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Publishers going nutty?

flateric

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http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0786434643/ref=pe_5050_9199450_pe_snp_643

American Attack Aircraft Since 1926 (Hardcover)
by E. R. Johnson (Author)
List Price: $95.00

you are offered to pre-order a book of which you know two facts: a). how it cover looks like and b). it costs 95 bucks
 

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greenmartian2017

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For that amount of moolah, I would wait until it comes out, and see if any of the people who actually do buy it think it's grand, or not.
 

Antonio

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We need to email the publisher to know if that volume is full of unbuilt designs (could it be the companion volume to American Secret Projects: Fighters?)...otherwise 95 bucks is a lot of money for a guide of already well known types.
 

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foiling said:
Has anybody seen this book or know more about it yet?

The further descriptions of the book (especially the apparently-professionally-written reviews) seem to indicate it's not a must-have for unbuilt projects fans. Seems to stick to built&flown types.

Plus, on the Amazon site, you have the option of buying a new copy for $95, or a used copy for $107.

Ummm...
 

foiling

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Thanks for update. Buying way too many books these days to be reckless (again). Interesting you mention the fact that used copies can be more expensive than brand new: I am stunned at times by how used copies, with no special claim to fame, sometimes cost as much as 5 or even 10 times the price of new or used but good condition copies, esp in rarer books.
 

Hammer Birchgrove

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foiling said:
Thanks for update. Buying way too many books these days to be reckless (again). Interesting you mention the fact that used copies can be more expensive than brand new: I am stunned at times by how used copies, with no special claim to fame, sometimes cost as much as 5 or even 10 times the price of new or used but good condition copies, esp in rarer books.

I assume it's because it's the former owner who sets the price. I can understand why someone sets the same price they bought the book for, but setting it higher seems counter-productive IMHO.
 

prolific1

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I wonder if the folks that put the book together are aware of the negative impact on sales for such an oversight? If they don't care then it smells like a "hack" job.
 

AeroFranz

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I did thumb through this volume when I found a copy at the Smithsonian Air and space museum. It seems to contain a complete listing of all "A-" aircraft used by the US armed forces since their inception, deveoting 1-2 pages plus three view to each (IIRC). There are a few lesser known types, but there are no secretprojects-worthy items. Certainly not for the asked price. It's all information found in other books, but conveniently compiled in one place. As mentioned in other posts, the price was a real deterrent. I would hesitate to pay half as much.
 

edwest

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Why are people concerned if a higher price is set for a used copy? Unless you personally know someone who plans on paying, what difference does it make? A book I'm currently looking for is available on amazon for $2,000 +. So, I'll just look a little harder elsewhere
 

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edwest said:
Why are people concerned if a higher price is set for a used copy?

It's not a matter of being "concerned" so much as "confused." There's no logical reason to set a used price higher than new, cuz ain't nobody gonna buy it.
 

The Artist

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edwest said:
Why are people concerned if a higher price is set for a used copy? Unless you personally know someone who plans on paying, what difference does it make? A book I'm currently looking for is available on amazon for $2,000 +. So, I'll just look a little harder elsewhere

Those higher used copy prices are probably sourced in the title's history on ebay which is being sustained by those who have more money than sense and just have to have that book.

A reason to be concerned is because this could eventually influence the pricing of new books. (The marketing department saying 'Look how much people are willing to pay for these books.' while overlooking the fact that it is a relatively small number of people paying those prices.) This has happened - I mean the prices realized on ebay has been one of the contributing factors in the rising cost of model kits. I know that corporate extortion - I mean licensing fees - is a part of it along with oil and transport costs. Still the companies have noticed what happens when two or more people just have to have that Airfix Kingfisher kit and bid the thing up to $50, $60 or $70. Then you have those Buy It Now dealers who place outrageous prices on old kits which usually (or at least use to) sell for two or three dollars in the vendor room at a model contest. $50 for an Airfix 1/72 scale P-51 in a less than mint condition box? Can licensing and oil really explain why a new (reissue) RF-101C from Hasegawa can cost forty to fifty dollars when the mold has been in use since the 60s and has probably been paid for since the 70s?

Getting back to the subject. Maybe ebay will not be as much an influence. Maybe it will be the licensing and royalty fees. With the aerospace corporations claiming ownership of images that had been long believed to be in the public domain (Scott talked about this in another thread) and seeking to control any depiction of their "properties", maybe it's not that unreasonable to think that the cost of Squadron Signal In Action books could inch up to thirty dollars or higher and the more detailed Schiffer hardcover books on aircraft could go up to the two to three hundred dollar range. In fact, it's heading there with the armor books. Some of the Hardcover armor books in the local hobby shop are in the one hundred to one hundred fifty dollar range. But then again ebay may be an influence on the armor books as I understand that many of the authors are gathering their WWII and Korea photographic material through auctions on ebay and other auction sites.

Nutty is right and if this keeps going I can see many hobbies being priced out of existence.
 

saintkatanalegacy

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they fail to grasp the idea of buyer-seller relationship in a market. Let them "sell" the thing at that price and let's see if they make any profits out of it.
 

Stargazer2006

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Yes, and yet I also know that by artificially increasing the pricetag of a book, one can also lead a lot of folks to believe the stuff has actually a higher value than it really has... and lead to an overall increase of its value on the market, however artificial. I once knew some unscrupulous comic book dealers who stored boxes of new titles and claimes they had been sparsely circulated. Soon enough, all the other stores aligned their prices to theirs, resulting in ridiculous prices. Only 5 years later was the truth found out and did the prices go back to normal...
 

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Well, I feel there is cause for concern - and apart from those very valid reasons already given. I am a passionate book collector - not because a book's rare or antique - but because the book offers a lot of info or pleasure for me. Thus, a very good condition or new book is highly desirable to me. I am 55 years old & 3 years retrenched. When I search for a book, and find, eg, three books, all used, and two are in 'good condition' while the third is in 'very good condition', but 5x the price of the others, it becomes a tough choice. I have bought an enormous number of books on line recently, and most have been very satisfactory, a few quite disappointing.
 

Triton

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You can also buy a new copy of the book directly from McFarland & Company, Inc., for $95.00 plus shipping.

URL:
http://www.mcfarlandpub.com/book-2.php?id=978-0-7864-3464-0

Still a mystery to me why the used booksellers would think that they could sell a used copy for more money than a new copy. Perhaps McFarland had another print run of this book and it was previously out of print when the inflated used book price was established? Plus new scholarly and reference books with small print runs do tend to be expensive. Just look at the price of college text books.
 

edwest

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The Artist said:
edwest said:
Why are people concerned if a higher price is set for a used copy? Unless you personally know someone who plans on paying, what difference does it make? A book I'm currently looking for is available on amazon for $2,000 +. So, I'll just look a little harder elsewhere

Those higher used copy prices are probably sourced in the title's history on ebay which is being sustained by those who have more money than sense and just have to have that book.

A reason to be concerned is because this could eventually influence the pricing of new books. (The marketing department saying 'Look how much people are willing to pay for these books.' while overlooking the fact that it is a relatively small number of people paying those prices.) This has happened - I mean the prices realized on ebay has been one of the contributing factors in the rising cost of model kits. I know that corporate extortion - I mean licensing fees - is a part of it along with oil and transport costs. Still the companies have noticed what happens when two or more people just have to have that Airfix Kingfisher kit and bid the thing up to $50, $60 or $70. Then you have those Buy It Now dealers who place outrageous prices on old kits which usually (or at least use to) sell for two or three dollars in the vendor room at a model contest. $50 for an Airfix 1/72 scale P-51 in a less than mint condition box? Can licensing and oil really explain why a new (reissue) RF-101C from Hasegawa can cost forty to fifty dollars when the mold has been in use since the 60s and has probably been paid for since the 70s?

Getting back to the subject. Maybe ebay will not be as much an influence. Maybe it will be the licensing and royalty fees. With the aerospace corporations claiming ownership of images that had been long believed to be in the public domain (Scott talked about this in another thread) and seeking to control any depiction of their "properties", maybe it's not that unreasonable to think that the cost of Squadron Signal In Action books could inch up to thirty dollars or higher and the more detailed Schiffer hardcover books on aircraft could go up to the two to three hundred dollar range. In fact, it's heading there with the armor books. Some of the Hardcover armor books in the local hobby shop are in the one hundred to one hundred fifty dollar range. But then again ebay may be an influence on the armor books as I understand that many of the authors are gathering their WWII and Korea photographic material through auctions on ebay and other auction sites.

Nutty is right and if this keeps going I can see many hobbies being priced out of existence.





I work in book publishing, I collect books and I run a store on eBay. Vultures are always looking for an excuse to get prices to go up. I also scan eBay for World War II photos. The bottom line: most people want to make big bucks with the least effort. I was talking to a comic book art dealer at a comic book convention who told me the following: "Why should I bring a hundred drawings that I'll sell for $10.00 each as opposed to 10 drawings that I'll sell for $100.00 each?" He went on to say that having the 'nickel and dime stuff' just wasn't worth it to him.

As far as World War II aviation books, the words "unpublished photos" catches my attention right away. No, that does not mean I'll automatically buy it, just that unpublished is a really big deal depending on the quality and the subject matter.

And it would not surprise me one bit if aerospace companies are claiming reproduction rights to their images. Google is involved in a lawsuit filed by visual artists for unauthorized republication.

Viacom just lost a $1 billion dollar copyright lawsuit against youtube but plans on appealing.

When a lot of classic or rare images were made, you needed a darkroom and someone who knew how to handle a camera. Today, (sorry, going off topic) anybody with a cell phone or handheld can get images that might end up on the news or in a magazine.

As far as influencing the prices of new books, trust me, the owner of the company I work for knows, quite accurately, what would happen if we raised our prices by even a few dollars. People who buy our books have made it a point to let us know they appreciate the lower price. Perhaps it's time to get proactive and let Schiffer and others know we don't appreciate current pricing trends. I'm sure they watch what others in their field do as far as price just as we do.
 

edwest

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Stargazer2006 said:
Yes, and yet I also know that by artificially increasing the pricetag of a book, one can also lead a lot of folks to believe the stuff has actually a higher value than it really has... and lead to an overall increase of its value on the market, however artificial. I once knew some unscrupulous comic book dealers who stored boxes of new titles and claimes they had been sparsely circulated. Soon enough, all the other stores aligned their prices to theirs, resulting in ridiculous prices. Only 5 years later was the truth found out and did the prices go back to normal...



I know of a few instances where people simply did not do their homework. It can take an hour or two, but I've managed to shave off a significant amount of money just by putting in the time to look. The internet does not encourage anyone to engage in anything long term. That lack of effort is costly.

In the 1990s, I was in line at a comic book store and behind me was a 13 year old loaded down with new comics. He assured me that in about 6 months he'd be able to resell them for 20 bucks each. It works both ways.
 

Triton

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I am curious though about how much it costs to produce these specialty books, print, and distribute them. I wonder how much of a margin is necessary for McFarland & Company, Inc. We aren't talking about bestsellers here that are purchased at Walmart and the warehouse stores and sold at a discount.
 

Stargazer2006

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Very interesting thread. One shouldn't underestimate the impotance of eBay, though. I've seen it used by several people to determine their own prices; they check the sold items section, and how much an item usually goes for, then adjust their own prices to that. Official price guides usually offer reference prices that reflect an item's rarity but are often completely theoretical and do not actually reflect the price buyers are willing to pay. By using eBay and calculating an average of recent winning bids, the dealers get a much better idea of how much they should reasonably sell their stuff. Problem is, some vultures simply pick the highest bid and stick to it, in the hope that if someone was crazy enough to pay that much, another fool can do the same...
 

foiling

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Maybe some of you guys will think this is reasonable - for a rare & probably very good book - but I had to resist buying this time: Lockheed-Martin F/A-22 Raptor: Stealth Fighter (Aerofax) by Miller. Available from amazon for $188, and two copies available elsewhere for approximately 202 Pounds.
 

edwest

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Stargazer2006 said:
Very interesting thread. One shouldn't underestimate the impotance of eBay, though. I've seen it used by several people to determine their own prices; they check the sold items section, and how much an item usually goes for, then adjust their own prices to that. Official price guides usually offer reference prices that reflect an item's rarity but are often completely theoretical and do not actually reflect the price buyers are willing to pay. By using eBay and calculating an average of recent winning bids, the dealers get a much better idea of how much they should reasonably sell their stuff. Problem is, some vultures simply pick the highest bid and stick to it, in the hope that if someone was crazy enough to pay that much, another fool can do the same...



As someone who sells things on eBay, it doesn't matter what Price Guides say. I must be in line with the lowest price on eBay. People are going to pay the lesser amount for an item in better condition. Seller loyalty, as far as I can tell, does not exist. I just picked up a few magazines on eBay and I followed the least price - better condition formula.

I don't think we'll be eliminating human foolishness anytime soon. That said, I've gotten a few sales from "I need this fast for my brother's birthday" people. Some people are only vaguely aware of what the fair market price should be or could be. I've encountered a few people who only knew what they wanted but did not know anything beyond that. I was recently burned for about $23.00 because I made an impulse buy at a collectible's store before checking other possible sources. But I had been looking for that item for a while and... well, you know.
 

JFC Fuller

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There are two reasons for books being excessively expensive:

1) They are outstanding books that are out of print and hard to come by as aresult of being out of print and few people wanting to part with them (as a consequence of their high quality)

2) The price has been artificially inflated by book sellers (usually second hand) pushing up the price unrealistically high, you often see books on amazon which have been up for years with the same price from the same seller that they have clearly never sold

The solution to both problems is digital platforms like Kindle, that way there is no constraint on supply and no requirement for second hand book sellers. What would be even better is if software platforms like Kindle could come with a search function enabling you to search every book in your library for key words simultaneously like Google books does now.
 

Triton

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sealordlawrence said:
There are two reasons for books being excessively expensive:

1) They are outstanding books that are out of print and hard to come by as aresult of being out of print and few people wanting to part with them (as a consequence of their high quality)

2) The price has been artificially inflated by book sellers (usually second hand) pushing up the price unrealistically high, you often see books on amazon which have been up for years with the same price from the same seller that they have clearly never sold

The solution to both problems is digital platforms like Kindle, that way there is no constraint on supply and no requirement for second hand book sellers. What would be even better is if software platforms like Kindle could come with a search function enabling you to search every book in your library for key words simultaneously like Google books does now.

I hope not. Technology becomes obsolete too quickly. Remember microfiche and microfilm? Perhaps the same might occur with Kindle, Adobe Acrobat, and other digital book formats. Will these electronic books be accessible decades later? Given the choice, I would much rather have a printed book.
 

Stargazer2006

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Triton said:
Technology becomes obsolete too quickly. Remember microfiche and microfilm? Perhaps the same might occur with Kindle, Adobe Acrobat, and other digital book formats. Will these electronic books be accessible decades later? Given the choice, I would much rather have a printed book.

I wholeheartedly agree with you! Not to mention the pleasure of handling a book, which cannot compare with scrolling a PDF!
 

The Artist

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Triton said:
sealordlawrence said:
There are two reasons for books being excessively expensive:

1) They are outstanding books that are out of print and hard to come by as aresult of being out of print and few people wanting to part with them (as a consequence of their high quality)

2) The price has been artificially inflated by book sellers (usually second hand) pushing up the price unrealistically high, you often see books on amazon which have been up for years with the same price from the same seller that they have clearly never sold

The solution to both problems is digital platforms like Kindle, that way there is no constraint on supply and no requirement for second hand book sellers. What would be even better is if software platforms like Kindle could come with a search function enabling you to search every book in your library for key words simultaneously like Google books does now.

I hope not. Technology becomes obsolete too quickly. Remember microfiche and microfilm? Perhaps the same might occur with Kindle, Adobe Acrobat, and other digital book formats. Will these electronic books be accessible decades later? Given the choice, I would much rather have a printed book.

And then there is the problem that some of the technology does not age well. I own four of the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum Photo Archive Laser Discs. They are becoming unplayable with age. All that wonderful information no longer available.
 

The Artist

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Orionblamblam said:
The Artist said:
I own four of the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum Photo Archive Laser Discs. They are becoming unplayable with age.

Can they be converted to CDs or DVDs?

I doubt it. For one thing, if it could be done I think the Smithsonian would have done it by now.

As to my discs. Parts of the discs will not play on my player - at least as far as trying to access individual frames. I've not tried putting one in and just hitting play but what's the point of that? Pictures streaming by at 30 pictures a second? If you'd try making a dub of that, that's what you'd be stuck with.

The formatting was different with those. The play like a movie discs were formatted in the CLV format in which the recording was arranged in a spiral from the center to the edge. In theory, if you played the disc and recorded as though you were recording from a tape it might work.

The multifunction and archival discs were formatted in CAV which had the data arranged in concentric rings running from the center to the edge. I don't think a DVD player would be able to read the CAV formatting even if you could make a clean copy of it.

While those 12 inch disks offered better picture and sound quality over video tape, they were a dead-end technology for home entertainment because of the limited run-time per side. For most movies you had to turn the disc over to play the other side halfway through the movie and on longer movies you had to go to a third side on a second disk. At the time, they seemed like a good idea for archival use because one disc could hold (if I remember the statistic correctly) approximately five 4-drawer filing cabinets worth of pages or pictures.
 

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The data may be stored in an analog format, but it still has to transmit the image to the TV... and some sort of "reader" has got to be possible. If the image quality is about the same as DVD, then copying the laserdisk onto DVD would be a functional, if clumsy approach. You'll get your thrity photos a second, but if you can pause on the photo you want, you can grab a screen cap[ture of it. Additionally, there are freeware programs that will convert every single frame of an MPEG-2 DVD movie into a single image file. Fills up fast...

Well, hell, these folks will do it for you for twenty bones:
http://lp2cd.com/dvd/from_ld.html
Oh, wait... "We do not convert Still Frame LaserDiscs and Interactive LaserDiscs. "
 

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As I stated earlier "I had to resist buying this time: Lockheed-Martin F/A-22 Raptor: Stealth Fighter (Aerofax) by Miller. Available from amazon for $188, and two copies available elsewhere for approximately 202 Pounds."
By surprising luck, I recently received an e-mail advertising some books at special prices, including a used good-condition copy of the book on the Lockheed-Martin F/A-22 Raptor. I checked it out although it was not a book I particularly wanted, decided that at this price it was too tempting, and I ordered a copy, for $15! It arrived late last week and is in almost perfect condition, apart from a very minor bend to the top outer corner of the book. Today there are still 3 used good condition copies being offered on amazon for $185+.
I also caved in to the nagging voices in my head and bought Johnson's "American Attack Aircraft since 1926" at $105 for a new copy (incl postage to darkest Africa). It is a very pleasing book, with approximately one full page discussion, plus one black-&-white photo, and one full page good quality 3-view for each aircraft. It includes an appendix on 'attack aircraft designs that never flew' - 13 aircraft there. As has already been said, it is not really worth the inexplicably high price, and most or all of the aircraft could be found in other sources. However, I do like it and regard it as a 'forgivable extravagance'.
 
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