Focusing on paperbacks and eBooks has been good for KDP, but they have lagged behind other POD services with regards to hardbacks, for long time most author’s first option would be either IngramSpark, Lulu or a smaller independent printer, and this is fine, but it always felt like KDP were missing a trick not offering the service themselves.
So, if we go back over the past 12-18 months they started a beta service for hardbacks, selected authors were offered the opportunity to print their book via KDP as a case-wrapped edition, numerous authors took them up on the offer and now the service has been rolled out to everyone, at last.
If you want to publish your book via KDP as a hardback, here’s a few things that you should know.
Firstly, the book is a case wrap and does not have a dust jacket, this means that the cover gets printed onto the boards of the book itself, we’re not sure if KDP will eventually bring out a service offering dust jackets, but currently it’s just for case wraps, paperbacks and eBooks.
You will need a new ISBN for your hardback edition (as always, it’s one per edition of your book).
The sizing options for a hardback is a little limited at the moment, currently they are offering the following five trim sizes:
There are also some restrictions on page count with the minimum at 75 pages and the maximum at 550 pages, they support 34 languages for hardback and have the capabilities for both left to right and right to left text.
The book cover for your hardback will differ slightly from that of your paperback edition, technically the artwork gets wrapped around the edges of the boards and so it has to extend out further than that of a paperback. If you look at the diagram below, it shows the specifications for a book to be printed as a hardback.
You’ll see that the template they offer does have a similar feel to the ones used for their paperbacks.
For distribution, currently they offer their hardbacks via Amzon.com - .co.uk - .de - .es - .fr and .it however, it’s not available via expanded distribution at the moment.
The costs for printing is of course more expensive than that of a paperback, so you will need to factor in a higher market price for your hardback edition, if you check out KDP’s cost calculator you can see the cost for your exact book, based on page count, interior paper and format, this is incredibly helpful to ensure you price your book correctly.
Now that this service is live, it’s a very similar process to setting up a paperback within the KDP author’s portal, you should see the option within your bookshelf and be able to add a new title, choosing hardback as the format.
It's worth taking a look at, and if you have a well established book already you should certainly consider publishing it in hardback too.
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