Friday, July 24, 2009

Stonewall Omissions I

So far all reviews of 'Win with the Stonewall Dutch' have been very positive. Nevertheless some readers - presumably experienced Dutch players - have expressed disappointment that some lines have been omitted or received insufficient coverage. Some of these reactions are in my opinion very well founded while others appear a bit strange. I will return to the specifics in later entries (my brain is in holyday mode and I don't have a lot of Internet access). However, first I would like to share some thoughts and information about how the size and content of a book is decided.

Our contract with Gambit for 'Win with the Stonewall Dutch' specified that the book should be 192-208 B5 (= large format) pages. This was what the publishers considered the ideal size, taking the intended audience and the book's retail price into account (contrary to what some theory buffs may believe a bigger book may well sell less).

What we actually delivered was the maximum 208 pages plus a little more as we also fully spent the extra 10% that one of Gambit's staff informed us could normally be squeezed in by typographic means. This we did despite knowing perfectly well that the effect might be crowded pages considerably less inviting to the eye than a more spacious lay-out. Thankfully, the result instead was a great looking book of 223 pages. A good deal for the customer but probably not so great for Gambit Publishing who no doubt had to pay extra for printing these extra pages with no possibility to raise their announced price.

My message? Well, just pointing out that in order to add something to the (already oversized) book, we would have had to deduct something too. I am well aware that this could have been done without the book suffering greatly but must say that I am quite fond of what we decided to keep.


Anonymous said...

where can i find pgns of the exemplar games used in the book?

Sverre Johnsen said...

Most of them can be found in any commercial chess database. I recommend BigBase 2009. There are also some good online game databases. The only game I don't think you will find is Inspirational Game C.