September 27th Question

Do you have a say in how your books appear in print? Yesterday’s BBC news had an article about shrinkflation (diminishing chocolate bars for the same retail price). My nice new copy of Contrarian is nearly 100 pages longer in content, but nearly half an inch thinner. The paper is practically transparent! Given that we all like to reread your books, I’m worried about the number of times I will be able to enjoy it.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any say in how my books appear in print. At this point, I’m just grateful that Tor is still publishing me in hardcover. The costs of paper and printing continue to rise, and I’m told that there’s only one high-speed press in the U.S. capable of printing my books in hardcover. Because of these and other factors, publishers are printing books that are shorter, or, in my case, using thinner paper. They’re also downsizing the number of editors, and, at times, rejecting books that are too long to publish in physical print. I wouldn’t be surprised if more and more books become available only in ebook or downloadable audiobook format.

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