The Genus Lachenalia - a new book

Wed, 28 Mar 2012 21:10:05 PDT

You write

"...frankly, I am surprised and ashamed that the worlds largest bulb
organization is behaving this way about a serious and
important work."

I can only assume you are referring obliquely to my behavior by this
reference, which suggests that you feel ashamed that I would protest the
high cost of this book. The PBS is not "behaving" in any way whatever and
the dissenting view is my own.

My only lament is that such a price puts an important work like this
outside the ability to own it for many, myself included. This means access
to knowledge in effect-- something tells me it will not show up at the
local library.Whatever reasons and justifications the publishers may have,
my feeling is that such high pricing will limit accessibility and patronage
by people who would otherwise support and appreciate the efforts of the
authors and publishers. I suspect most who appreciate lachenalias-- if that
is even the target audience--  would not casually shell out $200 for any
book on the subject.


On 28 March 2012 20:31, Matt Mattus <> wrote:

> Setting the price of a book is more than just page count. The binding for a
> book that thick is more complex, and let's face it - this is not Harry
> Potter we are talking about with a print run of 5 million. I would imagine
> this is a much smaller run. I expect that they are printing in China, so
> shipping would be more too, due to the weight. If translation is needed,
> again, more. I doubt that anyone involved is getting rich off of this
> monograph on Lachenalia, and frankly, I am surprised and ashamed that the
> worlds largest bulb organization is behaving this way about a serious and
> important work.
> After a long discussion with Timber Press in regards to why they no longer
> publish monographs, the high cost comes with low production runs due to low
> sales numbers ( reportedly less than 2500 world wide for most monographs
> like Primroses). Which should inform us about how many of us are actually
> out there. Few publishers ( including Timber ) are considering printing
> these books today, so whether we choose to buy them or not, the numbers are
> just not there.
> Sure, the cost is more in the range of text books on paper, but I believe
> that we will see such books on paper fade away soon enough unless we
> support
> them. Of course, a new generation expects digital books. So grumble as we
> may, the truth is published books on paper are less profitable today due to
> the subject matter, the volume of the press run, and the cost of paper.
> The Feel that the Timber press reprints of the Kew Monographs had paper of
> a
> poorer quality too. Has anyone else noticed this?
> Matt Mattus
> Worcester, MA

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