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OT Prices (was Re: Books on Translation

From:Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Date:Wednesday, January 15, 2003, 20:55
Re outrageous prices.......
Sylvia Sotomayor wrote:

>Well, if you really want to know... :) >My day job consists of persuading professors to adopt the textbooks my >employer publishes. And one of the many pricing criteria seems to be
>the market will bear".
Ah yes, I was in that racket too, for a few years back in the 60s (and a very nice job it was-- leaving it for grad school was in hingsight a Bad Career Move), before the days of inflation. We gave away samples with abandon-- in some cases, more were given away than were ever actually sold. That policy has no doubt changed. Seriously, there are some good reasons for the higher
>pricing, one of which is size of expected market. If you want to know more, >email me offlist and I'll do my best to explain it to you.
The scholarly publishers have the bad, but understandable, habit of only publishing as many copies as can realistically be sold to (mostly) university libraries, with a handful left over for private buyers. The don't expect the general public to clamor for a Tocharian Dictionary.... I know Oxford (Clarendon) had the policy of keeping _everything_ in print, but that may have changed too. I managed to get a copy of Gardiner's Egyptian Grammar (which must have been a monstrously expensive thing to produce in 1927) in its 1966 3d edition, at a ridiculously cheap price (employee discount); but even so, I see it is priced "63s" on the dust jacket. Assuming the pound was around $2.00-plus in those days, even that's cheap. The Aust.Natl. Univ. publishes all sort of goodies on SE Asia/Pacific languages, in quite inexpensive paperback editions, but still, in such small runs that they're OP within a year or so. Yet they continue to list them in their catalogue. Most annoying.