I, and I’m sure many of you, will have noticed the tendency among publishers to go for larger font sizes in new books, thus making books much fatter than they need to be. Earlier today I was browsing in a local book shop and noticed John Le Carre’s novel Absolute Friends, looking a bit bigger than I recalled. This edition runs to 438 pages and costs £8:99. I’ve compared with my paperback edition from 2004 which was 383 pages and cost £6:99. So that’s a 14% increase in size. Using the Bank of England inflation calculated the cost then is equivalent to £10:22 today, and adding in the 14% increase in size today’s price should be £11:65 (I realise this is a crude equivalence, but this is a blogpost, not a management report). I’m mystified by firstly the increase in the size of books generally, when we’re in an age where we’re supposed to be conserving resources and secondly by the lower prices. No doubt printing technology has improved in the intervening years, but my feeling is that this is so unnecessary.
I’m musing on making an updated version of the bonus chapters and appendices (roughly 100,000 words of content, which would be roughly 290-300 A5 typeset pages) to my John McLaughlin biography available next year in hard copy form. I’d like to find a way to do this as a fairly short run thing, so not a print-on-demand model but say 200 copies. Can any of the Massive recommend, from experience, any printing services that would be good to go with?
Googling such services is easy enough, but a recommendation about reliability and quality would go a long way!