Friday, August 26, 2011

Follow me for a moment, won't you?
  1. Ink costs money.
  2. Paper costs money.
  3. Cover design/art costs money.
  4. Binding services costs money.
  5. Packing costs money.
  6. Delivery costs money.
  7. Shelf space costs money.
Does anyone so far see anything wrong with any of those statements? No? Good, let's continue.

The reason I am taking us on this weird adventure is because a strange thought occurred to me. First, go look at the books on your shelf or at the bookstore. See all those "mighty tomes?" They're almost always at least an inch and a half thick.

That paper, and the ink, and the shelf space for it all costs money. More money per unit, in fact, in comparison to thinner books. With that in mind, I wonder if there will be soon a swing to less meaty books, in order to capitalize on the dwindling shelf space, and to save money on paper, ink, etc...

I wouldn't be surprised. After all, publishing is a business, and they need to cust costs and yet still manage to get their product out there. (Ebooks don't count in this, as they're not "on the shelves," so to speak.)

Just wondering what you all might think of this...


  1. Interesting point. The larger the book is physically, the more it's going to cost. I do think it's possible publishers will start looking for shorter stories . . . though there are still a good number of thick books on the market right now.

  2. Yes, the thick books are a remnant of the fantasy/sci-fi trend that started a few years ago where if it wasn't at least 100K in length, it was pretty much ignored. When that took over, "bigger was better," but lots of words doesn't necissarily mean better. It just means bigger. I remember reading Roger Zelazny's "Nine Princes in Amber," and it was pretty short, and I thought "Man, this is where it's at!" I think we could do with more of that.