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Paperback vs Hardcover: Which is Perfect For Book?

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  • December 23, 2023
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  • 10 min read


People have always loved books because they let people escape, teach, and open doors to other places. However, book or audiobook publishers are often stuck when they have to choose between paperback vs hardcover.

Many choices need to be made when publishing a book, and one of the most important ones is whether to use paperback or hardback books. Each version has pros and cons that affect everything from the cost of production to the price at sale and how the work is generally presented. 

Making the perfect book for your needs is important whether you’re a new children book author putting out your first book or a business looking for a high-end way to celebrate your successes. To help you choose wisely, we’ll compare the advantages of paperback versus hardcover in this guide.

What Is a Paperback Book?

Paperback books, also called paperback books, were first made to be a cheap way to keep making a book after the hardback form had been out for a while. The cover of these books is made of paperboard, and the pages are stuck to the binding with glue. In other words, they are paperbacks.

Most are 6 inches by 9 inches or 5 ½ inches by 8 ½ inches. Format paperback, also called mass-market paperback, is a book usually found in cheap books, like trails carolina horror stories. The trim size will be smaller, and the paper used for the covers will be thinner.

Features of Paperback:

Cover Flexibility: 

Paperback books often have covers composed of softer materials, such as cardstock or paper. The bendable cover doesn’t last as long as a hardback, but it does make the book lighter and easier to carry.

Perfect Binding: 

The pages of most paperback books are glued to the spine using this process. This cheap way to tie works well for big print runs.

Cost-effective Printing: 

Paperbacks are often cheaper than hardcovers, so fiction, non-fiction, and trade paperbacks are popular for mass-market books.


Paperback books are easy to carry because they are thin and bendable. This makes them popular for readers who want a compact option for travel or everyday use.

Reasonable Price: 

Compared to hardcovers, paperbacks are more budget-friendly for readers. This makes them easier for more people and is often the medium of choice for users on a budget.

What is a Hardcover Book?

The robust and solid cover is the defining feature of a hardcover book, also called a hardback or cloth-bound book. Paperback vs Hardcover is distinguished from their paperback counterparts by their thick and inflexible covers, typically composed of cardboard and sometimes adorned with fabric, leather, or ornamental paper.

Typically, they are accompanied by a dust jacket that showcases an artistic or graphic design on the outside. Fiction books typically measure 6 by 9 or 8 ½ by 11 inches, whereas specialized or coffee table books tend to be somewhat bigger.

Features of Hardcover:

Durable Cover: 

The cover of a hardback book protects the pages inside even more. The harder cover is meant to last longer and be less likely to get damaged than the soft covers of paperback books.

Glued Binding: 

Hardcover books may have sewn or glued bindings. For sewn binders, the pages are sewn together before they are attached to the cover, which makes the book stronger. The pages of a glued binding are stuck to the cover with glue.

Good Paper Quality: 

The paper used for hardcover books is usually better than paperbacks. In addition to making the book feel better, this can also help it last longer.

Premium Look: 

Hardcovers have a more formal and high-end look because they are strong and often have decorations. Hardcover books are often used for gifts, collector’s items, and limited versions.


Hardcover books are made to last, so you can keep them for a long time and read them. They are often the best choice for reference books, classes, and versions that will be used a lot.

What Are the Differences Between Paperback and Hardcover?

Below are the differences between paperback vs hardcover:

Cover Material:

Paperback: The cover is made of thick paper or cardstock. It is flexible and less durable than a hardcover.

Hardcover: The cover is made of rigid board or cardboard and is wrapped with a layer of fabric or paper. This provides more protection and durability.


Paperback: It is less durable than hardcovers. The cover may bend or crease more easily, and the pages may be more susceptible to wear and tear.

Hardcover: More durable due to the rigid cover. It provides better protection to the pages and is less prone to damage.


Paperback: Typically, less expensive to produce and purchase. The point is that if you hire a book cover designer, you have a lot of good choices. Paperback books are a more economical option for both publishers and readers.

It costs you less to publish an eBook or book. If you’re worried about how much to print your book will cost, you might want to look into paperback options. The cost of paperback copies is much lower than that of hardback copies.

Hardcover: Generally more expensive due to the higher production costs associated with the hardcover binding and materials.

Release Timing:

Paperback: Released later than the hardcover version. Independent Publishers often release a paperback edition after the initial hardcover release.

Hardcover: Released first, especially for new or highly anticipated titles. Hardcover editions are often released when a book comes out, targeting avid readers and collectors.

Weight and Size:

Paperback: Lighter and more portable. The paperback book size is typically smaller, making it easier to carry around.

Hardcover: Heavier and bulkier. The larger size and weight can make hardcovers less convenient for on-the-go reading.

Reader Preference:

Paperback: Preferred by some readers for its flexibility, affordability, and portability.

Hardcover: Preferred by others for its durability, aesthetic appeal, and the prestige associated with hardcover releases.

Aesthetic Appeal:

Paperback: Often considered more casual. The cover design may be simpler, an common purpose for composition in art the artwork is sometimes directly printed on the cover.

Hardcover: Generally seen as more formal and aesthetically pleasing. Presses often charge writers more to compensate for the additional expenses associated with collate printing hardcover volumes. The dust jacket has more intricate cover designs, allowing for additional artwork and information.

Paperback vs Hardcover: Which is Perfect for Book?

Here are the paperback vs hardcover book features for better understanding:


It costs a lot to buy hardcovers. A hardback can cost up to five times as much to print as a paperback. You can charge your users a lot more for it to cover the higher cost, but some may not be willing to pay it. 

To make the most money, books that people are looking forward to usually come out in hardback months or even years before they come out in paperback.

On the other hand, paperbacks are budget-friendly and fun. They are much cheaper, and they wear out or get damaged more quickly after being used a lot, which makes the same person buy another copy.


How your book’s cover looks is inextricably linked to how it works, so it’s important to consider how your readers will use it. Adding to what was said above, the popularity of your book will also depend on the best children’s book illustrators you choose and what your readers expect.

A paperback will look bad and cheap if you’re in a field that likes hardback books. On the other hand, a hardback in a world of paperbacks doesn’t make sense and will hurt sales. Find out what your rivals are doing and try to copy them.


Most people will agree that hardback books are more appealing than paperbacks, even if you don’t look at the market. A hardback is a great choice for implementing comic book artist techniques if you want to sell something that people will want and don’t think they can afford.

Hardcover books are costlier to produce in every aspect (manufacturing, shipping, renting shop space, etc.). Hence, printers often have higher minimums for authors interested in buying hardcover books.

Even hardback printing is out of the question for many self-published book writers. These limits make book printing the only option for many writers who want to have a real version and an eBook.


You should also consider the book’s intended use while picking between paperback vs. hardcover book formats. Depending on their reading interests and requirements, this might differ from person to person. Paperback books are perfect for traveling since they are small, lightweight, and can be rolled up and tucked into tight spaces.

On the other hand, hardback books are strong and nice to look at. They are more long-lasting than paperbacks and may be read for years. Furthermore, hardcovers can maintain their worth over time due to their collectible nature and lovely aesthetics.


When deciding between print and hardback, you should also consider releasing online and eBooks, which have become increasingly popular since the internet was created. More people read online because it takes up less room in their homes. 

Some people may find it easier to read on a Kindle because they don’t have to worry about damaging the pages. If you read online, you can also read sample chapters of books without buying or renting them from a library or bookstore.

It’s worth looking into this option for writers who aren’t very good with technology. You might not be able to smell a real book, but publishing reduces the risks and increases the benefits of self-publishing companies.

Easy Accessibility:

Paperbacks are often a more convenient reading and carrying alternative since they are far more flexible and lightweight than hardback volumes. Because of this, you may store them in your luggage with ease and hold them for an extended period. 

As a bonus, paperback books are lighter than hardback quantities, making them a better choice.


Hardcover printing is riskier if your audience doesn’t value the extra expense. Familiarity with your audience and knowledge of the market are prerequisites. 

Budget, aesthetic preferences, and audience expectations are just a few variables to consider when deciding between paperback vs. hardcover publishing. You should consider the specific requirements of your project while deciding between the two formats since they both have their benefits and downsides.


Why is paperback more expensive than hardcover?

Various factors, including production costs, materials, and market demand, influence the price to print an eBook. In many cases, the production costs associated with paperback books, such as paper quality and binding, contribute to their pricing being slightly higher than hardcovers.

How much does it cost to print a hardcover book?

The cost of printing a hardcover book varies based on book specifications, quantity, and the printing service used. High-quality book printing services may offer premium features, impacting the overall cost.

Paperback books typically contain how many words per page?

The number of words per page in a paperback book can vary widely based on factors like printer blank pages‘ size, book dimensions, and layout design. On average, it might range from 250 to 400 words per page.

How to publish a paperback book on Amazon?

Publishing a paperback on Amazon involves several steps. First, create an account on Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) or get help from the best book publishing company in USA. Then, follow the steps to upload your book, set pricing, and choose distribution options.

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