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books on demand,

updated sat 19 may 07


claystevslat on fri 18 may 07

was Re: PAPER CLAY/Kim/ thank you but $30 is a bit steep

Ivor --

(Well, I remembered that your name isn't 'Ian' this time,
anyway) This brings up an interesting idea that was semi-
hot two decades ago and has sort of cooled -- books on
demand can be a really interesting way to fund publication,
keep information circulating, and provide an income stream
to an author.

They don't do terribly well in the arts and crafts area,
as high-quality photographs are often critical to the
publication, but a book on demand system for something
that's chock full of information and not reliant on
binding and full-color reproductions can be both
efficient and an extremely profitable way to dissemminate
information. I think of the Cushing handbook, which I
refer to regularly and is unsophisticated in print and
binding but a wonderful volume.

A columnist for the Computer Shopper used to do articles
about this regularly -- I can't remember his name*, but
in the IBM PC and Mac era, he used an old Apple II and
a postscript laser printer and found the gap between
the cost and the sale price sufficient to make a good bit
of his income from books on demand (of course one of the
most popular was his book on demand on how to make books
on demand).

It occurs to me that for books that are out of print but
for which a legitimate copyright still exists (like the
one on kiln building with space age materials that one
ClayArter refers to from time to time) a publisher might
be willing to permit occasional BoD printing, thus
keeping the information readily available and supplying
a small stream of income to the writer.

-- Steve Slatin

*My brain gives me Pennsylvania, but not an answer.
William (from Penn) maybe?

--- In, Ivor and Olive Lewis
> Dear Craig Clark,
> Lighten up a bit Mate ! ! !
> I suggest you go into the Elsevier site and have a look at some of
their titles. They are not only publishers but also, in a similar
way to Nature, British and New England Medical Journals, act as a
platform for Peer Review. And unlike the general publications we
know of and use I doubt if a print run is more than about 250.