Saturday, September 25, 2010
Paperback or Hardcover? What Format Brings in the Bucks?
Lately though, more and more authors are coming out in trade and sometimes success is big as in the case of this summer’s smash hit One Day. Occasionally a hardback will experience middling sales but the trade paperback soars as was the case with Memory Keeper’s Daughter or Secret Life of Bees. Penguin is a publisher that seems to have a lot of luck with turning paperback reprints into huge sensations. Also some types of novels have always come out in trade such as a lot of first-time literary novels as well women’s fiction, particularly chick lit.
An article this week in the Wall Street Journal covers the advantages and disadvantages of both formats. A book editor at People is quoted as saying:
“Seeing 'paperback original' in a catalog used to mean I could safely skip a book—that the publisher probably didn't have big ambitions for it. That's slowly beginning to change."
I’ve come out in trade and hardback and see pros and cons with both formats. Yeah, the royalty rate is better for hardback but as an author it’s a pain to promote both versions. Also at book signings it’s easier to get people to pay fourteen dollars instead of twenty-four.
What’s your thoughts? As a writer, do have a preference for a particular format and if so why? As a reader, do you usually buy hardbacks or trade paperbacks? Or do like mass market paperbacks. (Like the fat paperbacks sold on grocery shelves.)
Click worthy Links:
Rejected novels rake in the dough. J. A Konrath’s ebook sales hit 100,000.
Few Boys Allowed. Publishing is an old-girl business.