The ‘Big’ Book: When Size Matters…

This new book of mine is gonna be big. I mean, actually big. I screwed up when choosing the trim size, picking the 6 by 9 inch size, when what I really wanted was a small standard paperback size. And I cannot change it, because I’m told this size is already tied into my ISBN number, which has already gone out in the various promotions I’m involved in. Aaarghhh!!! It’s also in a whopping 14-pt type size, because on my computer screen, the Goudy Old Style 12-point looked so tiny… But I’m okay with it now, seeing the actual proof. It looks, and feels, quite substantial. The husband thinks it looks like a pre-teen chapter book, but I had such an easy time proofing it—even with my various vision issues—it seems a natural for my fellow baby-boomers. You could probably read it without your bifocals. Which is a great thing if, like me, you like to read in bed or, occasionally, the bathtub.

I once took on an editing job for a novelist who had illustrated his fiction with his own black-and-photographs. They were scenic photos, really, of various gritty urban locales, and quite stunning. Which was a good thing, because the novel itself was… Well, not stunning. I don’t believe it was ever published. But it made me think about size and how the book would be formatted. It seemed to me only a big book, maybe 8 by 11, could do those photos justice. But would you really want to read a fictional book that size? It wouldn’t be very convenient for the train or plane. And certainly not the bathtub.

Perhaps this is all moot: I do believe most of my sales will be on the Kindle and other electronic venues, where size doesn’t matter. Still, it’s great to have a big old-fashioned book to set on your bookshelf, or something to wrap up and give to a friend. Or, if nothing else, you can use it to prop up that wobbly coffee table…

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