ROTW - Rockets of the World . . . QUESTION

Discussion in 'Scale' started by Ez2cDave, Feb 13, 2020.

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  1. Feb 13, 2020 #1

    Ez2cDave

    Ez2cDave

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    Does anyone know how many copies of ROTW / Rockets of the World have ever been published, in total, including both the soft-cover, spiral bound version and the hardcover version ?

    I am hoping that Peter Alway will post, as he should have the most accurate information.

    Dave F.
     
  2. Feb 14, 2020 #2

    Blast it Tom!

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    I don't know either, but as it's been out of print a PDF version would be nice. I was over at the NAR site, as it was said you could buy it there, but all they seem to have is a bunch of updates on USB sticks at $18/each. I don't know if they are individual or cumulative. And at $200 used (Amazon) for the original, it might be a while before I can add it to the bookshelf!
     
  3. Feb 14, 2020 #3

    Ez2cDave

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    When ROTW was still in print, the NAR was selling the hardback version for $30.00, brand new, of course.

    I agree that a PDF version would be much more practical, less expensive to produce, and allow modelers to easily print out data for their projects.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
  4. Feb 15, 2020 #4

    chris m

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    I wish it would come out again in pdf or book form . But $200+ for used is price gouging.
     
  5. Feb 15, 2020 #5

    Charles_McG

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    Oh, to think what I’ve paid for out of print books on cider. One of them predates the United States as a country, but some are more recent.

    The collectors market is what it is. I don’t think it’s gouging, but it’s sad that it doesn’t really help the author.
     
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  6. Feb 15, 2020 #6

    Blast it Tom!

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    That's just it. Our Mr. Alway doesn't get a dime from collector sales, but republishing in a protected format could get him some cash and us BAR's and other noobs some valuable information.
     
  7. Feb 17, 2020 #7

    Ez2cDave

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    Does anyone have information on the number of books printed ?
     
  8. Feb 17, 2020 #8

    James Duffy

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    "How many units of (x) did you sell?" is pretty sensitive business intelligence for any sized operation.

    I fail to see how that information could be of benefit to any of us here.
     
  9. Feb 17, 2020 #9

    Ez2cDave

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    I'm trying to see how many books were printed, versus the number being sold online. If there was enough interest to support 4 editions previously, over the years, it would shed some light on potential numbers for a 5th edition, rumored to be forthcoming.

    Also, Scale Modeling and NAR Competition is losing numbers of Competitors in A & B Division, except for the relatives of the "long-term" C-Division & Team Division Competitors.

    I suspect that the various editions were produced in fairly small "runs" of, perhaps, 1000 books +/-. If that were an average number, there should be 4,000 +/- books in print, perhaps significantly fewer.

    I hope that, if and when, a 5th Edition is eventually produced, that a PDF version of it would be available, in addition to a printed volume. Also, I would hope that all of the supplements were incorporated into it.

    Perhaps, even a complete "library" of Peter's works, all in electronic format.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
  10. Feb 17, 2020 #10

    Gus

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    Dave,

    There will be a 5th edition of Rockets of the World, unless your incessant needling pisses Peter off to the point where he just doesn't want to do it anymore.

    There won't be an electronic format edition, because that would just be idiotic. A number of folks, including you, have proven themselves completely willing to distribute Peter's copyrighted and income-producing work on the internet without his permission. So why would he publish a version making stealing his work way easier?

    Dave, please give Peter the respect he is due, and just stop this. ROTW 5 will come out when it comes out and, in the meantime, the limited number of people who don't have a copy and want one can pay what the market will bear from a used book dealer.

    Steve
     
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  11. Feb 17, 2020 #11

    Ez2cDave

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    Steve,

    It would not be "idiotic" . . .

    From the research I have done, Saturn Press was/is Peter Alway himself, meaning that he self-published. As such, he had to pay, up front, every time a new edition came out. Considering that, from my estimates, fewer than 5,000 copies may have been produced, in total, since 1995.

    Given the previous selling price of $30.00 and assuming a hypothetical $10.00 profit per book. Since 1995, when the 1st edition came out, with a total of 5,000 books printed ( over 4 editions ), the gross profit would have been $50,000 over 25 years or, roughly, $2000.00/yr. ( $167.00/month ), based on hypothetical numbers printed and profit estimates, per book.

    An electronic version would eliminate the requirement of a large amount of "up front money" and enable the profit margin to be substantially higher, per unit. That would generate more income for Peter, relative to what he has previously earned from ROTW, over the years.

    Dave F.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
  12. Feb 18, 2020 #12

    James Duffy

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    Well, idiotic is an awful inflammatory word, but distributing any form of intellectual property that one wishes to keep secure in an insecure, open digital format would be ill-advised.

    Look, I get that people would love for ROTW (or just about any other book) to be distributed via .pdf files, but the ugly fact is that there is no way for the IP owner to secure their property once the first digital copy is sold. Once the horse is out of the digital barn, it is pretty much gone forever. In the case of ROTW, Peter's personal investment in his life's work would be unrecoverable.

    There is a reason why commercial books are electronically distributed via secure platforms like Kindle and iBooks, and that reason is that it provides the creator and IP owner with a method to monetize their work and protect their personal investment in time and treasure. Printed books provide similar security (and look great on your bookshelf!).

    Let Peter decide the future of his work. He has earned that, and does not need unsolicited assistance from any of us to do so.

    James
     
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  13. Feb 18, 2020 #13

    Ez2cDave

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    James,

    With all due respect, if someone invested the money to buy a copy of ROTW ( 5th edition or otherwise ), and spent a few days using a scanner, the effect would be the same. In this age, no material, printed or otherwise, is truly safe from duplication and distribution.

    Your "digital barn" scenario is already under way, as the NAR is selling all 6 ROTW Supplements on USB drives. Those "horses" are long gone.

    "12 Soviet Missiles of the Cold War" is also available on USB . . . So, is "14 U.S. Army Missiles Of The Cold War".

    I am assuming that the NAR made some sort of formal deal with Peter ?

    https://blastzone.org/nar/narts/store.asp?groupid=1080035015601

    If Peter was OK with that, I think that ROTW should have been similarly preserved, at the same time.


    Dave F.
     
  14. Feb 18, 2020 #14

    James Duffy

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    There are the magic words.

    This is not your decision to make, Dave. The right thing to do is to let Peter decide for himself.
     
  15. Feb 18, 2020 #15

    Ez2cDave

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    Neither is it yours, James . . . I am, however, curious as to why Peter would allow those other works on USB, but not ROTW. Frankly, I wish that Peter would comment on that ( no, I am not "calling him out" ) situation.

    Dave F.
     
  16. Feb 18, 2020 #16

    zog139

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    Dave, stop trolling and please stop posting drawings on this forum out of respect for the author. I have no vested interest. If someone wanted a copy of a specific vehicle and it is sent in an email is one thing, posting them on a public forum is really not being a good member of the hobby. Please be respectful of others opinions and stop trolling on these forums. This is my opinion and I do not need a reply from you. Just stop it.

     
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  17. Feb 18, 2020 #17

    Space Ranger

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    So your point is...….that Mr. Alway & the NAR is trusting in the goodness of rocketeers enough to sell those supplements via USB on the "honor system" trusting that rocketeers would honor copyrights ...…….. and because Mr. Alway has publicly stated that he believes that there is at least one rocketeer that has not honored that kind of trust for ROTW, so Mr. Alway might as well sell ROTW the same way ???

    Also, not sure what is meant by " …..ROTW should have been similarly preserved...…"
    The supplements seem to be available on NARTS not for archival purposes, but for purchase by paying customers, I assume with the sales proceeds benefitting the NAR and possibly covering some of Mr. Alway's time & expenses.
     
  18. Feb 18, 2020 #18

    Ez2cDave

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    (1) "HONOR SYSTEM" - There are, literally, thousands of postings of Peter's scale data, all over the internet. This includes posts by "non-rocketeer's", as well. As Peter has previously said, "the genie is out of the bottle". This is not an attempt to justify posting Peter's material, but it is pointing to the size of the problem, which goes far beyond this forum.

    (2) USB's - If those materials, which are all copyrighted, are openly available in electronic format, what is the concern over "electronic versions" of all of Peter's publications ?

    (3) PRESERVATION - Right now, ROTW is out of print and no copies are available, without paying an exorbitant price for them. If ROTW had been preserved on USB by the NAR, as were all of the Supplements and several other books by Peter Alway, there would currently be no problem with people obtaining the book easily, and at reasonable cost. By not doing so, modelers are unable to readily get the data they need, unless they pay "scalper prices" online or obtain the data, privately, through emails from people who have the book ( Isn't that the same problem ? ) . Either way, the lack of availability is responsible for many of the current problems.

    (4) PAYING CUSTOMERS - The same could be true, if ROTW were similarly available on USB, as all of the supplements are. People have said that ROTW should not be available in electronic format, for fear of easy duplication, yet all of the Supplements and two other books by Peter Alway are available on USB from the NAR. Yes, initially, they would need to be purchased, but the same is also true for printed versions. They could, most certainly, be easily duplicated once obtained. Yet, they exist and are readily available in easily-duplicated, electronic format.

    (5) SELLING ROTW THE "SAME WAY" - The profit margin, for Peter, would be greater with an electronic version of ROTW, since no printing or re-printing expenses would be incurred. Plus, availability would never be an issue.

    Dave F.
     
  19. Feb 18, 2020 #19

    heada

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    If Peter wants to sell ROTW as a book with pages made of platinum with gold inscribed letters, that's his choice. If he wants to sell it electronically, again its his choice. If he wants to have it printed and bound as a paper book but only have 37 copies printed, that's his choice. It doesn't matter what our views on his decisions are, he wrote the book, he owns the copyright, he makes the choices he wants to make. Profit may not be a driving force behind his work and anyone's opinion of what would give him the best profit are moot. Personally, I own a physical copy and will more than likely buy another copy on his next printing. I also think it would be ill-advised of him to do an electronic distribution.
     
  20. Feb 18, 2020 #20

    Ez2cDave

    Ez2cDave

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    Then, why did you post ?

    Dave F.
     
  21. Feb 18, 2020 #21

    heada

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    I'd considered posting several times and even questioned posting when I did. I guess it was mostly to help point out that your desires probably mean jack squat when it comes to if/when/how Peter publishes ROTW and complaining about it probably is hurting rather than helping your cause. For now, your choices are to buy on the used market, wait for another publishing or break the law by violating Peter's copyright. Since congress changed copyright law a few years back to being criminal rather than civil, Peter can ask an attorney general to prosecute violators of his copyright for 5 years/$25,000 for each offense. Not something I'd recommend.
     
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  22. Feb 18, 2020 #22

    Ez2cDave

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    Frankly, none of our opinions, including mine, actually amount to anything in the big picture.

    I hope we can either get a new 5th Edition or a re-issue of the 4th Edition of ROTW in the near future.

    Dave F.
     
  23. Feb 22, 2020 #23

    johnu

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    Well, I have read the whole thread and here are my thoughts:

    - Peter has put in a lot of effort over many years in collecting this rocket data. Our legal system says he owns it ! He can sell copies of it or place it in the drawer under the kitchen counter and never look at it again. I do wish someone would contact him and try to communicate to us an understanding of his plans.

    - I understand the frustration of it being “out of print” - over the last 20 years, I have tried several times to purchase the latest version - it’s sold out!
    My current copy was published in 1993 - must be version 1 ! This book is more like a pile of papers that I collect before putting away.

    - Peter, do you need help ? Life priorities change. There are a lot of us - retired engineers, who can clean up the format, correct spelling ( well not me ) and build a book. I would be honored to help in such a project.

    - I am mixed on the digital version - Peter looses all control of it the moment someone uploads to the net. Maybe just the drawing in digital format. :)

    John Urbanski
     
  24. Feb 22, 2020 #24

    Gus

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    Current plan is that there will be a ROTW 5, eventually. No current plans for a publication date. Peter's recent thinking is that he would like it to be an omnibus edition including ROTW 4, the supplements, Retro Rockets, In the Shadow of the V2, and the several books he's produced since ROTW 4. He also has a number of completed unpublished drawings for Navy and Air Force missiles, as well as a few others which he would like to add to before publishing them.

    But it is not a matter of simply gathering all that up, putting a binder on it, and sending it off to the printer.

    Peter views ROTW a lot differently from most of the rest of us. To him it is much more than just a collection of modeler's data, he views ROTW as telling a coherent history of world rocketry. He is actively working on producing the next version of ROTW but before he can even begin the sorting of elements he is trying to complete those elements he thinks are important, but currently missing.

    Yes, there will be a ROTW 5, eventually. How long will it take Peter to feel comfortable releasing the next version? There's no telling, but I expect at least a couple years, possibly more. It's not a matter of needing help. It's a matter of Pete deciding what rockets still need to be done and then doing them. In the meantime, I'm pretty sure Peter will be releasing new mini-volumes of "missing pieces" as he completes them.

    I hope that answers your question.
     
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  25. Feb 24, 2020 #25

    astronwolf

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    Does anyone know an attorney who is into rockets willing to do a little pro bono work on Peter's behalf? Maybe we can find a way to quantify just how idiotic idiotic can be, just in case anyone still doesn't get it.
     
  26. Feb 24, 2020 #26

    rharshberger

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    I for one will be looking forward to the new edition whenever Peter gets it done.
     
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  27. Feb 25, 2020 #27

    Vitruvius

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    I, also, would like to see an update of RotW, but understand Mr. A's concerns. Maybe its cheating, but I have occasionally borrowed for 2 weeks a library copy. It takes a week or so to get said copy through Inter Library Loan, since my library doesn't have a copy ( ironic, that, since it is the Fairborn, Ohio library about 3 blocks from one of Wright-Patterson A.F.B's gates). I'm a bit different since I'm more interested in the rockets used to launch "manned" spaceflight, so I don't need an entire book. I only copy what exactly I need and no one gets a copy of it. Let them did up their own information. Cheers
     
  28. Feb 25, 2020 #28

    neil_w

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    This is not a concern with a protected digital format such as Kindle or iBooks. Those versions also save the cost and effort of printing actual books, which require up-front investment, storage, and other mundane concerns. With a digital issue you don't need to worry about how big to make a printing or anything like that. You just need to create the content.

    In neither case is a user prevented from making a copy of individual pages and distributing them illegally.

    I personally can't imagine wanting to go through the hassle of printing a dead tree edition when electronic alternatives are available. But of course it is ultimately Peter's choice how to sell his own works.
     
  29. Feb 26, 2020 #29

    johnu

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    Your knowledge is far more in this area then mine, the FrameMaker book build was alway my deliverable .

    Peter may want offline to discuss with you, the advantages and disadvantages and how to go about itI

    I am LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT RELEASE!

    - John
     

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