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Subject: Re: Thank you! Drive through! ( 10 of 16 )
Posted by Douglas Adams

I read the first note in this thread, and was going to ignore it, but I then read the boastful ("I have had grad students for assistants") and patronising ("When you attain more maturity") rejoinder from the same writer several notes further down, and thought it was time to respond.

Letís look at what you, "Bill", say.

"Whatís next, DNA autographed underwear for sale?" I canít see anything that remotely approximates to this on sale at the site. But in case Iíve missed something, letís look at the items that are for sale and see what evidence we can find of the crass commercialism you impute to it.

First, thereís the Hitchhiker radio series, on cassette or CD. The reason we sell these is very simple. They are pretty hard to come by these days at regular record stores. I know this because people kept writing to me to ask where they could buy them. I usually didnít know, so the simplest solution was to make them available myself. Does this represent some kind of significant income stream? Ha ha ha! The way to make a business out of selling CDs or books is to sell many thousands of units by dozens of writers or musicians. You need economies of scale to be able to buy the goods from the distributor at any kind of discount and to cover the cost of packing them up and sending them out. When youíre selling a handful of items by a single artist the trick is to avoid losing too much money if you possibly can. A couple of sums on the back of an envelope should show you this.

(continued in next post)
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