Monday, April 10, 2006

One Publisher’s Facts Say It All...

One of the publishers in the cross stitch industry who knows that I started a blog on to try to educate pattern sharers as to how much their actions were hurting the industry they claim to love and promote sent me these scary facts and powerfully written message. They did ask that they not be named, but I thought this information too important not to appear on my Dragon Musings Blog too.

In 2000, we published 52 cross stitch books. These ranged in size from leaflets to 48 pages. By 2002, we were down to 31 cross stitch books. In 2003 as scanning and posting charts began to get really bad, we started devoting our publishing dollars to knit, crochet and quilt because the copyright violations seem to be less prevalent among those consumers. We published 26 cross stitch books that year. In 2004, we published 25 cross stitch books. Last year we published only 11 cross stitch books. Through the first 5 months of 2006, we will publish only 3. I don’t know how much more proof you need to show what copying has done to the cross stitch business.

There are other implications beyond the atrophying of our cross stitch book output. Very few of our profits are reinvested in cross stitch, as they have been for 30+ years. What little dollars we do spend on cross stitch are spent on kits which, of course, are far more expensive for the consumer to purchase. We have a higher profit margin on kits than we do on books, a lower initial investment, and when the kit chart is scanned and posted online, it’s only one design, not 103 that we’re losing the sales on.

The few cross stitch books we have published in the last couple of years have been published at a higher retail. We expect to lose a certain percentage of our sales to copying. Therefore, we have to raise our retails to make up for the lost margins. This is identical to what retailers have to do to make up for shoplifting.

And sadly, we haven’t been able to publish any of our big 48 page books, which are such a tremendous value to the consumer, in nearly three years. We simply can’t afford such a huge investment that we know we’ll never be able to recoup because of copying.

The irony here is that these women, who so clearly love cross stitch, are single handedly destroying the pastime they love and, in the process, ensuring that designs cost more and more to buy. Their mentality reminds me of litterbugs who so blithely toss a coke can out the window and say to themselves “It’s just me and it’s just one coke can. It won’t make any difference.” Oh how wrong they are!

What can I add? Those kind of numbers speak for themselves!

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