||[Apr. 9th, 2006|11:42 am]
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.