Aug 08, 1996 09:05 PM
At 02:19 PM 8/8/96 -0400, Paul Johnson wrote:
>Lately, as indicated in a previous post, I've been rereading
>Bruce Campbell's Ancient Wisdom Revived, published in 1980. I
>have wondered why he never published again, and think perhaps
>this passage explains something:
Publishing of books has been on my mind ever since I saw Internet in action.
A few days ago I saw an article in the local newspaper where the costs of
electronic/CD Rom publication as compared to paper publishing was discussed.
It appears that the actual mechanical production cost of printing a book is
100 times that of putting the same on a CD. Putting a book on a web is even
less compared to a CD. For example a book on CD can cost about 5 cents
compared to several dollars in hard copy.
When we consider books on Theosophical matters, the readership in the USA is
small. I do not know what is the number of copies of a Theosophical book
that the publisher can sell say in the first year. In addition, copyright
for most of the Theosophical Classics have expired. So we can soon see them
in CD form or on web sites.
It may be time for all writers on Theosophical matters as well as the
publishers take a hard look at the what the future is likely to be from a
business standpoint. Soon it may be no longer cost effective to publish a
new book on paper due to a limited number of copies that can be sold. It may
even lead to drastic shut down of the paper based publication houses.
In electronic publication as well on CD rom, it is an one shot deal. There
is no need for republication unless the author wants to change the material
for correction or addition or for other reasons. The CD Rom which stores 650
MBs of storage can be mass produced for around $1.00 each. On web storage
and access, just the changes are made to the file and that is all to it.
So here we are, that everything is pointing towards electronic publication
on Internet and CD Rom. These two are going to reduce the cost to end users
so that poor can afford to get hold of the latest material published.
It may be time for all the writers whose books do not have mass appeal to
start thinking how best they could publish their books. A model already
exists in the computer area. There are several good programs which are
either freeware or shareware. The former is Free. The latter is a software
one can get a fully functional copy and use it for 30 days (most use it
longer) and register it for a nominal fee so that one can get a printed
users manual and tech support. In electronic publishing, writers can put
their books on Internet and any one who reads them feels that they have
received something of value can send in a small check in appreciation to
encourage the writer. This may come about one of these days.
I thought I should share the above scenario with all present and future
writers who may be thinking about the issues.
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