Finally, your hard work and boundless effort have helped you finish your first book. Congratulations! And now that you’re ready to begin your journey into the world of writing and publishing, it’s time to choose – hardcovers or paperbacks.
The flip of a coin shouldn’t dictate a decision like this. Writers like yourself who have pondered this question have had to factor in a lot of pros and cons before coming to a final solution, just like you have to.
Thankfully, that’s where we step in. by giving you six reasons why you should choose hardcovers over paperbacks. And we feel that by the end of this article, we’ll have successfully brought you over to the hardcover side!
So, without further ado, let’s jump right in:
The Difference Between Hardcovers and Paperbacks
Before we start with the reasons, let’s look at the difference between hardcovers and paperbacks.
Hardcover or hardbound books have covers usually made by wrapping cloth around heavy, thick cardboard. This makes the book’s spine more flexible, thanks to the pages that either get sewn or glued.
Here are a few different styles of hardcover books:
- Case Laminate – Durable, budget-friendly, and, best of all – fully customizable.
- Dust Jacket – Great for those who love to collect. The cover stays clean and fresh; the dust jacket can also be used as a bookmark. Perfect for collector’s editions and literary books.
- Jacketed Case Laminate – Makes your book look and feel more distinguished. You can print on the cover and the jacket and use your choice of font on the spine too!
As for paperbacks, aka softcovers, were originally intended to be an inexpensive way of printing a book after the hardcover version had been released on the market for some time. The books are made with a light cover, like a paperboard, and the pages inside are held to the binding with the help of glue.
Their sizes can vary depending on the book you choose to publish. Typically, paperbacks are 6 inches by 8 inches or 5 ½ inches by 8 ½ inches. This easily makes paperbacks more flexible, easy to carry or transport, and not to mention cheap too!
Why You Should Choose Hardcover for Your First Book over Paperbacks
Now that you know the differences, it’s time to move on to what you want to know. Here are six reasons you should choose hardcovers or paperbacks for your first book:
1. Consider the Cost
Hardcovers are expensive. You can print five paperbacks with the cost of making one hardcover. While you can charge more for publishing a hardcover, you should remember that not all your readers will pay for it.
Highly anticipated books are usually released in hardcover form months before the paperback version gets released. This is to let the hardcover version make the best profit possible.
On the other hand, paperbacks are certainly cheaper and more flexible. However, paperbacks are also known to damage and wear out easily. This can easily compel an avid book lover to buy another copy, resulting in the same situation months later.
That’s why hardcovers are the best option to go with. They sustain heavy damage and are durable, and will last you for a long time.
2. When it Comes to Functionality
This will mean different things to readers. Those who prefer paperbacks will find them compact, light, and easy to carry or stuff in a bag.
Meanwhile, hardcover lovers see it as something that will last long because of its strength and beauty. Many opt to buy hardcovers just to have a collection set aside while they use other forms to consume the book’s contents. To them, the value is more in collecting and preserving it.
No doubt you’ve met someone like this already. You have seen that their bookshelves and coffee tables are filled with keepsake books, such as yearbooks, anniversary/wedding coffee table books, or company history books. The list is endless.
If you are a fashion lover, these books will be perfect for your own coffee table!
3. Everything is in the Appeal
We believe that the appearance of a book cover is undoubtedly linked to its functionality. The appeal of a book also depends on your reader’s expectations. So, focus on how your readers will use your book.
Say you’re publishing in a market where most people think paperbacks are cheap and tacky. Similarly, hardcovers come off as unnecessary and heavy in the paperback market.
Setting aside market considerations, most people generally admit that hardcovers have an appeal and are something they’d like to have in their bookcases or bookshelves. Speaking of, check out this bookshelf that will spruce up your space!
If you can figure out a price range for your readers that you know won’t make them angry, then going for a hardcover publishing is an excellent choice.
What Will You Go for – Hardcover or Paperback?
So, you’ve reached the end of this article, and now is the time to weigh your options carefully. Remember that printing a hardcover can be a hard gamble if your readers aren’t bothered by the expensive cost. So, get to know your readers well and have a firm grasp of the market too.
It’s important to understand that a book first goes from a hardcover version to a paperback one and not the other way around! If your hardcover sales look good and the publishers like it, they’ll push you to let them buy the rights to print one. It’s doubtful they will do the opposite.
So, which will you choose? Paperback or hardcover? One lasts longer, looks better, and has all the makings of leading you to get a publishing deal. It’s expensive too, not only to produce but also to buy.
On the other hand, you have paperbacks that are cheaper to make and sell in high volumes too. The only issue is that they will last only a short time and are less attractive than a hardcover.
Whichever you choose, let us know in the comments below. Tell us how you determined which style to go for and why. Till then, stay safe!