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RE: [Axiom-developer] Lulu publishing

From: C Y
Subject: RE: [Axiom-developer] Lulu publishing
Date: Mon, 6 Dec 2004 14:55:01 -0800 (PST)

--- "Page, Bill" <address@hidden> wrote:

> I would like to here more from subscribers to axiom-developer
> about our current plans to publish a series of Axiom books
> on Lulu. Tim Daly has setup the arch repository book--main--1
> with 3 volumes:
>  bookvol1 -- tutorial
>  bookvol2 -- programming
>  bookvol3 -- reference
> Our goal is to get the Volume 1 out to press in Lulu as
> soon as possible. 95% of this volume is complete, but it
> would be great to have more proof reading and corrections
> by other people.

Dumb question from He Who Probably Missed the Email - is bookvol1 the
current Axiom - the 30 year horizon book, or just some smaller part of
it? (I assume from the page count it is just a part of it.)  If so, is
there any chance that someday one large, massive book could be made
available, for people like me who are likely to spend altogether too
much time wondering "now where did volume two go?"

> We were also hoping to include a CDrom with volume 1, but
> we received a quotation from Lulu which calls for a minimum
> publishing run of 100 copies at an up front cost of about
> $1,200 USD for a 250 page volume including a CDrom. So far the
> limited donations to the Axiom Foundation would not let us
> seriously consider this option.

Well, I guess the following might be my questions about something like

a)  What is the cost per book without CD?  (As a probably irrelevant
side note, what would hardback cost? :-)

b)  Given the program can be downloaded in any case (and most likely a
more current version than that on a CD) how much will such a CD be

c)  If people do desire CDs, what would be the cost of having some
printed, with nice art etc., and selling those off the website? 
Mightn't that be cheaper, and ultimately about as effective?  If
they're already willing to order the book online, one more form for the
CD, which we can stick right next to the link for the book, won't be
that much more trouble.  It would also allow people to get an
"official" CD by itself if they so desire.

d)  Thinking like a marketer for a second (ugh) who will be buying this
book?  OK, us, but we have all probably downloaded Axiom a gazillion
times anyway and are willing to compile our own cvs code.  Small
market, no CD demand.  General public?  Relatively unlikely.  Academics
doing research will have access to fast internet, so they aren't likely
to need a CD.  The one potential significant market I see (for some
definition of significant) is going to be the previously mentioned use
of the Axiom books as a course tool.  (Particularly the tutorial if the
split is made.)  For such a case, presumable the school would make an
order and some up front cash would be available to do the printing. 
Granted it might take several schools given the individual classes
probably won't be that big, but there they have a captive audience to
whom the content is relevant, and a CD is useful because the professor
can then say "this course is based off the version of the program on
the included CDROM."

Anyway - the idea of a CD is neat, but unless we expect to be stocked
in Barnes and Noble on the shelves I don't think we need to worry about
it up front.  An "official" cd is a good idea (I think the FSF sells
such CDs, actually) but I think at least initially we don't need to
have it included in the book.

Just my two (or three or four ;-) cents.


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