Since my posts this week have been very book themed, I’ve decided to write up a post about book types. When you think of book types, I’m sure you’re thinking along the lines of genre but what I’m actually talking about are book format types. I’ll talk about physical books as well as ebooks.
When it comes to physical books, there are two main types:
Hardcovers are exactly the way they sound. The book has a hard backing. Paperbacks have a soft backing. It makes them more flexible in the hand. When you sit hardcover down open, it will stay open. Paperbacks don’t do the same thing. You usually have to hold them the whole time or use a book clip or stand.
Within the two main types you have sub types:
- Sleeved hardcover
- Embossed hardcover
- Trade paperback
- Mass market paperback
A sleeved hardcover is a hardback book with the cover design on a sleeve instead of the actual book itself. You can take the paper sleeve off while reading it to keep it nice or if you loan it to people and are afraid they’ll ruin it. An embossed hardcover has the cover design embedded on the book lining itself. The process involves many sheets of paper and a cast mold of the design being pressed into the book. Hardcover books are already pretty expensive but between these two, the embossed hardcover is definitely a few dollars more than your regular hardcover. Check out the differences below:
A trade paperback is a large, softcover book. It is not to be confused with a large print book because the print size is about the same as your average paperback it just has a bigger binding. A mass market paperback is a small softcover book and it’s usually thicker in comparison to your trade paperback. Trade paperbacks are about double the cost of mass market paperbacks because they are considered high quality. Most indie authors, who aren’t strictly ebook sellers, sell their paper books as trade paperbacks. Check out the differences below:
Now when you get into ebooks, there are three main formats that people use:
EPUB is the most common. You can buy or upload epubs to a lot of different platforms. There’s Google Play Books, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Adobe Digital Edtions and plenty of other third party apps that can read epub.
AZW is the second most common because it is the proprietary ebook format used exclusively by Amazon. If you use a Kindle or the Kindle app, your ebooks are this format. The upside to using Amazon is that it is the number one book platform used by all types of authors whether traditional, indie or your neighbor next door. Anyone can upload a book. The downside is that you can’t use .azw with any other app.
MOBI is a lesser known book format that is used but its still regarded as a favorite book format. A .mobi book can handle more rich and more advanced book content than the other two.
Here are a couple of screenshots from the different apps I use:
They all essentially try to give you the bookshelf look within the app. You also have the ability to use bookmarks, highlight passages and there’s a dictionary ready to use if you want to know the definition of a word. Some of these apps even have a read aloud feature. It’s not the same as an audiobook, because the voice is very robotic, but it’s nice to have if you need it.
What do you think of all these book formats? Which ones do your primarily go for? Which reading apps do you primarily use? Let me know in the comments below!