Hardback books have always been popular. A 2019 poll on Goodreads revealed data to back this up: more than 40% of readers expressed a preference for hardback books over their paperback counterparts. Traditionally, indie authors didn’t have the option for hardback books via Amazon’s KDP print service. But this changed in 2021 when Amazon finally announced their hardback publishing option. There are some limitations so, in this article, we will cover the pros and cons.

The Prestige of Hardbacks

Hardback books carry a certain prestige. They’re durable, aesthetically pleasing, and often considered collectables. For authors, offering a hardback edition on Amazon can not only cater to readers’ preferences but also strategically position your book’s other formats. Hardbacks are generally more expensive, which can make the paperback and ebook versions seem more attractive due to their lower price points. This pricing strategy can enhance the perceived value of all versions of your book.

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Hardback Options

KDP’s hardback covers are constructed from board, and wrapped in printed, laminated paper. Unfortunately, for those enchanted by the classic look of dust jackets, KDP does not currently offer jackets as an option. Truth be told, dust jackets are a throwback to a bygone era when printing onto the case wasn’t an option, and because dust jackets are prone to damage easily, we advise against them. Instead of a jacket, the cover image paper is glued directly to the cover board, known as a ‘printed paper case’. Authors can choose between matt or glossy finishes, aligning with the choices available for Amazon KDP paperbacks.

Page Printing

With Amazon KDP hardcover printing, the interior page printing comes in two options: mono (black and white) and premium colour. Mono printing can be on white or cream paper, to suit the book genre; for instance, cream paper is often chosen for fiction. In contrast, colour printing is exclusively available on white paper, ensuring that the vividness of your illustrations or photographs is preserved.

Page Counts and Trim Sizes

For those considering the hardback route, there are specific technical considerations to keep in mind. The minimum page count for a hardback book through KDP is 75 pages, with a maximum limit of 550 pages. This range accommodates most standard book lengths but requires planning for those working on either unusually short or exceptionally long manuscripts.

At the time of writing, KDP supports these trim (page) sizes for hardback books:

  • 216mm x 140mm
  • 229mm x 152mm
  • 234mm x 156mm
  • 254mm x 178mm
  • 280mm x 210mm

If your artwork is currently formatted for a different size for paperback, it will need to be amended to fit one of these supported hardback sizes. This is something we can help with. A change in page size can lead to content reflow, potentially reducing the total number of pages. This aspect can be crucial for ensuring the integrity of your layout and design.

Embracing the Hardback Format

Venturing into hardback publishing on Amazon can open new doors for indie authors. It’s a chance to reach a specific reader demographic, enhance the perceived value of your book across formats, and add a layer of sophistication to your published work. While the process may involve additional considerations — such as adjusting artwork and carefully choosing your trim size — the potential benefits in terms of audience reach and pricing strategy make it an option to consider.

Ready to Publish Your Book as a Hardback?

Whether you’re an established author or just beginning your publishing journey, considering the hardback format on Amazon could be a smart move to boost sales and meet your readers’ preferences.

Looking for a professional self-publishing service on Amazon and beyond? Contact us to publish your hardback book.