Hardcover

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A typical hardcover book (1899), showing the wear signs of a cloth cover over the hard paperboards Theodor Fontane Der Stechlin.jpg
A typical hardcover book (1899), showing the wear signs of a cloth cover over the hard paperboards

A hardcover or hardback (also known as hardbound, and sometimes as case-bound) book is one bound with rigid protective covers (typically of binder's board or heavy paperboard covered with buckram or other cloth, heavy paper, or occasionally leather). It has a flexible, sewn spine which allows the book to lie flat on a surface when opened. Following the ISBN sequence numbers, books of this type may be identified by the abbreviation Hbk.

Contents

Detail of "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea", first English edition (1873), showing cloth pattern on cover 20000 Leagues Under the Sea, book cover, first English edition 1873.JPG
Detail of "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea", first English edition (1873), showing cloth pattern on cover

Hardcover books are often printed on acid-free paper, and they are much more durable than paperbacks, which have flexible, easily damaged paper covers. Hardcover books are marginally more costly to manufacture. Hardcovers are frequently protected by artistic dust jackets, but a "jacketless" alternative has increased in popularity: these "paper-over-board" or "jacketless hardcover" bindings forgo the dust jacket in favor of printing the cover design directly onto the board binding. [1] [2]

Marketing

If brisk sales are anticipated, a hardcover edition of a book is typically released first, followed by a "trade" paperback edition (same format as hardcover) the next year. Some publishers publish paperback originals if slow hardback sales are anticipated. For very popular books these sales cycles may be extended, and followed by a mass market paperback edition typeset in a more compact size and printed on thinner, less hardy paper. This is intended to, in part, prolong the life of the immediate buying boom that occurs for some best sellers: After the attention to the book has subsided, a lower-cost version in the paperback, is released to sell further copies. In the past the release of a paperback edition was one year after the hardback, but by the early twenty-first century paperbacks were released six months after the hardback by some publishers. [3] It is very unusual for a book that was first published in paperback to be followed by a hardback. An example is the novel The Judgment of Paris by Gore Vidal, which had its revised edition of 1961 first published in paperback, and later in hardcover. [4]

Prices

Hardcover books are usually sold at higher prices than comparable paperbacks. Books for the general public are usually printed in hardback only for authors who are expected to be successful, or as a precursor to the paperback to predict sale levels; however, many academic books are often only published in hardcover editions.

Typical structure

Hardcovers typically consist of a page block, two boards, and a cloth or heavy paper covering. The pages are sewn together and glued onto a flexible spine between the boards, and it too is covered by the cloth. A paper wrapper, or dust jacket, is usually put over the binding, folding over each horizontal end of the boards. Dust jackets serve to protect the underlying cover from wear. On the folded part, or flap, over the front cover is generally a blurb, or a summary of the book. The back flap is where the biography of the author can be found. Reviews are often placed on the back of the jacket. Many modern bestselling hardcover books use a partial cloth cover, with cloth covered board on the spine only, and only boards covering the rest of the book.

Modern hardcovers are not sewn or stitched but the pages are glued onto the spine in much the same way as paperbacks. This means that they do not lie flat when left opened.

See also

Related Research Articles

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Dust jacket Paper wrapper for a book

The dust jacket of a book is the detachable outer cover, usually made of paper and printed with text and illustrations. This outer cover has folded flaps that hold it to the front and back book covers. Often the back panel or flaps are printed with biographical information about the author, a summary of the book from the publisher or critical praise from celebrities or authorities in the book's subject area. In addition to its promotional role, the dust jacket protects the book covers from damage. However, since it is itself relatively fragile, and since dust jackets have practical, aesthetic and sometimes financial value, the jacket may in turn be wrapped in another jacket, usually transparent, especially if the book is a library volume.

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Marvel Masterworks is an American collection of hardcover and trade paperback comic book reprints published by Marvel Comics. The collection started in 1987, with volumes reprinting the issues of The Amazing Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, The X-Men, and The Avengers. Approximately 10 issues are reprinted in each volume. In 2013, Masterworks published its 200th volume. The Masterworks line has expanded from such reprints of the 1960s period that fans and historians call the Silver Age of Comic Books to include the 1930s–1940s Golden Age; comics of Marvel's 1950s pre-Code forerunner, Atlas Comics; and even some reprints from the 1970s period called the Bronze Age of Comic Books.

Book design Styling, formatting and designing the layout of a books contents

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Book cover protective covering used to bind together the pages of a book

A book cover is any protective covering used to bind together the pages of a book. Beyond the familiar distinction between hardcovers and paperbacks, there are further alternatives and additions, such as dust jackets, ring-binding, and older forms such as the nineteenth-century "paper-boards" and the traditional types of hand-binding. The term "Bookcover" is often used for a book cover image in library management software. This article is concerned with modern mechanically produced covers.

<i>Three for the Chair</i> book by Rex Stout

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<i>Triple Jeopardy</i> Book by Rex Stout

Triple Jeopardy is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1952. Itself collected in the omnibus volume Kings Full of Aces, the book comprises three stories that first appeared in The American Magazine:

<i>Three Men Out</i> book by Rex Stout

Three Men Out is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1954. The book comprises three stories that first appeared in The American Magazine:

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Bookbinding Process of assembling a book

Bookbinding is the process of physically assembling a book of codex format from an ordered stack of paper sheets that are folded together into sections or sometimes left as a stack of individual sheets. The stack (signature) is then bound together along one edge by either sewing with thread through the folds or by a layer of flexible adhesive. Alternative methods of binding that are cheaper but less permanent include loose-leaf rings, individual screw posts or binding posts, twin loop spine coils, plastic spiral coils, and plastic spine combs. For protection, the bound stack is either wrapped in a flexible cover or attached to stiff boards. Finally, an attractive cover is adhered to the boards, including identifying information and decoration. Book artists or specialists in book decoration can also greatly enhance a book's content by creating book-like objects with artistic merit of exceptional quality.

Book rebinding Renewal of book

Book rebinding is the renewal or replacement of the cover of a book. Typically, this requires restitching or renewal of the glue which holds the pages in place.

Omit Flowers short story by Rex Stout

"Omit Flowers" is a Nero Wolfe mystery novella by Rex Stout, first published in the November 1948 issue of The American Magazine. It first appeared in book form in the short-story collection Three Doors to Death, published by the Viking Press in 1950.

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References

  1. Post, Chad W. (2009-06-22). "In Praise of Paper-Over-Board - Publishing Perspectives". Publishing Perspectives. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
  2. Neyfakh, Leon (2009-08-24). "The New Thing: Books Without Jackets". Observer. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
  3. Bosman, Julie (26 July 2011). "E-Books Accelerate Paperback Publishers' Release Dates". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 14 May 2011.
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2017-05-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)