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At some point I will comment about the reaction to the recent
Nature paper dealing with archosaurian leg length/trunk length ratios
that I co-authored with the Antichrist, Beast # 666, and their
colleagues. I'm waiting, however, till I see it myself. I've only
seen it in ms form, and want to see the published version, which may
have changes to what I've seen in ms. But my university, alas,
doesn't get Nature until 2-3 weeks after everybody else does. I
gather that the initial reaction to the paper isn't wild adulation,
but hey, I knew the job was dangerous when I took it.
What I'm writing about now is something completely different. As
many of you may know, I am paleontology editor for Indiana University
Press. We've already published several paleo books, and have several
more coming out in the next couple years, e.g. a book by Pat and Tom
Rich describing their experiences collecting Australian dinosaurs, a
couple books dealing with Australian Cenozoic mammals, a book looking
at the science wars (postmodern social constructionists vs.
conventional outlooks) from the perspective of the history of
vertebrate paleontology, a HUGE book about the extinct avifauna of New
Zealand, a symposium volume about ankylosaurs, a new edition (with
commentary) of Charles R. Knight's popular book _Life through the
Ages_, and a book on the paleobiology of _Megalania_, to name a few.
And those are only the ones that are nearly ready to head for the
printer. We have a LOT more goodies under contract.
In working on all of this, some issues have come up for which I'd
be interested in getting input. It is expensive to put color inserts
in books, as we did in _Complete Dinosaur_, _Fossil Snakes of North
America_, and _Eggs, Nests, and Baby Dinosaurs_, and this can make the
book cost more to the purchaser. The question then becomes, is the
increased price worth the art? Let me rephrase that question in the
following questions. I am interested in responses from professional
scientists, grad students, and amateur enthusiasts.
1) How important is color art to you when you consider a book? Are
you more likely to buy a book with color art than a comparable book
without it, if their costs are comparable?
2) Is color art important enough to you that you are willing to spend
$10-20 or so more for the book to get color than you would have to pay
if the book were just black and white?
3) At what price does the cost of a book become a prohibitive factor
in your decision about whether to buy it?
4) How important is _NEW_ art in your decision to buy a book? Are
you more likely to buy a paleo book if it includes reconstructions and
restorations that you have not seen before?
I have my own gut feelings about the answers to these questions, but I
would like to get some feedback to see if I am on target. Persons on
this list are a nice profile of the kind of market we are aiming for.
I hope that this message doesn't violate list rules in any way. At
IUP we want to serve the paleo public, and this message is an attempt
to see how best we can do so.
- Re: survey
- From: David Krentz <David.Krentz@disney.com>