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How Does Dover Do It?

  1. May 24, 2010 #1
    I'm sure many people are wondering this just as I am: How is it that Dover manages to publish their books so cheaply? Ok, they're paperbacks but they're good quality. My Dover books have outlasted some of my hardcovers that cost a lot more, and are still in good shape.

    I mean most Dover books are under $20, and some under $10; for other publishers it's rare to see textbooks for under $60, many are in the $80-and-upwards range. Ok, there is the paperback/hardback thing, but I don't think that would account for more than 5, maybe 10 bucks. Also, many but not all of the books Dover publish are by dead authors, so that probably accounts for another $10 also. That's only $20 difference and I'm probably being generous. But this argument doesn't seem reasonable to me because for other publishers there is no distinction in price between books authored by a living or dead person.

    So what really accounts for the price difference? Does it go to the publishers?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 24, 2010 #2


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    Most of the books are out of copyright so the only cost is printing.
    They are often simply fascimiles with simple covers, so no designer or editor costs
    They stay in print for decades, so no need to produce a new edition each semester.
  4. May 25, 2010 #3


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    I don't ask. I just keep buying them.
  5. May 25, 2010 #4
    Dover books are not the "best" text on particular subject matters, but still very informal. However, their books are always welcomed in my library. Especially, vectors and tensors in crystallography by Donald Sands. A few others that I've liked in particular include tensor calculus (absolute differential), complex analysis, fourier analysis, and so forth.

    You will be quite surprised on how their prices fluctuate between many internet sites. I've seen books go from $50.00 to $200.00 dollars in just one day!
  6. May 25, 2010 #5


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    $50 sounds pretty high for a Dover book.
  7. May 25, 2010 #6


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    That price range is almost exclusively the Phoenix editions.

    Edit- I'll qualify this with the fact that I hardly venture into any of their sections outside of "Science and Mathematics."
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