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Reissue effects on second hand market

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  • Matt Kelsey
    I ve been following with interest the discussion about a possible newly manufactured Vandercook-type press. It occurred to me that my recent experience might
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 1, 2006
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      I've been following with interest the discussion about a possible
      newly manufactured Vandercook-type press. It occurred to me that my
      recent experience might be of interest with reissuing something
      letterpress-related that had become over-valued on the second hand
      market because it was no longer being manufactured.

      OK, it's just a book, not a piece of precision engineering. But I
      recently republished the book General Printing, by Glen Cleeton and
      Charles Pitkin. The book has been recommended in recent years as the
      best guide to traditional letterpress printing, due to its hundreds of
      step-by-step photos showing things like how to set type and how to do
      makeready. It was last published in 1963, and recently copies have
      been offered for a minimum of $75, and more frequently $100 to $150.

      In September I reissued the book in a facsimile edition, scanned from
      the original and printed as a softcover paperback book via
      print-on-demand technology. The reissue is priced at $24.95. I noticed
      today on Amazon that copies of the original 1963 edition are now being
      advertised at $39.99, almost half of the previous lowest typical price.

      One should not try to draw direct parallels with equipment pricing,
      but it does suggest that if there were a new alternative to
      Vandercooks, the current prices for second-hand equipment would be
      forced down by the availability of newly manufactured alternatives.
      (And I am guessing that prices for the second-hand books will continue
      to decline; resellers will continue to adjust prices based on response
      from buyers who have the alternative of a reissue.)

      By the way, for anyone who may be interested, the book General
      Printing is available from my website, http://www.liberapertus.com It
      it is also available from Amazon, NA Graphics, and Letterpress Things.
      The book does not cover photopolymer nor Vandercook-specific issues.
      It does have a lot of detailed information about setting type, doing
      makeready, and other traditional letterpress processes. You can see
      exactly what is covered in this PDF of the table of contents (which
      lists 120 "units" from the original textbook format):

      http://www.liberapertus.com/docs/GeneralPrintingTOC.pdf

      Matt Kelsey
      Liber Apertus Press
      http://www.liberapertus.com
      email matthewkelsey@... or books@liberapertus.;com
    • typetom@aol.com
      Congrats, Matt, on reissuing Cleeton & Pitkin s General Printing! It definitely has the best close-up photos for hand-setting metal type. The price for used
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 1, 2006
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        Congrats, Matt, on reissuing Cleeton & Pitkin's General Printing!
        It definitely has the best close-up photos for hand-setting metal type. The
        price for used copies may have been inflated because of the many I bought to
        loan or give to beginning printers! I'm glad to hear it is available.
        Best wishes,
        Tom

        Tom Parson
        Now It's Up To You Publications
        157 S. Logan, Denver CO 80209
        (303) 777-8951
        http://members.aol.com/typetom


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Gerald Lange
        Matt I had not seen _General Printing_ hit anywhere near the prices you indicate. Nevertheless, while I think your re-issue is a good thing and sorely needed,
        Message 3 of 3 , Nov 2, 2006
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          Matt

          I had not seen _General Printing_ hit anywhere near the prices you
          indicate. Nevertheless, while I think your re-issue is a good thing
          and sorely needed, and I do encourage any kind of publishing effort, I
          think you might be in error about the antiquarian value of original
          editions. Like the "Vandercook," this particular book has had an over
          inflated value due to web-related market manipulation (er, promotional
          activities).

          But, while you may be able to alleviate pricing in the short term, in
          the long term the original, or the rarer, or the better, or the
          unique, will always command the higher price. And, in the long term,
          your publishing strategy will likely result in the increase in the
          value of previous editions rather than the other way around.

          Gerald
          http://BielerPress.blogspot.com


          > I've been following with interest the discussion about a possible
          > newly manufactured Vandercook-type press. It occurred to me that my
          > recent experience might be of interest with reissuing something
          > letterpress-related that had become over-valued on the second hand
          > market because it was no longer being manufactured.
          >
          > OK, it's just a book, not a piece of precision engineering. But I
          > recently republished the book General Printing, by Glen Cleeton and
          > Charles Pitkin. The book has been recommended in recent years as the
          > best guide to traditional letterpress printing, due to its hundreds of
          > step-by-step photos showing things like how to set type and how to do
          > makeready. It was last published in 1963, and recently copies have
          > been offered for a minimum of $75, and more frequently $100 to $150.
          >
          > In September I reissued the book in a facsimile edition, scanned from
          > the original and printed as a softcover paperback book via
          > print-on-demand technology. The reissue is priced at $24.95. I noticed
          > today on Amazon that copies of the original 1963 edition are now being
          > advertised at $39.99, almost half of the previous lowest typical price.
          >
          > One should not try to draw direct parallels with equipment pricing,
          > but it does suggest that if there were a new alternative to
          > Vandercooks, the current prices for second-hand equipment would be
          > forced down by the availability of newly manufactured alternatives.
          > (And I am guessing that prices for the second-hand books will continue
          > to decline; resellers will continue to adjust prices based on response
          > from buyers who have the alternative of a reissue.)
          >
          > By the way, for anyone who may be interested, the book General
          > Printing is available from my website, http://www.liberapertus.com It
          > it is also available from Amazon, NA Graphics, and Letterpress Things.
          > The book does not cover photopolymer nor Vandercook-specific issues.
          > It does have a lot of detailed information about setting type, doing
          > makeready, and other traditional letterpress processes. You can see
          > exactly what is covered in this PDF of the table of contents (which
          > lists 120 "units" from the original textbook format):
          >
          > http://www.liberapertus.com/docs/GeneralPrintingTOC.pdf
          >
          > Matt Kelsey
          > Liber Apertus Press
          > http://www.liberapertus.com
          > email matthewkelsey@... or books@liberapertus.;com
          >
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