How long did your editors want Words of Radiance to be?
Well, my editor just wants it to be the right length. My publisher is the one who wants things shorter. So, my editor, he's just interested in story. But the publisher, he's interested in money. And the shorter the book is, the more money it makes him. It's really weird, it's kind of interesting. For instance, supermarket pockets, like, the little racks that hold paperbacks, they can hold a certain number of books. My books, they can often only hold one of. And that means if it sells, that pocket is empty, which the supermarket hates. They don't want empty pockets, they want the shelf space used. They'd rather stack four books in there. So, the publisher in turn says, "Brandon, can't you cut these books down shorter?" I'm like. "Well, Tom... no. Other books are short, you have lots of short books of mine to sell," but... yeah. It's not one of them. We just have to give up on the pocket thing, and then the booksellers are like... here, let me [visually illustrate it]. If you've got a book like this [small book], and you sell it for eight dollars, and Way of Kings is this [big] and you sell it for nine dollars, which one does the bookstore want on their shelf more? Well, the truth is, they want the one that sells the most copies, so they're okay with it. But the smaller book will generally... well, it's a matter of them having sixteen dollars worth of stuff to sell or nine dollars worth of stuff to sell.
So, the publisher really does like things shorter. But it's kind of a pushback between him and me, where I'm like, "My fans also like good value-to-money." I'm just saying, good value-to-money, that's something they're, like, "Look, we'll go buy the hardcover, even though it's thirty-five dollars, because instead of buying a twenty-five dollar hardcover by somebody else that's one-fourth as long, we buy a thirty-five dollar hardcover of Brandon's and we get our money's worth. The audiobook people love that. Like, Audible and things, they're like... you know. Because it's one credit, it's the same price for their listeners, but it's three times as long.