We are just looking at this subject form the bindery perspective.
Hardcover, paperback or mass market styles
Which option is right for your book?
Bindery Formats for books
It is commonly called perfect-bound in the trade. You could also hear it called soft cover as a compression the hardcover bindery.
Paperback is the most common bindery style you come across at the bookstores.
It has a thicker card stock cover, 10-pt. 12 or 14-point thickness are the most common ones. They could be finished by AQ coating as a basic and most affordable one, from there it could be UV coated, then laminated, here we see a gloss lamination or matte lamination, then comes silk lamination, soft touch lamination, after it could get spot UV printing on laminated covers, hot foil stamping, embossing etc. You must find the balance between your budget and the desired effect. You can start with asking quotations from the book printers with a few options to compare.
The pages of the paperback are glued to each other along with the cover with glue. Glue is applied by heat and physical pressure.
This format has no difference with paperback books when it comes to bindery style.
However, they are smaller in size and thicker and they usually have lower quality paper both inside and cover.
Hardcover is also called hardbound or case-bound.
Much thicker cardboard is used to build hardcover books. It has a fabric like finishing, probably the name of the book and the author are printed on the spine with hot foil stamping. It usually has a full-colour glossy jacket wrapped around. The pages are commonly sewed, sometimes glued. This gives flexibility so it could stay flat. This could be a sought feature with the recipe books.
Things to consider:
The cost to the customer.
The genre of the book could determine the style of bindery.