The Genus Lachenalia - a new book

Tim Chapman
Wed, 28 Mar 2012 18:07:03 PDT

On Mar 28, 2012, at 7:22 PM, Hannon <> wrote:

> . As an education and research institution I
> would think RBG Kew would attempt to subsidize the cost of books like
> this-- books aimed at a popular audience that seeks knowledge over [the
> higher costs of a] more lavish or highly technical work.
> Dylan
Not getting into the other parts of this discussion, I disagree with the statement above.  Assuming this book is in the style of earlier editions, it is quite lavish and will have numerous commissioned botanical prints as the main source of illustration.   It will be a very technical work for the most part  Monographs are tremendously useful to a very narrow audience.  Printing a 650 page book with many color plates incurs a great deal of fixed costs.  There is a limited demand of copies so unfortunately these costs aren't diluted greatly.  A photo rich book designed for average gardeners can have much higher fixed costs and still be a fraction of the final cost based on volume. 

I had priced book printing options a few years ago and the volume discounts are amazing, to the point where all text pages Vs color pages aren't much of a, very little extra cost to have photos.

That said I do think it is still overpriced and that is a shame since there should still be tons of info that  many people would want even if the technical aspects aren't desired.  It certainly is out of reach for most.  The Roscoea monograph was $80 or so and a much smaller book.   Too bad they don't produce a companion book for the series aimed at the masses. To help defer total costs as well as provide a cheaper alternative to those not interested in the pure monograph part. 

Tim Chapman

More information about the pbs mailing list