Why is ordering the book needed for membership?

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Why is ordering the book needed for membership?

1realto
Nov 22, 2022, 2:03 pm

I have enjoyed this process a lot and congratulations to my fellow members who have come up with such good proposals, I don't think anybody can doubt that the final book will be desirable. However, I am a little worried about the price tags on some of the proposals. If a $1000 book were selected, it probably would not be wise of me to order it, however much I might want to. It is clearly stated that "Only members will have the right to order copies; any who don’t will forfeit their membership for the purpose of subsequent editions." Is this rule necessary? Why do we have this rule? I would hate to lose my membership simply because it is not financially wise of me to order the edition (if the edition ends up being one of the more expensive proposals). I am curious for your thoughts.

2DMulvee
Editado: Nov 22, 2022, 2:47 pm

Yes, I think it is needed. Otherwise members may vote as number 1 $5000 books, they have no interest in ordering and then the scheme collapses as the book cannot be produced.

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

3Shadekeep
Nov 22, 2022, 2:56 pm

>2 DMulvee: I like that compromise. The three I voted the lowest are the three I would be least likely to purchase, and projected expense was a significant factor there. If the consensus goes for a $2000 book, so be it, but a bit of a shame to then expel those members in good faith for whom this is out of reach for one reason or another.

4NathanOv
Editado: Nov 22, 2022, 3:26 pm

>2 DMulvee: I think that's a great idea. I believe it's been brought up before that members could get one free "pass," but I think indicating books they simply would / could not buy on the ballot would be even better.

5ambyrglow
Nov 22, 2022, 3:42 pm

I'm not in favor of changing this part of the press process. I would prefer the press skew cheaper, but if that's not the consensus of this particular group, then that's . . . not the consensus. Those of us who don't value expensive materials can always form a separate Cheapskates Consensus Press.

6caszius
Nov 22, 2022, 3:45 pm

Anyone know if your membership is permanently revoked; or, can you join again after a year grace period? Will anyone be allowed to join from this point forward?

7ultrarightist
Nov 22, 2022, 3:47 pm

I think it is imperative for each member of a group such as this to put his money where his mouth is. It does not work, otherwise. If it's too expensive, drop out.

8DMulvee
Nov 22, 2022, 4:00 pm

>6 caszius: I don’t know what the rules would be, but I think that once a year new members should be allowed to join (after the order of the previous book and before the first round).
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

9Shadekeep
Nov 22, 2022, 4:15 pm

Well, like I said, if the consensus chooses a $2000 book, I will of course accept that decision. But I do believe that taking an absolutist stance on "payment = membership" (regardless of cost) means that as the pricing gets dearer, the more rarefied membership becomes. At some point I would wager membership becomes too small to support the effort.

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.

10Glacierman
Editado: Abr 1, 2023, 4:09 am

We all have our reasons for joining this endeavor.

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.

11NathanOv
Nov 22, 2022, 4:38 pm

>8 DMulvee: I don't know that I see the need for a "ban," since sometimes life just gets in the way. I do think if this first edition is a success, though, it would be in the best interest of the press to adopt a waiting list for new members, and to do it sooner rather than later.

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.

12DMulvee
Nov 22, 2022, 4:46 pm

Ban sounds a lot meaner than I want, but if people take part and then don't opt to buy the book there need to be consequences. They shouldn't be able to influence the end result if they won't then purchase it, otherwise someone could simply say unless my proposal is picked, then I will refuse to purchase the final work. If enough people take this attitude, then the whole experiment will fail, and so there has to be some inducement for this not to happen

13kdweber
Nov 22, 2022, 4:48 pm

I think we should stay with our original rules for this production. For the future, I strongly suggest we allow new members and come up with a fixed membership number. I think our current size worked well for both the original suggestions and during the feedback for the selected ten proposals but for cost reasons I’d like a slightly larger membership. So, I’m up for a membership somewhere between 100 - 200 people. I think members who don’t buy the book should be out of the club but not banned from joining again. I think we should have a wait list for new members and people who drop out go to the back of the list.

14grifgon
Nov 22, 2022, 5:23 pm

>13 kdweber: This is my preference as well.

15ultrarightist
Nov 22, 2022, 8:01 pm

16Shadekeep
Nov 22, 2022, 9:23 pm

>13 kdweber: A solid proposition.

17Tuna_Melon
Nov 22, 2022, 10:45 pm

Wow, there is a lot to unpack here. This is a very cool and involved conversation, which I think is neat.

>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.

--- --- ---
On banning:

>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?

18Tuna_Melon
Nov 22, 2022, 10:46 pm

The "problem" of adding new members:

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.

19Tuna_Melon
Nov 22, 2022, 10:46 pm

A first attempt at a creative solution:

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.

--- --- ---

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.

20Glacierman
Nov 23, 2022, 12:32 am

>18 Tuna_Melon: Methinks you are overthinking this.

21grifgon
Editado: Nov 23, 2022, 1:42 am

>17 Tuna_Melon: >18 Tuna_Melon: >19 Tuna_Melon: I love this sort of in-depth thinking. Bravo, seriously, I think your analysis is pretty much spot on.

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.

22Glacierman
Nov 23, 2022, 3:08 am

>21 grifgon: 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.

23filox
Nov 23, 2022, 4:48 am

On prospectuses (prospecti?): I for one would be against the idea, not because of costs but because i hate them as a concept and try my best not to own any. It's just extra loose leaves that I will never read and are awkward to store. I collect books, not pamphlets about books (not to say there's anything wrong with collecting prospectuses). I guess if there's enough folks who want them then that's the consensus, just voicing my own opinion.

24Shadekeep
Nov 23, 2022, 7:28 am

>21 grifgon: I do love a nice prospectus but agree it's pretty meaningless here, since we aren't courting orders beyond those already enrolled in the group.

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.

25gmacaree
Nov 23, 2022, 12:39 pm

I don't want a prospectus, but if there is one it should just be these threads printed out :P

26ultrarightist
Nov 23, 2022, 12:55 pm

>23 filox: "I collect books, not pamphlets about books (not to say there's anything wrong with collecting prospectuses)"

I could not help but think of Seinfeld when I read that.

27filox
Nov 23, 2022, 5:42 pm

>26 ultrarightist: Not what I was going for originally, but now that I read it again I hear it too :)

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