Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: May ::
Re: OED and CD-ROM Pricing
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0514.  Thursday, 1 May 1997.

[1]     From:   Jeff Myers <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 30 Apr 1997 16:25:35 GMT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0508  Re: OED and CD-ROM Pricing

[2]     From:   Michael S. Hart <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 30 Apr 1997 12:52:09 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0508  Re: OED and CD-ROM Pricing

[3]     From:   Nick Kind <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 30 Apr 1997 17:04:31 +0100
        Subj:   Encryption Methods for CDs


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jeff Myers <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 30 Apr 1997 16:25:35 GMT
Subject: 8.0508  Re: OED and CD-ROM Pricing
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0508  Re: OED and CD-ROM Pricing

>From:           Michael Best <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
>The Internet Shakespeare Editions will be refereed, scholarly, and fully
>annotated; all texts and materials posted on the site will be freely
>available for educational, non-profit use. CDs generated from them
>should cost under $50 each. Question: would there be a market for them?

Depending on quality, I'd definitely consider making such a text _the_
text in my Shakespeare classes.  We're renovating the humanities
building, which will have a large computer-equipped classroom, and we're
also planning to implement providing our entering students with
laptops.  So, you'd have a real shot at my business (about 65 students
per year).

>From:           Ed Peschko <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
>Now, if only the companies could come up with a way to encrypt the data,
>on disk, so that no one could successfully *pirate* it. Now, that would
>be extremely helpful at lowering prices.

I believe the trick is to make the product so reasonably affordable that
the user doesn't really want to pirate it.  Even such added value as
notification about upgrades can decrease the incentive.  And I would
think the same principle would apply to large-scale overseas pirating.
Only extremely expensive programs are worth the effort.

>From:           Nick Kind <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
>I'm glad you think our product is "fabulous" - thank you.

It is!  Shakespearean cyberlust!

>Naturally, I'm
>disappointed that you (and others) find the price difficult; we have
>thought very carefully about it in consultation with an eminent
>editorial board. We feel that you are getting excellent value for money
>with:

I'm not sure what "an eminent editorial board" knows about pricing.
And, of course, the important point is that the purchasers, not the
seller, must feel they are getting "excellent value for money."

>*A highly sophisticated interface which brings Shakespeare research onto
>a new level. It includes thousands of hypertext links, is fully
>searchable in a number of complex ways, and lets you display a lot of
>information simultaneously but clearly (notably folio, quarto, Arden
>text and commentary all on the same, scrollable, screen).
>
>*All 39 Arden 2 texts, including apparatus, plus the Arden 1 Sonnets
>(these latter weren't produced in Arden 2)

So, the Sonnets text is really outdated, I guess.  A bit difficult for a
$4,000 product.  Are all the plays on the CD in the most recent Arden
editions?
>The price, as you say, includes a ten user license. So leaving out the
>folio and quarto facsimiles, even though these were costly and are a
>vital part of the CD, you get a price of under $100 per text ($3,995
>list price by 45 texts); divide this into the allowed number of users
>and you get under $9 per person, per text. That's less than the price of
>the paper book for each student - and you get all the benefits of our
>interface!

Hmmm . . .  Under such reasoning, Bevington's Shakespeare is a fantastic
bargain!

>Incidentally, the development of the Arden CD-ROM has taken several
>years and cost over 600,000 pounds sterling to develop directly so far,
>excluding any "overhead" cost (i.e. staff/ buildings/ admin/ management
>etc. at Routledge and Thomas Nelson). So we're probably looking at a
>million dollar plus development cost.

I wonder what the development costs were for Bevington's edition?  Of
course, there's no CD-Rom involved.  Perhaps a better example might be a
recording of a Mozart opera by the Met.  Imagine the incredible number
of person-hours involved in making such a recording possible!  Yet, they
manage to sell their recordings for considerably less than $4,000.

>Please feel free to respond to me either in public here on SHAKSPER or
>privately via email. I've recently been employed specifically to develop
>the Arden electronically and would be interested in any comments,
>suggestions, likes or dislikes people may have about Shakespeare in any
>electronic format, including the internet. I'm here to try and develop
>things you want to use and buy!

You've done it!  I want to buy and use it.  Now, price it so that I
and/or ("and," I hope) my students can purchase it.  Otherwise, it will
remain a curiosity for most potential users.

Curmudgeonly yours,
Jeff Myers

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael S. Hart <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 30 Apr 1997 12:52:09 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: 8.0508  Re: OED and CD-ROM Pricing
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0508  Re: OED and CD-ROM Pricing

>I wonder how expensive the earliest books were compared to the
>manuscripts they replaced.  Did printed books offer any added value, as
>CD-Roms do?

The earliest moveable type books were priced at about 1/400th the same
book written in manuscript [which were priced at about the same price as
the average family farm].

As for the other questions about the prices of CDROMs, even if you had
only $1,000 made, it would still often be less than $1 each.  Add in a
box, paper literature you might want included, etc.

There are lots of companies out there making a profit by selling CDROM
and CD packages for under $5.

If you think rehearsing an entire orchestra for months, and making the
necessary recordings, edits, etc., costs less than typing Shakespeare, I
would suggest you do some research.

As for the comments by those say companies would prefer to sell copies
to a greater market at a reduced price. . .I would suggest research on
that topic as well.

There are still many places who are so elitist that they would prefer,
to an unbelievable degree, to sell 1,000 items to 1,000 people at 100%
profit per item [or close to it] than for "everyone" to have a copy.

Even severe competition and commentary will not stop this.

I would still be happy to work on getting more "proven public domain" of
Shakespeare on the Net.

Thanks!

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nick Kind <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 30 Apr 1997 17:04:31 +0100
Subject:        Encryption Methods for CDs

In reply to Ed Peschko's comment about encryption methods for CDs -
there _are_ a number available, from vendors such as C-Dilla, which I am
happy to tell people about if they would like to email me individually.
They all have their various pros and cons!
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.