Hardcover or softcover for books

Hardcover, softcover or paperback?

What are the differences and what is suitable for my book?

If you are about to create and publish your first book, you must have dealt with this one question - hardcover or softcover? You may also have heard of the term “paperback”, but what exactly is a paperback anyway?
We at Bookmundo will explain the differences to you in this blog post and help you decide which version to choose for your book.


→ Why hardcover?
Soft cover
→ Why softcover?


The hardcover (as the name suggests) has a more robust envelope than the softcover.
The binding of a hardcover book is either made of hard cardboard or is cardboard. Some hardcover books also have a reading or capital ribbon. The latter is a small, often colored tape that is glued to the top and bottom of the spine of the book. It serves to stabilize the book, but in the past was often used solely to decorate the book.

The binding and the book block of a hardcover are made in separate processing steps and then put together at the end. Another special feature is that the cover is not firmly glued to the book. You have already noticed that when you open the book, there is a small cavity between the spine and cover.
The content and cover of the hardcover, however, are linked by a flyleaf (see picture).

You can use hardcover for almost any genre, because there is no rule of thumb in this regard. From children's books to thrillers to cookbooks, most of them often come out in hardcover versions.

You can choose whether the cover should be glossy or matt when you first create your book. You can find more about the selection options in our book price calculator.

Why hardcover?

The advantage of this cover is the longevity of the book. The robust cover ensures that the book is protected. For example, unintentional kinking of the book cover on a hardcover cannot occur because this process would have to use force.
Soft covers, on the other hand, can quickly get dog-ears in the book cover, which is of course undesirable from an aesthetic point of view and should therefore be avoided.

Please keep in mind, however, that such an advantageous cover also has its price. Hard covers are more expensive than soft covers due to the complex production. That is why many authors choose a hardcover for the first edition of their books, also because they look more valuable and professional in terms of production. However, most authors use a softcover for subsequent editions and special editions.
But what other aspects are there that distinguish the soft cover from the hard cover?

Soft cover

This is the cheaper version of a book because it is a perfect-bound brochure. A brochure is a simpler version of a paperback because the book block is either stapled or glued together. Then a mostly flexible cardboard envelope is glued or pinned on. The printed envelopes are usually laminated with a matt or glossy finish due to their greater durability.

Softcover are also popular under the namePaperback, paperbackorPaperbackor. Booklet guided. Here isPaperback often just the English name for paperback. However, this does not always have to be the case, especially in Germany paperbacks and paperbacks differ in the thickness of the paper and a higher quality processing (the latter).
If we were to arrange the various bindings in order of increasing paper thickness, the booklet would come first, then the paperback, followed by the paperback and finally the hardcover.

Why softcover?

The lower paper thickness of softcover books is not only noticeable in the lighter production for print shops, but also in the price. Thus, many authors who want the greatest possible profit tend to publish their books as soft covers, as this is the cheaper option. Many crime novels, information books, but also product descriptions are often soft covers because they are easy to use and can be stowed away quickly.
However, the simple and lightweight cover can also have its drawbacks, as it is more prone to scratches or dog-ears and therefore the book looks worn out faster.


Whether you should choose a hard or soft cover for your book depends entirely on your budget and your personal ideas about your book. Both versions can be found in bookstores; the American writer John Green (Fate is a lousy traitor), for example, likes to publish his books as soft covers. Others prefer to publish their books in hardcover.