[access-uk] Re: Ethics of book sharing services

Hi Damon

I don't know how many orders they took, but I did hear a sharp intake of breath when I said I wanted to pay for my copy of the Harry potter book, which seemed to say 'oh no, here we go again'.

They had to dispatch the book in stages, they sent everyone who had ordered it the first four volumes, then the next four volumes, and so on. This was better than sending a quarter of the people the whole thing and leaving everybody else without any of the book at all.

I think I might go down the road of importing the American audio version this time if the British one isn't going to be available quickly, it seems such a waste to have so many volumes of braille, the cost of producing abook like that in braille must be phenomenal, far more than the £12.50 that most of us actually paid for it. And, believe it or not, I would like the author and publishers to benefit from my purchase.

What would be really cool is if they would publish Harry Potter on audible.com, although whether their servers would be able to take it is a different question.

James
----- Original Message ----- From: "Damon Rose" <damon.rose@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, April 19, 2005 6:03 PM
Subject: [access-uk] Re: Ethics of book sharing services



Ooh, didn't realise that SBP had been over-run with orders.  Do we know
how many orders they took?



-----Original Message-----
From: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of James O'Dell
Sent: 19 April 2005 18:01
To: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [access-uk] Re: Ethics of book sharing services



James,

   The Harry Potter books are the only books, to my knowledge, to have
been made available in audio format, unabridged, at the behest of the
author.

Not for reasons of accessibility though, probably down to a very worthy preference for unabridged audio and the story being told as the author intended, which I share.


The
delay in the publication of the audio version last time wasn't an
accessibility issue. It was due to problems finding time in Stephen
Fry's
schedule. The American audio version was available almost immediately.

It becomes an accessibility issue if it prevents people from accessing the book at all, particularly given the buildup to its publication and the fact that blind children wouldn't ahve been able to share the book with sited piers when it was originally published.

   Problems with the Scottish Braille telephone answering service are
not
the responsibility of the author or publishers, even if the initial
responsibility to create accessible format versions is.

Exactly. The Scottish Braille Press did an admirable job. the reason I

mentioned them having to deal with all of those invoices etc was to
point
out that, as a charity, they were overwhelmed with orders for this book,
and
that just shows the difference in scale between people like Scottish
Braille
Press and the big publishers, and that they can't be expected to manage
the
whole book industry for blind people on their own, as so many publishers

seem to expect them to.

   The fact that these books are made available to the mainstream
market
is.
a step forward. The fact that they are unabridged is one step more.
They're still expensive and the timing last time around wasn't ideal,
but
let's not waste time bashing one of the few authors/publishers where
some
progress is being made.

Yes, progress is being made, but I doubt much of this is really aimed at

improving access, we are just riding on the back of mainstream
provision.
If we can't get the same access, at the same time, at the same price,
with
mmaterial as commercially popular as Harry potter, that is guaranteed to

sell well, what hope have we got with lesser-known works?  The people
who
deserve the real credit are people like Michael Palin, who has worked
with
the specialist libraries to make his books accessible.  He may be
nearing
the end of his travelling career, but I could imagine him recording his
books and making the electronic versions available to NLB even if  BBC
Audio
Books were to lose interest.

Cheers

James

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