18.530 author's rights

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2005 08:04:17 +0000

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 18, No. 530.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2005 07:54:26 +0000
         From: "Campbell, Duncan" <Duncan.Campbell_at_proquest.co.uk>
         Subject: RE: 18.527 author's rights

OK, dependent on quality of page image and quality of final printed
volume, cost of conversion isn't massive. However, if the title is
low-level backlist or out of print, and wasn't originated
electronically, cost of conversion against sales income may well
militate against moving to PoD. And not even the most kind-hearted
publisher is going to do that just to ensure the circulation of cultural
capital (you have only to look at the astronomical prices of some
publishers' PoD offerings).

In addition, it doesn't seem to me that "true" print on demand (i.e.
books are printed as ordered) is that sustainable as a business model,
particularly for frontlist titles where, even if you are originating a
title digitally, there's still a high level of fixed costs that need to
be earned back in some way (i.e. copy-editing, typesetting,
proof-reading, cover design, licensing, editorial overhead and so


-----Original Message-----
From: Humanist Discussion Group [mailto:humanist_at_Princeton.EDU] On
Behalf Of Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty
Sent: 26 January 2005 07:41
To: humanist_at_Princeton.EDU

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 18, No. 527.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                       Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

           Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2005 07:23:08 +0000
           From: lachance_at_origin.chass.utoronto.ca (Francois Lachance)
           Subject: Re: 18.523 author's rights

Duncan Campbell wrote:

> Unless a book is originated electronically, POD can be a relatively
> expensive option, and in these cases, most publishers -- quite

I am a bit puzzled by the claim that Print on Demand is a "relatively
expensive option". What drives the cost of conversion? Labour? Acquiring
scanning technology? Housing the files? Order fulfillment: billing?
fulfillment: handling? Surely such costs are recuperated in the pricing

Quite apart from the business point of view, there is a societal cost.
If Print on Demand forms of publishing encourage the greater circulation
of the products of publicly funded or even privately endowed
institutions of higher learning does that not result in some form of
wider support for the work of those institutions, support that will
eventually translate into funds. Quite apart fromt the institutional
view, the greater the circulation of cultural capital is a prerequiste
for the meaningful investement in human capital.

I know I've shifted the ground from "expense" to "cost." I do so to make
the point that avoiding expense sometimes has costs elsewhere.

Francois Lachance, Scholar-at-large
2005 Year of Comparative Connections. DIA: Comparative connections?
Connection, first. Comparison, next. DIA: Check. Comparable ways of
connecting. LOGZ: Selection outcomes, first. Comparative Connections,
Received on Thu Jan 27 2005 - 03:46:55 EST

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