Monday, January 21, 2013

Collector's Editions Are Where Print Still Shines

Since releasing my first book has a become a reality, I’ve been thinking a lot about putting together a hardcover “collector’s edition” of Courting the King in Yellow. Granted, I’m probably the only one who would be interested in it, but I would be doing it mostly for myself anyway.

See, one of the interesting byproducts of the whole digital revolution is that print editions of books are becoming something special again (or at least, some of them are). In my mind, digital books are the new mass market paperbacks. That still leaves a lot of room for print editions to really differentiate themselves, other than just being a hard copy of a book you can get digitally.

A great example of this is the 25th Anniversary Edition of Clive’ Barker’s Weaveworld. This new, cloth-bound edition features 30 original pieces of art, hand-edited manuscript pages, and other great extras. Depending on the level of exclusivity you're looking for (hand-numbered, signed, etc.), the book ranges from $45 all the way to a whopping $1500. That top-tier edition is away out of my price range, but I love the idea of the bonus content, new artwork, etc.

And I know that these type of collector’s editions have existed forever, but what I’m saying is that with the rise of digital, it’s these types of print editions that are still the most viable today, because readers are getting something worth buying the print edition for.

For Courting the king in Yellow, I already have a bunch of ideas of what I’d like to include:

  • A new wrap cover with all new artwork 
  • Discussion of how the story evolved from its original incarnation 
  • Pieces of the old manuscript 
  • Sketch art of some of the characters, places, etc. 
  • A bonus short story featuring one of the characters (this is the short story I am currently finishing for an anthology project)

As I said earlier, I may be the only one even interested in this version of Courting the King in Yellow. But whereas the current paperback version is a hard copy of the digital one, the hardcover would be the definitive edition. For me, putting that edition together would really be the conclusion of creating Courting the King in Yellow.

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