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Re: DinSoc Dinosaur Encycloped
Hi Jeff Poling!
Does DS need to repeat work done elsewhere? That's not the point
of DSDE, which was to "refocus" and "consolidate" the work in
a format accessable to non-professionals. Dinosauria is very
difficult reading (not to mention sadly, tragically, out of date)
and Mesozoic Meaderings is not available in bookstores.
DON'T USE CLADOGRAMS. You missed the "focus" part. Non-professionals
generally don't understand them, and they produce end products
rather than categories. Since each dino-genera in DSDE is on
its own page, it would be kind of pointless to put a cladogram
on each page. Too much repetition. Better to put the cladograms
(if you insist on them) in a separate section.
Oh, sure, the Pterosauria is "available elsewhere". The key word
is "elswhere". I don't want "elsewhere". I want it all in ONE PLACE.
In this office, all of the dino books are in the bosses office
(we can't afford four sets of them) and if I need to check something
I go get one book (DSDE) as it gives me what I need in one book.
I just want that book to be complete.
And it wouldn't kill them to do the research. Someone with a
copy of a good Pterosaur book or two could do it in one afternoon.
Or they could just download it from that whacky web page someone
runs which has all those genera lists on them.
Same applies to the other non-dino categories.
Olshevsky was hardly the first to invent loose leaf stuff,
not even the first in dinosaurs. There were reports about the
upcoming ring-binder encyclopedia on the list long before George
came up with his folios, but that's not the point. Ring binders
do work. As a publisher, I have published one particular reference
book (Steve Jackson knows it, the rest of you don't care as it's
not dinosaurs) which has well over 1,000 pages (and there is another
book with another 1,000 that goes with it). People who bought these
books use them more often (and harder) than Olshevsky uses his copy
of THE DINOSAURIA, and I haven't heard any complaints (except that
they want the next update, we've done about 30).
What do you update? This is the least of the problems. You decide
that a given update is going to be, say, 64 pages, which is
32 sheets. At one sheet per dino, that's 32 dinos. You do an
update once a year. Figure 10-15 new dinos per year, that
leaves you space to include replacement pages for the 15 or
so dinosaurs that have had the most new information.
It may come down, in a given year, to whether this one or that
one deserves to be the last of the updated dinos this year, but
that's not really a crisis since the two choices are the 16th and 17th
most deserving and you did all the better ones. Heck, you could
even put updated pages on the web.
(On a pay-per-view site of course.)
How do you convince people to buy the updates? You make it
available, and they will come. What would you pay today if
you could get 30 new and 30 replacement pages for THE DINOSAURIA?
They WILL come for it.