Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Books: Does Size Matter?

The New York Times Sunday Book Review (August 11) section recently reviewed a number of books, as it usually does.  The books chosen for review were no shorter than 217 pages and as long as 722.  A good number were 300+, 400+, and 500+ pages.  Is there a bias against shorter-format books?

How many pages must a book be to be a book?  In the era of e-books and digitally formatted books, a book can have any size page, be any length, and use any typeface.  It can have thousands of photos – or none at all.  When you read on a device, you lose sight of traditional book dimensions, but when you have a printed book that is smaller than your standard 200-page, 6x9 tome, you feel like you’re holding a magazine.

Books should not be seen as providing value based on size, but rather on the quality of the content.  But in a deflated book industry that prices books well below their true value, maybe the shorter book is the way to go.  Authors can take what would’ve been a normal length book that sells for $9.99 on Amazon and break it up into three books at $4.99 each.

Consumers like books that are shorter, provided they feel that they get something complete and of substance.  Book girth doesn’t equate to pleasure.  Just good writing does.

On the other hand, a book ceases to be a book at some point.  An essay of 30 pages is just that.  It doesn’t have the right to be labeled a book -- or does it?

Do reviewers ignore e-books, self published books, or shorter-length books?  There certainly is a bias with newspaper and magazine book reviewers.  It will eventually change.

Should reviews of shorter books be short?  Should they be in a certain section within the book review section?  If shorter books become popular and normalized, will we see more of them?

Some authors serialize their books and sell them chapter by chapter.  Soon a chapter-size piece of writing will be the book.

Due to technology, books are changing in how they look, in their length, their price, their content, and their publication date.  But the competition for books and those who consume books have changed too.

Will shorter books catch on?  In the long run, they likely will be in high demand.

Don’t Miss These Recent Posts

25 Ways For Authors To Break Through & Establish A Legacy

Can You Market & Promote Books Like TV’s Dexter?

Evolving As A book Marketer & Publicist

Winning The Battle Over Internet Book Piracy

26 Ways To Save Barnes & Noble

12 Hot Topics For Authors, Bloggers, Journalists

The Bestseller That Never Was

Do  You Market Your Books Doggy Style?

Does Your Book Blog Do These 16 Things?

Writers Read This: You Are Marketers

Why Authors – and Publicists & Publishers Need A Therapist

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.