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Old 06-08-2011, 08:52 PM   #1
twowheels
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Copies in Print

A few minutes ago I finished the book "Kindred" by Octavia Butler, which is a book that I probably never would have read if I wasn't trying to take advantage of the "buy a book and get a $10 credit" special offer that showed up on my daughter's Kindle w/ Special Offers. Many of the books either didn't appeal at all or we'd already read them.

I enjoyed it (other than the stupid Topaz formatting), and decided to learn more about the author, so I was reading her Wikipedia page when I saw this comment about the book:

Quote:
Kindred became the most popular of all her books, with more than 450,000 copies currently in print.
Which got me to thinking...

What does that mean in terms of eBooks? Things can remain "in print" much longer than they do in paper, since the incremental cost of keeping the book in stock is so small. Also, printed copies don't necessarily equate to sold copies... yet, eBooks really don't count until they're sold as copies aren't really made.

Maybe I'm over thinking the term, but it seems that it'll be harder in some ways to make such statements with eBooks.
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Old 06-08-2011, 09:40 PM   #2
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For eBooks I'd imagine it would be "copies sold" or if someone wanted to boost their numbers, "copies downloaded", especially if there had been a free giveaway promo at some point.

For print books, it's kind of a measure of how many the publisher was able to print out and try and ship to the stores, based on anticipated response and actual sales.

So even the stuff that gets remaindered on the sale table gets counted because a book was physically produced and sent out, even if it just went into storage in a warehouse and ultimately recycled, rather than into a home or library.

So yeah, likely "copies downloaded", since they usually put in-print numbers on the blurbs to make the author/title look like they've been really popular.
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Old 06-09-2011, 01:33 PM   #3
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I used to work in marketing for a publisher (non-fiction) and "in print" generally meant those books who've been printed and dispatched to retail outlets or warehoused for online sales.

It's not necessarily an impressive statistic from a first print-run - "2,000 copies in print" etc. I guess it shows longevity, in that the book is continually reprinted by popular demand.

As for ebooks, I'm not entirely sure how statistics would be shown. Perhaps publishers will incorporate ebook sales or downloads as 'in print' when they boast about print-versions of their books?
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Old 06-09-2011, 04:38 PM   #4
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On another note, its how much the publisher relays on his writer.

Its different for ebooks (digital version) as you have no material costs (paper, printing, etc), so nowadays it is easier to publish a book from the comfort of your house (like ones project).

I 'll we will carry talking with 'old-school' statistics until the digital market start being a big part of the share.

Same has happened to newspaper for example; you may not have a 600.000 daily print; but you can have over 5 millions subscriptions, due to online subscription to newspapers.
Even more, its becoming "rare" that someone has an anual subscription to one (or various for the case) newspaper.

Internet in Argentina ("here") become available to general public around 1998~2003; in 2005 it was well established, and most people could afford a home connection.
I remember we had monthly subscription to 1 newspaper and we would buy 2 on the weekends (saturday and sunday).
Nowadays, with online newspapers (wider spectrum of choice, even from political point of views), my parents (60 year old) prefer to read online newspapers.
And we only keep the habit of buying both on the weekends, for the morning breakfasts! (and I think we buy the printed version, because of the habit of sitting in the morning to have breakfast all together than to any other thing).
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Old 06-09-2011, 04:55 PM   #5
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The cost of keeping a 10 MB file around for decades will be trivial. What will limit what is "in print" will be licensing, unless publishers begin insisting on licenses in perpetuity.
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