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  #1  
Old 2010-10-12, 1:46pm
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Default Observation About Tutorials

I have many purchased tutorials, so please, don't get me wrong! I love learning that tiny little secret I couldn't figure out on my own. But, this past weekend, I printed all my tutorials, put them in page protectors and into binders. Then I figured costs on some of them. Tutorials that are running into $25 and up, are IMHO, just too pricey. I know, many of you will say that this is clearly what the market will bear, but really? The tutorial author has no overhead, no printing costs, and no binding costs. But by the time I figured all my costs involved, I could have purchased a well-photographed book, probably for less money-- that I would own outright, and be able to share, trade or re-sell, without criticism! I get frustrated because tutorials are basically the only teacher I have and I need to make my glass $$$ go as far as I can. I know I have the choice not to buy them, but I do need to grow as an artist, ya know! I'd love to open this discussion to everyone, but only if we can be kind in how we present opinions. Tell me what your take on this issue is...
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  #2  
Old 2010-10-12, 2:04pm
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If you spent two or more hours creating a focal bead and it was gorgeous, would you sell it for $5, $10?

The tutorial author spent MANY hours of their time creating the tutorial...more time than it took to purchase and print it out. So they may charge more depending on what they think their time is worth.

It's business.
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Old 2010-10-12, 2:05pm
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Books are as cheap as they are because they are printed in huge quantity.
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Old 2010-10-12, 2:10pm
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I just bought a tutorial by Corina Tettinger for $30 and I think it is worth every penny as it has about 6 accompanying links to videos which are priceless!
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  #5  
Old 2010-10-12, 2:16pm
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Amber, I do understand business, having owned a few, but it really doesn't matter what the creator of any product thinks it is worth. The market--the buyer--sets the price ultimately. Every author puts in incredible hours to create their book, ebook, or whatever. With books it can be months or years! So the time it takes to write a tutorial is really nominal. Writing a tutorial is an opportunity to get paid for what you are and would be doing, anyway. Nice work if you can get it, for sure!

Squid, the large production number does lower costs, I agree. I think the tute prices are just starting to get out of hand. I just saw one for $30. and when all is said and done, you wind up with a bead, just like the author's. Not really anything you can call your own. Some must be okay with that. Me? I need $40 to buy more ink, so that tute is definitely off my list!! LOL.
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  #6  
Old 2010-10-12, 2:18pm
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Again, value is in the eye of the beholder, for sure! I just wondered if anybody else was feeling the economic burden! No work, slow sales on etsy...you've heard it all...
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  #7  
Old 2010-10-12, 2:35pm
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Since, for me, tutorials are the only way I can learn a lot of techniques... (yes, I've bought a lot of books and a few videos but still have never actually seen another person torch.
You see, there is NO way I can afford a class with any one of these people and.. each one that I can think of, if I had the money.. I would cheerfully pay hundreds of dollars for a weekends worth of classes.
I think it is incredibly generous of them to offer their skills in this (the eTutorial) form for them of us what cannot afford to take a *real* class from them.
Having done a bit of publishing in my past I know that it is incredibly time consuming (taking a bit of issue with the expression: easy work if you can get it) because I do not think it is (easy, I mean) ..not at all.
If it weren't for those tutorials (and, when I get really lucky and an artist decides to share their knowledge for free) the occasional free tute or video.. I would be even worse than I am! ..hehe (but then there's that PPP thing that life just keeps taking chunks out of the time I set aside for doing that.. it will come).

Nonetheless.. I think the artists who create tutorials deserve every penny.

Just my 3 cents (inflation ;}

~Rachel
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Old 2010-10-12, 2:40pm
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I appreciate all the hard work that goes into tutorials. The photographing particularly takes time and a lot of effort. Sure printing it out costs. Yes some - over $25 I find very costly and I have to be really sure that I want to learn that technique before I buy one at that price.

I tend to go for tutorials that are REALLY going to show me a new skill and has a lot of good quality pics. Then I look at the cost. It also helps my choice if there is a good sample of the tut which gives me an idea of writing style and the methods I am going to be shown.
So far I have been pleasantly surprised by the good standard of all the tuts I have purchased.
I have to say though that recently I have forced myself to cut back on tut buying as my sales are down and I have to cover costs.
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  #9  
Old 2010-10-12, 2:49pm
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This is just my own humble opinion and experience but the tutorials I've purchased to me have been priced fairly because:

1. I have learned more about how to 'read' the glass.
2. I have gotten past the fear of experimentation.
3. In the process of practicing a technique (or techniques) I've gone off on my own tangent and made discoveries I would not have otherwise.

I have to say not once have I made anything that looked remotely like the bead in the tutorial . I don't think that's a bad thing. I've learned so much and grown into my own glass 'voice' a bit more.

YMMV. I love to read and research so tutorials are my cup of tea and unlike books they are not limited but are becoming so prolific and varied that I have a variety to choose from instead of being locked into that one book of techniques that everyone else has too. It offers the opportunity to direct my own glass education, I guess you could say.

I am selective. I don't buy every tutorial that comes along because they don't all appeal to my particular style and that is how I control the expense end of it. I ask myself if this will really benefit my particular learning experience.
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  #10  
Old 2010-10-12, 3:02pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCB23 View Post
Since, for me, tutorials are the only way I can learn a lot of techniques... (yes, I've bought a lot of books and a few videos but still have never actually seen another person torch.
You see, there is NO way I can afford a class with any one of these people and.. each one that I can think of, if I had the money.. I would cheerfully pay hundreds of dollars for a weekends worth of classes.
I think it is incredibly generous of them to offer their skills in this (the eTutorial) form for them of us what cannot afford to take a *real* class from them.
Having done a bit of publishing in my past I know that it is incredibly time consuming (taking a bit of issue with the expression: easy work if you can get it) because I do not think it is (easy, I mean) ..not at all.
If it weren't for those tutorials (and, when I get really lucky and an artist decides to share their knowledge for free) the occasional free tute or video.. I would be even worse than I am! ..hehe (but then there's that PPP thing that life just keeps taking chunks out of the time I set aside for doing that.. it will come).

Nonetheless.. I think the artists who create tutorials deserve every penny.

Just my 3 cents (inflation ;}

~Rachel
Rachel,

Check what I wrote, "Nice work if you can get it", referring to the fact that you'd be making beads whether you were writing a tutorial about them, or not. The fact that you can do both, and make money at both processes is NICE! But I don't think "easy" is a word I would ever use about good beadmaking!!
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  #11  
Old 2010-10-12, 3:03pm
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The tutorial price should be based on the quality of the tutorial, quality of the information, quantity of information and how well it is all put together. But obviously you won't know until you buy it.

I wonder if a review system would help. Like 5 professionals that could review the tutorial and give recommendations about what the tutorial was worth. Then maybe the prices would be more in line with economy. I would buy a tutorial if other professionals give it a really good review.

Everyone here is just so nice, almost too nice at times. I have only seen 1 or 2 critical comments on beads when people specifically asked for it. But the flip side is that there might be times to be critical. I would want a warning if a particular tutorial shows little new information but cost $40.
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  #12  
Old 2010-10-12, 3:06pm
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I have a few 'for-sale' tutorials. I guess I have been real lucky - I got gifted most by the authors, and purchased one.

I started melting glass 4 1/2 years ago. I only had the internet and the free information/tutorials to guide me. There is no ways that I could scrape $5000 together to fly to the US, book into hotels, and pay my glass hero's for classes. I still cannot afford to fly all over the world for classes.

But then, one day I realised that I rather enjoyed figuring stuff out by myself. I still browse the internet looking for information, and try and figure stuf out. To buy a $30 tut, would take me 4 hours of nursing. That is how I equate anything that I buy. At that price, I back slowly away.

Currently I offer free tutorials. I offer them for free, because I feel obliged to 'pass it forward'. I got SO much from the community, and I know there is a lot of newbies that might be in my shoes. But, times IS tough, and that is why I offered the option to people visiting my blog to donate something, if they felt that what I offered them, is worth something.

At the same time, I do not offer PDF files that require 3 seperate downloads, and months of prep work, like one of my friend's did. Neither have I spent hundreds of $ to make sure that the tools that I offer is the best, and actually working. I did not need to employ someone to take pictures. Myself (and a tripod) were my only employees.

What I am trying to say, is that it is ok for people to ask money for their time spend.

On the other hand. What is the right amount, and what is wrong? The person that perpared a tutorial, is not charging the amount to just one person, but hundreds, if not more. How much would that person expect to 'earn' through sales, vs the amount of time put into the product? To make your knowledge available, means to me that the person is in a way divorcing themselves from the product. The value that they attatched to the product prior to the revelation should be higher. After the publishing the product becomes public domain. They can only claim being the originator/perfector of the design.

I do think that some tutorials is 'overpriced'. But then, I am a miser.
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  #13  
Old 2010-10-12, 3:08pm
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As most everyone has heard me say, I think re-selling a purchased tutorial is a reasonable thing. This would allow me to expand the use of my glass $$. However, when I buy the tutorial, I agree not to, so I don't sell them. Plus I don't think my skin is fire-proof enough to take the heat if I tried to! I love my tutorials, because like many of you I can't afford expensive classes, so the tutorials and a whole bunch of practice, experimentation and advice on the board are my teachers. I just can't manage putting out $30+ dollares and still handling all the printing and binding. Times are tough here, for essentially what is a hobby. I wish I sold more, but I don't (dammit), so I can hardly call it a profession! I dig around for tips, and freebies as much as I can.
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Old 2010-10-12, 3:26pm
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As most everyone has heard me say, I think re-selling a purchased tutorial is a reasonable thing. This would allow me to expand the use of my glass $$. However, when I buy the tutorial, I agree not to, so I don't sell them. Plus I don't think my skin is fire-proof enough to take the heat if I tried to! I love my tutorials, because like many of you I can't afford expensive classes, so the tutorials and a whole bunch of practice, experimentation and advice on the board are my teachers. I just can't manage putting out $30+ dollares and still handling all the printing and binding. Times are tough here, for essentially what is a hobby. I wish I sold more, but I don't (dammit), so I can hardly call it a profession! I dig around for tips, and freebies as much as I can.
I have wondered about the sharing thing since I recently taught a class where this was debated.

I don't think you could sell a virtual version because of the nature of the material.

But I wondered if it would be a problem if you printed out 1 (only 1) copy and shared it with a friend, the way you would a book? The assumption would be that they would return the copy. The Nook has a similiar feature where you can loan a copy of one of your books, you can't read the book during that time and it will be returned after two weeks or something. Please understand that I am not saying I would do this (except for free tutorials) but I am asking if tutorial writers would be offended by that idea.
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Old 2010-10-12, 3:46pm
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My experience is that Hell Yes they will object. I braoched that subject sometime ago, and it was made clear to me that the information, whether printed or not is FOR YOUR EYES ONLY. Not only that but some authors have warned about discussing the technique at all, that the listener should be referred back to the author!

Here's the problem. After learning tons of information/techniques from all kinds of sources, and absorbing all the skills one can, doesn't that info then become your own? Not only have you paid for it, but you learned it! It became part of your skill set. How can anyone expect you NOT to share your own skill set, regardless of the origin? Most of the skills are not invented by the author, just compiled to create one specific bead or trick.

I thank the Gods daily for the generous sharing of so many individuals on LE, and WetCanvas and everywhere else! Where would we be, if not for the open flow of info?
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Old 2010-10-12, 3:47pm
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that being said, of course, the deal with the tutorials is a deal after all. I know I don't HAVE to buy them. and I BUY as few as possible!
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  #17  
Old 2010-10-12, 3:56pm
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Not only that but some authors have warned about discussing the technique at all, that the listener should be referred back to the author!
Really? Is that common? Cause I doubt I would buy one if that was the case for that tutorial. I am not totally convinced that is even legal. If the particular technique is copyrighted (or patented) then you could prevent others from actually using that technique. For example, the TV show 'How it's made' shows hows things are made but that doesn't mean you can go make and sell whatever they are showing. But I am not sure, with out you signing a physical confidentiality clause that they can prevent you from discussing the techniques.

This is a hot topic legally and most of the rules haven't been formalized.

BUT this seems like a small community and I would follow the rules that yall have informally setup. If I don't like the rules regarding the tutorial (and I would want to know before I bought) then I would either agree to their rules or choose to not buy the product
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Old 2010-10-12, 4:11pm
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Really? Is that common? Cause I doubt I would buy one if that was the case for that tutorial. I am not totally convinced that is even legal. If the particular technique is copyrighted (or patented) then you could prevent others from actually using that technique. For example, the TV show 'How it's made' shows hows things are made but that doesn't mean you can go make and sell whatever they are showing. But I am not sure, with out you signing a physical confidentiality clause that they can prevent you from discussing the techniques.

This is a hot topic legally and most of the rules haven't been formalized.

BUT this seems like a small community and I would follow the rules that yall have informally setup. If I don't like the rules regarding the tutorial (and I would want to know before I bought) then I would either agree to their rules or choose to not buy the product
Common? No, I don't think so, but I HAVE seen it on a couple of them. Wish one could know all about the details, caveats and whatever ahead, but most don't offer the info, even in a clip, for free. So, let the buyer beware, I guess!! And obviously, if you have been reading my posts here, you can see that I don't take a gag order seriously. I say what I think, sometimes to my own peril!! LOL
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Old 2010-10-12, 4:19pm
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I think that what's often overlooked in these discussions about tutorial pricing is that the value in what you're buying is in the information that's being offered, not the format it's offered in or the amount of time it took the tutorial author to write it or photograph it. Bottom line, what you're actually buying when you buy a tutorial is another artist's trade secrets. You're buying the exact color recipe and detailed step by step instructions that will allow you to clone one of the author's best selling original designs, and sell it and profit on it, for the rest of your life.

Think about your favorite bead design -- something you're really proud of. Suppose it's a bead that always sells for you, one that you can always depend on to help pay the rent or put food on the table. It's a design that other beadmakers are always asking you how to do. You've made thousands of dollars on this design over the years, and because nobody else knows how it's made, you have the exclusive on the market. Anybody who wants to buy this bead, has to buy it from you.

Now, suppose another beadmaker came to you and asked you to teach her how to make that bead, and also to give her your permission to sell and profit from the design forever. Let's say she offered you $25 for this. Would you think it was a fair offer?
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Old 2010-10-12, 4:27pm
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A few months ago, someone--can't remember who, was selling a copy of a tute. She had printed it out, deleted the computer file, and was selling the tute. OMG, there was a backlash from the community so scathing I wouldn't even THINK of doing it!
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Old 2010-10-12, 4:30pm
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"Think about your favorite bead design -- something you're really proud of. Suppose it's a bead that always sells for you, one that you can always depend on to help pay the rent or put food on the table. It's a design that other beadmakers are always asking you how to do. You've made thousands of dollars on this design over the years, and because nobody else knows how it's made, you have the exclusive on the market. Anybody who wants to buy this bead, has to buy it from you."


If only [sigh].

But Kim, no one is going to sell their best designs for $25. They are gambling on hundreds of buyers. Also, I have one of your Tutorials, it's great, but make no mistake, I have no plans to clone your bead. I bought it for the tricks! I only want to make my beads, better. And because I had a strong day of impulse shopping. LOL
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  #22  
Old 2010-10-12, 4:33pm
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Amber, I do understand business, having owned a few, but it really doesn't matter what the creator of any product thinks it is worth. The market--the buyer--sets the price ultimately. Every author puts in incredible hours to create their book, ebook, or whatever. With books it can be months or years! So the time it takes to write a tutorial is really nominal. Writing a tutorial is an opportunity to get paid for what you are and would be doing, anyway. Nice work if you can get it, for sure!

I have an issue with this assumption. Yes, a tut writer is a bead maker, but not all bead makers can put together a quality tut. The glass product they produce for sale is a small part of the publication process. They don't just make a production bead and photograph the end result. They must break it down in steps, photographing each one, sometimes several times. Then they have to put the steps in a clear written form, going over it from a beginners perspective and rewriting as necessary. Then comes layout, not only being mindful of esthetic's, and content, but ease of transmissibility. On top of that, they are making their own original product loose value in future sales.

So this lucky bead maker that has mastered a particular glass technique they are willing to share now must also add skills to be a photographer, writer and self publisher. These are not part of their daily torch routine.

I do not publish my own tuts. I have no reason to take the comment personally. However, I feel that the artists taking the time to do this extra work should not be thought of as simply "doing what they would normally do" and getting paid extra. They worked for it and earned it.
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  #23  
Old 2010-10-12, 4:34pm
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A few months ago, someone--can't remember who, was selling a copy of a tute. She had printed it out, deleted the computer file, and was selling the tute. OMG, there was a backlash from the community so scathing I wouldn't even THINK of doing it!
Listen girl, you aren't even supposed to buy one as a gift for someone else, even though you have no plans to read it yourself! Hot topic!! I love to open this can of worms I guess, 'cause I have, several times. But I still don't always agree with the status quo.

A friend let me look at her book of tutorials recently. I was careful not to read the instructions too carefully, because it was her book, not mine! I mean, really!!!

But, you're right, the backlash can be hot and way too hurtful, for the gain. Who would have thought peer pressure still works at our age??
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  #24  
Old 2010-10-12, 4:37pm
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Originally Posted by PittsGlass View Post
I have an issue with this assumption. Yes, a tut writer is a bead maker, but not all bead makers can put together a quality tut. The glass product they produce for sale is a small part of the publication process. They don't just make a production bead and photograph the end result. They must break it down in steps, photographing each one, sometimes several times. Then they have to put the steps in a clear written form, going over it from a beginners perspective and rewriting as necessary. Then comes layout, not only being mindful of esthetic's, and content, but ease of transmissibility. On top of that, they are making their own original product loose value in future sales.

So this lucky bead maker that has mastered a particular glass technique they are willing to share now must also add skills to be a photographer, writer and self publisher. These are not part of their daily torch routine.

I do not publish my own tuts. I have no reason to take the comment personally. However, I feel that the artists taking the time to do this extra work should not be thought of as simply "doing what they would normally do" and getting paid extra. They worked for it and earned it.
Pam, I see your point and I concede that maybe I was a bit cavalier. I don't write tutorials, though I have written several training manuals and do understand the work involved. Sorry if I diminished the labor and skill that goes into a finely wrought document. My apologies.
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  #25  
Old 2010-10-12, 4:39pm
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Originally Posted by emoon View Post
Listen girl, you aren't even supposed to buy one as a gift for someone else, even though you have no plans to read it yourself! Hot topic!! I love to open this can of worms I guess, 'cause I have, several times. But I still don't always agree with the status quo.

A friend let me look at her book of tutorials recently. I was careful not to read the instructions too carefully, because it was her book, not mine! I mean, really!!!

But, you're right, the backlash can be hot and way too hurtful, for the gain. Who would have thought peer pressure still works at our age??
YOU ARE VERY BRAVE.......I was involved in one of those hot debates a while back...I still have nightmares! Bwahahahahahahaaha
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  #26  
Old 2010-10-12, 4:39pm
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I think this is a very valuable discussion and I hope everyone will keep it positive and constructive.

As far as I am able to see, there's a place for all types of glass education, and a market as well. Every student is in a different situation, and has unique needs. Some of us live in places where classes are readily accessible, or can travel to attend classes. Some can even travel to Italy to observe the masters. Some are lucky enough to study in university programs. However, many of us can never consider the expense of doing any of those things.... but we still want to learn.

Traditionally produced books are a great way to convey large volumes of information, but they are limited by the economics of production, and the artist/author generally receives only a very small royalty (pennies on the dollar) for books sold. For these reasons, most of the information you can readily buy in tutorials will never be made available in book form.

A well-produced tutorial is essentially a book that has not been put into printed form. The author does all the work of writing, photographing, layout, typography, etc. in the hope that people will want to learn the skill or technique he or she is offering. The knowledge being shared is the product for sale, the e-book is just the vehicle. It's then up to the buyer to decide if the knowledge in this e-book is worth the price being asked, much the same way a customer walks into your booth at a show and decides whether or not they think your beads are worth the price you are asking. It's not exactly the same, of course, but I personally think it's fairly similar.

Just like beads, there are excellent tutorials, good tutorials and not-so-good tutorials, and tutorials for every taste and inclination. As far as pricing goes, each author has to juggle the knowledge they are sharing and how much energy they put into the tut against the potential market for it.

When I created The Cabochon Adventure, I spent over 2 months putting it together, so I had to consider my time investment when I set the price. I sincerely hope I gave a good value, and I trust that the market will tell me if I am overcharging for what I shared!

One more thing that you get with a tutorial that you do not get with a printed book: the help and support of the author after your purchase. For any of my tutorials, I will happily answer email inquiries about any aspect of the tutorial, including sources, techniques, and applications for the tut that I may not have even considered when I was writing it.


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  #27  
Old 2010-10-12, 5:19pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emoon View Post
Listen girl, you aren't even supposed to buy one as a gift for someone else, even though you have no plans to read it yourself! Hot topic!!
Last year I bought SEVERAL as gifts for LE members during Secret Santa. I just paid for the tutorial and then told the author the e-mail address of the gift recipient. Not one author had issue with that at all.
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  #28  
Old 2010-10-12, 6:27pm
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This is a topic that I am curious about. I know that if I took the time (and creativity) to write a tutorial I would be upset if I lost money because people shared it around. But I am also concerned with what the law says. I found this:
"The first-sale doctrine is a limitation on copyright that was recognized by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1908 (see Bobbs-Merrill Co. v. Straus) and subsequently codified in the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. 109. The doctrine allows the purchaser to transfer (i.e., sell or give away) a particular lawfully made copy of the copyrighted work without permission once it has been obtained. This means that the copyright holder's rights to control the change of ownership of a particular copy ends once that copy is sold, as long as no additional copies are made. This doctrine is also referred to as the "right of first sale," "first sale rule," or "exhaustion rule.""
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  #29  
Old 2010-10-12, 6:31pm
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I seem to recall that the first sale doctrine does not apply to digital media.
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  #30  
Old 2010-10-12, 6:58pm
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They have shown First sale doctrine to apply to software depending on the EULA but I did more research and yes, you are correct according to the current law. As of now ebooks do not apply but that is because of the terminology used (they are not selling you the ebook, merely licensing it to you). I am guessing that most of the tutorials are not using the correct legal terminology (which they should).

I am more concerned with the idea that no one could ever look at it. Not sending it to them or making a copy but rather looking over your shoulder. That is the equivalent of iTunes saying that you can buy a song but no one else can hear it. And you can't talk about it? I thought that was limited to places like NASA and the CIA.

Last edited by Polgarra; 2010-10-12 at 6:59pm. Reason: Clarifying
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