Chinese versus Japanese editions

Last week, I got news from Springer Verlag about possibly two new editions of my books, one in Chinese and one in Japanese. These were bad news and good news: the bad news was that the Chinese edition was actually a reprint of our original book,  Monte Carlo Statistical Method, by a Chinese publishing company. Supposedly restricted to the Chinese interior market. While this agreement is within the terms of our contract, it will be disastrous for our sales of the original 2004 Springer edition since those cheaper copies have already found their way to American and European markets (I got a copy by the mail only today, but some students in the US do have it!)

I actually fail to understand the publisher’s point in giving away sales of a reasonably successful book for a cheaper version with a much lower return. Since this Chinese publisher is also (re)printing Hastie, Tibshirani and Freedman’ The Elements of Statistical Learning: Data Mining, Inference, and Prediction, as well as Erich Lehmann’s Theory of Point Estimation, we are not an isolated case. But this does not make the move less frustrating or more understandable!

The good news is about the potential translation of our book Introducing Monte Carlo Methods with R into Japanese, as was recently the case for the book of Phil Spector on Data Manipulation with R. There seems to be a reasonable market for R (and Splus) books in Japan for those translations to take place…

7 Responses to “Chinese versus Japanese editions”

  1. […] two translators of our book in Japanese, Kazue & Motohiro Ishida, contacted me about some R code mistakes in the book. The translation […]

  2. […] assessment, perfect sampling and reversible jump. (For another, this will make the cheap Chinese printing of the second edition less […]

  3. “My objection is to my editing company Springer agreeing on such a move.”
    oh, i see your point. thanks for the clarification.

    “On the contrary, I cannot condone people downloading of free pdf versions available on the Web.)”
    just to clarify, i am not talking about copyright infringement. hastie makes the book legally freely available on his website.

    • Sure, Jimmy, I am not thinking of this interesting move from Hastie et al., but of illegal pdf files of most existing books that are available on the Web. Anyway, I hope the publication of this Chinese edition will broaden the use and understanding of MCMC methods (and of Bayesian methods as a side effect!)

  4. hi christian,

    the hastie, tibshirani and friedman book is freely available for download.

    education costs are expensive for students. i think tuition has outpaced inflation. and colleges keep raising fees, since taxpayers do not want to fund education and schools’ endowments were killed in the recession. (many times these fees are not even to benefit the students’ education, but that is a digression.)

    and so students are forced to find ways to cut costs. eg, at the school bookstore, the book for one of my classes was priced at $230. (not a set of books, but one book.) so frequently, i just check out books from the library reserve, look over relevant chapters there, and xerox some pages, especially the homework assignments.

    i would love to buy your books and work on the material. however, i am not even currently taking any class that would require a book on simulations. i would only be purchasing it because i think learning stats is fun, so i cannot justify getting it right now because i do not have the time. but outside of that context, i still find that the price for textbooks is too high.

    i can understand your frustration. but when students can save a few hundred dollars by purchasing foreign versions of textbooks, and that means less stress about making the rent payment at the end of the semeter, there is really no decision.

    • Thank you for the comment(s), Jimmy. I perfectly understand the point of view of textbook buyers and students: if a [much] cheaper edition is readily available, there is no economical incentive for them to stick to the [much] more expensive edition. I have no objection with this strategy! (On the contrary, I cannot condone people downloading of free pdf versions available on the Web.) My objection is to my editing company Springer agreeing on such a move.

  5. My guess is that the Chinese publisher tells the U.S. publisher that they’re going to reprint the book, like it or not. Then the U.S. publisher has the choice between saying yes and getting some small bit of money, or saying no and getting $0 out of it.

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