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 Post subject: ABCs of Attack and Defense (Beta copies)
Post #1 Posted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:35 pm 
Gosei
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Got this email today. If you don't have a copy of this book and you want a copy, here's your chance to get it while it's available. It's been out of print for a while but is a great book especially for fans of Michael Redmond.

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ABCs-The Lost Carton

Sometimes it pays to clean out the warehouse! We found a box of books that we were sure we'd discarded-'beta' copies of Michael Redmond's 'ABCs of Attack and Defense' which we created before we received photos and the pictures drawn by Michael's young daughter that became part of the later, 'real' book. The go commentary and diagrams in this book are identical to those in the later volume. As we are not planning on reprinting the later format right now, this may be your only opportunity outside of ebay to acquire the book.

218 pages, $35
http://www.slateandshell.com/SSMR001.html

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 Post subject: Re: ABCs of Attack and Defense (Beta copies)
Post #2 Posted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:51 pm 
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This is a book I recommend to DDK players trying to break into SDK ranks, but of course there are benefits for weaker or stronger players as well.


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 Post subject: Re: ABCs of Attack and Defense (Beta copies)
Post #3 Posted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:00 pm 
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I'm intrigued by the "pictures drawn by his young daughter that became part of the book" - I got the book about four or five years ago, but I can find no pictures or drawings at all, unless you refer to the front cover, which does not look like something a young child would do, but even if it is, that's one. What is the plural? Unless of course...I actually have this beta copy.

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 Post subject: Re: ABCs of Attack and Defense (Beta copies)
Post #4 Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:40 am 
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The picture by the young daughter is on page 160 of the final version of the book (the out of print one).

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 Post subject: Re: ABCs of Attack and Defense (Beta copies)
Post #5 Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:53 am 
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I guess the question is why you would want to pay $35 for the beta version, which apparently they thought they had tossed in the garbage! YMMV, but if there was ever a reason to decide not to patronize Slate and Shell, this would be it for me.
"...We found a box of books that we were sure we'd discarded-'beta' copies of Michael Redmond's 'ABCs of Attack and Defense'..."

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 Post subject: Re: ABCs of Attack and Defense (Beta copies)
Post #6 Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:59 am 
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ez4u wrote:
I guess the question is why you would want to pay $35 for the beta version, which apparently they thought they had tossed in the garbage! YMMV, but if there was ever a reason to decide not to patronize Slate and Shell, this would be it for me.
"...We found a box of books that we were sure we'd discarded-'beta' copies of Michael Redmond's 'ABCs of Attack and Defense'..."

Ever hear of the idiom "One man's trash is another man's treasure."?

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 Post subject: Re: ABCs of Attack and Defense (Beta copies)
Post #7 Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:14 am 
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tchan001 wrote:
ez4u wrote:
I guess the question is why you would want to pay $35 for the beta version, which apparently they thought they had tossed in the garbage! YMMV, but if there was ever a reason to decide not to patronize Slate and Shell, this would be it for me.
"...We found a box of books that we were sure we'd discarded-'beta' copies of Michael Redmond's 'ABCs of Attack and Defense'..."

Ever hear of the idiom "One man's trash is another man's treasure."?

Sure, from every garage sale owner on the face of the earth.

Just to be clear, I haven't any interest in the book myself but as an existing customer I received the email just like you. I'm sure you noticed the, "As we are not planning on reprinting the later format right now..." I would think very highly of them if the email that I received said, "Since these aren't finished goods we are offering them for $5 each". However, it did not and I do not. :salute:

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 Post subject: Re: ABCs of Attack and Defense (Beta copies)
Post #8 Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:17 am 
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ez4u wrote:
I guess the question is why you would want to pay $35 for the beta version, which apparently they thought they had tossed in the garbage! YMMV, but if there was ever a reason to decide not to patronize Slate and Shell, this would be it for me.
"...We found a box of books that we were sure we'd discarded-'beta' copies of Michael Redmond's 'ABCs of Attack and Defense'..."


Exactly my thinking, when I saw the price my immediate thought was, well no money for you anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: ABCs of Attack and Defense (Beta copies)
Post #9 Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:36 am 
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ez4u wrote:
if there was ever a reason to decide not to patronize Slate and Shell, this would be it for me.

That seems a bit drastic. For me it might reach a level of deciding not to buy this particular book.

I would hate to see Slate and Shell relegated to history if you and other go lovers decide to boycott over something like this.

I guess I am just trying to say that I appreciate having multiple English language suppliers of books, and I'd be sad if it reverted to the bad old days.

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Post #10 Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:41 am 
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wineandgolover wrote:
ez4u wrote:
if there was ever a reason to decide not to patronize Slate and Shell, this would be it for me.

That seems a bit drastic. For me it might reach a level of deciding not to buy this particular book.

I would hate to see Slate and Shell relegated to history if you and other go lovers decide to boycott over something like this.

I guess I am just trying to say that I appreciate having multiple English language suppliers of books, and I'd be sad if it reverted to the bad old days.


It's a small marketplace, so it cuts both ways. Start price gouging and you'll get a negative reaction from people and you didn't have that many customers to begin with, though I agree that a full boycott would be extreme.

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Post #11 Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:42 am 
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If I read their website correctly, this is more than they're charging for any other book they sell. The tesuji dictionaries are $25.00, and seem to be a little more physically substantial.

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Post #12 Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:50 am 
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They have been known to make accidental pricing typos before, also.

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 Post subject: Re: ABCs of Attack and Defense (Beta copies)
Post #13 Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:45 pm 
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The books are "new": No previous owners.

The books have identical "go content" to the non-beta editions: Only children's drawings are missing.

The books are scarce: No new copies will be printed and it has been out of stock for a long time.

I can understand why Slate and Shell thought that $35 would be a good price... I think they misjudged the market demand for these books but I don't think that they are acting in a distasteful way.

The books are scarce, but substitute books are not: There are many books about attack and defense available. Perhaps Slate and Shell did not think about that. Unless there is something special about Michael Redmond's book, many of these books are roughly interchangeable (even if not perfectly).

I've purchased from Slate and Shell (love the tesuji dictionaries) before and will do so again in the future, but like many go-related businesses, perhaps their management acumen leaves something to be desired. They strike me more as go-lovers rather than businessmen. If these guys had more business sense, they would have priced much lower and rid themselves of inventory quickly before the content becomes too dated.

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 Post subject: Re: ABCs of Attack and Defense (Beta copies)
Post #14 Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:21 pm 
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lemmata wrote:
The books are scarce: No new copies will be printed and it has been out of stock for a long time.

I can understand why Slate and Shell thought that $35 would be a good price...


This is the problem. They're the ones saying this book isn't worth a reprint and yet they charge a jacked up price for it... I'm not too enraged since I can see that it might be a situation where not enough people want the book to justify a reprint, but those that do really want it, and if any business thinks their product will sell well at a certain price it's a very optimistic person that expects them to sell for less. (Outside of bigger picture marketing strategies)

It just leaves a bad taste in the mouth when the company responsible for the supply is the one cashing in on the shortage.


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 Post subject: Re: ABCs of Attack and Defense (Beta copies)
Post #15 Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:47 pm 
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I just checked Amazon marketplace and at this current moment, the lowest listed price for this book is $69.95 for a book in only good condition. If you want very good condition, the lowest price is $84.95 and if you want new, the lowest price is $110.00

It shows that this book is still very much in demand. The publisher only has one box left so it's not a huge quantity of books. I don't think there is really a need for them to sell at a really low price because it's not a clearance sale. It's an opportunity to get a copy of a work which is in new condition and has all the content except some minor differences being pictures which don't really contribute to the study of go.

As a collector of go books, I know that rare out of print books costs a lot and this is a special opportunity. I won't be buying one though because I already have the final version.

For those whose level are well beyond what this book teaches, of course it is not worthwhile even if it is heavily discounted. Why would someone like ez4u, a JP 6D with access to Japanese pros, even consider buying a book aimed at kyus?

On the other hand, for kyus who are considering how to study this aspect of the game, you should remember that this book is based on a 9D pro's lectures on Japanese television. So it's like buying an edited version of a top pro's lecture. If I were to compare it with the Yilun Yang lectures series, I'd say that the Michael Redmond book has much better flow and goes into much greater detail with regards to the subject he is teaching. There are also other good comments about the book on SL.

Whether you decide to buy or not, please remember that this is just a short term opportunity and once the books are gone, it's be back to those marketplace or eBay prices unless someone decides to sell their collection and offers rare books to other go members at good prices such as Dr. Straw did a while ago.

If Yutopian found a box of "Tesuji and Anti-suji" in the back of their warehouse in similar circumstances, do you think they would or should sell them at say $5 each?

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 Post subject: Re: ABCs of Attack and Defense (Beta copies)
Post #16 Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:05 pm 
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tchan001, you're looking at this through collector's eyes. For the regular go player the value is in just the content, not the rarity or whether it's out of print. Is this book worth $35 to a collector? Easily. For a player? I don't know, personally no, it's far too small a book in size and scope for that kind of money.

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 Post subject: Re: ABCs of Attack and Defense (Beta copies)
Post #17 Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:20 pm 
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Splatted wrote:
They're the ones saying this book isn't worth a reprint and yet they charge a jacked up price for it...

Just because a book isn't worth a reprint doesn't mean that the price is jacked up. There are fixed costs associated with making a reprint order. I find the attribution of price-gouging intent to Slate and Shell disturbing. Price-gouging comes with market power. There are plenty of other go book-sellers out there and there are plenty of attack and defense books available. Slate and Shell does not have significant market power. If they priced incorrectly, then they're hurting themselves more than they're hurting you because you still have the choice of finding near-full substitutes elsewhere.

By the way, $35 is not prohibitive by any means for books in a small market. Mathematics reference books are $100-$300. Out-of-print math texts the size of James Davies' Tesuji can be priced at $150+. $35 might be a bad price in the Japanese go book market, which can use more economies of scale than the English go book market, but this book is not targeted at Japanese-speaking go players. The worst you can say about Slate and Shell is that they might have leftovers at this price. If Slate and Shell can sell their entire inventory at $35, then is someone who is willing to pay only $5 for the book more deserving of the limited quantity than someone who is willing to pay $35? If Slate and Shell does sell out the box at $35/book, then does that not reduce the financial risk associated with their enterprise? Does this not benefit the English-speaking go world in the long term? Are people letting their personal valuations of the book dictate their moral judgment of Slate and Shell's pricing?

It's one thing to blast large corporations, but Slate and Shell is a small scale operation. Do people really think that the owners of Slate and Shell can live large by selling a box of these books for $35/unit? It is far more likely that they're barely scraping by. I would kindly ask that the people attacking Slate and Shell consider things from their point of view. This is not Amazon.com deciding to charge double for Kindle eBooks in non-US locations.

I can completely understand someone telling me that this book is not worth $35.

What I cannot understand is someone implying that Slate and Shell is acting unethically by charging $35 for this book.

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 Post subject: Re: ABCs of Attack and Defense (Beta copies)
Post #18 Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:00 pm 
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Splatted wrote:
They're the ones saying this book isn't worth a reprint and yet they charge a jacked up price for it...


It has nothing to do with it not being worth a reprint...

https://twitter.com/gobooks/status/381918107448508416


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Post #19 Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:34 pm 
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I really don't get this whole discussion. S&S is not a charity, its a business. If they think they can sell the inventory they have for $X a piece, that's the price they list it at. If they are mistaken, they will be forced to lower the price eventually. So people can buy it at that price, gamble the price will get lowered before the stock runs out, or buy it somewhere else.

And it has nothing to do with rarity (well, maybe a little) or reprintability (well, maybe a little) or anything else (well, maybe a little) - the bottom line is how much do they think people are willing to pay for the book. And apparently they think people are willing to pay that much. I assume they did some kind of math and maybe even some market research, and now they do what they think is best for them.

That's how you run a business.
To expect anything else would be... uncivilized. ;)

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Post #20 Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:59 pm 
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kusto wrote:
It has nothing to do with it not being worth a reprint...

https://twitter.com/gobooks/status/381918107448508416

As pointed out by the link from kusto and also noted here, the book will not be reprinted and will not be available as a SmartGo Books due to licensing/copyright issues. So don't buy it if you don't think it's worthwhile and don't complain in the future if later on you think you missed your chance.

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