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Permit Me to Rant

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  • Richard Hubbard
    Ian s reference to Kloppenborg s book _Tenants in the Vineyard: Ideology, Economics, & Agrarian Conflict in Jewish Palestine_ piqued my interest so I looked
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 6, 2010
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      Ian's reference to Kloppenborg's book _Tenants in the Vineyard:
      Ideology, Economics, & Agrarian Conflict in Jewish Palestine_ piqued my
      interest so I looked into buying a copy. At Amazon I found that for a
      mere $359.50 (plus shipping) I can have my very own copy.

      Something is wrong with this picture folks. I am fully aware of the
      argument that the production and printing of books can be a costly
      affair and that when a book has a limited distribution, the entire cost
      must be spread over a relatively small number of copies. According to
      this argument if it costs (let's say $150,000 including the publisher's
      profit margin), to bring a given book into print then a limited run of
      1,500 copies would require a selling price of $100 per copy. This is
      pretty much the business model of "Top Feeder" publishers such as E J
      Brill, Mohr-Siebeck and Peeters (among others). They know that they can
      predictably sell X number of copies to well-heeled libraries and
      whatever is left over they can dispose of on the remainders market. It
      is really almost a no-risk venture for these publishers. This argument,
      however, is becoming less persuasive as time goes on.

      Then there is the matter of the authors of these books. I doubt
      seriously if they receive any substantial royalty revenue from "Top
      Feeder" publishers so I doubt if there is any particular incentive for
      them to choose one publisher over another. They merely want/need their
      material published and therefore accept what is available, tried and
      proven.

      Sandwiched between the publishers and the authors are the readers such
      as "us" who, when given the opportunity to buy a dozen or so books per
      year at $300 per each, simply pass on those opportunities. Worse yet,
      lets say that 2 or 3 years after some especially important book is
      published we DO decide to plunk down the Big Bucks only to find out the
      book we want is out of print and that if available at all, may cost 150%
      of retail at remainder house.

      At some point all of this HAS to change. Recent,(or at least relatively
      recent), advances in publishing technology has made it possible to
      publish on-demand hard bound books for between 4 and 10 cents per page
      including all fixed ovehead. That would mean a book like Kloppenborg's
      _Tenants_ **could** be produced and deliverd to resellers for between
      $32 and $70 per copy. Allowing for resellers to have a 40% profit
      margin, the absolute most a 700 page book should cost is 14 cents per
      page . But here is another issue: the same technology that makes
      on-demand printing possible also permits simultaneous electronic
      versions to be produced at virtually zero additional incremental cost.
      Via download, the margin-of-profit for publishers on e-editions would be
      close to 100%, which if they were cagey, could be used to offset
      discounts in the printed volumes.

      So, who is likely to lose here? Scholars could still get their books
      published. Libraries could still acquire printed copy for their
      collections AND SO COULD THE REST OF US!

      Somewhere, somehow, someone needs to get a grip on the new reality and
      begin to change the way scholarly publishing is done. Scholars, first
      and foremost, should begin to examine non-conventional publishing
      options.

      On another forum there was a discussion between two correspondents that
      went like this:

      First person writes: There is a lack of argument from silence which
      interests me at the moment. Why do you not deal with Jesus sending his
      disciples to prepare the Passover, which also appears in Mark ?

      Second person responds: : If I dealt with everything in one message,
      (a) the List Managers would at last complain, and
      (b) it would be a commentary, and Brill would charge you $375 for it.

      That pretty well sums it up.

      End Rant

      Rick Hubbard







      |-----Original Message-----
      |From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com [mailto:gthomas@yahoogroups.com]
      |Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2010 2:14 AM
      |To: Richard Hubbard; gthomas@yahoogroups.com
      |Subject: {Disarmed} RE: [GTh] Parable of the Wicked Tenants (L65)
      |Importance: Low
      |
      |
      |
      |
      |Hi Rick,
      |Many thanks for your research. I've been trying to track down the
      |1974 French piece by B. Dehandschutter that Marvin Meyer cited in his
      comments
      |on L.65 in _The Gospel of Thomas_ (1992).
      |It's in a 1974 book edited by Maurits Sabbe. (It wouldn't do me any
      good to have it in
      |French, cuz I don't know the language, but I was hoping it might be
      online, so that I
      |could get a rough translation via the browser.) Preliminary search
      results indicate it
      |isn't online, but I did find a 2001 address by John Kloppenborg (whose
      book Ian
      |Brown had mentioned) on the occasion of assuming office as the
      president of the
      |Canadian Society of Biblical Studies. It's titled "Ideology and
      Ideological Readings of
      |the Parable of the Tenants", and presumably includes some of the basic
      ideas of his
      |book.
      |See in particular pages 18-19, where he addresses the Thomas version
      (and cites
      |Dehandschutter):
      |
      |www.ccsr.ca/csbs/presidential2001.PDF
      |
      |Kloppenborg notes that the 15th edition of the German publication SQE
      (1993)
      |incorporates Dehandschutter's suggestion, which I wasn't aware of. I
      happen to have
      |that, so I checked it out, and sure enough, XRHSTOS is reduced to a
      footnote. (Even
      |worse, the English translation given is 'usurer', rather than the more
      benign 'creditor'.)
      |It appears, then, that the earlier consensus in favor of XRHSTOS
      shifted some years
      |back in favor of XRHSTHS. But as far as I have been able to determine,
      that shift
      |was entirely based on reasoning about what the parable must mean. I
      haven't seen
      |any indication that anyone gave any thought to the *likelihood* of that
      word appearing
      |in a Coptic text. What I want to do is to check the Dehandschutter
      piece to see if *he*
      |gave it any thought. I suspect he didn't, but that remains to be seen.
      Everyone else
      |seems to have assumed that because it was a Greek word, there was no
      reason why
      |it wouldn't show up in a Coptic text. But if they had actually
      researched the question,
      |they would have seen that Coptic writings contain a relatively small
      lexicon of Greek
      |words. Those that were used were those with which the Copts were most
      familiar,
      |and as far as can be determined, XRHSTHS wasn't one of them.
      |
      |Mike
      |
      |
      |
      |
      |
    • Judy Redman
      Rick, you say: Ian s reference to Kloppenborg s book _Tenants in the Vineyard: Ideology, Economics, & Agrarian Conflict in Jewish Palestine_ piqued my interest
      Message 2 of 3 , Apr 6, 2010
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        Rick,

         

        you say:

         

        Ian's reference to Kloppenborg's book _Tenants in the Vineyard:
        Ideology, Economics, & Agrarian Conflict in Jewish Palestine_ piqued my
        interest so I looked into buying a copy. At Amazon I found that for a
        mere $359.50 (plus shipping) I can have my very own copy.

        Something is wrong with this picture folks.

         

        I agree wholeheartedly.  If you search on Abebooks, you will find that there is a bookseller in Germany who has three copies for “only” $206.92 plus shipping and Book Depository has it for $291 (but this is possibly AUD rather than USD), which includes shipping, but these are ridiculous prices for one book. These publishers assume that only libraries will buy books like this and that they will pay this kind of money.

         

        Of course, the problem is that if you use the cheap publishing options before you have an amazing name, everyone assumes that what you have to say is not worth hearing, because otherwise one of the big publishing houses would have picked it up. L

         

        Judy

         

        --

        Judy Redman
        PhD Candidate, School of Humanities
        University of New England
        Armidale 2351 Australia
        ph:  +61 2 6773 3401
        mob: 0437 044 579
        web: 
         http://judyredman.wordpress.com/
        email: 
         jredman2@...
         
         

      • Rick Hubbard
        Hi Judy- You wrote: ... before you ... worth ... picked it ... That is indeed a problem and one that is not likely to be soon resolved. Successful
        Message 3 of 3 , Apr 7, 2010
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          Hi Judy-

          You wrote:

          <snip>

          ||Of course, the problem is that if you use the cheap publishing options
          before you
          ||have an amazing name, everyone assumes that what you have to say is not
          worth
          ||hearing, because otherwise one of the big publishing houses would have
          picked it
          ||up. L

          That is indeed a problem and one that is not likely to be soon resolved.
          Successful academic careers depend very much on publishing, and that is
          probably especially true for new and emerging scholars. I would not even
          venture a guess about the number of PH.D dissertations that have never seen
          (or will see) the light of day because no reputable publisher picked them
          up. Because of that, consequently, I would imagine that some otherwise well
          qualified folks have probably not enjoyed the success they might have.

          "Back when" (in the early 70's while I was at the University of Montana)
          Robert Funk started the Scholars Press there at the university for the
          express purpose of making sure that dissertations from younger scholars got
          into print. Given the technology available at the time it was surprisingly
          successful and had not some serious "political issues" arisen I imagine it
          (the press) would still be in operation today. Eventually, however, Funk
          left the university and started Polebridge Press which adopted somewhat the
          same business model, i.e., publishing specialized monographs and making them
          available for reasonable sums of money. As I understand it, Polebridge's
          future may now be somewhat uncertain, so once again scholars will have their
          publishing options limited.

          There are, as I see it, some possible solutions to this quandary. As I
          alluded to previously, one approach would be to purchase from major houses
          something like "re-print rights" to certain monographs (Kloppenborg's for
          example) some number of months after the initial print run of library
          editions. In order for this to work, there is the matter of money to make it
          happen. Even in these less-than-ideal economic times, however, I think it
          might be possible to establish a non-profit foundation for that very
          purpose. The first million dollars or so would be the hard part- after that
          it would be a cake-walk. The physical process of re-printing the books
          themselves is pretty much a no-brainer, so that part is not really an issue.
          [||]
          A less likely scenario would be for publishing contracts to include a
          requirement for the publishers themselves to release "second run" editions
          (again, after some fairly long period of time following release of the
          library editions).

          I suppose I could go on and on about this forever, but I guess I've made my
          point and now it's time to get on with whatever it is that I do.

          Rick
          [||]



          [||]

          [||]
          [||]
          |From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com [mailto:gthomas@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
          ||Judy Redman
          ||Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2010 7:28 PM
          ||To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
          ||Subject: RE: [GTh] Permit Me to Rant
          ||
          ||
          ||
          ||Rick,
          ||
          ||
          ||
          ||you say:
          ||
          ||
          ||
          ||Ian's reference to Kloppenborg's book _Tenants in the Vineyard:
          ||Ideology, Economics, & Agrarian Conflict in Jewish Palestine_ piqued my
          interest so I
          ||looked into buying a copy. At Amazon I found that for a mere $359.50 (plus
          shipping) I
          ||can have my very own copy.
          ||
          ||Something is wrong with this picture folks.
          ||
          ||
          ||
          ||I agree wholeheartedly. If you search on Abebooks, you will find that
          there is a
          ||bookseller in Germany who has three copies for "only" $206.92 plus
          shipping and
          ||Book Depository has it for $291 (but this is possibly AUD rather than
          USD), which
          ||includes shipping, but these are ridiculous prices for one book. These
          publishers
          ||assume that only libraries will buy books like this and that they will pay
          this kind of
          ||money.
          ||
          ||
          ||
          ||
          ||
          ||
          ||Judy
          ||
          ||
          ||
          ||--
          ||
          ||Judy Redman
          ||PhD Candidate, School of Humanities
          ||University of New England
          ||Armidale 2351 Australia
          ||ph: +61 2 6773 3401
          ||mob: 0437 044 579
          ||web: http://judyredman.wordpress.com/
          ||email: jredman2@... <mailto:jredman@...>
          ||
          ||
          ||
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