What Is The Difference Between Hardcover And Paperback?

What Is The Difference Between Hardcover And Paperback? These are two types of books and a bookbinding process with readers. Typically, writers who want to publish their writing can’t decide which one is better or that suits their content. 

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A hardcover book is also called a hardback or hardbound. It is written with hard and rigid covers. The materials used are high-grade, like paper, ink, and other book contents.

That’s why the price is usually higher as they are durable, more substantial, and larger. The bestselling writers always have their hardcover editions released first.

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A paperback also goes by the names of softback and softcover. These are released after the hardcover edition is published. These covers have thinner paper or cardboard, with glue to stick to the leaves, and are usually of low-quality print, small fonts, and mass production.

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The hardcovers are expensive, and they usually cost twice more than the paperback. It is more costly due to its high production cost.

However, the paper cost less because of the materials used. Still, the benefit of it is when you use paperbacks repeatedly, and it’s already damaged cause it can easily be torn. As a result, you won’t regret it as it is cheap and you can purchase another copy if you want.

Release Dates

The hardcover was released first. It is a marketing strategy for a publisher as an avid reader wants to have already a copy of their own.

They do this for sales as many people on a budget mostly love to buy paperbacks. That also depends on whether the reader wants to spend more based on the book’s quality. Suppose they don’t want to wait a few more months or even a year when the paperback is released.

Paper And Print Quality

Hardbacks mostly use acid-free papers that address the problem of preserving the paper from damage, and the pages are thicker. The font is also bigger, unlike paperbacks are made of lesser quality paper like newsprint paper and smaller fonts.


The hardcover is larger, thick, and heavy, making it more durable than a paperback. It is precious as the look of it, and this is preferred by the readers that love to collect books as it lasts for a very long time for display or in your library.

While paperback is light for travel and usually in a smaller size, it can easily carry onto your bag, which can also be bend to fit in.


The appeal of the book is based on the expectations of your audience. It is also linked to its functionality to the readers as it affects how you will use the book.

It is evident that when you publish a specific story, the hardcover is the first to publish, and obviously, it is physically beautiful.

We should choose the right book in the right ways, places, and times. But we also buy based on how we are going to use it, is it you want to bring for your travels? For a gift? A collection?.


An author who wants to publish their book has this question on the best cover.

Usually, hardcover first, and sometimes it is in limited edition, then they publish the paperback next. Now, some would choose books, depending on the topic they want to put out.

Some would buy a paperback when on a budget, especially if your target readers are young teens or even adults. Vice versa, it also differs on the author’s budget to publish a hardcover book as it cost five times on printing.


They may differ in many things, but the content is generally the same. Additional content may be featured in hardcover versions like signed by the author or an introduction from the author or another person of the publisher’s choice. Some aim for hardcover as for protection and durability.

These books are mainly for long-term use and collectors’ editions. Perfect for reference guides, great literary works, etc. Its paper is acid-free so that it doesn’t discolor even if you keep the book on your shelves for years.  

If you are only reading a book once and don’t want it to take up lots of space on your shelves or at home and too much money out of your pocket, then wait for the paperback version to come out. Either way, you’re still getting the same book from the author.

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