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Thread: A5 book for $80.

  1. #1
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Cal Locklin
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    Default A5 book for $80.

    OK, now that I've got your attention, here's the question:

    How many people would be willing to pay real money $50 MINIMUM and up to $100 for a good A5 book? That seems to be a pretty reasonable range based on the prices of other books. Taking into account the limited market for A5, this would actually be a bargain price.

    Here's why I'm asking the question... I once built a well cross-linked A5 Xbasic Help file just using copy and paste from the existing A5 data. (ie, I didn't have to think about the text - just cut-and-paste!) This took hundreds of hours but only about 6-8 people were interested enough to send me a 'donation' of at least $5 to encourage me to do more in the future. This tells me that people want a lot but won't be willing to pay what it costs. nbsp;I have built help files for some of my apps and can tell you that it takes about as much time to develop a good help file (or book) as it does to develop the program.

    Many have commented that they would like to see better documentation but what are your really willing to pay?

  2. #2
    VAR csda1's Avatar
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    Ira J Perlow
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    Default RE: A5 book for $80.

    Hi Cal,

    And if you actually have to write the book, with plenty of examples, and clear, consise language, I know it takes even longer than that. I think it would take me all day just to write 1 good tip with explanations, much less an entire book (in fact it did when I wrote for Alpha Forum Magazine).

    As far as writing a book, I'd rather have my 3rd grade teacher scrape chalk across the blackboard, give birth (unlikely however), or set myself on fire(ouch)!

    I think at least 2000 copies would probably have to be sold to make a decent book worth an author's time.

    Just my thoughts,

    Ira

  3. #3
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    Default How about an online reference?

    In light of this situation, and the excellent support on this forum, would it make sense to develop a web based reference tool?

    Alpha Software can host it, and probably ought to mediate it. Folks on this board are making contributions to the Code Archive, how about a Reference forum. The mediation part is to cross reference comments. The latest upgrade to MYOB has an online reference. As a comment it sucks royally as the indexing is simply the letters A to Z. There is no search tool. But just because theirs sucks doesn't mean it is a bad idea... And once it has evolved for a while, perhaps it could be converted to a print version?

    Start by putting the existing reference books into HTML and see if they work...

    Just an idea.

  4. #4
    Geoffrey Hollander
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    Default RE: A5 book for $80.

    Cal,

    I have found that computer books run an average of $39.00 to $59.00 at the bookstore (somewhat less for bookclub editions). I'm not only willing to pay that kind of money, but have done so on several occasions.

    Years ago when I was training to become a professional artist, I asked my mentor what a work of art (sculpture in this case) was worth. You see, my college roommate and I had gotton into quite a discussion one night about this. He said that as a "true" artist money shouldn't matter as much as that someone who appreciiated the piece having it; I, on the other hand, said that if a viewer liked the piece, they should be willing to pay for it -- so I asked a practicing pro what he thought. Over the years, his answer has proved to be eminently pragmatic if not elegant: "A work of art is worth what someone will pay for it when you need the money."

    The real question in my mind, as a buyer, is: does the book cover what I need, in enough detail and with adequate examples to actually get me through at least one serious situation in whatever project I am working upon at the time I need it. If the answer is yes, then I buy it -- and, condsider it money well spent.

    Ira has a point: at about $10.00 to $20.00 a book, how many do you need to sell in order to make it worth your while? It's one reason I always stuck to articles; although that's probably going to change soon.

    As always, Cal, my best regards,

    Geoff Hollander


  5. #5
    Geoffrey Hollander
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    Default RE: A5 book for $80.

    Cal,

    I have found that computer books run an average of $39.00 to $59.00 at the bookstore (somewhat less for bookclub editions). I'm not only willing to pay that kind of money, but have done so on several occasions.

    Years ago when I was training to become a professional artist, I asked my mentor what a work of art (sculpture in this case) was worth. You see, my college roommate and I had gotton into quite a discussion one night about this. He said that as a "true" artist money shouldn't matter as much as that someone who appreciiated the piece having it; I, on the other hand, said that if a viewer liked the piece, they should be willing to pay for it -- so I asked a practicing pro what he thought. Over the years, his answer has proved to be eminently pragmatic if not elegant: "A work of art is worth what someone will pay for it when you need the money."

    The real question in my mind, as a buyer, is: does the book cover what I need, in enough detail and with adequate examples to actually get me through at least one serious situation in whatever project I am working upon at the time I need it. If the answer is yes, then I buy it -- and, condsider it money well spent.

    Ira has a point: at about $10.00 to $20.00 a book, how many do you need to sell in order to make it worth your while? It's one reason I always stuck to articles; although that's probably going to change soon.

    As always, Cal, my best regards,

    Geoff Hollander

  6. #6
    Geoffrey Hollander
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    Default RE: A5 book for $80.

    Ooops, sorry, didn't mean to post this twice...

    GH

  7. #7
    John De Jong, Jr.
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    Default RE: A5 book for $80.

    Cal,

    I would pay it. . . I have paid that much for other applications. The problem is just because it is a “book” or the cover contains words like “The Official Guide” does not guarantee the content of the publication is worth two cents. I have several books (using the word “books” loosely) that aren’t worth the paper they are printed on.

    I am very skeptical about parting with my money just because of a “cute” title or a lot of advertising hype. I have been burned many times paying for basically nothing. A good publication that saves me time and is easy to use is well worth $100.00 or even more. It is about content and ease of use - not the number of pages or the fact that the pages are bound together.


    John



    P.S. What was this “cross-linked A5 Xbasic Help file” you created? Sounds like the basis for a good reference.

  8. #8
    Peter Lear
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    Default RE: A5 book for $80.

    I should be glad of a book provided that the examples came on disk - i always make so many silly typo's when trying to copy scripts and programs from text.

    Peter

  9. #9
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Tom Cone Jr
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    Default RE: A5 book for $80.

    Count me in. It's on the high end for books with wide circulation, but a well written, well indexed book, with lots of examples on CD would easily be worth twice that to me.

    I wonder if a subscription model would make this feasible for an author? Updates to the text could be released as the product evolves?

    -- tom

  10. #10
    Volunteer Moderator drgarytraub's Avatar
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    Default RE: A5 book for $80.

    I think that a well-written book would be good not just for us to get instruction from, but would be great for the popularity of the software, which in turn, would be GREAT for us. Toward that end, I would think that many of us (at least I would) be willing to invest more than usual for just a good book. It's an investment in the success of Alpha.

    Just a thought ...

    Gary Traub

  11. #11
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    Tom Causey
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    Default RE: A5 book for $80.

    I would definitely be willing to pay $50 to $100 for well-written Alpha Five book. And I do believe that this book, if properly publicized, could have a significant impact upon Alpha Five sales.

    -Tom

  12. #12
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Default RE: A5 book for $80.

    OK. Maybe I exagerated (sp?) the cost a bit but then I have two girls in college and I'm used to the cost of college textbooks. I wish they were as cheap!

  13. #13
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    Ohlen Cartmell
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    Default RE: A5 book for $80.

    Cal,
    When you think about this group, most of us will pay reasonable prices for anything we can use to our advantage. Even the hobbiests among us are willing to fly/drive to get together for a weekend of Alpha training and then upgrade to V4.5 just to play with and will gladly upgrade to 5.0 with no profit motive in mind - just for the fun of it. As I see it, it's still cheaper than golf and wild parties. IOW, I'd gladly pay $50 to $100 to further my knowledge and enjoyment of database programming in general and Alpha 5 in particular even if I never use it for anything other than my own enjoyment.

  14. #14
    nick marodis
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    Default RE: A5 book for $80.

    Cal,

    One thing I think all of us would like to see is more books on developing
    in A5.

    Blessing on your head if you do.


    Nick
    dbd

  15. #15
    Member RJGowan's Avatar
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    Robert Gowan
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    Default RE: A5 book for $80.

    Ditto for me, Ohlen.
    You hit the nail on the head, AFAIAC !!

  16. #16
    Volunteer Moderator Peter.Greulich's Avatar
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    Default RE: A5 book for $80.

    AFAIAC ?

  17. #17
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Ohlen Cartmell
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    Default RE: A5 book for $80.

    HUH??

  18. #18
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    William Hanigsberg
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    Default RE: A5 book for $80.

    Could this possibly mean "as far as I am concerned?" Otherwise I'm stumped too!

    Greetings to all,
    Bill

  19. #19
    Volunteer Moderator Peter.Greulich's Avatar
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    Default RE: A5 book for $80.

    Bill,
    very good (I think).

  20. #20
    Jean-P. Bédard
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    Default RE: A5 book for $80.

    Or may be " A Further Approach In Alpha Comprehension"

    JP

  21. #21
    "Certified" Alphaholic Melvin Davidson's Avatar
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    Default RE: A5 book for $80.

    I interpret AFAIAC as:

    Alpha Five Advances In American Culture. :)

    Regards,
    Melvin

  22. #22
    Member RJGowan's Avatar
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    Robert Gowan
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    Default RE: A5 book for $80.

    AFAIC - As Far As I Am Concerned

  23. #23
    "Certified" Alphaholic Stan Mathews's Avatar
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    Default RE: A5 book for $80.

    Another way to ask the question is...

    How many of us are willing to put down a deposit on your book? Say half of what you think it should cost, final total price not to exceed 250% of deposit.

    I'll send a check, give me and address and how you want it made out.

  24. #24
    Member
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    Stephen Williams
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    Default RE: A5 book for $80.

    Count me in.

  25. #25
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    Martin W. Cole
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    Default RE: A5 book for $80.

    Dr. Wayne has been pretty scarce around here lately, and I wouldn't be a bit surprised if he's workin on somethin.

  26. #26
    Miku Sippy
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    Default RE: A5 book for $80.

    You can include me. USD60/-? No problem. USD80/-? Also no problem. USD100/-? Still can do.

    So long as the book is of good quality in terms of content, containing examples, concise explanations, tips and tricks, well-indexed, and answers most of the "complex" questions, allows a reasonable person to develop a practical (real-life working) application.

    Fair price for a small market, that can definitely expand when more people know about Aplha 4.5. So extensive marketing by Alphasoftware, plus excellent book will make the competition sit up.

    My only fear? MS will start negotiating to buy Alpha Software one day.

    Miku

  27. #27
    Mike Doty
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    Default RE: A5 book for $80.

    Yes.
    I like step-by-step books that go through
    making an advanced program which demonstates
    using most features in the language.

  28. #28
    Gary Roussie
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    Default RE: A5 book for $80.

    Mike,

    I agree. I hate computer books that assume I know more than I do. Step by step is great. It helps me build upon that and create my own customize applications and scripts. If a books does that, I'll buy it.

    Gary

  29. #29
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    ray lane
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    Default RE: A5 book for $80.

    Hi
    count me in I am a new user getting frustrated I am
    trying to sell my self on A5 from Microsoft VB and considering not switching Although VB is much moor intense
    their are plenty of training CD's books online Ect

    Keep going in this direction and make loyal customers

    Ray

  30. #30
    Peter Lear
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    Default RE: A5 book for $80.

    I would add to my earlier post that I have now started scripting and I am struggling with A5v3 Pro Edition reference, the big yellow users guide which I got some years ago with the first windows edition, The X basic Reference and Peter Wayne's books, and i still have difficulty understanding the syntax.

    Peter

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