Same old, same old...

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Same old, same old...

Postby Monsoon » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:08 am

Here's the thing. I bought (relatively recently) the following books from the YMAA (just for interest and reference):

Baguazhang
Tai Chi Chuan, Classical Yang Style
Tai Chi Ball Qigong

These are all excellent titles... except for one detail. They faithfully repeat the same information across all three titles BEFORE you get to the meaty bits.

Now, to be fair the information contained is excellent. It's just that I feel that I am buying the same half a book each time. Although it seems to make sense to include all the introductory history and qigong theory stuff in each volume, it might perhaps actually be more practical to produce a definitive volume of THAT information and leave the other volumes to concentrate on their own subjects.

As it is the prices reflect the half of each book that I already own and am now paying for again, and again! This is not encouraging quite frankly. I am happy to support the YMAA as best as I can, but I (and others I am sure) do not have vast quantities of cash to spend in this manner. As a result of this I find that I have taken two courses of action:

1. I buy less books from YMAA on the basis of purely cost versus content.
2. I recently purchased a neigong book by another author not affiliated to the YMAA

Marketing strategy is important. I am not saying that the books are not worth the money on an individual basis - they clearly are - but collectively they are not.
peace and harmony

monsoon
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Re: Same old, same old...

Postby wpgtaiji » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:17 am

no one is going to pay $40 for 100 pages!
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Re: Same old, same old...

Postby Monsoon » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:39 am

True that, but I would suggest a primer book on the qigong and history stuff for, say $40, and the others at a lower price.

I agree, people don't want to pay $40 for 100 pages. My point is that if the new 100page book was cheaper then there would be more customers. I know that is simplistic, but there must be a better balance than the current one.

I like these books! Yet I really am paying $40 for 100 pages because the rest is already in another book!

It's just a suggestion. When people are trying to get the message out, to promote something, it generally isn't a great idea to limit the audience at the price point - in my humble opinion of course :D
peace and harmony

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Re: Same old, same old...

Postby Dvivid » Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:31 pm

Hi guys,

thanks for writing.

First: actually most of our Qigong books are under $20 retail, and can be found on Amazon under $10. http://ymaa.com/publishing/books/qigong The majority of the others retail under $30.

The Baguazhang book by Liang-Shou-Yu is an exception. That book contains a tremendous amount of information that took many years to compile, translate, and edit (by three people). And, the inclusion of any qigong was a breakthrough at the time for practitioners, who had zero access to this subject unless they were personal students of a Baguazhang teacher experienced with not only the forms, but the related qigong.

As for the repeating content, it is Dr. Yang's intention that each book function as a stand-alone resource for people interested in qigong, no matter if it is a general book, or about a specific topic. So, the history and basic theory is included each time, in case it is the only qigong book the person ever gets. Those of us who collect his work realize this front matter is repeated, and doesn't always bear repeating. In some cases, such as the Small Circulation book, although the history and theory is repeated, it is in relation to Small Circulation specifically.

So, yes, you have a valid point, and we have heard from a few people about the repeating content.

You should understand that Dr. Yang has spent 40 years translating ancient documents, many of which only contain a tiny bit of info about one small aspect of qigong practice. Over time, by combining this ancient empirical evidence with his own qigong experience and Western scientific study of energy, he has compiled a 'unified theory' of qigong. He does not want a student to buy a book, for instance on Tai Chi Ball Qigong, and then behave as though they are a qigong master, though they know nothing of the history and theory. therefore, he is compelled to include this fundamental info in every book on the subject of qigong. You can think of it as him future-proofing; 500 years from now, when few copies of his books remain in printed form, if this subject has not flourished, but has instead become obscure, seekers will find a complete document leading to the correct path of study.

Those of us in the present need to take what we need from the books, and re-read the basics only when necessary.
"Avoid Prejudice, Be Objective in Your Judgement, Be Scientific, Be Logical and Make Sense, Do Not Ignore Prior Experience." - Dr. Yang

http://www.ymaa.com/publishing
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Re: Same old, same old...

Postby Monsoon » Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:05 pm

If there was an emoticon for a rueful grin I would use right here!

Thank you Dvivid, I was not unaware of the reason behind the repeated inclusion, and I appreciate the desire to do so. Yet this still presents a dilemma to people like myself who wish to purchase several books. Including the material does mean that the prices for volumes that targt other subject areas is inflated.

I still buy them, it's just that I cannot afford to buy them more often! Considering I live in a country that has precisely 1 YMAA centre (and that is located at the other end of the country to where I am) I am stuck using the teaching that I have had in China, my own intelligence (what little there is of it), and whatever books and DVDs I can afford to import. It is frustrating, and something that people in far more developed areas probably cannot appreciate. New Zealand is a beautiful place to live but it comes at the cost of market availability (among other drawbacks).

The only saving grace in purchasing books is that I can source them through a 3rd party UK reseller that agrees to ship to NZ for no extra cost - which is damn nice of them.

Anyway, my OP was not about the quality of the books, which is exemplary, but a simple lament that because prices were partly based on repeated included material I am limited in my purchasing ability.

Still great books though :D :D
peace and harmony

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Re: Same old, same old...

Postby Dvivid » Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:13 am

The prices of the books do not depend on the page count, and the inclusion of repeated material is not related to the price.
"Avoid Prejudice, Be Objective in Your Judgement, Be Scientific, Be Logical and Make Sense, Do Not Ignore Prior Experience." - Dr. Yang

http://www.ymaa.com/publishing
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