Wednesday Cover Story: Making hardbacks extra beautiful…

During the Fall of Night Book Tour, after Rachel Caine had finished signing books for fans at Waterstones in Bournemouth, I was admiring the cover to A Delicate Truth, by John le Carré (with its embossed gold foil) and chatting to the manager about how much effort is going into hardbacks now. Gone are the days when you could expect a hardback to fly off the shelves simply because it was a much awaited new release. The rise of the ebook means readers can now enjoy brand new releases at a fraction of the cost. Why would the average reader choose to pay the high price of a hardback, when there is a cheaper alternative?

Because it is a thing of beauty. Publishers are now paying much more attention to making hardbacks covetable items you will want on your bookshelf. Textured covers, special foils, ribbon markers, and other high-spec finishes that were previously limited to specials limited editions, are now becoming standard practice.

With an ebook you can’t enjoy the rubbery feel of a super-matt cover (my current book fetish) or admire the intricate design on a printed bookcase and suddenly paying extra for the hardback starts making much more sense. James pointed out the new trend he’s seeing (and loving)…super matt with glossy embossing. And indeed, when Rachel Caine and I visited Waterstones in Leicester, the manager there recommended The Shining Girls, by Lauren Beukus, sporting exactly that, a super-matt black background with shiny golden embossed (raised) text. We stroked it admiringly…

Despite the fact that Rachel travels with her ipad, enjoys reading ebooks and was going to be travelling back to Texas with little space in her luggage, the hardback was purchased without a moment’s thought. Hardback 1 – Ebook – 0.

Chiara Priorelli, Publicity & Online Marketing Manager

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