Sorry for the relative silence from those of us who work on Aroideana more directly.
I've been traveling the last week, and I rather suspect that Derek is similarly involved.
I have not had the time to read everyone's comments, but a few datapoints:
- The IAS has a membership that hovers around 400, and pretty well always has. A print run that small costs about the same as a print run of 1000. We pay around $10,000 per year to print and mail our single edition of Aroideana, using Allen Press. We recently spec'd out a full-color edition and the quote was nearly twice that amount. We would be able to do it if we had twice
the membership ... but Aroids are a very niche interest. We had some extra funds in 2010 and included more color plates ... but we do not yet feel that we can do that every year. We are also working on the possibility of doing a very special edition in full color sometime in the next couple years ... more about that when it comes closer to fruition.
- Yes, there are printers where we could get color cheaper. We stay with Allen Press because of the service they provide in doing layout, working with the authors, and handling mailing ... and much of our cost is in those items, not the actual printing. Certainly a discussion could be had whether this is worth it, but without a dedicated group of folks available in a single location ( Miami ) these days, it is difficult to get the kind of reliable volunteer dedication needed to do our own mailing, layout and packaging. I consider it a
small miracle that even with the help of Allen Press, we've managed to get the journal out more or less on time this past decade ... it was much worse before when we used a different printer and did more stuff by ourselves.
- We've attempted to satisfy the desires for color through the online newsletter - wherein there are published a lot more pretty pictures of plants. Many of the same authors ( Peter and Tom, reliably ) will do both scientific articles for Aroideana and more travelogue-type stuff for the newsletter. We should have something from both of them in the December edition, which I am laying out this week.
In short, I think we'd all love to do more color and all love to publish more frequently, but the small size of the society and a desire to put out a product on-time and reliably has so far limited our abilities in
this area. I'd be happy to personally answer any questions off-list; I am apparently having trouble keeping up with Aroid-L on a regular basis this holiday season.