Re: Reissue effects on second hand market
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
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.
> 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):
> Matt Kelsey
> Liber Apertus Press
> email matthewkelsey@... or books@liberapertus.;com