So the Kirkus Review is shutting down and everyone is, once again, hailing the death of print. In this time of great belt-tightening, INTERN has been brainstorming ways print publishers can save precious $ and stay in business through the recession and beyond.
Not so many years ago, New Zealand was debating the best way to standardize the spelling of Te Reo, the Māori language. One of the issues discussed was whether to use a macron (Māori) or double vowel (Maaori) to indicate a long vowel. They chose the macron and, INTERN has been told by her New Zealand friends, have since saved millions of dollars in printing costs for documents in that official language.
This morning, INTERN was working on a manuscript critique. The manuscript in question is 408 pages long. Quite a whack of ink and paper! Closing her eyes and thinking of New Zealand, INTERN opened the find/replace tool and replaced all instances of the word "the" with an asterisk: *. Bam! 7,895 replacements. Now we're down to 402 pages. Pennies saved!
Encouraged by her success, INTERN replaced all the "ands" with ampersands. 398 pages, and now the manuscript looks like it was written by Jack Kerouac on a benzedrine binge. Cool.
Scanning through the pages, INTERN noticed that a lot of the characters in this manuscript had long (ahem, *expensive*) names. People, can we really afford to name our characters things like "Jonathan" and "Alexandra" in this economy? No! But if we place a three-letter limit on character names (Dan, Bob, Dre, Ali, Mel, Lee), we can take another entire page out of the printing cost.
Last but not least, INTERN chose a letter to sacrifice. H. A few seconds later, we're down to 389 pages: roughly a 5% savings off our original 408. Plus, now everyone in the novel has a delightful cockney accent: "I didn't like ow e was looking at me & Bob."
The biggest problem facing print publishers is *obviously* print itself, e.g. ink and paper. So really, if everyone could just cut down on production costs using these simple techniques, this whole print crisis shenanigan would blow over in, like, a day. Rolls eyes.