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Re: [POD] Re: Level -1 doc.

On Fri, Aug 23, 2002 at 07:32:24PM -0400, Logical Language Group, Inc. wrote:

> As you describe it, we "break even" when our royalties hit $159,
> which I suspect would take 100 books at standard royalty rates
> (probably no more than 5-10% of sales unless you have word
> otherwise).  And when we hit 200 books, LLG will have made another
> $159.

Far better that the book be printed, than it sit and collect dust,
regardless of how little money is made.

> Right now LLG is the publisher of our books, and we're looking for an
> on-demand printer that lets us keep our name on the books.

Who cares whose name is on the book as long as the book is available
at a reasonable price? Personally, I've never looked at the publisher
of a book when making a buying decision, and I'm not sure what sorts
of people would. That isn't a whole lot better than judging a book by
its cover.

The Esperanto Press can publish the book for all I care, just as long
as their rates are reasonable and they act in good faith to sell it.
(I don't know whether or not there is an Esperanto Press, but,

> We've sold close to 400 refgrammars so far, so this seems like a
> good minimum on the 4.5 year sales potential of the lesson book

I'd like to clarify this, just to make things clear. The number of
books reported sold at the meetings each year:

1998: about 200
1999: 266
2000: 322
2001: 360
2002: 380-90

Most of the books are sold within the first year or so.

If sales keep dropping off the way they're going, nobody will be buying
any in 3 years. And if they keep going at the rate they're at, it'll take
another 20+ years to sell them off.

> (we would hope that the LLG community will grow rather than shrink
> in the next 4+ years, and I imagine that just as many would buy the
> lesson book as bought the red book, maybe more because of the lower
> price).

It isn't going to grow unless things change. Certainly not enough to
support having thousands of books printed off.

Unless you've got some top secret plan to quintuple the community size
in 5 easy steps? :)

> We somehow have to make money on our publications in order to support the 
> organization.  Or there won't be an organization in a few years.

If you're only selling 30 books a year, you're not making spectacular
amounts of money as it stands.

A far better policy is to sell via some sort of print on demand, a
wide variety of materials, with minimal markup. So instead of making
$30 of profit per person on a single item, you make $5 on their
refgram, $5 on their lessons, $5 on their dictionary, $5/yr on their JL
subscription, $5/yr on their LK subscription, $5 on their tshirt, $5/yr on
their patron membership, $2.50 on their lapel pin, $10 on their
logfest attendance, $5 when an LLG psuedo-hiree (who is donating their
services to the corporation at some reasonable rate, and getting a tax
deduction for it) translates their horoscope into Lojban.

And of course, growing the community so that you're getting all the
above from each of 1000+ people, and *then* you'll be making money
worth talking about.

(tshirts and quality pins are already under consideration by certain
parties, by the way. prepare a mailing list and i'll prepare JLs and
LKs. i'll also be happy to design membership cards and look into how
they could be printed onto something driver's license-esque, etc,

Jay Kominek <jkominek@miranda.org>
e'osai ko sarji la lojban.