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We can provide some evidence for Mr Goodman's point. When we added an
online access service to our print service we initially charged $200
additional (over the $950 annual fee). Of the first 300 renewal notices
sent out, none added the online service. So we changed the offer to online
only for $550 or online and print for %1,150. (No print only allowed).
There were no complaints, about half renewed to online only, and there was
a nearly 50% growth in total subscriptions over the next two years.

I conclude that most libraries have default rules of the form: (a) renew
anything that has increased in price by no more than x% where x is
probably no less than 25%. (b) convert to online only if there is a cost
savings. (c) don't add any new things offered if they cost money.

Our printing/mailing costs are very high, (about 600
pieces/year/subscriber) so the print/online cost differential is fully
justified by our cost differential.

We currently offer a half price subscription to academic libraries, and
would like to offer an additional 50% off to small colleges. Does anyone
know of an easy way to distinguish? An online list somewhere?

Daniel Feenberg


On Sun, 10 Sep 2000, David Goodman wrote:

> To me, this is another example of publishers charging add on fees that
> will cost more to collect than they're worth. That this is such a major
> respected and generaly progressive society publisher adds to the
> absurdity. $100s of dollars in clerical work ond confusion on both
> sides--all three sides if you count the agents--just to collect $50 fees.