Hardback books are hard!!
Posted July 18, 2012on:
hardback books are hard. . .
. . . on the wallet, that is.
Most mass market paperbacks run $10 or less. A higher quality trade paperback is usually in the $13 – $17 range. But a hardback? Now were talking $22, $25, sometimes upwards of $30. (e-books are all over the place, but I’m not concerned with e-books, as I don’t have an e-reader)
A ten dollar mass market paperback is ten bucks for a reason. The binding isn’t awesome, the paper is usually flimsy, you might get ink rubbed off on your hands while you read. But you’ll probably get a dozen readings out of the thing before it starts to fall apart.
A $25 (or more) hardback is going to last forever. The paper is much higher quality and the ink doesn’t rub off, and that binding glue ain’t going anywhere. Sometimes the dust jacket has better cover art and maybe even a photo of the author inside, and sometimes you’ll find little easter eggs engraved right into the book itself.
Some books are only ever in paperback, and others are first printed in hardback and then a year or so later, a cheapo paperback comes out. How I would love to listen in on a publisher’s decision on whether or not to print something in hardback or paperback, especially for debut authors, where early sales could affect future contracts or sales. Hey, Authors, do you get any weight in the paperback/hardback decision when you are working with publishers?
So, fellow book lovers: how much does cost impact your decision to purchase a book?
If a book you want to read is only in hardback, do you buy it? Or do you borrow it from the library, wait to find a hardback at the used bookstore, or wait for it to come out in paperback? There are 4 books that I currently have my eye on. two are paperback, so those are a no-brainer, each will be ten bucks or less. But two of them are hardbacks, each running minimum of $25. It suddenly adds up to a fat chunk of change, and I am going to have to choose. Don’t get me wrong, the 2nd book will eventually get purchased, but possibly not for another two to three months, and damnit, I want to read it now!
And yes, I know the easy answer is to just wait for a deal on Amazon and go that route. Spend enough and get free shipping, etc. It’s easy, but every book I buy at Amazon is another sale my beloved local indie owned bookstore isn’t getting. Amazon is my last resort.