A reader has a Question about By What Authority?

A reader has a Question about By What Authority? June 6, 2013

He writes:

I read your book a few years ago and found it tremendously helpful in resolving my doubts about biblical authenticity. THANKS!

I have a copy on order (gave my copy away) from amazon uk since March 13th but no delivery date yet… Can you suggest an alternative provider?

Amazon.com here in the US seems to have some used copies.  The book is currently out of print and scarce as hen’s teeth.  One of the funnier things Amazon does is apparently have some sort of algorithm that automatically raises the prices of books the harder they become to find.  At the US site, you can currently get a new copy of BWA for eighty bucks (used copies are still seven bucks).

Mary, Mother of the Son is even more impressive, with Volume 2 going for a mere $245!  That trilogy will also soon be edited and re-released as a single unabridged volume from Marytown Press!  And finally, I will be revising Making Senses Out of Scripture: Reading the Bible as the First Christians Did, as well as getting it ready for e book formatting!  Fun times!

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  • Benard Chedid

    I really find this funny because I’ve been meaning to write you to say that I really want a copy of By What Authority. I have read a couple chapters from Google Books and I want the whole thing but can’t find it anywhere!

  • Bryan

    One thing whatever publisher you use needs to do is offer them on the iBookstore (Apple) and as a Kindle edition (Amazon) in eBook form.

  • thisismattwade

    I’ll be very excited when I can get my hands on a single-volume copy of your Marian work. It gets rave reviews wherever I encounter its readers. God bless your continued writing!

  • E-books are especially wonderful for the author when the rights are fully at your own disposal (perhaps the original contract with your publisher has run its course; or perhaps it hasn’t, but the contract has you retaining enough rights to self-publish in electronic format). It greatly lowers the barriers to making your back catalog available again; and a vastly greater share of the sale price makes it to the author. Especially if you’ve still got the manuscripts in machine-readable form rattling around, and are willing and able to learn how to make them into e-books…or can lean on someone you know to help.

    The last time I was helping a friend work this out, the best bet was to self-publish on Amazon first–if you’re exclusive with them for a short while, extra features like participation in the Kindle Lending Library become available–and then get the book up on B&N and Kobo (the main purpose of the latter being to let your friendly local indie bookstore in on the action). Don’t know about the usefulness of the iBookstore for titles that aren’t airport and/or hipster bestsellers…last I heard, sales figures were so much lower and the hassle so much greater than Amazon and B&N that it was hardly worth bothering.

    But things change so fast, of course…I’m sure your sci-fi-writer acquaintances can help provide solid input.

    Oh, and if you’re an inveterate editor like myself, don’t forget that the electronic format makes it tantalizingly easy to push out minor updates. (Or maybe it would be better for one’s mental health to in fact forget that…)

  • Marthe Lépine

    This is the “law of the market”, Mark. As a book becomes harder to find, its cost increases – e.g. prices are supposed to go down when supply rises, and up when supply diminishes. Of course it can, and does, break down when someone cheats, for example by taking total control of a commodity and only let it come to market little by little at a higher price than necessary, or having a monopoly to control supply and increase prices at will, particularly when the commodity is a life and death matter such as clean drinking water.

    • tedseeber

      Yeah, but the law of the market rarely hit the book market quite this badly. Rare first editions sure, but a 4000% markup on all new books of the previous edition merely because a new edition has been announced?

      • Marthe Lépine

        True, for the moment. The book market is increasingly dominated by large corporations who are able to act as if they had a monopoly. This happens often when smaller book stores or smaller groups of stores get purchased, on by one, by larger ones, until there is only a small number left to control the entire market.

      • Prices can fluctuate strangely when they’re set by strangely-programmed bots. Which I think is the case here. The bots have no idea of the real demand (as opposed to search engine results)…nor do they know why the supply has dried up (for instance, because it’s a now-outdated edition). They just know that there’s a shortage of a particular SKU, and automatically react wildly to it.

  • Jason Hall

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    • chezami

      YES! Mr. Hall! I am eager to double my IQ or no money back! Please enroll me in your program so I can start earning today!

  • D.T. McCameron

    I’ve seen those algorithms do some crazy things. Thousands of dollars for some sort of water-gun, I think it was. Rave reviews, despite!