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Re: Huber Killidata 99 will not be on-line
- To: KillieTalk at aka_org
- Subject: Re: Huber Killidata 99 will not be on-line
- From: Bill Gallagher <gallaghr at nbn_com>
- Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1999 09:06:16 -0700
- In-Reply-To: <199910220928.FAA08840 at actwin_com>
>How else is he to recover his costs if he gives it away for
>free. That is the problem with the internet - everyone expects everything
>for nothing without due consideration to the fact that to produce many of
>these types of reference works costs an awful lot and in many cases, without
>some form of cost recovery, it would be impossible to even contemplate the
>task in the first place.
But isn't the cost mostly for the production of the hard copies of the
work? Does the author actually see any net income from his 1000's of hours
of pain-staking work? Was the author doing this kind of reference book as
a way of making a living, or for a different kind of reason?
Hypothetically speaking, if there were NO paper copies produced (yeah, I
know, a very bad idea), and the info was presented on the web (at little or
no cost), would the author see much less income than they already do after
production and storage costs are finally recouped many years later?
If making the work completely available on the web substantially decreases
the demand for hard copies, and significantly reduces the number of copies
that would otherwise be sold, doesn't that also prove that the web gets the
information out to more people much cheaper?
(I would also note the Huber's 1996 killie date was only partially
available online. You still needed to buy a copy to get all the details,
and the South American data.)
I realize that the per-unit cost is much higher for a smaller production
run, versus a larger number produced. So making fewer hard copies is
economically prohibitive. On the other hand, to produce X thousand copies
requires an upfront production cost of X ten thousands of dollars. This
isn't recouped until a certain (breakeven point) number of copies are
successfully sold. Only then might there be some net profit (minus ongoing
storage costs). Is the reason to keep this kind of reference work off the
internet so as to not reduce the demand for the published version? I
believe the AKA publications inventory backlog has this kind of problem, also.
Don't get me wrong. I love to curl up with a nice, heavy book on
Aphysosemions (or Nothos, whatever) with nice color photos. We all do.
What I would like to know is, how much of the large investment actually
gets into the author's pockets, versus to the publishing world. If it goes
primarily (or signficantly) to the scientist/author, then I am all for it.
But if it primarily goes to the publishers, what's the actual economic
benefit to our collector/scientist friends?