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RE: Does free lead to paid?

Penn State's pricing strategy is somewhat different. The 
economics of recovering first-copy costs require that POD prices 
remain comparable to what the prices were when books were 
regularly printed. However, pricing for e-books through Kindle 
and other such devices is done at bargain-basement levels, on the 
theory that this market is not competitive with the normal market 
for academic books but is entirely supplementary. This is 
explained well by Tony Sanfilippo on the Press's blog here:


Sandy Thatcher

>Sandy Thatcher wrote:
>I'm with you 100%. We just have to figure out a business model to
>make publishing scholarly monographs OA economically feasible. A
>number of publishers are now experimenting.
>This is very welcome news, and I wish all the best to Romance
>Studies and all the other publishers with such experiments.
>>From my perspective, libraries should get involved in supporting
>these efforts.  If it makes sense for us to pool funds to
>purchase subscriptions, it will make even more sense in the long
>run to pool funds to produce books that are then available to
>Here is a thought:  local print-on-demand centres able to offer
>rapid printing and delivery or pick-up at trade-book prices.  I
>think I have heard of an experiment at a university bookstore
>along these lines, although I can't remember where it was.  This
>may not work for all books, e.g. art books, but it would for
>Trade-book pricing for print should be doable for academic works
>with ubiquitous open access distribution.  It strikes me as
>rather obvious that this would be a very great deal more
>efficient than marketing (and mailing) a couple hundred copies
>around the globe for sales. This would also be much faster
>distribution, and better for the environment than shipping books
>This system would easily lend itself to equitable pricing, as the
>actual printing and mailing, wherever you are, would be paid for
>in the local currency at local rates.  If publishers were to
>charge royalties adjusted for local GDP, this could be a truly
>equitable system.
>Of course, this requires a widespread system of print-on-demand
>book printing operations.  Could existing printing outfits
>reconfigure to work in this manner?  Currently, we are printing
>books in London and shipping them to San Francisco for sale, and
>vice versa, are we not? Surely, we can do better?
>As a teacher, I would be more likely to order books if I could be
>certain that the library would receive them, and at the speed
>that I am thinking of.
>As a student, I love the ready availability of e-books, but make
>it easy and reasonably cheap for me to order print, and my
>personal print collection would definitely grow.
>As an author, I am confident that an approach like this would be
>optimum for both dissemination of my book, well-deserved revenue
>for my publisher, and royalties for me, too.
>Heather Morrison, MLIS
>The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics