New Reference Book - Canceled

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Shag
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New Reference Book - Canceled

Post by Shag » Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:52 am

The book Switchblades: A Collector’s Guide has been canceled according to the publisher Schiffer Publishing Ltd.

You can see a reference to it here:

http://www.amazon.com/Switchblades-Coll ... 542&sr=8-8

Unfortunately, they did not give any reason as to why this decision came about.

However, next time a book on the hobby comes out - buy at least one copy, or who knows, maybe we will never get another chance at another.
If authors and publishers don't see books on a subject selling and getting support, they won't bother to write and compile the book the publishers will pull support from a similar future book on that topic.

I'm not saying that is what happened in this situation; however take a look at the lack of support Vince got with his book Foreign Spring Steel. Then consider that the authors of the Switchblades of Italy are still trying to recoup their costs as well.

I sincerely hope the authors will consider publishing it at some not too distant future. I'd love to get in touch with either of them just to get some info on their plans, in case anyone has any contact info, I'd appreciate it.
Last edited by Shag on Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Milu
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Re: New Reference Book - Canceled

Post by Milu » Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:27 am

I'm working on a book. The big problem is the price is going to be stupid high because of the limited potentiial sales or a total loss if sold at a realistic price.
"se me burlé, me fico un cento e vinti in tel stomego"
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Shag
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Re: New Reference Book - Canceled

Post by Shag » Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:47 am

Milu wrote:I'm working on a book. The big problem is the price is going to be stupid high because of the limited potentiial sales or a total loss if sold at a realistic price.

That my friend is why I keep preaching the mantra for all of the collectors of the auto knives to get off of their duffs and buy ALL the DECENT reference books that come out, so that volume is up; the authors make their expenses back and then some and the price is more reasonable due to higher sales volume.

It's also why I tell people on what books they can afford to not spend their money on, regarding the hobby.
Albert Einstein: “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe.”

wild zebra
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Re: New Reference Book - Canceled

Post by wild zebra » Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:17 pm

I work for a publishing company and we do small runs, even just one book. We are very small we don't have "state of the art" equipment but it is very nice, just throwing it out there.

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whippersnapper
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Re: New Reference Book - Canceled

Post by whippersnapper » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:17 pm

Just some thoughts...

Imo there just aren't enough serious collectors to make it worthwhile.

Of the 2600+ members here, 99.999% are folks that joined to buy a single knife or to find out about gramps old switch they found in a drawer. Not book buyers.

You shouldn't over estimate the actual interest in our hobby, even worlwide.

If all the active members on all the switch forums bought 2 books, it's still unlikely you would turn a profit.

Any book/magazine is a labor of love, not a smart financial decision.

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Re: New Reference Book - Canceled

Post by Vagrant » Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:15 pm

whippersnapper wrote:Just some thoughts...

Imo there just aren't enough serious collectors to make it worthwhile.

Of the 2600+ members here, 99.999% are folks that joined to buy a single knife or to find out about gramps old switch they found in a drawer. Not book buyers.

You shouldn't over estimate the actual interest in our hobby, even worlwide.

If all the active members on all the switch forums bought 2 books, it's still unlikely you would turn a profit.

Any book/magazine is a labor of love, not a smart financial decision.
Agreed, the only chance would be, IF you could convince a publisher of "coffee table" type books, to take a risk that sales at Christmas time, would be worthwhile :idea:
But that would require it be long on pics and short on text :(

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Re: New Reference Book - Canceled

Post by BTB0923 » Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:18 pm

Whippersnapper makes a good point. Might I suggest that if you have a wealth of information you would like to share maybe it would be more financially beneficial in the long run to put it all in a website with an optional reader contribution option (maybe a "please donate to my paypal to keep this site running" link?). I know I'd be willing to be a contributor if I learned a few things.
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Re: New Reference Book - Canceled

Post by wild zebra » Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:54 pm

any book/magazine is a labor of love, not a smart financial decision
You're right there whippersnapper, same goes in the music world you'll end up giving more away than selling. I'm always eager to use my work to enrich my hobby so if anyone has books or anything they would like reproduced, turned into pdf.s for sharing let me know. We do Spiral, GBC, Saddle Stitch and Perfect Bound. May someone has some out of print newsletter/publications, etc.

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Shag
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Re: New Reference Book - Canceled

Post by Shag » Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:01 am

whippersnapper wrote:Just some thoughts...

Imo there just aren't enough serious collectors to make it worthwhile.

Of the 2600+ members here, 99.999% are folks that joined to buy a single knife or to find out about gramps old switch they found in a drawer. Not book buyers.

You shouldn't over estimate the actual interest in our hobby, even worlwide.

If all the active members on all the switch forums bought 2 books, it's still unlikely you would turn a profit.

Any book/magazine is a labor of love, not a smart financial decision.

I agree completely, your points are all valid, I know and understand all of your comments; however there are probably 500 auto knife collectors in North America. I'm going to be stingy and class only those with at least 6 knives as collectors. Seriously, there's no reason this group shouldn't be able to support a print run of a decent reference book. How do the collectors expect to unearth any new, updated information about their auto knives and the hobby if they don't support the authors?

I would be willing to bet that even of the semi-serious collectors here, most wouldn't have many of the auto/gravity knife reference books that are currently out. For example, I have 9 different books on the topic, most of them duplicated and in some cases I have three copies of the same book - slight overkill perhaps, but I like to put my money where my mouth is. I also get most of my books directly from the authors not from Amazon, etc.

We could have a SoI follow-up book with all of the unearthed new information and pictures, but it won't in all probability happen. Similarly Vince is not going to do a FSS Vol.2 or 3. I can't blame the authors for not writing a follow-up volume - they did do it as a labour of love and they did not expect to get rich on the endeavour, but both felt they could at least recover their costs. The hundreds and hundreds of hours they put in over several years, were done for free as a love for the hobby. However, you can't expect them to publish anything new when they are still subsidizing the first print run with their own money.

So short of me going around and personally kicking everyone's arse so I can get their wallet and buy the books for them, how do we get more people to see the problem, see how desperate the situation is - that new volumes coming out for our fringe hobby are getting rarer and rarer? How do we convince people to buy the books, not just the occasional one here or there, but every decent one that comes out? It's so frustrating, when there is new information out there, just beyond our reach due to lack of interest by a lot of the collectors.

I don't have the answer, I certainly wish I did. All I can say is, spread the word to all your friends and have them pick up a copy of all the current books, make sure you pick up a copy as well and hopefully this will help bring new volumes out.
Albert Einstein: “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe.”

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Re: New Reference Book - Canceled

Post by Milu » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:54 am

BTB0923 wrote:Whippersnapper makes a good point. Might I suggest that if you have a wealth of information you would like to share maybe it would be more financially beneficial in the long run to put it all in a website with an optional reader contribution option (maybe a "please donate to my paypal to keep this site running" link?). I know I'd be willing to be a contributor if I learned a few things.
One of my thoughts was to offer a cheap pdf download. I'm not sure if many people would be interested, but cheap to set-up.
"se me burlé, me fico un cento e vinti in tel stomego"
Goldoni: La donna di Garbo, 1753

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Milu
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Re: New Reference Book - Canceled

Post by Milu » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:58 am

wild zebra wrote:I work for a publishing company and we do small runs, even just one book. We are very small we don't have "state of the art" equipment but it is very nice, just throwing it out there.
I may be in touch. I've thought about the Lulu and Createspace options. The issue then becomes promotion and distribution. It is an issue I am looking at closely as it is one of several projects that I'm working on.
"se me burlé, me fico un cento e vinti in tel stomego"
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Re: New Reference Book - Canceled

Post by jarvis » Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:07 pm

Shag wrote:So short of me going around and personally kicking everyone's arse so I can get their wallet and buy the books for them, how do we get more people to see the problem, see how desperate the situation is - that new volumes coming out for our fringe hobby are getting rarer and rarer? How do we convince people to buy the books, not just the occasional one here or there, but every decent one that comes out? It's so frustrating, when there is new information out there, just beyond our reach due to lack of interest by a lot of the collectors.
My impression is that volumes about our fringe hobby have always been pretty rare and often not very reliable or accurate (Ace of Blades, for example). And much information about our hobby can be found on the internet, including here at TalkBlade. If a Google search and sifting through archives on half a dozen (or a dozen) websites can pretty much supply you with more information than you even knew existed directly from collectors and/or manufacturers, then buying a book becomes unnecessary. And I say this as a guy who owns 4 of the popular books about switchblades.
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Re: New Reference Book - Canceled

Post by Bill DeShivs » Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:48 am

I did an online "E-zine" for a year. Online publishing costs nothing, except knowledge and site fees. I would still be doing it if it made money.
Instead, I try to disseminate as much information as possible on the forums. I'll buy any book published on auto knives, but few others will.
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Re: New Reference Book - Canceled

Post by redeye » Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:27 am

I have bought every one of the auto books I can find. I want more .
I am the KING of LATAMA collectors HAHAHAHAHAHAHA {EVIL LAUGH}

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Shag
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Re: New Reference Book - Canceled

Post by Shag » Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:42 am

jarvis wrote:
Shag wrote:So short of me going around and personally kicking everyone's arse so I can get their wallet and buy the books for them, how do we get more people to see the problem, see how desperate the situation is - that new volumes coming out for our fringe hobby are getting rarer and rarer? How do we convince people to buy the books, not just the occasional one here or there, but every decent one that comes out? It's so frustrating, when there is new information out there, just beyond our reach due to lack of interest by a lot of the collectors.
My impression is that volumes about our fringe hobby have always been pretty rare and often not very reliable or accurate (Ace of Blades, for example). And much information about our hobby can be found on the internet, including here at TalkBlade. If a Google search and sifting through archives on half a dozen (or a dozen) websites can pretty much supply you with more information than you even knew existed directly from collectors and/or manufacturers, then buying a book becomes unnecessary. And I say this as a guy who owns 4 of the popular books about switchblades.

You have some very valid points and to some point I do agree with them; some books aren't that great or accurate and those I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend, others however should be in everyone's library, even if they are semi-interested in our small fringe hobby.

Don't forget, a fair amount of that info online and in the forums does come from the reference books, thus once again affecting the information that is available. Conversely the authors also get info online from various sources, so they go hand in hand; you can't expect one to survive without the other.

I'm not trumpeting the 'buy the books mantra' because I own a book store, I am doing it as I would love to see our hobby continue in the future, however it has been 8 years now since we've had a new book on the subject appear - SoI. This new book that was canceled was something I was looking forward to as an update. I know of only one other volume that is being planned but will be down the road a bit yet.

I want to see everyone following Bill's example - buy every single book, and give out information online. This is what I try to do as well to the best of my ability - obviously I don't have as much info as Bill does in many areas - however doing it that way helps everyone; there's absolutely no downside!
Albert Einstein: “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe.”

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