A Satisfied Customer

Taral bought copies of the 2009 Hugo Award DVD and has this to say about the experience:

I just got the two copies I ordered from the website. While the disks were reasonably priced, the shipping & handling was outrageous, I thought. It was actually more than the cost of the DVD! I bought two, since it made the S&H seem a little less ridiculous, spread out over a pair.

The packaging is the standard plastic snap-shut case, with art borrowed from one of the con pubs. Nobody asked me, but I don’t mind that. I do mind that there was no credit to the artist, anywhere.

Production seemed good, though, to be honest, there was more than enough space for the Opening & Closing ceremonies as well. I noticed some edits. It’ll play on the computer with some program like Power DVD, but not Windows MP. Plays on the TV of course.

I’ve read Taral’s evaluations of many things over the years and taking everything into account I believe this is a favorable review…

3 thoughts on “A Satisfied Customer

  1. “Production seemed good, though, to be honest, there was more than enough space for the Opening & Closing ceremonies as well.”

    A DL (Double Layer) DVD (of which I’ve burned a zillion) will hold roughly four hours of video; how long is the Worldcon DVD overall?

  2. I see the price of the DVD is $9.95. While certainly a reasonable price compared to most commercial DVDs, one notes that there would seem to be a very heavy profit built into that, given that the cost of a 50 pack of DL DVDs runs between $40 and $45 bucks at Amazon, so each DVD is under a dollar (with a small amount of loss from an occasional bad disk), and the plastic cases cost under fifty cents a piece in bulk. Then there’s the cost of printing the artwork, but how much could that be?

    Since shipping and handling are charged separately, it might be the case that of that $9.99 about $8 is pure profit.

    Just, as I said, noting; I’m not suggesting that this is improper.

  3. Noted. I sold CD-Roms for a while, and then there was the Energumen disk I produced (was it really two years ago?), so I know something about costs. It comes down to production values. Altogether one copy of “Strange Voyages” (the Energumen collection) cost me around $5 to produce and deliver.

    The biggest single cost was the postage — around $2. The next greatest expense was for the stick on, printed lable that went on the disk. That was about $1, counting not only the xerox charge but also what it cost me for the sticker. The blank disk was another .50 and the jewel case a quarter. It cost me .75 for a padded envelope, and finally another .50 to xerox the small folded insert. I also donated $1 to Taff in Glicksohn’s name for the first year, so it added up to $6 out of my pocket for each disk I sold for $15 (and later $20).

    That’s still a big profit margin. But I never expected to sell many, and indeed never did. Apart from some Glicksohn bought to give to friends and family, I sold maybe 20. So I made a couple of hundred dollars in compensation for the shit-load of work I did.

    I suspect that the Anticipation DVDs are a bit cheaper than that. Gary mentions about $2 in production costs. There’s also the cost of silkscreening on the disk itself. I haven’t priced that, but let’s say it adds fifty cents. Then there’s the padded envelope the disks came in, another 75 cents. So we’re up to $3.25, I think, as a reasonable estimate of what it cost to produce the Hugo Awards DVD. I won’t add postage since there’s a hefty nine or ten buck charge for that.

    All in all, a better estimate of the profit margin is around $6.50 rather than $8. That’s assuming the Anticipation DVD was burned from blanks, one by one, as I did. More likely they were produced by a professional in a single large batch, who would also do the silkscreening. The cost would probably end up much the same, I suspect.

    Still rather a generous profit margin, but I would imagine that it has to cover all the time put in editing as well as bookkeeping. And who were the camermen who shot the ceremonies? Were they paid? By the producer of the DVD or by the con? It seems implausible they were fans who happened to be professional camera men and were able to “borrow” the equipment form work.

    The bottom line depends mostly on volume, I would think. The Anticipation disks are almost certain to sell many more copies than my humble Energumen CD.

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