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survey



     Hello all,
     
        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.
     
     
     
     Jim Farlow