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Pagan Books

In 1961 Carl Llewellyn Weschcke bought a mail order publishing business. This business went on to become Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd. A publishing house that became a household name in the pagan community both here in the United States and abroad. Yet, Llewellyn is the inspiration and motivation for other publishing companies to print books about the pagan faiths around the world.

In the printing industry the format is called mass-market paperbacks. They are call so because they are cheaper to produce than the classic and long-standing hardback books. This type of binding is called PERFECT BOUND. Hardback books can be printed two ways. The first is cheaper. This where the “cover” is printed directly onto the cardboard of the hardback book. If you have ever read a Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew mystery novel you’ve seen this version. The second option is where the book is printed with a hardback binding, but has no cover image on it. This is when they put on a Dust Jacket. Modern dust jackets are roughly a piece of 32 lb. or heavier weight paper that has the books cover image on it(the front) with a bio of the author or reviews of the book on the back. The inside flaps have a summary of the story(front) and a short bio (if the author is just getting started) and a picture of the book’s author.

Hardback books from the thirties through the sixties are interesting. Aside from the dust jacket described above, the  older books had two dust jackets. The first was the cover image and reviews. The second was a clear cellophane cover to protect the image jacket. Hardback books have a history of lasting longer than mass-market paperbacks. This is because the covers of paperback books can crease and the books glue will only last about twenty years or more. This of course depends on several things. The first is well the reader treats/takes care of the book. Environmental conditions. And whether or not the glue used in the bindings cheap or not.

I am describing all this for you because Ellen Evert Hopman is publishing a new book called A Legacy of Druids. It comes out in April 2016. The format is paperback. I will buy it. I have bought her previous books. I admit, I do not know if Pagan authors are or are not given the option of having their books printed as hardback books. Most might/will choose mass-market paperback binding for their books if they are self-publishing. But if they are going to Llewellyn, Moon Books or another publishing house, why do they not offer hardback binding as an option.

Some publishing houses might do mass-market paperback binding because its their niche in the business. But why not offer hardback binding IF they have that ability? I do not know…


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