Paperbacks, Hardbacks, and eBooks — Oh My!

Today’s post is by publishing industry expert, Wendy Stetina.

Authors often ask whether they should publish a paperback, hardback, and eBook version of their book? In most cases, the answer is yes, but in some cases, publishing additional editions isn’t the best idea.  Let me clarify here…

Some full-service self-publishing companies, such as Outskirts Press, allow authors to publish a hardback instead of a paperback or they may publish a hardback in addition to their paperback. Authors are also able to add editions for the various eReaders — for example an Amazon Kindle or Barnes&Noble Nook. Editions above and beyond paperback usually add an additional cost to producing your book.

I rarely recommend that a first time author publish primarily in hardback because these books come with a higher price tag and will possibility have a lower sales performance than paperback. I love for an author to have both formats for two reasons it gives the book a standard (the paperback) and a premium (the hardback) version and two price points.

I look at the hardback as an investment into your book promotion strategy. I do not see it as the version that is going to drive sales volume but more as a “special” edition for the author to sign and give as gifts etc.

If budget is an issue, I would suggest investing the money into either a custom designed cover or professional copyediting as neglecting either of these options could seriously cloud the public’s perception of your book.


Wendy Stetina is a sales and marketing professional with over 30 years experience in the printing and publishing industry. Wendy works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; and together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction, or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Wendy Stentina can put you on the right path.

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