Book lovers with limited space and budgets will often have to wait longer for new releases. The more affordable and smaller paperback usually appears on bookstore shelves a few weeks or months after a hardcover makes its debut. Consumers may wonder why publishing houses choose to delay the release of paperbacks and focus their first efforts on a hardcover. Here are a few reasons this happens.
Symbol of quality
Smaller publishing houses and books written by lesser-known authors often go directly to paperback. A paperback book costs less to produce and less to ship. The smaller books also need less room on a bookstore shelf. Hardcover books give the appearance of more important work, and the effort put into designing the dust jacket, printing, and shipping help to justify the higher retail price.
Attention from consumers
Hardcover books look better on bookshelves at home and the store. In a retail location, the larger product draws more attention. Publishers who believe a book has the potential to interest many readers will use the format to draw the eye of the buyer and help to increase the sales of the book.
Desirability to collectors
Many dedicated book lovers prefer the look and feel of a hardcover rather than a paperback. Some will buy the latest book from their favorite authors in both forms. The paperback is easy to carry around read during their commute, when traveling, or when at lunch during the workday. The hardcover stays pristine on their bookshelf for safekeeping and, sometimes, when they choose to read at home.
Hardcover books also offer a lot of convenience for the reader that a paperback does not. A hardcover book stays open easier and has larger pages and print. It is often easier to keep a bookmark in place in a larger book, and hardcovers have dust jackets that work perfectly as placeholders if a bookmark is out of reach.
Profits are larger
Hardcovers cost more to produce and handle, but the inflated sale price still earns more profit for the seller and the publishing house. Impatient readers willingly pay more to read the books they want as soon as they arrive. The desire to have the work in their hands immediately does not come as a surprise to publishers. The date for the release of a paperback may even experience a delay until the sales of the hardcover lag.
The popularity of a book relies on the quality of the content inside. The exterior may seem to have little to do with the overall experience, but it affects it more than many people may realize. Many book readers avoid digital copies because they want to feel the weight of a book, enjoy the sound of flipping a page, and appreciate the illustrations and even the font. Hardcover books offer these benefits and are likely to remain the most common style for new releases.