Something magic manufacturers have in common with academic book publishers

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erdnasephile
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Something magic manufacturers have in common with academic book publishers

Postby erdnasephile » August 9th, 2016, 6:21 pm

So my kid has to buy nearly $700 of books for the upcoming semester at the University.

This incredibly small box (for the price) arrives. However, imagine my surprise when instead of nicely bound books, parcels of shrink-wrapped 3-hole punched pages appear. I guess in addition to paying the hundreds of dollars, they don't feel obligated to actually bind the texts. (Staples here we come!)

Reminds me of magic manufacturers who don't provide printed instructions with their tricks and/or make you resort to arts and crafts just to perform the silly things.

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Re: Something magic manufacturers have in common with academic book publishers

Postby lybrary » August 9th, 2016, 7:37 pm

I think for a textbook this has actually benefits, because one can insert any number of blank sheets to add your own notes. It also allows the publisher to issue updates and corrections in a cost effective way. And rather than having to schlepp the entire set of textbooks your kid can only take those pages or those chapters from all the books needed at that time. So get a binder, a few separation sheets and off you go. When I was a student, I would have preferred this anytime over bound books.
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erdnasephile
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Re: Something magic manufacturers have in common with academic book publishers

Postby erdnasephile » August 9th, 2016, 8:32 pm

Chris:

Your points are well taken in terms of the potential advantages; however, if they aren't going to properly bind the thing, maybe they shouldn't charge so much?

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Re: Something magic manufacturers have in common with academic book publishers

Postby Ted M » August 9th, 2016, 9:26 pm

Wow, loose pages. That guarantees pages will get mangled and/or lost, reducing the possibility of resale. We know the academic publishers hate the resale market.

I hate three ring binders. They're awkwardly sized, the early and late pages end up tearing out, and their wedge shape does not play well with bookshelves.

On the other hand, brand new loose pages are easy to feed through a scanner with a document feeder. That would seem to encourage PDFing the damn thing, which I'd guess would be more of a threat to sales than the secondary market...

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Kevin Connolly
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Re: Something magic manufacturers have in common with academic book publishers

Postby Kevin Connolly » August 9th, 2016, 11:46 pm

This is what I do when buying school books. Buy them off the net and buy the Teacher's editions. I saved a ton of money and had less headaches.
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Re: Something magic manufacturers have in common with academic book publishers

Postby Tom Gilbert » August 10th, 2016, 8:05 am

My wife is taking some advanced nursing courses and was able to rent the texts. Years ago looking for cheaper texts, after a lot of searching, found a place with good prices. A couple of weeks later a package from the Philippines showed up with brand new books.

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Re: Something magic manufacturers have in common with academic book publishers

Postby brianarudolph » August 10th, 2016, 10:38 am

There's no reason - well, other than GREED - that textbooks cannot be made available electronically for download or via PDF/flashdrive/DVD. Charge a reasonable price with a reasonable markup and the overwhelming majority of students will buy them outright rather than seek other alternatives or resort to copying. Print pages when you need or want physical paper (to scribble notes on or to spread out, etc.) and search the text electronically when you need to. Heck, print the whole book if you want at Kinkos for a very nominal cost. Best of all worlds (seems I snuck in a magic reference there. :D )

The thought that Tom's wife - a healthcare professional in every sense of the word - rented her textbooks for advanced study is both astonishing and deplorable in this day and age. Mind you: I am NOT criticizing Tom's wife one iota for doing so ... I'm lamenting an educational climate and system that makes it prohibitively expensive for the student, often compelling them to get their books in other ways.

Wouldn't it benefit everyone if all students could once again own their copies of the books they study? Carry them with them all the way through college and beyond? Have quick access to errata, new editions, etc. for low/no cost? Every textbook you'd ever use from your first day on campus through your Ph.D. dissertation could comfortably reside on your laptop and your iPad with plenty of room to spare. But why do that? It seems it's more fun to continue to gouge the students and make them work hard to gain temporary access to this priceless information - that the textbook publishers have conveniently settled on an overly high price for.

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Re: Something magic manufacturers have in common with academic book publishers

Postby lybrary » August 10th, 2016, 11:39 am

brianarudolph wrote:Wouldn't it benefit everyone if all students could once again own their copies of the books they study? Carry them with them all the way through college and beyond? Have quick access to errata, new editions, etc. for low/no cost? Every textbook you'd ever use from your first day on campus through your Ph.D. dissertation could comfortably reside on your laptop and your iPad with plenty of room to spare.

Aren't we fortunate in magic that some crazy Austrian almost 17 years ago decided to make reality for magicians, what you are outlining for university students? Today Lybrary.com offers almost 6000 ebooks and download videos for magicians. You could fit all of that on one device and have it available anytime, fully searchable, and ready for use.
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Re: Something magic manufacturers have in common with academic book publishers

Postby Andres Reynoso » August 10th, 2016, 3:00 pm

Tom Gilbert wrote:My wife is taking some advanced nursing courses and was able to rent the texts. Years ago looking for cheaper texts, after a lot of searching, found a place with good prices. A couple of weeks later a package from the Philippines showed up with brand new books.


I remember a case some years ago. I don't remember very well the details, but I think Pearson / Addison-Wesley was suing a student that made a bussiness selling books from a remote location into USA cheaper than the price list on States. The argument was the editorial printed cheaper books for "third world countries" and was not intended to be sold outside that countries because the prices.

That started a discussion about if you have a used book and want to sell it. Are you limited to sell it just in some countries? Or aren't you allowed to resell it at all? And if it's a new book and you are not the official distributor?

Several times I have seen on local bookstores, here in Mexico, trade paper backs novels from USA with a sticker "export edition, prohibited to sell into USA" It seems a regular paper back, even the price is the regular one. What make it an "export edition" ? I don't know
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Re: Something magic manufacturers have in common with academic book publishers

Postby brianarudolph » August 10th, 2016, 3:23 pm

lybrary wrote:Aren't we fortunate in magic that some crazy Austrian almost 17 years ago decided to make reality for magicians, what you are outlining for university students? Today Lybrary.com offers almost 6000 ebooks and download videos for magicians. You could fit all of that on one device and have it available anytime, fully searchable, and ready for use.


Which crazy Austrian might that be? :D :D :D
I wouldn't call him "crazy" exactly. Seems to be a mutually-beneficial arrangement for magic, magicians and said Austrian of purported scattered faculties - one I have certainly benefited from on numerous occasions.

But since you mention it, Chris, (and since I'm too lazy to look right now lest I ever be so tempted to add it to my cart) have you ever or do you offer a price for "everything" i.e., if a magician really did want to have a single device with all ~ 6000 Lybrary.com items on it? An unlimited subscription or a lifetime access pass or some such?

Now if only academic publishing would take some cues ...

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Re: Something magic manufacturers have in common with academic book publishers

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 10th, 2016, 4:03 pm

Chris publishes many many non-magic ebooks, so would only be asking for all the magic stuff (I assume).
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Re: Something magic manufacturers have in common with academic book publishers

Postby brianarudolph » August 10th, 2016, 4:21 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Chris publishes many many non-magic ebooks, so would only be asking for all the magic stuff (I assume).


Yes. I was inquiring about all of the magic stuff. Although now that you reminded me, Richard, I need to go look some more ... >sigh< (of overwhelmed, likely financially-impossible-for-the-moment-even-if-available joy.)

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Re: Something magic manufacturers have in common with academic book publishers

Postby lybrary » August 10th, 2016, 4:49 pm

If anybody seriously wants to purchase everything in the catalog, or contemplate a lifetime deal contact me privately. It is not going to be cheap, because I expect to be in business at least another 20 - 40 years. :D
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Re: Something magic manufacturers have in common with academic book publishers

Postby Bill Mullins » August 10th, 2016, 5:01 pm

Andres Reynoso wrote:I remember a case some years ago. I don't remember very well the details, but I think Pearson / Addison-Wesley was suing a student that made a bussiness selling books from a remote location into USA cheaper than the price list on States.


You are thinking of this case, I bet.

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Re: Something magic manufacturers have in common with academic book publishers

Postby Tom Gilbert » August 11th, 2016, 7:30 am

Brian, that's part of the problem with the textbooks, within a year or two they become "outdated" and pretty much unable to even be passed on to another student. She did pass on the texts when she could, but of course the teachers want you using the latest and greatest. Renting turns out to be a decent alternative.


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