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George Hill




Location: Atlanta Ga
Joined: 16 May 2005

Posts: 614

PostPosted: Sat 06 May, 2006 1:45 pm    Post subject: Expencive books...         Reply with quote

I have a thought.

Many higher end refernce books, such as the peice on Polearms we would all like to have, seem to cost a great deal. As I understand it, this is becuase the publisher predicts very limited demand. IE, I would very much like to read "The Knight and the Blast Furnace." Alas, Amazon desires approx 300 dollars for this volume.

Is there any way we can convince publishers that there is a higher demand, and that we would consume a lower price volume in quantities which would make it worth distributing at a lower pirce?

To abandon your shield is the basest of crimes. - --Tacitus on Germania
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Sun 07 May, 2006 8:40 am    Post subject: Re: Expencive books...         Reply with quote

George Hill wrote:
I have a thought.

Many higher end refernce books, such as the peice on Polearms we would all like to have, seem to cost a great deal. As I understand it, this is becuase the publisher predicts very limited demand. IE, I would very much like to read "The Knight and the Blast Furnace." Alas, Amazon desires approx 300 dollars for this volume.

Is there any way we can convince publishers that there is a higher demand, and that we would consume a lower price volume in quantities which would make it worth distributing at a lower pirce?


I don't think this would be possible George. I don't know if you've gone to university, but if you have, you'll have undoubtedly noted that university texts are quite expensive. In many cases, the prices are comparable to some of the books on medieval and renaissance history and weaponry out there. But in the case of textbooks, a lot of texts will sell reasonably well. If a textbook is used by say ten universities, and for two classes, one in the first semester and the other in second, and if each class has on average 30 students, you're making a decent profit off of an expensive book. I'm sure in the case of many textbooks, they sell far better than this. Needless to say, however, a test book is going to sell much better than a book on polearms catering to a relatively limited minority of people. So, if the publishing houses are not willing to drop prices on textbooks, which sell much better than most of the books you've mentioned, I see even less reason why they'd be willing to drop their prices for one of the obscure books you're looking at. Simply put, once you get a book where a lot of intensive research goes into it and it's part of a relatively obscure field, you're not going to get it for cheap. It's the price we have to pay, I'm afraid.
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Steve Grisetti




Location: Orlando metro area, Florida, USA
Joined: 01 Mar 2004
Likes: 7 pages
Reading list: 28 books

Posts: 1,809

PostPosted: Sun 07 May, 2006 12:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Expencive books...         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
...Simply put, once you get a book where a lot of intensive research goes into it and it's part of a relatively obscure field, you're not going to get it for cheap. It's the price we have to pay, I'm afraid.
Besides the intensive research that Craig notes, there are also fixed costs that a publisher would need to recover, for editing, set up and the like (it's not my line of work, so I'm guessing). The smaller the sales volume, the more of those fixed costs need to be absorbed in the sale of each individual book.
"...dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly."
- Sir Toby Belch
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Mark Mattimore




Location: Cincinnati OH
Joined: 04 May 2004
Reading list: 41 books

Posts: 423

PostPosted: Sun 07 May, 2006 1:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Additionally, publishers know that while the market is small for these specialized titles, it is a very dedicated market segment that will most likely purchase. The higher price point adds to the perceived value of the item and will happily be met by us enthusiasts. Publishers have no motivation to lower prices.
In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro.
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Felix Wang




Location: Fresno, CA
Joined: 23 Aug 2003
Reading list: 17 books

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Posts: 394

PostPosted: Mon 08 May, 2006 10:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Mattimore wrote:
Additionally, publishers know that while the market is small for these specialized titles, it is a very dedicated market segment that will most likely purchase. The higher price point adds to the perceived value of the item and will happily be met by us enthusiasts. Publishers have no motivation to lower prices.


In my case, "happily" is not the best choice of words. I may spend the money, but usually with muttering under my breath and some grinding of the teeth. Mad
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Bryce Felperin




Location: San Jose, CA
Joined: 16 Feb 2006

Posts: 552

PostPosted: Mon 08 May, 2006 10:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Something else I think you should consider. A book with a lot of color plates in it is always going to be more expensive than a dry reading history text with few illustrations. The Pole-arm book looks to include a lot of color plates in it and so will understandingly be far more expensive than many other books on the subject I'm sure.

Bryce felperin

Bryce Felperin
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Mark Mattimore




Location: Cincinnati OH
Joined: 04 May 2004
Reading list: 41 books

Posts: 423

PostPosted: Mon 08 May, 2006 11:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Felix Wang wrote:
Mark Mattimore wrote:
Additionally, publishers know that while the market is small for these specialized titles, it is a very dedicated market segment that will most likely purchase. The higher price point adds to the perceived value of the item and will happily be met by us enthusiasts. Publishers have no motivation to lower prices.


In my case, "happily" is not the best choice of words. I may spend the money, but usually with muttering under my breath and some grinding of the teeth. Mad


But the main point is that you did, in fact, spend the money. Big Grin

In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro.
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Sean Flynt
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Joined: 21 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Mon 08 May, 2006 2:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Keep a wish-list of titles and periodically check Amazon (start your search in the "Books" section of this site). Patience will bring great rewards...You should also check these places:

http://www.edwardrhamilton.com/ (browse the military history section to find titles you wouldn't otherwise know about, then check to see if anybody has them cheaper).

Alibris.com offers a great search feature that allows you to simply enter the titles you're looking for, then when those titles show up on the used market they notify you. I have quite a few searches under way. Usually, the stuff I want turns out to be out of reach, but I've also gotten some great bargains. Put the polearms book on their search list. Who knows? Maybe somebody got a free review copy and wants to make a quick sale. Value is relative, by the way. While $150 seems like a lot to pay for a given book right now, just imagine how you'll feel when the print run is exhausted and the price for used copies goes up to $300. Worried

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Felix Wang




Location: Fresno, CA
Joined: 23 Aug 2003
Reading list: 17 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 394

PostPosted: Mon 08 May, 2006 6:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Actually, in some cases I haven't bought the book because of the price.

I heartily concur with Sean's options; I keep track of a list on Alibris and Abebooks as well as Amazon. Some good buys turn up elsewhere - Boydell keeps a clearance list on its websites, and also a damaged book list. There are some excellent bargains obtainable that way.
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