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Re: survey



"Farlow,James" wrote:
> 
>      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

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?
> 
  Not too important.  But on a gut reaction it does sway my descision
between one with or one without.  NEW COLOR ART WILL SELL IT.

 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?
>  
Yes I would pay more, but only if I don't already have the painting or
drawing in 15 of my other books.  However I am a big sucker for GOOD B+W
illustrations.  I will buy a book if it has just ONE new Henderson
piece.

 3)  At what price does the cost of a book become a prohibitive factor
>      in your decision about whether to buy it?

  I'd say around 45- 50 bucks. 

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?
  As stated above, this is the most important thing for me.  How many
Greg Paul running T.rex skeletons do I need?  I know that commisioning
an artist to do all new art is expensive and almost reserved fo the
"popular" children's books, but I think by not making the investment
people like me will stop buying books!  Of course the information is
crucial, but I am a visual person,(and have the resources to better
information if I need it) and I imagine a great deal of the audience
that buys these books also need the lure of visuals.  The audience are
generally not SVP members and need more visual appeal than the journal
to keep them interested.
  I think that if new art is not generated than we are going to dry up
what new audience paleontology has attracted.  Remember when you used to
look at dinosaur books during the first eighty years of this century and
80% of them had the Knight T.rex vs. Triceratops in them?  As I kid I
loved that piece, but I know when I found a book with something new in
it than I bothered my mother to get it for me.
  I have nothing against Knight or Paul, but dinosaurs are sexier than
ever, it would be a shame to let current images become standard
antiquity.  If that makes ay sense...

  David Krentz
Walt Disney Feature Animation