Why is ordering the book needed for membership?
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I think the only way this could work is if members have the right not to order the ultimate work if they vote it number 7 or lower. Then if a work is too expensive you haven’t tried to force it on the rest of the membership and you were trying to vote for works you would have bought
I would favour a five year ban for those who were members and didn’t submit proposals or order the books, but others might favour a shorter ban
Please note I am not advocating for the opposite extreme, which is a $20 book that everyone can easily afford. I am merely saying that there should be some measure of latitude. If you can drop $2K on a book without flinching, lovely for you. If you think the entire 100+ members can, or will, that's something else. I think everyone taking part in this experiment believes in it and the process, and I am merely advising caution against a cull of those who finances may not permit them to go to the extremes of extravagance.
Of course, this is the first round of the experiment, so we don't know yet where CP pricing is going to land. This round could establish the baseline, and if it does, people will be better informed next year as to whether to remain, or join if membership opens. I know that when I signed on, I had in mind the idea that the final selection would probably land in the $300-$800 range, and I'd be curious as to how many others entered with similar figures, as well as those who were picturing lower or higher ranges.
For myself, I knew that any book produced as a fine press publication is going to exceed my ability to purchase same. I initially decided to not participate because of that, but was encouraged to give it a shot anyway, so I decided to go ahead because I did, in fact, have a work in mind that I would love to see as a fine press book. I knew from the start that unless my proposal was chosen, I would not be able to continue. I lack the budget, pure and simple. It has been fun, and I would love to monitor CP in the future even given the high probability that I will no longer be directly involved.
I am sure there will be others who, for various reasons, will drop out. A mechanism for replacing us needs to be established. I suggest establishing a membership limit and each year opening membership to all interested to fill that quota.
That way, if a member needs to pass, their spot is only ceded if there's someone who wants to take it, and likewise if they want to rejoin they simply have to wait until other interested parties have had a chance.
>13 kdweber: Like >14 grifgon:, >15 ultrarightist:, and >16 Shadekeep:, I also agree. I like keeping the rules for this production as planned. I like kdweber's insights about approximate maximum size based on what was manageable this time and the idea of a waitlist. It was elegantly spoken.
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>8 DMulvee: Respectfully, I don't think a ban is a good idea. More importantly, I don't think it's possible! Here's why:
(1) In order for any ban to be relevant, that would imply that new members would be allowed in. (Otherwise, it's not a ban; it's just that the person is removed from the group.)
(2) I don't believe any of us were required to give any real life personal information that was ever verified.
It's not hard for someone to create a new email address. I don't believe that there was any requirement to enter a real name. I've shipped packages to my home using fake names before and couriers deliver just fine. There's nothing in the Consensus Press rules that states that the name on a paying credit card has to match our membership credentials (assuming that you're even paying by credit card). If a family member or friend wanted to fork out for the book as a gift, I expect that the transaction would be permitted with that other person's payment method, so basically it's impossible to ban anybody. Unless you're at a physical event for something where identification is checked and matched up, banning someone isn't really possible. To put it another way, if you get banned, just buy the book with your smurf.
Anyhow, as I mentioned, I'm also not in favor of the idea of a ban. Here's why:
(1) It doesn't feel good for anyone.
(2) Current members who don't buy this production were still contributors to this process, some excellently so! (For example, I personally very much enjoy Glacierman's contributions on this forum.) Banning people who are excited about contributing to our process seems counterintuitive. I believe that any member who leaves the group should be able to rejoin with at worst the same restrictions as any new person wanting to join.
(3) "Dealing" with the process of members leaving the group and members coming in is something that perhaps we can get creative with?
I say problem, but I use that word as a type of challenge to come up with a solution for. (As mentioned above, I like what >13 kdweber: wrote)
I have thought on this for a while and there was a potential issue with the way we got to join this club. As grifgon (linked) mentioned in response to > 7 LBShoreBook in another thread, Griffin's contribution was to insist that "no money change hands until *after* the edition was selected". I am truly grateful for this contribution as I believe it allowed us to have a very successful process for the first production.
However, I brought up a concern to the management early on that the way everything was laid out, there was nothing stopping someone from creating a ridiculous number of accounts (perhaps with bots if necessary) that could screw up our little experiment. For anyone not following, let's say someone had set up 200 Consensus Press accounts initially. That single entity alone would've had a majority of control here. That person could upvote his own desired proposal to make it through to be the victor with zero obligation of needing to purchase 200 copies and no money down. Best case scenario, the person could take the gratis edition. Worst case scenario, our little experiment fails.
The good news is that we passed the point where that could happen. For future editions though, I believe that we as membership are obligated to protect against this weakness in our system by either (A) Capping the membership (as has been suggested), (B) Charging a fee to become a new member, or (C) Both.
I am not sure if this would be feasible for future years and I'll precursor my suggestion by stating that I expect it will likely get shot down, but...
Perhaps we charge a membership fee for a new member (perhaps in the ballpark of ~ $75). Then, each member, both new and old, gets a prospectus of the year's winning title after it has been selected, but before the obligation date to buy.
The reasons I expect that this might not work are:
(1) Money. If people are already uneasy spending large quantities of money, this could pose an issue. Creating and shipping prospectuses has a cost and the income from charging new members will not cover the cost of sending all the prospectuses to existing members.
(2) One purpose of the prospectus is to create excitement about the book for potential buyers. Our group seems exceptionally involved by nature of the process so this might not be as desirable for people who already know so much about the book. (Though, maybe I'm misjudging this as I also know that people who own a book like to keep the prospectus with it too.)
(3) Management. This is more work for the management and the book creators. Is this something that both of these groups would be interested in doing?
One nice thing about having a prospectus is that each member for the year gets to walk away with something, even if that person opted to not purchase the final production. Though, yup, there's a cost to that, the cost of membership.
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I'd be curious as to what others feel about a prospectus as a concept for future years. Either way though, I think we should brainstorm creative ways to encourage a healthy quantity of new members (whatever that means) without compromising the good thing that it looks like we have going.
The idea of doing a prospectus is interesting. I actually think the feasibility of doing one would depend on other changes. I don't think a prospectus would be particularly burdensome for management (though I could be wrong) or a huge expense. The bigger objection, I think, is your third point: A prospectus simply isn't necessary. The membership having voted (twice) on the proposal, and even having contributed to it through discussion, simply wouldn't need one. It'd be more of a keepsake than anything else. Not a bad thing, though.
One thing that's very clear is that things are a bit amorphous now. The (hehe) consensus seems to be that there isn't much appetite for rule changes before the successful shipment of the first edition. After that, I think a slate of changes to the rules and process will be in order. As I see it, the biggest issues will be: (1) How are new members admitted? (2) How will the management of the press work? (3) Will the requirement for active participation and ordering of the edition stand as-is or be changed?
>20 Glacierman: The idea of hundreds of bots is certainly outlandish, but it wouldn't be the first time someone was caught "multi-accounting" to get around a fine press' rules/policies.
I guess I'm a bit naïve. I just can't imagine someone being so greedy. Yet I know there are folks out there who will cheerfully do the most evil things, so I really should expect that sort of thing as well.
Your post-shipment assessment is, I think, astute.
I would say that you may want to hold back some unbound leaves, though. It seems though can have uses down the line, should things continue.
I could not help but think of Seinfeld when I read that.
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