Deleuze and Guattari’s Philosophy of History

I refuse to pay $120USD (or $180AUD) for a 208 page book (or 178 pages, depending on where it is listed). Publishers need to bring out e-prints of texts for 1/5 or 1/6 the price of that. Look at how many copies Empire sold and the publisher gave out free PDFs of the book online!!! They really need to look at the shareware model of content distribution.

The more I find out about it, the more I begin to understand how much of the publishing industry is utter bullshit. The poor authors get placed in the stupidest situations.

This book could have been relevant to my work, but not at that price. How many other phd students are going to bother reading it? Is there an emerging readership aristocracy? I already spend at least 1/8 of my income on books.

EDIT: 10/03/07

Academic publishing industry, you act as a drag on the circulation of ideas. Or, better, pure gravity in the capitalist space of circulation. Well done.

Keith Ansell Pearson has reviewed this text and part of the review is an excellent discussion of Deleuze’s conception of the event. The book looks essential to my dissertation.

So, again, thank you academic publishing industry, you bunch of fucking cunts.

3 replies on “Deleuze and Guattari’s Philosophy of History”

  1. I believe they have identified their market as institutional buyers such as libraries. They can make three times the amount of sales through institutional buying than through the general public. Also, their profits are greater so they can take the risk of publishing a book they see as having a very small market.

    Rich

  2. I actually deleted a whole rant in the original post related to the \’readershipo aristocracy\’ comment about institutional buyers being the only ones able to afford the book. This means the readership is determined by access to an institution, which is a problem for SWIS (scholars without institutional status)/

    My point still stands, to put it another (sarcastic) way:

    If the three-times-as-much-money rationale is correct, then I am glad to see the author being taken care of so well. Publishing is obviously all about how much money the publisher makes. The author would never want to have his ideas out there in circulation. You know, purchased by readers. As if he wanted them published so as to be read or something, rather than published just to be merely bought!?!?!

    Say in a given city, like Sydney for example, there are about 5 universities. Two decide they want the book. Awesome that is like $360. However, say there are a dozen people in Sydney who would want to read the book and find it useful. Depending on the cover art it could even be 20 people, but lets stick with 12. Divide $360 by 12 and that comes to $30. A much more reasonable price for the book, and a price I would pay immediately. However, the kicker is that the discursive buzz produced by 12 people discussing the book they have just read with just one or two other people (maybe even on their blogs read by about 100 people per day), is going to far outweigh the non-existent buzz from those two lonely books sitting on library bookshelves. What is a better outcome for the author? Or, for that matter, the publisher? This \’buzz model\’ is a version of the \’shareware model\’.

    The publisher and the author would have had a discussion involving a series of options regarding type of publication, readership size, retail price, etc before they even accepted the proposal from the author. So part of the pricing decision ultimately resides with the author. Would I make a different decision? Probably not. But I would at least push for a sample chapter to be available online for the punters.

  3. Continuum Int’l Publ has a department for selling books to the library market. Probably, the only reason the book was even published was that they figured the largest market for this type of book were upscale and university libraries. It was published for a nitch market that they can easily sell to. It would be a small run and with small runs costs go up. Going through normal retail channels is expensive and the book must expect turn over a good bit for it to make it a viable book for that market.

    Look at the philosophy section at your Barnes & Noble (or the equivalent in Au) and you will see books on the nearly all the well-known philosophers, and books on philosophy as a whole and on philosophical subsegments (logic, postmoderism, etc.). I did see a book on how to understand Guattari’s philosophy. If you need a book to learn how to understand the guy, then the market for his books is probably not great (yourself excluded). In all probablility, if they didn’t have an institutional market to sell to, the book would probably not be printed. Institutions help get books published that might never have been published. I think intitutional buyers are some of the good guys. As far as the publisher and author, in all likelihood, the publisher goes to the authors and says we have a book idea we would like to sell to this particular market. The authors agree, the book gets written for that particular market.

    I don’t know how it is in Au but here in the states I can go to my local public library and get university library books on loan. Anyway good luck.

    Rich

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