Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Small World

Date: 08 Jul 2000

    Hi Doug,
    I doubt that any University press will take this on, though God knows, they love to do translations. For my money the best chance we have for these writers and books, as well as for the old "out of print" stuff, and for new and unheralded domestic authors, will come from small web based presses who use the internet to promote their books and on-demand printing technology to produce them.
    It's a new day adawnin in the publishing biz, and the big guys won't be able to push the little guys out of business in cyberspace, because manufacturing and marketing costs can be kept so low. The big publishing houses and the mega stores will keep getting bigger and narrower and doing what they do. They'll own the mass market and make most of the big bucks.
    But those who get into the biz more out of the love of hard-boiled than because they want to get rich, can start with a small amount of capital and do a few books a year without fear that they'll be buried in costs they can't hope to recover. We could see a new one sprout up on every cyber corner as the years roll by.
    Their production and the marketing costs can be limited to such a degree that a book selling no more than a couple hundred copies can sometimes pay for itself (not counting the cost of the translation), and a 5000 copy seller can be a big winner for everyone (except, perhaps, the author) No writer will make any real money unless his or her book takes off and does much better than that, but what else is new?

                                    Jim Blue

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