The Self-Publishing Insider

Are hardcover books worth self-publishing? Find out here from the experts at Publish Pros.

Are Hardback Books Worth Self-Publishing?

Books were once regarded as extremely sacred objects that were only available to a select handful of royalty or the church. Each book was painstakingly handwritten and decorated with elaborate script and illustrations, often by monks, and such books were considered precious objects, both in terms of content and form.

No wonder hard covers were used to protect them.

Today, however, thanks to modern printing technology, books are available in multiple forms – including any combination of ebooks, audiobooks, paperbacks, and hardcovers. So, are hardback books worth self-publishing? Keep these considerations in mind as you decide whether printing hardback books is right for you.

Cost of hardback book printing

Let’s be honest – hardback books are more expensive to print, store, and ship. In fact, a hardback book can cost up to five times more per copy to produce than a paperback. But, the extra cost may be necessary, especially if it makes more sense for your book to exist as a hardback, or your audience expects it to be available with a hard cover.

Functionality of hardback vs paperback

While hardback books are often heavier and more durable, paperbacks are designed to be small, light and portable, making it easy for a reader to take them on the go.

As you think of which cover format makes sense for you, consider what your audience may prefer, or how they’ll likely use your book. Is it designed to be a weighty, serious reference book, or is it a light, fun book that someone could read at the beach, standing in the grocery store line or on the bus?

Reader appeal

As you consider functionality, don’t forget about the overall appeal of your book’s cover and your audience’s expectations. If your audience expects a hardcover book, a paperback may appear cheap and unappealing, just as a hardcover book may look expensive and lavish to an audience that expects a paperback instead.

However, most people readily admit hardcovers hold a special sort of appeal that paperbacks just can’t beat. So, if you believe your audience prefers a hardback, and you can price it in a way that doesn’t kill sales, printing in hardcover is a viable option.


In many ways, nothing compares to publishing an ebook, especially in terms of cost and reach. Even the most traditional authors often now include an ebook option as part of their distribution and marketing strategy. Of course, the look, feel and experience of reading an eBook is drastically different from picking up and reading a hardcover book, or a paperback for that matter, but it provides an easy, convenient way for authors to publish their work. And the best part is that if you self-publish and still want a physical book, you can easily do both.

Which option is right for you?

Whether you’re a hard-core hardback aficionado or prefer paperbacks instead, the right choice is up to you. And whatever you decide, Publish Pros can help. Unlike the cookie-cutter solutions offered by most print-on-demand self-publishing companies, Publish Pros provides personal attention and custom solutions tailored to your specific needs. Contact Publish Pros today and see how we can help you produce your next hardcover, paperback or eBook.