Who’s getting the money here?

June 25, 2012

I was doing one of my regular searches to see what’s coming down the pike vis-a-vis baseball titles. One thing that stood out because the covers were very similar was a number of books that look like this. — The artwork looks like it comes right out of a generic stock photo site.

The publishers care names such as Dign Press, Cel Publishing, Cede Publishing, and Lect Publishing to name just a few. The priices seem to be mostly in the mid $30-$40 range, although a 232-page biography of Carlos Valderrama, who had seven plate appearances for the San Francisco Giants in 2003, goes for $80.

The topics may differ — international baseball teams, “Congressional Baseball,” baseball and the Olympics — but they all seem to carry a “caveat” like this the one for the Valderrama book

Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. Carlos Alberto Valderrama (born November 30, 1977 in Bachaquero, Zulia State, Venezuela) was a Major League Baseball outfielder and right-handed batter who played in seven games for the San Francisco Giants in 2003. During his brief time with the big club, Valderrama had one single in seven at bats, one stolen base, and fielded six chances flawlessly. A former outfield prospect, Valderrama was hampered by injuries throughout a nine-year minor league career, playing in over 100 games only four times. He had a career average of .298 with 57 home runs, 334 RBI, 427 runs and 203 stolen bases in 729 games.

How on earth do you get 200+ pages on someone like this? (Here’s the book cover, by the way. It was like the publisher couldn’t even be bothered to come up with a decent image.)

Does anyone out there know anything about these books? Without coming off as a xenophobe, it seems to me this is not coming from American presses, perhaps written/compiled by an outsourcing outfit and designed for non-American readers. How do they have the chutzpa to piece together stories from free sources and charge for it? On the other side of the coin, who would buy this stuff?

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