[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Print-on-demand

At 5:56 PM -0500 1/24/08, Jean-Claude Guedon wrote:

Thank you, Sandy, for this precious information.

What I am wondering is what would happen to the POD phase if the book were also available in OA electronic format? Surely, the revenues from the POD phase are minor and it may be that the POD sales would be stimulated by the OA electronic version available.
We expect the revenues from POD sales to be sufficient to cover the basic costs of producing the book (including overhead). We'll break even by selling about 100 to 150 cloth (to libraries) and 300 or so paperbacks. This should be achievable, given what we know about NAP's experience. We are not, unlike NAP, selling any PDF version; in fact, we are giving away the PDF right now, and the big question is whether that will be enough for some people.

As for the Romance Studies: bravo!! And i would very much like to see how this experiment is faring. Your site is OA but obviously favours browsing and I suspect that many people will be tempted to buy. Yochai's Benkler experience with an OA electronic version of his book (Wealth of Networks) was quite spectacular: the spike in sales after the book was announced to be in OA on the OA lists was bigger than the spike he got from the review in Time Magazine.
We'll see. These books are quite different from Benkler's of course (or Larry Lessig's, which similarly was offered free online); they are priced higher and have a much more specialized audience. Part of what we are testing is the sensitivity of different price points. The first three titles have purposely different price structures, though they are all similar in length and content. This is about as cloe as we can come to a "controlled experiment" in publishing!

Incidentally, I wonder whether one big file for the OA electronic version is not better to incite buys than sections. The issue is not owning or not the book, but being able to read it online. By breaking it up in sections, you may be unwittingly inciting people to read sections online and not buy the paper book.
As you'll see, you can download and print from the PDFs of only the Introduction, Chapter 1, and Conclusion. We needed to break it up to control print capability. (It is, however, possible to cut-and-paste the other chapters into a Word document and print from that, although the result is pretty unappealing, as you'll see if you try it.)

Have you announced the PSU Romance series on Peter Suber's blog? I bet this would create some stir.
Yes, Peter knows about it. The series and our ODSP also get a paragraph toward the end of the Ithaka Report.

I have sent the news to Athabasca U. Press and to Jean Kempf who is part of the new European project OApen and head of Presses universitaires de Lyon in France.
The University of Amsterdam Press, which is part of this European consortium and is a member press of the AAUP, is well aware of our project.

Again, and incidentally, if POD had mirrors across the globe, the cost of shipping would go down drastically. A group of university presses, worldwide, ought to be able to organize such a network.
We do POD printing through Lightning Source UK and are considering opting out of our distribution arrangement there since the number of copies we sell in the UK is small anyway and can readily be supplied via POD through LSUK. I understand that Book Source, now a subsidiary of Amazon, has set up POD facilities in several foreign countries.

Thanks again for the fascinating information.
You're welcome.

Sandy Thatcher
Penn State University Press