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I feel seriously gypped. I bought the newest Anita Blake novel,… - Silicon Rose [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Silicon Rose

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[Apr. 9th, 2006|11:42 am]
Silicon Rose
[Current Mood |pissed offpissed off]

I feel seriously gypped.

I bought the newest Anita Blake novel, Micah, mainly because it was out in paperback instead of hard-cover. I've been trying to train myself not to buy the hard-cover, because, frankly, these days I've been seriously disappointed with what I've been getting. It's still a good casual read, but I don't expect a whole heck of a lot from it, and I'm certainly not getting a well developed and fleshed plot anymore. (Well, perhaps I'm getting the 'fleshed' part of it.)

The new novel is only 245 pages long. Typically, her books stretch into 500-600+ these days. So, she decided to go a little bit short. That's fine. Wait. There's 12 chapters, each of which has a full page spread devoted to a small icon in the center, and the reverse side of the page has nothing on it either. So, just to get this straight, the novel is actually 221 pages long. Oh, and in addition, AFTER that full two page spread devoted to "Chapter #", the next page starts halfway down. Go ahead and do the math if you'd like (though I admit that it looks better typographically that way, and I'm not going to dock them page count on that).

Oh, but wait, it gets better.

They didn't use standard adult book typography either. Now, don't get me wrong, I understand that guidelines are fluid, and I'm sure I've seen these guidelines used before... in children's books. Not for adult paperback novels in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section. I don't think I've ever seen them used there.

I've never calculated margins before, so give me some leeway if I'm kind of off. I'll provide self-calculated margins for another book as well for comparison.

The margins are: 1/2in. for left + right, 1 1/4in. for bottom, and 7/8in. for the top.

The margins on the book I compared it to are: 1/4in. for left and right, 3/8in. for bottom, and 5/8in. for top. (Dante's Equation, Jane Jenson)

Amazon's dimensions list it as 6.8 x 4.3 x 0.8 inches. (My ruler implies this is reasonably accurate.) Using these, my guesstimate at the print area of Micah is 15.4275in2.

But wait, there's more!

The text is also spaced at 1/2 spacing. Thankfully, it's still in Times New Roman 12pt. font - they didn't bump it up to 14pt. to be derivative.

All of this sold to you, yes, you, at the price of $7.99!

What a rip off. This was a short story, not a novel, but they tried to pretend it was novel-length, and charged a novel-length price for it. I can't think of any other way of phrasing or putting this. I was gypped.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: dragonmaster_x
2006-04-09 11:47 pm (UTC)
Isn't that technically "deception?" If there's enough proof and good reasoning behind your argument, the publisher could get into legal trouble, provided someone's willing to sue them.
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[User Picture]From: siliconrose
2006-04-10 04:14 am (UTC)
Unfortunately, I think the definition of novel is so fluid that I couldn't criticize them for not adhering to it. It's a pity.
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[User Picture]From: froborr
2006-04-10 06:46 am (UTC)
At least when Niven did that with the Gil the ARM series, he had the decency to fill in the page count with freaky hallucinatory illustrations instead of playing with margins and stuff.

AND the covers say "Illustrated Novella" on them, I just noticed.

Of course, that was 20-30 years ago, when it was occasionally possible to purchase something that WASN'T 95+ percent Pure Scam.
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[User Picture]From: froborr
2006-04-10 06:48 am (UTC)
Also, holy crap, you have another userpic!

You, my friend, are a waste of a legacy account. =P
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[User Picture]From: siliconrose
2006-04-10 04:14 pm (UTC)
It's not a legacy account. It's a PERMANENT account. ^^ I mainly wanted it so I'd have the paid account features forever.

Yes, I am, I'll admit that.
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[User Picture]From: froborr
2006-04-10 09:42 pm (UTC)
I was unaware of a distinction. I thought it was anyone with a pre-livejournal-costing-money journal, which I assumed was the case for you.
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[User Picture]From: siliconrose
2006-04-10 10:17 pm (UTC)
The types of accounts on livejournal are a multitude.

A permanent account is when you get in on an lj account firesale and pay $200 for them to never bug you again.

Early Adopter accounts are the legacy ones - dragonoflife has one, for example.
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[User Picture]From: froborr
2006-04-10 10:44 pm (UTC)
Wow. That's 10 years of paid account-itude. Or 5.5 years, if you're paying month-to-month. I'm simultaneously impressed and slightly disturbed that you're planning on maintaining your livejournal that long.
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[User Picture]From: siliconrose
2006-04-11 12:04 am (UTC)
Meh.

They wanted money at that time. (Obviously, since it's a lousy idea otherwise.) I approve of livejournal. I have money. I like paid account features. I hate being hassled with bills. It came out to be a good deal in my mind.

And it's $25 a year, so only eight years, with seven years left until I'm on top of the curve.
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[User Picture]From: froborr
2006-04-11 12:33 am (UTC)
It's $19.95, according to the Upgrade Your Account link.

None of the paid features are remotely appealing to me, but that's just me. I haven't noticed you using any of them, but then, I guess the only one that's really visible to your readers is the userpic stash, so what do I know?
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[User Picture]From: siliconrose
2006-04-11 03:00 am (UTC)
Depends on whether it's automatic payments ($19.95) or manual ($25). My mistake. ^^

Express Lane, Scrapbook, search feature are my triad.

Technically the skinnable interface is also visible. ^^
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