Hardbacks vs Paperbacks

Brandon Sanderson wrote an interesting essay on the difference between hardcover and paperback sales, and what they mean to an author. Read it here.

Thanks to Larry (Dylanfanatic) for the "heads up!"

5 commentaires:

Jason said...

It is an interesting read, however it is only looking at the financial aspect of hard cover vs. soft cover. There are other factors. I prefer to read soft covers because they are easier to handle. They are also generally better quality (I don't know how many hard covers I have seen where all of the pages aren't cut straight with ragged edges). Also for several authors their books came out in soft cover only for the first couple, then release later books in hard cover when they do well. Good for them but I prefer to have the whole set in one format. There is also the fact that most bookstores only stock hard cover versions when they first come out. If you are buying older books, it is hard to find hard covers. So there are many other factors in the decision between hard/soft books.

maschine said...

Hm, I think he missed the point with buying 3 paperbacks vs buying 1 hard cover and rent 2 from the library.
(Most) people don't buy books to support the author but to HAVE the book and put it in the shelve with all your other books.
Otherwise, where is the sense in buying any books at all? You could just rent all of them from the library.

Jim said...

Jason, in point of fact, hardcovers are actually better quality. They're designed with the intent of weathering the years better - better quality pages that don't fade or yellow with time, solid covers, etc.

Maschine, as someone who hopes to someday be a published author, I can completely see Brandon's point. Personally, I think I'll be looking to put more hardcovers on my shelf in the future - I'd like to do my part to contribute to the income of the authors I love and, in so doing, add my thanks for giving me good books to read.

jason said...

YMMV regarding the durability. I have paperbacks still going strong from the early 80's that I read often, and hardcovers that fall apart on the bookshelf. The durability is not a fact, just an opinion based on individual experience. I won't buy any of the hardcovers with obvious flaws like jagged pages and ofset printing, so can't comment on their durability (they are 'damaged' from the start).

itkovian said...

For me, the quality of the cover itself is not what I'm most interested in. I care about owning the book, being able to reread whenever I feel like it, without having to go to a library and try to finish it in time, if I'm very busy with other things besides reading. So, I'm probably more inclined to buy three or four PBs than one HC. Add to that the fact that a HC doesn't fit with the rest of my gear in my backpack, whereas a PB or even trade PB does ... Don;t get me wrong, I'm all in favour of paying the author for his work, which is why I buy the books I like.

As for buying from amazon. Well, my local bookstore bailed on English SF/Fantasy, claiming that it doesn't seel very good. So I either go during lunch at work, to a store that might have what I want, or I look it up at my leisure on amazon. I'm more inclined to do the latter.