A Message from the Publisher

A Message from the Publisher

Larry Fine

Welcome to the premiere issue of Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer, the new supplement to The Piano Book.

For readers unfamiliar with it, The Piano Book, of which I am author, has been the principal consumer guide to buying an acoustic piano in the United States and Canada since 1987. The current, fourth edition was published in 2001. An Annual Supplement has been published each year to keep the information on brands, models, and prices of new pianos up to date.

The publication you are now reading, Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer, replaces the Annual Supplement. The new publication differs from the old in the following ways:

  • Piano Buyer will be published twice a year, in spring and fall.
  • Piano Buyer includes information on digital pianos, and on used and restored acoustic pianos, in addition to new acoustic pianos.
  • Piano Buyer is partially supported by advertising.
  • Piano Buyer is available free in digital form on our website, www.pianobuyer.com. It can also be purchased in print through the website or from any bookstore.

Piano Buyer is a hybrid book/magazine. The "book" part consists of a collection of how-to articles on the many aspects of buying a piano. Because piano buyers need this information all at once, not over a long period of time, most of these articles will remain relatively unchanged from issue to issue. Our aim is to provide you with only the most useful and important information, succinctly stated, and to address the topics of broadest interest, so that you can be on your way to enjoying your piano as quickly as possible. For those readers desiring more, there is plenty of interesting material of a more technical or specialized nature in The Piano Book and, from time to time, on the PianoBuyer.com website.

The "magazine" part of the publication consists of articles of more temporary interest, model and price data for new acoustic and digital pianos, and advertisements, all of which will be updated as necessary with each issue. Be sure to check out the free, searchable database of new acoustic pianos accessible from the "Model & Pricing Guide" section of the online edition.

As longtime readers know, one of the hallmarks of The Piano Book and the Annual Supplement has been their editorial independence, which was possible in part because they were entirely supported by book sales, not advertising. Why the change, then, to an advertising-based business model? How will it affect the editorial direction of the new publication? Fair questions, both.

The Internet has brought changes to many businesses and activities, none more than those related to the dissemination of consumer information. The change there is that, now, consumers all too often expect information to be provided free of charge. Unfortunately, to publish this information with the integrity and accuracy that my conscience demands requires several months of my time each year and thousands of dollars' worth of staff time, which the revenue from book sales does not sufficiently cover. This is made ever more difficult when others illegally copy the material and publish it for their own purposes on their own websites--another by-product of the Internet. In order to continue publishing, therefore, it has been necessary to seek out another, more viable business model.


FALL 2009 -- page 1

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