Interesting that most publishers responded with “I’m not sure I have much to say.”
This is such a great example of how processes hide a complexity and even the purpose of printing something bang on the face of the product is lost behind tradition. Even those making the product do not recall why they are doing it one way and not the other.
Kind of how purpose and necessity of vaccines has been lost across generations of people living through a time of peace and material growth(?). For example, hundred years from now, not knowing what a ‘nuclear holocaust’ means could mean more danger to society than reasonable policy & understood deterrence. Opportunity over innocents will easily produce conspiracy theorists that will propel a new crop of politicians who will deny the wrath of anything until they can either win or follow through a disaster.
IMO, this is why it is important for products and processes to open up so that people can learn, test, trust, accept and pass along the established norms and knowledge freely.
In the end it’s all a “trend”, that is, the way in which market simply devours everything and empty it of meaning mostly because it “sells”. Publishers don’t even need to know why they use “a novel”. It’s just what (they think) people expect. And then even when it has a purpose, it gets lost in the way, I guess.
But yeah, as you said, you could see something somewhat similar to this happening all over. I’d say it’s a matter of critical thinking, learning to read between the lines, that kind of thing.