Chris A. Baird | June 3, 2020
Are Paperbacks Lower Quality Than Hardcover Books?

Choosing between paperbacks vs. hardcover books is quite confusing but I have several tips that might help you. Find out whether paperbacks has lower quality than hardcover books.

Paperbacks And Hardcover Battle

Today's question has three answers. The third answer is a secret to why the question itself may cost you money. So let's see if we get into this.

So the question that was sent into me was, are paperbacks lower quality than hardcover books? It is a battle between paperbacks vs. hardcover books. I know when I started my self-publishing journey, that was a question that I had to deal with.

The question was, do I produce paperback books? Or do I produce hardback books? Because obviously, the quality levels may be different between the two.

And that could impact whether people would choose to buy these books or not choose to buy these books. But before I get into that, check out my Self-Publishing Secrets Checklist. It will help you get started on your self-publishing.

Whether you're just starting or you've been going for a while and are not making sales. This is a checklist you're going to want to take a look at.

So when I first started publishing, I started with Kindle books. Just because they are the easiest to start with.

After that, I moved on to paperbacks, then I moved on to audiobooks. And only after that, did I move on to hardbacks.

And the reason it took a while was because of the hardback books. They're going to cost you money to produce. So I choose to go through Lulu for hardback books.

The reason I chose to go through Lulu was that I would only have to pay for one of the manuscripts. It would cost me about $25.

Otherwise, I wouldn't have to pay any additional fees. They would supply the ISBNs. Unlike if you do it through Ingram Spark, you have to bring them yourself.

That could cost $150 for them. And a $50 review of your hardback books. So that meant that Ingram Spark would be the pricier option.

And Lulu would only cost $25. You would even have a copy of your hardback book sent to your address.

So that was the option that I went to. With regards to paperbacks vs. hardcover, I always have assumed that the hardback books were of higher quality.

Maximize Your Sales

Let's get on to the answers. The first is, most people do consider a hardback book to be of higher quality. It also even sometimes comes with a cover on it which you can have for your self-published books.

It has a dust cover and you can choose what the binding is. All of the material that it's made out of. How well it's put together, that will impact the cost of the book.

And also, how much you're going to have to pay to produce the thing? It will decrease your royalties on it.

So it depends upon the type of hardback book that you're producing. For me, I choose just the cheapest option. Because I want to get the highest royalty rates.

While at the same time, giving a nice experience with having the hardback cover. So that my readers can get hardback. But they don't have to pay so much money that they might normally have to pay for those same hardback cover books.

Check out this related article: Can Authors Use Same Cover For Print And eBook?

If I were to go for the absolute highest-end option. Now, there are of course some readers who will read those high-end options of a hardback. And maybe wish to have a cover on it, and the absolute fanciest glossy covers.

And other things that would come along with a more expensive cover. But that is up to you when you're creating hardback cover books. Whether you wish to be pushing those forward or not.

Now, on to number three and that is the secret. And today's secret answer number three regarding paperbacks vs. hardcover, it is that when selling books, some people only like hardback books.

Some people only like paperback books. And some people only like audio or ebooks or whatever the case may be. It can also be PDFs something along those lines or text files even.

And that being the case, which one should you produce? should we produce the hardback or the paperback books?

Which one is of higher quality? Well, the answer is, you should produce both.

Quantity Over Quality

Now, you may question whether you should produce the highest quality of hardback books you can or a lower quality that gives your readers the ability to get it for a more reasonable price?

But for me, between having hardback on one hand and the other hand is paperback, the answer is, I'm going to choose both. I'll choose both the hardback and the Amazon paperback versions of the book. So that I can maximize the sales that are going to be coming through.

I have no desire whatsoever to lose sales. It is because I'm only selling in a format that some of my readers want to read. I want to hit as large of an audience as I possibly can with my books.

And the only way to do that is to make sure that your books are available in all formats possible. Now I would say that since you have to pay extra for the ISBN.

Let's say if you're going to Ingram Spark on their paperbacks and also the review process. Or if you're going for Lulu going to need not the ISBN but you're going to be required to order a draft of your books. A paper copy of your books.

Then you're going to want to make sure that you only are doing the books that are already selling. So that's where the Kindle and Amazon paperback versions print come in to hand in hand.

What you do is you're going to sell them there. And you're going to see which of your books are making the most sales?

Check out this related article: What Type Of Books Help An Author Make Most Royalties?

That will tell you which books first should be sold in these other formats that will cost you. Because if it's going to cost you $50, it would be a waste of your money.

To go about paying $50 to get it created into a hardback when those books are not selling at all. And sometimes you'll miss it.

You could create a book assuming you follow the correct strategies. This is very unlikely but you could create a book that is not making very many sales.

And as a result, there is no point in creating a hardback or Amazon paperback version of that book. Especially some of the earlier books before I discovered the key strategies to winning at the self-publishing game.

So why don't you tell me what you found? Have you found that it's higher quality with the paperback or the hardback books? Have you decided to limit yourself to only one or the other?

Let me know. And take a look at my other blogs and videos to see more answers to questions just like this.

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