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Pricing and distribution of theosophical publications

Jul 12, 2011 08:24 AM
by MKR

Recently, the issue of pricing of theosophical books came up again. A
theosophical publication is in a category itself. Money making is the last
priority. The first priority is to make them reach most theosophists,
especially those in developing countries. Pricing them out of reach makes
the valuable information out of reach for theosophists who will benefit

What we have seen is that recently published theosophical books are pricey
even for anyone in the West. I always wondered what the authorsâ role in
pricing the publication. It appears that most often the author has no say in
the pricing decision. Author is simply told how much royalty he/she gets for
each copy sold. The price is fixed by some business oriented official who,
perhaps has had very little exposure to theosophy, nor the real objective of
theosophy and TS and is disconnected with the average theosophist. The end
result is the mission of theosophy getting hurt by the concentration on
money matters.

With Internet and modern scanning technology, the landscape is changing
drastically. Modern scanners can convert publications very fast. Once
converted, they can be moved one person to another on Internet. So, like
what has happened in the audio and video market, the scanned copies tend to
be shared in private among friends.

It is time that the publisher who makes the pricing decision to put on the
hat of theosophist and look at the whole pricing and distribution issue. A
classic example that can be used is making electronic copies available for a
donation of couple of dollars like shareware software distribution. Along
may come a fat cat theosophist (they are a rare breed) who may finance the
whole cost so everyone can access the publication for free.

While there are those who are comfortable in having a printed book and this
can be arranged using print-on-demand technology. So with the above approach
the needs of all segments of theosophists can be met very easily.

I hope wisdom dawns on those responsible for theosophical publications and
take advantage of electronic medium as well as Internet communications to
distribute theosophical material world-wide. This would help both theosophy
and in turn TS.


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