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#1006 - 05/10/01 07:17 PM Re: THE BIZ
Barbara Offline
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Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Oh, that's just your normal midlist book production, about as good as it gets (and it can get worse). I think the only hardback still in print is Full Frontal Murder, and I'm not sure about that; we're not informed when our books go out-of-print. That's one good thing about POD; your book is never OOP.

Mary, stop that; you're not a weasel. Heavens.

In-Laws and Outlaws was made into a German TV movie; I have one tape of it. (I ought to copy that before I spill coffee on the cassette or something.) But the teaser shows a nude girl -- and there's not one bit of nudity in the rest of it, ha.

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#1007 - 05/10/01 08:55 PM Re: THE BIZ
Bob Offline
Member

Registered: 05/09/01
Posts: 52
Loc: New York, NY
Barbara has spoken for herself on this topic. No need for me to comment on her comment. I do think there are truths to what everyone has said.
Basically no one wants to deprive a writer of well deserved income from their labors. It is refreshing to note this. Therefore any internet system should and could establish a means for paying the writer per download.
The next question is: How would one prevent Joe from sending the newest Marian novel to his friend Harry via email?
Actors get paid residuals. One might establish something like this for books, but only on the internet. Perhaps an identifying code that would have to travel with any forward or attachment. The question again is who would police this? Is it too Big Brother if someone knows what is in our email?
A German language version of a Paul novel? Hmmn. I never thought you'd sell your books to another medium, Barbara. Other writers have, but few maintain control and quality. Spencer was not a bad TV show, but what was lost was the ability to imagine him as someone other than the actor who played the part. It is like James Bond. Who reading the books today would NOT be thinking Sean Connery? Sherlock Holmes is forever Basil Rathbone. Marian? Well, laugh if you all want to but I think a thinner Camryn Manheim would fit. I'm totally off base here, but that's what I see. A younger Elaine Stritch would also do well in the role.

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#1008 - 05/10/01 09:00 PM Re: THE BIZ
Julia Offline
Member

Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 258
Loc: Silicon Valley
Quote:
Oh, that's just your normal midlist book production, about as good as it gets (and it can get worse).


Yes, I've *seen* worse It's lost at least one publisher a hardback sale - I didn't see why I should pay that price for something so shoddy (and difficult to actually read, because the page edges were grotty), when the paperback actually was better bound and trimmed. Maybe I just haven't done much hardback buying in fiction, but I don't recall seeing that sort of standard, or lack thereof, in British published hardbacks. Maybe the assumption there's different - that if you can't justify the cost of a proper hardback, you don't bother with a cheap and nasty one but go straight to paperback or trade format. At least with trade format you can have it guillotined properly.

Quote:
I think the only hardback still in print is Full Frontal Murder, and I'm not sure about that; we're not informed when our books go out-of-print. That's one good thing about POD; your book is never OOP.


The SFWA wouldn't agree on that one... The big problem there, of course, is it being abused to allow the publisher to sit on the rights without doing anything to promote the book. If you've got a decent publisher, no problem.

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#1009 - 05/11/01 09:43 AM Re: THE BIZ
Mary Offline
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Registered: 10/05/00
Posts: 764
Loc: MN
Julia, some of the hardbacks you've seen may be book club versions, which are most definitely cheaper. Though I recently received three original-publisher's versions from the Mystery Guild; I can't imagine why or how this works out since it was billed at $11.99 as it would have been for their own versions.

I've tended to believe that as long as I had all the words, properly formatted, that I'd be happy regardless of whether it was a book club or regular hardback version, but lately I'm taking more pleasure in the better quality books. (This could have to do with the disposable income going up in recent years too!) My books run the gamut from new high-quality hardbacks to used paperbacks, but since I only buy books that I want to keep, I hardly ever get rid of any unless I replace them with a new copy.

Barbara, is there any chance of doing POD with any of the others?

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#1010 - 05/11/01 10:23 AM Re: THE BIZ
Barbara Offline
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Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Possibly the Caruso mysteries. In the talking stage.

Julia, my POD contract is renewable annually; I can withdraw the book any January 1st I like. SFWA doesn't oppose POD in general, only rights-grabbing contracts. All small presses, whether POD or not, are limited in what they can do in publicizing a book, and that is a problem.

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#1011 - 05/11/01 11:56 AM Re: THE BIZ
Julia Offline
Member

Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 258
Loc: Silicon Valley
Barbara said
Quote:
Julia, my POD contract is renewable annually; I can withdraw the book any January 1st I like. SFWA doesn't oppose POD in general, only rights-grabbing contracts. All small presses, whether POD or not, are limited in what they can do in publicizing a book, and that is a problem.


Yes, re-reading my post I should have phrased it more carefully - Ed obviously is a decent publisher, and I didn't mean to cast aspersions in that direction. I've been going through the SFWA website to catch up on current thinking on electronic rights, and ran into the rant about how POD is being abused by a minority of publishers. POD is a good thing, in my view as a reader, as long as it's not a means of scamming the author. I'd have bought the POD edition of King rather than a second-hand paperback, and if any of the others come out in POD I'll be considering buying replacements for the current rather battered collection.

Mary said:
Quote:
Julia, some of the hardbacks you've seen may be book club versions, which are most definitely cheaper. Though I recently received three original-publisher's versions from the Mystery Guild; I can't imagine why or how this works out since it was billed at $11.99 as it would have been for their own versions.


These were new books in a chain bookshop, and mostly full price, not on the remainders pile. I don't remember specifically checking to see if they were book club rather than original publisher, but that's because it wouldn't have occurred to me that book club editions would be that badly made. I know that one I looked at and put back was full price, because it cost as much as I would have expected to pay for a hardback novel in the UK - something that surprised me, given how cheap paperbacks are here. One of the rare occasions when I've thought "Why do Americans put up with these prices?" instead of "Why do the British put up with these prices?".

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#1012 - 05/12/01 01:39 AM Re: THE BIZ
Bob Offline
Member

Registered: 05/09/01
Posts: 52
Loc: New York, NY
I am not as up on the acronymns as everyone else. What is POD?

I am reminded of my late Uncle Bill who, when visiting New York, was confused by storefronts with an OTB sign. It seems what we knew was off track betting meant to him "open to buy"... a term used in his line of work.

So, POD means ''pay or die''?

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#1013 - 05/12/01 04:28 AM Re: THE BIZ
Anonymous
Unregistered


Publishing On Demand, Bob. That's how I bought the only full-length BP book I've read - GKS! Hoping to pick up some more when I visit the US in July/August.

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#1014 - 05/13/01 04:39 AM Re: THE BIZ
Bob Offline
Member

Registered: 05/09/01
Posts: 52
Loc: New York, NY
Thanks, Andrew. I am not sure what Publishing on Demand means. Who is making the demand? The public? God? The writer? I guess the industry has its own little code words that everyone but the public knows.

When computer geeks use jargon I want to kill. Ha ha. Well, not really. It does establish a kind of club, a sort of exclusionary way of communicating.

It took some before I learned that rotflol meant ''rolling on the floor, laughing out loud''. Big Brother would be proud. Ignorance is not bliss, it is at the heart of acronyms.

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#1015 - 05/13/01 09:40 AM Re: THE BIZ
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Bob, the normal publishing procedure is to print up thousands of copies of a new book, which are stored in a warehouse. From the warehouse, the books are shipped to a distributor who divides the shipment into smaller packets that are sent on to bookstores that have ordered the books. More often than not, these orders do not exhaust the initial printing, so some books remain in the warehouse awaiting additional orders.

In print-on-demand, a book is printed only when one is ordered. It's a little slower than walking into a store and buying a copy, but you rarely have to wait more than a week. POD cuts down on the need for a middleman, and it eliminates warehouse fees altogether. There are new printing outfits that do this kind of work exclusively; the biggest is Lightning Press, which Scrivenery uses. It's a practical way of fighting against constantly rising printing and distribution costs.

As I see it, the biggest disadvantage of POD is that is offers no opportunity for impulse buying. How often have you gone into a bookstore to buy one book and walked out with two or three? Even that would not be a problem if bookstore owners would order POD copies and display them on their shelves. But so far owners have been reluctant to do so; the technology is still too new, I guess.

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