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March 16, 2007


Jamieson Wolf

It's funny you should bring up hard cover books. For a long time, I didn't like buying hardcovers. I found them bulky and expensive.

Now, for some reason, I actually prefer hardcover books. I love the idea of a nice thick hardback book. There's something more intimate about opening up a hardcover, more substansial.

I love finding a first time author that I hadn't heard of and buying their work in hardcover rather than waiting for the paperback copy.

Hardcovers just look better. More is put in to producing them so the quality is higher. I don't mind spending $30-$40 on a hardcover as long as the story is a good one.

That's just my food for thought. :)


It's funny because I know what you mean - I love books - not just for the content but the way they look and feel as well and don't mind spending that extra bit of money on the hardback (as long as it is going to look good on my shelf!) You feel like you are buying an actual product rather than just a good story.


I work in a book shop and I certainly agree that books in hardcover are an impressive sight. They are sturdier, more durable, and carry greater weight (both metaphorically and lierally!) than paperbacks. I think it is a shame when first-time authors' books go straight into paperback, it is almost as though the publisher isn't willing to take the risk on putting them through hardcover first. Customers do have a habit of asking me if so-and-so's book in hardcover is available in softback, but when I tell them the length of time it will take to make the transition, 6-9 months, they are more than happy to go ahead and purchase the hardcover. The vast majority of customers go into book shops to buy books, not simply to browse, and they don't like leaving empty-handed. As the posts above have highlighted, buying a hardcover is actually more satisfying than picking up a flimsy paperback, and I think people will generally stretch their budget a bit more in the knowledge that they're going home with a better-looking product.

Isabel Losada

Well, this is all very well. But hardbacks sell far less copies! And it splits up the publicity to have to try and publicise a book twice, once for hardback and once for paperback. On the whole, publicity departments of publishing houses are very hard stretched.

Some posh fiction, like wot Paper Books are publishing are lovely in Hardback... but when I was a first time author, I was very happy to go straight to paperback for 'The Battersea Park Road to Enlightenment' as it was more affordable, very popular did very well. Now of course it can be bought on amazon for 0.1p but that's another conversation. Hopefully your beautiful hardbacks will never sell for 1.p.

x isabel losada


I think from a publishing point of view you catch the attention of two different types of shopper with a hardback and a paperback. There are a lot of collectors out there who are willing to buy a signed copy of the hardback of a first time author for their collections or to sell on when they become more famous, which we have seen with The Angel Makers. Also we have the chance to get the books into more positions in the bookshops - hardback original fiction and paperback original fiction, including in the signed/limited edition sections. We now have Jessica Gregson signing copies of the hardback and adding in either a line from the book (different in each book) and numbering them or adding a paragraph in each book and numbering these too. I think if the hardback looks promising enough and you make it look really good it is worth the risk - far better than spending any money on advertising!


I'm happy to buy a book by an author I've not heard of in either paperback or hardback - BUT it depends on the price. I'm prepared to spend up to £12 on a hardback but will always think twice about spending more - unless the author is someone I know and love and I can't wait for the paperback and want to read it NOW!

John Cruz

While Hardbacks may look good on your bookshelf, this is really only for the book collector, not the casual fiction reader who simply doesnt want to pay £14.99 to read a book which they will probably give to a local charity shop once done with.

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