best binding for your book.
FAQS—Paperback Book vs. Hardcover Book
Why Do People Favor A Hardcover Vs. Paperback Book?
Because of its bigger size, durability, and premium quality, many prefer reading a book’s hardcover edition. Others, on the other hand, prefer to read paperback editions since they are less expensive, less in weight, and simpler to travel.
What Is The Distinction Between A Hardcover And A Paperback Novel?
Novels are frequently published in hardcover a couple of years before being released in paperback. The content is the same, with the exception that the hardcover version may have additional elements such as a foreword and pictures.
Why Is A Hardcover Less Expensive Than A Paperback?
In general, hardcovers are not less expensive than paperback books. When they are, it is most likely because the publication printed more hardcover editions than were sold and is prepared to reduce the price to recuperate at least part of their costs.
Hopefully, you are more aware of the distinctions between hardcover and paperback novels at this point. Which is preferable, paperback or hardcover depends more on the purpose behind your book purchase. Paperback books are ideal if you want something to read quickly or on the go.
On the other hand, a hardback will serve you better if you’re searching for a book to last, collect, or give as a present.