What Is A Paperback Book?

Although the digital age has produced alternative forms of reading material – e-books, tablets, laptops, even mobile phones – the printed book is still tremendously popular. The tactile nature of a physical book, and the interaction between the book and the reader still holds an appeal for many. Reading books provides an opportunity to escape from everyday life and issues. You will often find your favourite authors’ books available in different formats – sometimes on initial release they will be published with hardback covers followed, as a later release, at a more affordable price as a paperback version. However, paperback books are more than just cheaper copies of a hardback release – they have their own place in the publishing world in their own rights. Here is some information on the features and advantages of a paperback book and why it appeals to readers:

Paperback Book

The most popular form of book is the paperback – they are books that have been bound using a flexible, thin cardboard cover that is glued down the spine. Paperback books are lighter and smaller than their hardback counterparts and are usually less expensive – they are easy to carry around making them popular as holiday and travel accompaniments.  

Paperback Against Hardback

Paperback books are distinguished by their soft covers – this makes them lighter, more flexible, and easy to handle and, therefore, easy to read! They can be held in one hand which can be useful if reading on public transport or when you are ‘on the go’, unlike hardcover books. The reason why paperback books are published at a later release date is that hardback books produce a much higher profit margin which brings the publisher increased profits – so on initial release of a new title from a popular author, the more enthusiastic followers of that author, or series of books, will happily pay the higher price to get a copy of the new work as quickly as possible. Once that initial ’cycle of sales’ has been satisfied, the cheaper paperback book will be released to a higher addressable market of buyers who want to pay the lower price.

Types Of Paperback Book 

There are three distinctive forms of paperback book – firstly, the one with which people are most familiar, the books produced for the mass market. These are the books published following the hardcopy editions as mentioned earlier – these are sold in bookstores, supermarkets, airports and online – romance novels are a good example of the typical content of these books. Slightly larger paperback books, known as B-format paperbacks, are usually associated with literary novels, especially of the fiction genre – these versions are usually produced in a slightly higher-grade paper. The third form is known as the Trade Paperback – these are the softcover versions of the previously-released hardback editions and these are produced in a higher-quality paper grade than the other versions – indeed, in many cases the only difference between the hardback and softback versions of the book is the cover itself!

Cost

The cost of producing a hardback cover version of a book can be as much as five times that of a paperback – so often it is mainly ‘premium’ readers who will opt for the hardback version. Most ‘regular’ readers will choose the cheaper, more flexible, and convenient option of paperbacks – although the competition from digital e-books is now fierce and a growing ‘threat’ to the traditional paperback book publishing.

Appeal

Paperback books will appeal to a certain ‘audience ‘. Whilst some premium readers will only choose hardcover books, more may find the affordability and availability of paperback books more helpful.