[Lazarus] English lazarus book available.

michael.vancanneyt at wisa.be michael.vancanneyt at wisa.be
Wed Jun 1 09:37:01 CEST 2011

On Tue, 31 May 2011, Hans-Peter Diettrich wrote:

> michael.vancanneyt at wisa.be schrieb:
>>>> The main argument contra - as I recall it - was that PDFs can be 
>>>> illegally
>>>> copied, and this was used to wipe away all the possible advantages.
>>> That's true only for people that make their living from writing and 
>>> selling books. When a program/project is available for free, why shouldn't 
>>> the documentation come for free as well? There is no real need that the 
>>> book writers should earn money, while the coders should not.
>> Publishing a book costs money. Be it in PDF or printed.
> I don't see such costs. Webspace is needed for the documentation as well as 
> for the project itself, and an advertisement can be put into the project's 
> homepage.
> Selling copies is more complicated, but not a real cost factor.

You obviously don't have a clue about how to create and sell quality books.
Actually selling copies is the biggest cost.

Here are some of the costs involved:
* Professional translation of a book costs 17 EUR/Page in western europe.
   There are nearly 800 pages, go count what it would cost.
   (Luckily, in the case of the Lazarus book, some of the authors translated
    their own text - for free)
* Translation must be checked, because technical publications use very
   specific terms. 
* Professional layout and editing of a book costs up to a month of work of a
   skilled person. Cover design takes work and takes money.
* Printing (depending on the volume) costs anywhere between 6-12 EUR/book.
* The books must be transported to a storage facility.
* The distributor takes half the price of the selling price of the book (or more).

And I'm probably forgetting some...

You see that I didn't include any author's fee yet. After all the above
costs, not much is left. The author gets the smallest part of the book's

You can of course cut some corners, but then you'll end up with the kind
of pulp that Lulu sells: printing on demand. Low quality paper, bad binding,
bad resolution print, no layout, no editing whatever.

Yes, you even don't have some of the above costs with PDF (as you propose). 
But then, all you have in the end is just a PDF.

One can of course ask whether all this is worth it for a technical publication. 
A rightful question. The answer is a very personal decision, and that is the 
risk the editor takes when (s)he decides to publish a book: it may or may 
not sell. The costs remain the same.

Just to show that there is more than meets the eye in publishing a book...


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