Cites & Insights 7:1 available

Cites & Insights vol. 7, number 1 (January 2007) is now available for downloading.

The 26-page issue (PDF as usual, but most essays are also available as HTML separates from the home page) includes:

  • Bibs & Blather: Navel Gazing Part 6 – the usual start-of-volume essay.
  • Perspective: Book Searching: OCA/GBS Update
  • Trends & Quick Takes – Five trends and three quicker takes
  • Finding a Balance: Patrons and the Library
  • Interesting & Peculiar Products – three products, plus short notes on Editors’ Choices and Best Buys (replacing PC Progress)
  • Perspective: The Death of the Disc?
  • My Back Pages – eight mini-rants.

Happy holidays!

8 Responses to “Cites & Insights 7:1 available”

  1. Seth Finkelstein Says:

    Thanks for the mention.

    Regarding: “THE CENSORWARE CHRONICLES disappeared of its own accord.” – understood, but still sad.

  2. walt Says:

    Doesn’t mean I won’t do some censorware coverage when I believe I can add value. It does mean that retaining the running section name no longer made sense: Any new coverage would either be a Perspective or be part of Trends & Quick Takes, I think. So far, for example, I don’t grok DOPA well enough to feel that I would add value in discussing it–and adding value’s becoming more important to me over time.

  3. Andy Havens Says:

    Good issue, Walt. I especially liked the “Finding a balance: patrons and the library” article. Lots of good quotes and thoughts.

    It’s a question that all industries face, and all (good) marketing and ops departments agonize over.

    When I was in the retail wireless, industry, for example, for a long time the “acceptable” monthly “voluntary churn rate” was around 2%. That’s people that leave on their own steam; not folks that we kicked off due to non-pay. But a VP of mine pointed out that we would gladly accept a much higher acceptable churn rate if we could pick the customers that left; eg, the ones that spent almost no money with us but were always calling in with complaints, demanding concessions, using every possible angle to get more-for-less, etc. etc.

    But of course you can’t do that. And you can’t design a customer service philosophy around your “best” customers, either. You have to aim for what you want to accomplish in the aggregate, and take the good and the bad.

    What helps is to have very good definitions of goals, metrics that measure progress towards those goals, and transparency on those metrics. If everyone — employees, customers, management, owners — is agreed on the goals and how you’re getting there and how *well* you’re getting there… it makes it easier.

  4. Elena Says:

    Happy new year.

    For what it’s worth…

    Lulu.com does a good job on POD, in terms of doing what’s spec’ed out, doing a proper trim, delivering when they say they will, providing customer service contact info, and that kind of thing. They aren’t the cheapest POD printers, though. $6/copy for b&w, approx 8.5 X 11, 86 pg book, softcover.

    Avalon Impressions (Avalonteam.com), on the other hand, is cheaper, but you need to think of them as fully automated, and you just have to hope that they get it right. Slow, no customer communication at all, and heir trimming can be significantly off so you’d be better off doing a full-bleed cover. Spot color (on 10 pgs) for otherwise the same specs as above was $4/copy. b&w would have been approximately $2 per.

    We only know cafepress for t-shirts, but they have good customer service and meet specs.

  5. Elena Says:

    Sorry, “their trimming,” not “heir trimming.” I wouldn’t want you to think they’re offering haircuts for dependents.

  6. walt Says:

    Elena, Thanks. I ordered a book from Lulu to see what the paper, print, trim and bind quality were like (and how much they charge for Media Mail postage and handling)–\”Atlanta Nights,\” which I\’ve always (perhaps perversely) wanted to read. (For those who\’ve never heard of it, it\’s \”by\” one Travis Tea, a group of professional writers, mostly SF, who concocted a horrendously bad manuscript as a test of PublishAmerica, a supposed real publisher. When it was accepted, they had their demonstration of low/no editorial standards…)

    I\’m pleased with the results: really nice cream book paper, excellent printing (which, these days, almost goes without saying), all nicely done, and p&h wasn\’t bad.

    I\’ll check out Avalon Impressions.

  7. walt Says:

    I took a look at Avalon Impressions. They’re not an equivalent solution, as far as I can see: They offer print-on-demand rather than publish-on-demand. If that’s not true, then the website’s incomplete or hard to navigate: I couldn’t find anything about fulfillment.

    That, to me, is the difference: Print-on-demand produces a book one off. Publish-on-demand displays available books, takes orders, produces books, and ships them–it handles the entire “product” side of self-publishing. I’m definitely not interested in handling order-taking and fulfillment–and with any inventory at all, you have to switch to accrual accounting. Different businesses to serve different needs…

  8. Elena Says:

    Walt, You’re quite right about Avalon Impressions. We know them through the gaming industry, and folks in that line often want to control inventory themselves. Hope all goes well with Lulu or Cafepress or whichever one you end up using.


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