OM: How did you get it to appear on amazon?
JH: I started with a PDF document that had reached a stable state. I was often asked for paper copies and I did not want to handle returns, etc., myself. Using print-on-demand just made sense.
To get the book on the site I worked with Lon Mitchell at Orthogonal Publishing. He knows a great many things, including about things like binding margins, leaving space on the back cover for the ISBN number, and lots of others that I don't want to have to work out for myself by trial and error.
If someone reading this is looking for a partnership of this kind, I recommend it. Lon suggests that authors make the book available online first and then with some experience they can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OM: Who handles the orders? In other words, when an order comes in, who receives it and fulfills the order?
JH: It all happens in cyberspace. Of course there is a printing device somewhere that physically produces the book and it gets put in an envelope and shipped, but that is all handled by companies that do it very efficiently. Not by me, which is my main interest.
OM: How does the pricing work? Do you make a profit?
JH: We worked out a theoretical break-even price and then rounded up to the nearest $5 increment, to end at $20. There is a small profit, which is nice.
I included more details in an article for TUGboat, the journal of the TeX Users Group. See https://www.tug.org/TUGboat/tb31-3/tb99heff.pdf.
Monday, December 7, 2015
How Did Hefferon's Linear Algebra Make It To Amazon?
If you go to Amazon.com and search for "hefferon linear algebra" you'll find that Jim Hefferon's open source text, "Linear Algebra", is listed there. I asked Jim a few questions about how he managed this trick and here's what I learned: