When I was getting Sunset of Furmankind ready as a print-copy edition of the story, the page limit for a printed book was 700 pages. Due to this restriction, I was unable to make it fit within a standard trade paperback format and it had to be released as a full-sized book (that we've called the coffee-table edition).
Not long ago, this page-limit was increased to 740 pages, so I decided to try an experiment to see if I could reduce the font by one point size to fit within the new page size and still stay within the limit. Once I had reformatted everything (including page numbers on the table of contents and both cover images), I uploaded a new 722-page file that fit the parameters to Lulu and then ordered a proof copy.
I wasn't entirely sure about the readability of the new text size, even though it had only been reduced by one point, but the new edition arrived today and to my tired old eyes, it looks good. However, squeezing that big story into a 6"x9" paperback made the thing extremely thick and it's just about as heavy as the larger print edition. Also due to the page count and mechanics of the redesign, it also costs more than its big brother. It looks nice and is easier to handle, but I'm not really sure it's an improvement for commercially economical purposes.
For the money, the Nook and Kindle e-books are the most affordable, but I know there are some (like myself) who prefer to hold a physical book in hand.
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