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Threats to Contemporary Publishing

race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that's the way to bet.

Damon Runyon

Because of the costs of paper publishing and publisher assumptions about how to make books return a profit, a 500-page textbook typically costs $50 retail, or 10 cents a page. Second-hand it costs $25, or 5 cents a page. On a large copier it costs $15, or 3 cents a page. On a large printer it costs $5, or 1 cent a page. If it were distributed electronically, it would cost about $1 to send it to any phone in the world, at a cost of 1/5 cent a page. And whether it is an excellent or a terrible book does not change these cost differences.


Gregory J. E. Rawlins