Here's what I'm trying to write:

The single thing I would say would make the book better, would to make it a lot shorter. Shorten all the sentences, and eliminate the cruft. I think the book could about 50-75% of it's current length.

I suspect that there's a bit of [politics] here. The publishers and advisers perhaps feel that a shorter book wouldn't be taken so seriously, and efforts are made to make it a full length novel.

But it being about publishing a book - politics doesn't really seem to fit, where it would in other contexts, for example:

The reason the Labour Party doesn't add cannabis law reform as a policy platform is politics, they don't want to antagonise their more conservative older voter base.

Is there an alternative word I can use, to convey a kind of jaded (or pragmatic, depending on your point of view) making compromises for the greater good?

  • 9
    Since politics means getting people to do the things you want them to, the term gets applied to any form of manipulative behavior habits, where many people try, with varying degrees of success and toleration, to get others to do what they want. Including various forms of spin and image control. Dec 27, 2016 at 22:50
  • You may want to use the gerund form politicking.
    – jxh
    Dec 28, 2016 at 0:32
  • 1
    For book publishing, I might use marketing or market strategy.
    – mkennedy
    Dec 28, 2016 at 0:44
  • "Compromise" or "calculation" actually fit your example rather well.
    – The Nate
    Dec 30, 2016 at 4:13
  • Why not seek synonyms for politics ?
    – ARi
    Jan 27, 2017 at 0:14

2 Answers 2


"politics" seems like a good fit but I can also suggest "a foxy stratagem".

  • stratagem (noun) - any artifice or ruse devised to attain a goal or gain an advantage, a scheme or maneuver designed to achieve an objective.

"I suspect there's a foxy stratagem here."

  • ^What I don't like about cunning - is that it's in a positive light. I'm looking for a more jaded/cynical tone really.
    – dwjohnston
    Dec 27, 2016 at 23:19
  • @dwjohnston foxy? crafty? sagacious?
    – Centaurus
    Dec 28, 2016 at 0:55
  • @Centaurus - sagacious doesn’t have any cynicism in it.
    – Jim
    Dec 28, 2016 at 1:55

How about clever expedient?


  • Conducive to advantage or interest, as opposed to strictly correct.

This meaning seems to me very close to the idea you want to express, if not exactly.

  • Expediency would also work. If you want a noun, expedient refers to an individual measure, and expediency to a more general state of being useful.
    – Stuart F
    Sep 3, 2022 at 22:38

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