RARA-AVIS: more money for thicker books

Mark Sullivan (AnonymeInc@webtv.net)
Mon, 19 Jul 1999 17:12:35 -0400 (EDT)

In the past, we've discussed how hardboiled fiction has gone from very tight Gold Medal-type books to the too often padded books of the present. Mark Monlux included this explanation in this week's edition of Lurid Paperback of the Week and said it was okay if I quoted him here:

<<One last thing, take a look at the price of the book. As more printing presses came under union control, the cost of printing in the United States increased. No longer could you get a paperback for under two bits. This price increase started in the late fifties and increased throughout the sixties.

<<Because of the unions American literature was about to change. Before the publishing house would pay the writer by the word. Lengthy content was edited down so that the publishers would not have to fork out more dough to the writers. But as the cost of purchasing a paperback went up the readers were beginning to feel a little cheated. "I'm paying 75ยข for this skinny little thing?" Publishers were quick to pick up on the new marketing strategy of publishing thicker books. This in turn required that the stories be longer. A common paperback today will be anywhere from twice to four times as thick as the majority of those published in the 40's and 50's. At $6 to $7 per paperback the reader wants to feel the solid weight of what he or she is buying.>>

By the way, if you don't know about Mark's list, you might want to check it out at: http://www.nwrain.com/~monlux/LuridPaperbackofWeek.html Each week he sends out an email with paperback cover, plus his take on its graphic design. He also quotes the jacket copy.

Mark (different one)

# To unsubscribe, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to # To unsubscribe, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to majordomo@icomm.ca.
# The web pages for the list are at http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Mon 19 Jul 1999 - 17:28:57 EDT