[Wellington-pm] [Offlist] Re: New Zealand book

Marcus Holland-Moritz mhx-perl at gmx.net
Fri Feb 12 16:11:38 PST 2010

Hi Ewen,

thanks for your nice words! :)

On 2010-02-12, at 15:10:21 +1300, Ewen McNeill wrote:

> [Note: not posted to Perl Mongers list, but feel free to reply there.]
> Hi Marcus,
> Marcus Holland-Moritz wrote:
> > I've spent the last couple of months working on a book about my
> > trip. Of course, this work involved a lot of Perl -- but also a
> > bunch of other free tools. It feels really good to see that free
> > software is perfectly capable of keeping up with commercial stuff.
> > [...]
> >   http://nzbook.mhxnet.de
> I've only skimmed through it, but just wanted to say that it looks 
> stunning.  The photography is easily equal any "coffee table" photo tour 
> of New Zealand, and I think probably better than many of them.

Hehe, never heard the term "coffee table book", but I just looked it up. 
It's actually a lot more positive that I thought it would be. :)

> Given the quality of the work (the bits of text I looked at also seemed 
> well written) you may want to consider approaching a book publisher and 
> see if they are interested in publishing a printed version of it.  By 
> printing, eg, 1000-2000 at once they should be able to produce it for 
> significantly lower per copy than on demand printing at blurb, and give 
> it an audience in traditional book stores.

Well, yeah. I have to admit that I would really enjoy if the book could
reach a bigger audience and be significantly cheaper. Something I've
already considered is getting about 1,000 copies offset printed and
bound and selling them via Amazon. The raw book price would be about
10-15 Euros (so considerably less than 20% of what blurb charges), the
quality would even be slightly better with the offset printing and a
special glossy paper (not that the quality of blurb is bad, but I think
there's always a way to do better). AFAIK, Amazon typically charges about
100% of the raw price for their work. Still, being able to sell this kind
of book for 30 Euros (instead of 90) would be just fantastic.

However, the obvious problems are that I would need to pay a huge amount
of money and that I would have to store 1,000 huge books in my flat. ;)
So, as much as I would like it, this is not really feasible.

Coming back to your proposal, I'm a bit worried about dealing with a
publisher. I've never done this before, and the main problem I see is
that I can be quite a bullhead when I have an exact idea of what I want.
So I need to find a publisher that shares my point of view. ;)

Anyway, you absolutely have a point and I think I'm going to approach
a publisher with this. The worst that can happen is that I have to keep
selling the books via blurb. If you have any experience in this field or
know anyone who could recommend a publisher for this kind of project, I
would sincerely appreciate any suggestions.

> I'm glad you enjoyed your visit to New Zealand, and thank you for 
> sharing your experience.

You are very welcome. I really take your appreciation of my work as a
great compliment.

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