Date: Wed May 24 2006 - 09:04:47 EDT
The comments of Fred Lee in the latest _Heterodox Economics Newsletter_ (see below) are interesting: 1) Fred says that the U of M editor told him that "manuscripts that do not have the potential to sell 750 copies in the first two years have a chance of not being accepted ...." Note that the editor only said that those manuscripts would have a *chance* of not being accepted. In any event, this leads me to wonder: what is the scale that recent _scholarly_ (hardcover) books have been published at? Does it tend for books on Marxism and political economy to be above or below 750? 2) The cure to this problem which Lee suggests seems to me to be rather naive in that it does not take into account the standard of living of many, if not most, heterodox economists internationally. How many of us can afford to purchase out of pocket all of the new titles by heterodox economists? 3) Lee implies that there is a major link between heterodox economic academic conferences and the sales of scholarly books. I am doubtful: the sales of those books often require a deep discount for conference attendees to purchase. Thus, volumes at the _end_ of a conference are often sold at a 50% discount just so the publisher's representative doesn't have to bear the cost of shipping back the books. Even at a 50% discount, many of us find volumes to be unaffordable. 4) Having said the above, I think that Lee does raise an important issue: how can the market for books on Marxism and heterodox economics be increased? In solidarity, Jerry <http://l.web.umkc.edu/leefs/htn28.htm> Issue-28, May 22, 2006 From the Editor Recently I was talking with my editor at the University of Michigan Press and he told me the following: (1) manuscripts that do not have the potential to sell 750 copies in the first two years have a chance of not being accepted (unless there was a subsidy forthcoming to help with the costs); and (2) book sellers are reluctant to send representatives (and books) to conferences with less than 200 participants. What this implies for the former is that heterodox economists need to buy heterodox books to ensure that a market exists when they want their book published. As for the latter, because many heterodox conferences have less than 200 participants, it is necessary to think of ways to increase attendance, such as EAEPE developing an umbrella conference for all European heterodox economists and heterodox economic associations or that heterodox economic conferences team up with say history of thought conferences to generate the needed number of participants. In the end, the size of the conferences has to grow so that the books we write get displayed/advertised and bought.
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