Hardcover vs Paperback
The difference between hardcover and paperback is not limited only to the cover of the book. Hardcover and paperback are words associated with only books. When you are in a bookstore, you see two editions of the same book, one of which is a hardcover edition, while the other is a soft cover or paperback edition. At first glance, the only difference that is perceptible to a casual onlooker is that the hardcover literally has a hard cover while paperback has a soft cover. Besides this difference, the materials and content seem to be the same. Why then are there these two types of books in the first place? Let us find out the answer to this riddle in this article.
What is Hardcover?
A hardcover is, as the name implies, a book bound with a protective cover. It usually has a dust jacket on the top. Nowadays, books without this jacket cover are also getting popular. The objective of bringing out a book in hardcover is to have durability and bigger protection. Books that are very popular are easy to find in hardcover editions as they become collector’s items. In libraries and colleges, it is hardcover editions that are preferred because of their durability and longevity. Hardcover book does not get damaged easily. This is not all.
In hardcover editions, care is taken in choosing the inside papers too. The paper used is acid-free, implying a pH value of 7, which is considered neutral. This type of paper is more durable, and not prone to easy wear and tear. As mentioned earlier, reference guides, periodicals, books for libraries, and bestsellers are usually created in hardcover as they are long lasting.
Usually, in case of a new book, it is the hardcover edition that comes out first before the paperback edition. You should remember that publishers follow this principle only if they expect the sales of the book to be really high. For example, think about Harry Potter books. They exist in hardcovers, and the publishers published them in hardcover first because they knew people will be buying them no matter the price because it is Harry Potter.
What is Paperback?
When it comes to paperback, the cover is made of a thin paper, and there is glue to stick it to the leaves. Paperbacks are meant for shorter reads; for books read in salons, in flights, and lounges.
Books that are not of great value or those whose hardcover editions are already there in the market are seen in paperback editions. Non-commercial works are mostly in paperbacks so as to achieve at least a break even as profit is the last thing in the mind of the publisher. In the case of a bestselling writer, the first edition is invariably hardcover, while paperback follows suit. It is done deliberately as it is expected that the lovers of the writer will collect the hardcover edition. All new writers’ books are seen in paperback edition. That is because the publishers are not sure about the response of the public to that new book and do not want to suffer losses if the book is not sold.
What is the difference between Hardcover and Paperback?
• Definition of Hardcover and Paperback:
• A hardcover is a book with a thicker cover made of cardboard with a dust jacket and extra protection for the durability of the book.
• A paperback is book with a thick paper cover or paperboard cover.
• Quality of the papers inside:
• For hardcover, the papers used are acid-free, and not prone to easy wear and tear.
• For paperback, it is the normal paper that is used inside.
• Hardcover books last longer.
• Paperback books do not last that long.
• Types of Books:
• Because of their durability, hardcover books are mostly bestsellers, reference guides, library books, and so on.
• Paperback editions are for works with lesser value, and books that have smaller reads such as the books that are read for a short time in flights and salons or lounges.
• With its hardcover, as well as the high quality paper inside, hardcover is more expensive.
• With its normal paper and paper covers paperback is less expensive.
• Publishing Principle:
• The work of bestselling authors or a book that is expected to make huge sales is first published as hardcover.
• Books of new writers and books that do not show promising sales are published first as paperbacks.