Back when our business was creating and selling local history CD-ROMs we found that people were interested in which ones were the most popular. Now that we sell downloads (with the exception of the fast-dwindling remaining inventory of a few of our CDs), we thought that people might enjoy knowing which downloads sell best. (If you’d like to view our entire catalog, you can find it HERE).
Back in August we made the momentous “CD closeout” decision — that we would discontinue selling our historical and genealogical CD-ROMs, and gradually migrate the contents of our CDs to downloads.
Well, it’s been happening! We’ve eliminated around a dozen of our CDs as the inventory sold out, and we’re making progress migrating their contents to download format.
There have been three positive results of the CD closeout so far:
–A number of smaller, less significant publications that were once lurking on CDs with little publicity are now available as individual downloads — with their own catalog entries. People can actually find them! Eventually they may even show up on Google!
–We’ve saved time and money. When you deal with physical inventory — creating the CDs, reproducing them, maintaining the inventory, and shipping them — you spend more time, effort, and money than one would think. The net result is that we have more time to spend finding more historical and genealogical material and making it available to you.
–Our customers have saved time, money, and helped avoid clutter. Saved money? Yes! When we discontinued our Canaan, CT CD ($20) we replaced it with three downloads. If you bought all three, you would barely spend half that. And we doubt many people will buy all three. The clutter speaks for itself — we never devised a perfect way for storing CDs of our own so we could find things when we needed them, and it’s easy to store downloads on your hard drive. And time: we figure that it costs us two or three minutes each time we need to put a CD in and wait for it to crank up, and then to go through it to find what we want, and we suspect it was wasting your time too. Furthermore, downloads arrive instantaneously. CDs come by postal mail. Enough said about that!
We do have some CDs left in inventory. We’ll continue to sell them until they’re gone. Here’s what left:
If one of these matches your research interests, we do advise you to act now. Once the CDs are gone, the material on them goes into the queue awaiting republication as downloads. There, they vie for priority with the new material we’re working our way through, so it could be a year or more before material on a discontinued CD is again available. A word to the wise should be sufficient!
As always, thanks to our faithful customers. It’s you whom we do this for, and even as the CD closeout continues, it’s your needs we try to satisfy. We try never to forget that.
Last month we announced that we’re retiring our CD-ROM product line so we can concentrate on downloads. This will likely be your last chance to get the CD-ROMs!
Here’s an inventory of our remaining CD-ROMs, and how many copies we still have left:
Child’s Gazetteer of Lewis County, NY — 1 left
Lime Rock: an illustrated walking tour — 2 left
Erie County directory for 1924 — 3 left
Child’s Gazetteer for Wayne County, NY — 4 left
Minisink and Port Jervis — 3 left
New Milford: 230 years — 1 left
Nevada, Missouri Directory – 1 left
History of Garland, Maine — 3 left
Suffield Quarter Millennial Plus — 2 left
New Index of Quinlan’s History of Sullivan County, NY — 1 left
Fountain County’s Activities in the World War — 2 left
Worcester Directory for 1871 — 4 left
Rhode Island volume 1 — 2 left
Genessee County Collection — 2 left
Catholic Families of Kentucky — 3 left
Blue Book of Newton. MA for 1910 — 2 left
History of Litchfield, CT — 3 left
Child’s Gazetteer of Sullivan County, NY — 3 left
Maine State Prison Report for 1907 — 4 left
Emory College Alumni Register for 1910 — 3 left
Landmarks and Memorials of Paxton, MA — 1 left
Memories of Liberty, NY volume 1 — 3 left
Middletown (CT) collection — 1 left
Memories of Liberty, NY volume 2 — 2 left
—When we run out of a particular CD-ROM, we won’t be offering that CD anymore.
—Shortly we will begin to convert the contents of discontinued CDs to our array of downloads. There will be some delay while we do so, but eventually much of the present CD content will be available as downloads.
If you’ve been contemplating buying one of our CD-ROMs, now is the time to act!! Here’s the CATALOG — take a look!
Our longer term customers will remember when Between the Lakes Group started selling CD-ROMs full of historical material.
The first we offered was one of material from Liberty, NY — still the locality for which we have the most products available. The CD sold well, telling us that people were happy buying historical material on CDs, and encouraging us to continue to build our historical republication business. We followed with more than 30 additional CD-ROMs of historical material.
But that was “then”. Just as, back then, we were witnessing the demise of computer media like 3 1/2 inch “floppy” drives, today we are in the process of another technology sea change — and that is the demise of the CD-ROM as a highly popular vehicle for moving and storing information.
To tell the truth, we’ve seen this day coming for quite a while. We began shifting our new publications to downloads several years ago, and we’ve not produced a new CD-ROM in at least five years. During those years we’ve produced well over 200 downloads, and we intend to continue along that route.
The internet rules today, and the day of the CD-ROM has passed. Every week or so we hear from a customer who bought one of our CDs a few years ago and who now has a computer that doesn’t even have a drive that can read CDs. Beyond directing them to their local public library to find a PC that can read their CDs, or suggesting that they purchase a USB-connected portable CD reader, we have little we can offer these folks.
Except for one thing: we can reissue the material on our CD-ROMs as downloads. In fact, that’s what we’ve already done with some of the less popular CDs, and we’ve not yet heard a single complaint!
Once the material is available as downloads, we’ll keep the CDs available for sale until we run out, and then we’ll discontinue the CD versions. Presto! We will be living in more modern times.
Benefits for you, our customers, include:
Instant gratification. You can download the material you want with no waiting for the postman.
Lower prices. It costs us far less to provide material to you via download than it does via CD-ROM, and we pass those savings along to you.
More material available. Producing a new download can happen almost as soon as we have the material — no waiting until we have a CD-ROM full of stuff.
No deteriorating CDs. We’ve not seen this problem yet, but we’ve been advised to expect CDs that we shipped a decade ago will begin to fail.
Easier to store your information. You can put the PDF file of our download right in the same folder on your computer where you store your own notes on that subject, not in a paper folder or a CD box somewhere to misplace or discard in error.
At any rate, you will see this process — the process of converting from CD-ROM to downloads — speeding up going forward. We think you’ll be very happy with the result!
To see what we have for a particular locality or interest of yours, why not visit our catalog today!