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Re: Journals Inflation (Kathleen Thorne) Marcia Tuttle 30 Jan 1996 18:06 UTC

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 1996 09:05:43 PST
From: Kathleen Thorne <KATHLEEN@SJSUVM1.BITNET>
Subject: Re: Journals Inflation (Albert Henderson)

In reply to Al Henderson (Publisher Research QUarterly), who replied to
my reply to yet another memo:

I think you've missed at least part of my point, Al: I'm not talking about
a "hot topic" journal, I'm talking about a mythical case where an ordinary
very-good-but-too-expensive-for-the-masses journal sells for $1000 to each
of the 25 libraries (or individuals, but let's keep to libraries for the
moment); we're told that if the publisher needs to recoup $25,000 from
subscriptions, when 12 libraries cancel, the price would have to raise to
$25,000 (this is all in round figures, folks - I'm a serials librarian, not
at all mathematically minded!). My question was, if the opposite happens
(ie, 25 additional libraries subscribe, for whatever reasons) will the
opposite occur, and the price DROP to $500, thus allowing the publisher to
get her/his $25,000?  Yes, I know paper costs would add something in, but
then when subscription numbers drop, publishers use LESS paper...

I think the difference between what I asked and what Al replied is that I'm
talking about a price drop BECAUSE there are twice as many subscribers, and
Al replied about price drops as incentive to GAIN more subscribers. Make
sense? I've only had half a cup of coffee this morning, so maybe I'm still
fuzzy around the edges.

It would be interesting to get the views of a publisher or two ... and yes,
John Tagler/Keith Courtney/Jerry Curtis/all my other publisher friends, I
know that's a VERY risky limb to shove you out on. You don't have to say
"yes, we would", a simple "sounds interesting, possibly plausible" (or "no,
as usual you're out of line"!) would suffice. After all, if this were to
happen, maybe we with our meagre budgets and you publishers would both
survive these very scary times.

Kathleen Thorne
Serials Cataloger In Exile
San Jose State University