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Hard cover books from Amazon. (1 Viewer)

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
Amazon is offering hard cover formats for our novels.
I took a quick foray to look at it by adding the option to one of my books. They offer a 6x9 format, like my existing paperback, and my word file was loaded without issues. The cover was a problem though; the hard cover needs a larger cover image, so some reformatting is necessary. I needed to get back to my WIP, so left the formatting for another day.
I’ll post more about it when I have more time.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
Oh, that's too bad...I was hoping to get the entire package. Maybe they will have refined it by the time I am ready. Please keep us posted on your findings.

I'm not sure if they do just the binding but this Canadian company does a nice job of publishing hardcovers:

 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
So far this is what I’ve learned:
If you have released a 6 x 9 paperback, your cover art won’t work for a hardback book. The spine on the hardback has folds for the book to open, and the artwork has to wrap around the edges. So, the artwork has to be modified and expanded quite a bit.
I’ll learn more in the day’s ahead and will report back.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
The latest:
Amazon doesn't provide PDF cover templates for hard cover books as they to for paperback books (hopefully that will change in the future); for now all they give you is a rough drawing and a series of dimensions - which I had a lot of trouble using. So, for now at least the best way to make your cover is with Amazon's cover creator. This was the first time I used their tool, and I have to admit that I'm pleased with the result.

The hard cover book is in Amazon's standard review and should be approved in a few days. I'll order one for myself and will post pictures and my thoughts on how it turned out when it arrives.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
Oh, that's too bad...I was hoping to get the entire package. Maybe they will have refined it by the time I am ready. Please keep us posted on your findings.

I'm not sure if they do just the binding but this Canadian company does a nice job of publishing hardcovers:

I like using Amazon because it's one shop stopping. I can sell my books for kindle and paper back, and now hard cover through them. It's print on demand, so I don't have to order books and hope that I can sell them. Amazon is were a lot of people go to buy books, and I don't want to step away from that market.

Anyway, stay tuned for pictures when my hard cover book comes in.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
Update:
My test subject for a hardcover was my first novel, The Dark Side of Joy, and is now available for purchase at: Amazon: Dark Side of Joy
The main issue with this format (which is still in Beta) is the book cover - for now at least it's easiest to use Amazon's Cover Creator templates. Eventually, I should change all my covers (paperback and kindle) so they match the hardback version... maybe I'll do that today... but I'm feeling kinda lazy. I sent feedback suggesting that they provide PDF templates as they do for paperbacks, but haven't received a response.
I've added my second novel, The Last Dragon, but that hardcover version is still processing.
OH! - one more thing.
The printing cost of a hardback is significantly higher than it is for the paperback (obviously), so the hardback version of Dark Side is nearly twice that of the paperback version.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
That's fantastic...thanks for info! I think people expect to pay a lot more for hard cover. Twice doesn't surprise me on cost if you think about the production. Can you chose to take a lower markup on hard cover? Or does Amazon drive the pricing?
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
That's fantastic...thanks for info! I think people expect to pay a lot more for hard cover. Twice doesn't surprise me on cost if you think about the production. Can you chose to take a lower markup on hard cover? Or does Amazon drive the pricing?
Yes, I could have chosen to take a lower margin, but didn't. I don't think there will be a huge market for hardback books - maybe I'm wrong though.
My kindle book is $2.99, the paperback is $9.50, and the hardback is $18.00.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
Yes, I could have chosen to take a lower margin, but didn't. I don't think there will be a huge market for hardback books - maybe I'm wrong though.
My kindle book is $2.99, the paperback is $9.50, and the hardback is $18.00.
That's good pricing. For my favourite authors, I buy hard cover. It's a collector thing. But I often wait until I can get them used but "like new." But I would pay $18.00 for a new collectible. I'm certain you have other fans that will do the same. :)
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
That's good pricing. For my favourite authors, I buy hard cover. It's a collector thing. But I often wait until I can get them used but "like new." But I would pay $18.00 for a new collectible. I'm certain you have other fans that will do the same. :)
Thanks - that would be nice, so maybe, someday.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
I had to redesign the hardcovers using the Amazon cover creator. Here's how they turned out.

HC-DSOJ.jpg
HC-LD.jpg
 
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indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
Just wonderful! Good job!!!
Thanks - one thing that seems strange to me is that a new unique ISBN has to be used for the hardback (I couldn't create the hardback with the ISBN used on my kindle and paperback versions). I've asked Amazon customer service, but haven't received an answer yet.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
Another update:
Amazon's hardback book option remains in beta, but the creation process is improving.
Previously Amazon did not provide PDF templates for the hard cover, only a set of dimensions, which made modifying an existing paperback cover for hardback - or creating a hardback cover from scratch a pain. Amazon has remedied this issue - templates are available now.

The guy that does my covers (J Caleb Design) is set to work on my next book (Redemption) at the end of July. He'll create 3 covers of the book, an Ebook (just the front cover art), a paperback (front and back with an narrow paperback spine), and a hardback (front and back, with the extra margins, wrap, hinge, and spine). I'll post about the process and include pictures when it's complete.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
When I listed my first two books I listed as hardcovers the only way to get a cover was to use Amazon's cover creator - which is pretty good, but kinda generic. The hardcover option is still in BETA, but they've improved the interface such that it's possible to load your existing cover (with modifications).

I just went through the (exhausting) process of listing Departure and Desperation (from my Extinction series) with hardcovers. I'm a bit dingy from the process, but here are the notes I took. Remember, as always... YMMV (your mileage may vary).

Hardcover creation (from a 6.9 paperback)
  • I’m assuming you already have your book listed on Amazon as a Kindle and a paperback. The preferred size for a paperback is 6 x 9 inches.
  • Go to KDP – select new hardcover for your existing book.
  • Hardcover Details remain the same as paperback.
    • You need to get a new ISBN – so click the assign, and copy the new number into your manuscript. Save it as a new file.
    • Choose paper and trim size (I used Black & white interior with white paper, and 6 x 9 inches), no bleed, matte finish).
    • Upload your new manuscript (with the new ISBN)
    • You can use Amazon’s cover creator, which is what I did for Dark Side of Joy & Last Dragon, OR you can modify your current paperback cover:
      • Download the KDP template (you’ll need to know the number of pages to determine the spine width), and download the template.
      • Load the template into your image editing software (I use photoshop cs5)
      • Use guides to mark the outer edges of the full cover, the front and back covers, and the spline.
      • Load your paperback cover into your image editing software into a separate editing window.
      • Change image size to: X: front-cover width + back-cover width + spine width Y: front-cover height
      • Copy the modified image as a new layer over the template layer.
      • This is where it gets a bit tricky. The spline of a hardback book is different than a paperback; there’re dents on both sides of the spline that allow the hardcover to open, which you have to allow for. IF you do not have text that will look weird in the dent, then you’re good, otherwise…
      • You’ll have to cut your front and/or back cover and slide them horizontally away from the spline. That’s the easy bit of the process because you’ll need to fill in that empty spot next to the spline – you can use a solid color or choose to use the ‘stamp’ tool (photoshop term) to duplicate graphics to create a contagious image.
      • Once our cover graphics are good, you’ll need to add a border around the edge. This is an extra space that’s folded over and glued to the stock hardcover. The border is about 0.60 inches – but check the dimensions Amazon gives you to be sure. I color this border white, and Amazon doesn’t seem to mind.
      • Save the image as a PDF.
      • Next, select ‘Upload a cover you already have’, and launch the previewer to see if everything is correct. Approve it if it’s good, otherwise, go back and fix the errors.
    • After you ‘Save and Continue’, you choose the marketplace and set the price.
  • Click ‘Publish Your Hardcover Book’ and you’re done. It usually takes about 3 days for Amazon to approve your work.
 
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