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Jewish Books - Always Hardcover?

 
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amother




OP
 

Post  Mon, Sep 14 2020, 9:35 pm
I’m packing for a move now and it’s dawned on me that 98% of the English Jewish books I have are heavy hard cover books. Anyone know why English books from frum companies are almost invariably hardback? It makes them incredibly heavy and difficult to carry. Not to mention more expensive. Would love if more books were soft cover. Anyone here work in Jewish publishing who can weigh in?
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youngishbear




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Sep 14 2020, 9:38 pm
I have often complained about this. I can think of some exceptions, like Sun Inside Rain, but mostly children's books like the Baker's Dozen and Shira's Summer. Even Regards From Camp came in hardcover.

Following.
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amother




Turquoise
 

Post  Mon, Sep 14 2020, 9:57 pm
I'm a librarian and I do not like to buy softcover.
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Hashem_Yaazor




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Sep 14 2020, 11:08 pm
I've had a few softcover books that didn't last at all and it's very upsetting to me. The Face in the Mirror by Yael Mermelstein lost pages when the third person read it.
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amother




Orange
 

Post  Mon, Sep 14 2020, 11:59 pm
amother [ Turquoise ] wrote:
I'm a librarian and I do not like to buy softcover.


I concur. I'm also a librarian and the jewish books are not bound well. the hardcovers are not great but the softcovers are a joke. And I always have my graphic novels rebound before I put them out.
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amother




Turquoise
 

Post  Tue, Sep 15 2020, 7:49 am
amother [ Orange ] wrote:
I concur. I'm also a librarian and the jewish books are not bound well. the hardcovers are not great but the softcovers are a joke. And I always have my graphic novels rebound before I put them out.


I also bind the graphic novels first.
But do we want books to cost a few dollars more so they can bind them better? To be fair, secular paperbacks also lose pages after less time than I'd like.
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amother




Blue
 

Post  Tue, Sep 15 2020, 10:53 am
Another librarian here who prefers hard cover books as well. Especially a library with heavy usage, soft covers do not last well. Not happy when we need to replace worn copies and find the book with former hardcovers, are re-printed into softcover edition.
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amother




Blue
 

Post  Tue, Sep 15 2020, 11:01 am
youngishbear wrote:
I have often complained about this. I can think of some exceptions, like Sun Inside Rain, but mostly children's books like the Baker's Dozen and Shira's Summer. Even Regards From Camp came in hardcover.

Following.


Sun Inside Rain, was also published as a softcover. Baker's Dozen was first printed in softcover. Then re-printed into a hardcover of 3 in 1. Those went out of print and recently were reprinted again into soft cover and individuals, which eventually will be 17 separate books. wish they kept the 3 in 1 format like they did with the Kid Sisters Series, which also was first printed in soft cover and individual editions. It was reprinted into 3 in 1 hardcover. It was re-published recently and stayed in 3 in 1 and hardcover. Much preferred 3 in 1 to having tons of softcover books flying around.
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amother




Orange
 

Post  Tue, Sep 15 2020, 11:24 am
amother [ Turquoise ] wrote:
I also bind the graphic novels first.
But do we want books to cost a few dollars more so they can bind them better? To be fair, secular paperbacks also lose pages after less time than I'd like.


I understand, but it's not like "maybe" it will fall apart. The soft covers and graphic novels WILL fall apart, and fast. If it has to cost more to be of minimum quality so be it.
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amother




Coffee
 

Post  Tue, Sep 15 2020, 2:51 pm
I can't speak for all publishers, but for us, the Jewish demographic provides such a narrow profit margin that going softcover lowers the margin so much more that it almost isn't worth it to publish at all for us (though we have discussed publishing softcover reprints.) I know how frustrating the price point is - I don't buy Jewish books myself if I can help it, because it's so expensive!!!- but I can't afford to spend weeks of work on a book that barely produces enough of a profit to make it worthwhile. (And 'worthwhile' is very, very little to begin with, trust me.) The larger secular markets can toss off runs of 100,000 in softcover and still make a profit - our standard runs of 5k just can't manage that.

We make it a point of pride to print only in the USA because the bindings here are stronger (than, say, China). Some of the facilities we use printed and bound the Harry Potter books - it's as good as the industry is going to get. If you find our books falling apart, it's not because we didn't do our due diligence in binding them.

Just my two cents :-)
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Ruchel




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Sep 16 2020, 9:38 am
I don't notice. Mine def are paperback and ebook Wink
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amother




Turquoise
 

Post  Wed, Sep 16 2020, 9:44 am
amother [ Coffee ] wrote:
I can't speak for all publishers, but for us, the Jewish demographic provides such a narrow profit margin that going softcover lowers the margin so much more that it almost isn't worth it to publish at all for us (though we have discussed publishing softcover reprints.) I know how frustrating the price point is - I don't buy Jewish books myself if I can help it, because it's so expensive!!!- but I can't afford to spend weeks of work on a book that barely produces enough of a profit to make it worthwhile. (And 'worthwhile' is very, very little to begin with, trust me.) The larger secular markets can toss off runs of 100,000 in softcover and still make a profit - our standard runs of 5k just can't manage that.

We make it a point of pride to print only in the USA because the bindings here are stronger (than, say, China). Some of the facilities we use printed and bound the Harry Potter books - it's as good as the industry is going to get. If you find our books falling apart, it's not because we didn't do our due diligence in binding them.

Just my two cents :-)


I understand. That's why I said, do we want to have to pay more.
It pays to bind books before they fall apart,, some even before they hit the shelves.
And I don't buy so many books, and I make money as a librarian. So I'm probably not your favorite person Wink
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amother




Orange
 

Post  Wed, Sep 16 2020, 9:54 am
amother [ Coffee ] wrote:


We make it a point of pride to print only in the USA because the bindings here are stronger (than, say, China). Some of the facilities we use printed and bound the Harry Potter books - it's as good as the industry is going to get. If you find our books falling apart, it's not because we didn't do our due diligence in binding them.

Just my two cents :-)


From my experience of many years, the Jewish bindings are not nearly as good as my mainstream press books. I do find menucha better than the rest. Maybe that's you?
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