Lyra's Books- The Picture of Dorian Gray

DiskuteraFine Press Forum

Bara medlemmar i LibraryThing kan skriva.

Lyra's Books- The Picture of Dorian Gray

okt 12, 2021, 7:17 am

Just an fyi, Lyra's Books announced on Facebook this morning that their next title will be The Picture of Dorian Gray. No further details yet...

Redigerat: okt 12, 2021, 8:02 am

Amaranthine Books too! :)

okt 12, 2021, 8:17 am

I would very much like to order one of these books. Please keep us all informed of further developments.

okt 12, 2021, 8:19 am

>2 Lukas1990: Rotten timing for us both! Oh well. These things are in the pipeline for months and neither of us could have known. Hopefully we will create two very different editions so people have a choice!

okt 12, 2021, 8:20 am

>3 wcarter: I will be posting more detailed information and sending out a subscriber email some time in the next week all being well

Redigerat: okt 12, 2021, 8:59 am

>5 LYRASBOOKS: Great choice, Rich. Absolutely one of my favourite books, but one I've only ever owned in paperback. A nice letterpress version of this is something I'd be guaranteed to jump at. Looking forward to hearing all the details in due course.

Redigerat: okt 12, 2021, 8:59 am

>4 LYRASBOOKS: Same thing has happened recently with the CP and FS versions of Dune (though the CP version was later delayed) and with the Hand and Eye and Mad Parrot Press versions of Wind in the Willows. But it seems that all parties have been successful so I wouldn't worry about it. Personally I think it's fascinating to see different takes on my favourite books and I may well end up buying both. Best of luck to you both.

okt 12, 2021, 9:48 am

While Marko's book designs are incredibly inventive and fun, they've got nothing on Lyra's in quality of binding, printing, materials and just the overall beauty of the book.

okt 12, 2021, 11:34 am

>4 LYRASBOOKS: I for one am glad to hear your are working on this.

The Picture of Dorian Gray is one of those highly picturesque novels which seems overexposed but underserved.

By that I mean that there are many fine or quality illustrated editions (off hand: the 1925 Bodley Head edition, the 1957 LEC edition, the 2009 Folio Society edition; probably some others I am forgetting). Of these editions, only the Bodley Head illustrations seem to fit the story, and that edition is extremely scarce in anything approaching fine condition. There is an inexpensive Calla facsimile of the Bodley Head edition, which, though sturdy, is not otherwise impressively made.

The novel is so rich with decadent splendor; it really demands an aesthetic presentation to match.

Redigerat: okt 12, 2021, 12:09 pm

Love this and am ready to purchase sight unseen. That's how much faith I have in Mr. Tong after what he accomplished with Stardust. I also like that he isn't allowing himself to be pigeonholed as a publisher by following up with something of a similar genre as Stardust. He's gone for something classic.

okt 13, 2021, 2:09 am

>5 LYRASBOOKS: Is the subscriber list the customers of Stardust or does one have to sign up?

okt 13, 2021, 4:25 am

>11 duonkha: Sorry, I mean people who have signed up to the mailing list on my website

okt 13, 2021, 11:52 am

>6 Levin40: thanks! This will most certainly be letterpress. Phil at Hand and Eye will be doing this for us again

okt 14, 2021, 7:00 am

>13 LYRASBOOKS: Great to hear. You guys seem to be on something of a roll at the moment! Looking forward to all the upcoming publications from Lyra's, Hand and Eye and Arete.

Redigerat: okt 15, 2021, 6:05 pm

I’m excited to hear about the publication of Dorian Gray, but am disappointed by the news of the introduction of a rights system. I’ll wait for the announcement containing more details, but if it’s patterned off the Suntup model, count me out. I loved my copy of Stardust, but hopping on a Suntup-like rights train is for speculators and fools. That said, and especially with the details not out yet, if it is along the lines of Thornwillow (x printed over subscription, regular subscribers can informally request the same number) I’ll hold my peace. Maybe the classics imprint will feature less speculator types than the modern imprint, but then again, maybe not…

okt 15, 2021, 10:48 am

>16 mnmcdwl: If you're genuinely interested in the books being published, then how does rights sway your purchasing decision one way or another?

Redigerat: okt 15, 2021, 11:17 am

>17 _WishIReadMore: Because not every publisher will consistently publish books that interest me. Take Thornwillow for example—I have purchased most of the books they’ve published recently, but not all. I just don’t like Poe, so I passed on that one (and the Chippendale). Of course, if Thornwillow instituted a rights system, I could buy them and then try to sell the ones I’m not interested in to maintain my rights, but that feels insulting. If I buy tens of books and lose rights because I opt not to buy one, how valued am I as a customer? Of course, I am not a Suntup customer so I don’t know if that is how it really works. I think it better though, to try to provide same numbers to regular customers, and to publish enough books so that those who want one can get one at the time of publication (or at least within the window of subscription).

okt 15, 2021, 11:13 am

>17 _WishIReadMore: because you’d have to buy books you don’t want to get books you want. Suntup is the perfect example- people buy books they don’t want and sell them at or even below retail to keep their rights. Now if said publisher doesn’t have any major upcoming titles you probably don’t need rights to begin with - you can just buy directly in the public sale - but that’s only for the less popular titles. Looks like Amarinthine is getting in the rights game as well.

Redigerat: okt 15, 2021, 11:29 am

Well I think it’s funny after all the people saying they were skipping “Case of Death & Honey” and holding out for a TRUE Lyra’s Edition that this is the exact same team, with the exact same people taking charge on each element of the book.

And I love it - I’m sure we’ll get drastically different concepts from Projects that originate with Richard/Lyra’s as opposed to Marcelo/Arete, but I’m glad these three presses are combining their expertise to not only put out more frequent titles, but to achieve such a high quality as well.

okt 15, 2021, 11:27 am

Okay yes, thanks for explaining, I didn't have my morning coffee yet. I guess I was thinking only about the immediate next book to be published, not beyond.

And for sure we've all talked extensively about the mini-economy the Suntup rights system has created. Just yesterday we were already seeing the book Suntup released earlier that day selling below cost so people could keep their number.

okt 15, 2021, 11:30 am

>21 _WishIReadMore: The thing is you probably don't need to do that. Just don't buy the book. The next November book probably isn't going to be a blockbuster and you could probably get in public sale. So this would make sense only if you are attached to your number.

okt 15, 2021, 11:41 am

>20 NathanOv: I agree, I am excited to see what these three bring out (under their various imprints) over coming years.

Having seen (the dummy) copies of the case of death & honey in the flesh there is no disputing the quality and beauty of the bindings being produced, and I also have no doubts regarding the quality of, and care taken over, the letterpress printing itself.

I will certainly be looking to get my hands on any books which appeal to me that are produced by this team. The rights system is a potential concern, as I am not sure I'd be able to afford everything they produce, nor do I expect every title to be for me. Not sure what the right answer is though to be honest. I've always quite liked the idea of letting the limitation number float, by setting it equal to however many people sign up in the first week or so + 50 spare (or similar). So some editions might end up 250, others 500 (and if they do the something like the Hobbit they'll probably spend years making 1,000+).

okt 15, 2021, 12:03 pm

>16 mnmcdwl:

I, too, am disappointed by the introduction of a rights system. I bought a std Stardust, so I won’t get in the door, for one thing. But also, I wouldn’t really want to sign up to someone else’s publication programme at these prices anyway. This means I’ll have to purchase interesting individual titles at likely inflated secondary market-prices - if available at all. That said, if this is the revenue model that works to get books of this quality printed, I can’t really complain.

okt 15, 2021, 12:03 pm

>20 NathanOv: Nathan, thanks, and yes, they are very different sort of projects. I feel some will have a, kind off, visual crossover because the craftsmanship of Richard and Phil, and my sensibilities, as we are the same across all the Houses.

okt 15, 2021, 12:05 pm

>23 EdmundRodriguez: Did you see the dummies at the Craftsmen Guild? They do look nice, don't they? Rich and Gary have really pushed the envelope for them both. Wait till you see what Rich and Greg Manchess are doing with both Frozen Hell and Dorian. Arete will not be having rights, however, we will offer books up to people who have bought before and are on our email list, and, if possible, will try and match numbers, if we do numbered editions. I have always felt that some of the books we have planned over the next couple of years would appeal to some and not others.

okt 15, 2021, 12:12 pm

>26 marceloanciano: Yes, they were very impressive.

Looking forward to seeing them!

That approach sounds sensible (to me at least).

okt 15, 2021, 12:16 pm

I will just say here - yes there will be rights for both imprints. The limitation for the Numbered/Leather edition at least is increasing. What I will be doing with this edition is offering a mixture of copies with rights and those without. I will also be increasing the number of copies that have rights attached a little to give people who missed out last time an opportunity to get them this time around. This way we can cater for the occasional customer who just wants to dip in and out, while at the same time allowing some people who want to keep their number and an early pre-order that opportunity. Rights will not be transferable, so rights copies will only be obtained at retail price directly from me.
There is most definitely a mix of customers who love rights and those that hate them. I’m hoping this way we can cater for as many different views as possible. I know I can never make 100% of people happy but I hope this way strikes a balance.

okt 15, 2021, 12:21 pm


Sounds pretty reasonable to me.

Redigerat: okt 15, 2021, 12:41 pm

I have to admit I'm ambivalent about rights. As I'm the owner of a leather Stardust it seems I'm one of the lucky few who will now have rights on both the Lyra's and Lyra's Classics imprints, which, from a personal perspective, is great news. However, I should come clean and say that I was against the rights model for Suntup (see my posts in the famous Suntup thread). So, with this in mind, and also considering that all approaches have their pros and cons, a few thoughts:

1) As I said, I was against rights. However, my position has on this has changed slightly in the last few months, having watched what's happened to another of my favourites, Centipede Press. The popularity of CP has now grown to such an extent that, whereas in the past one used to have days or weeks (or at minimum hours) to pick up new titles, it's now measured in minutes or seconds. This leads to quite a bit of nervousness/dread surrounding release dates (and in the case of Dune the nervousness has been ongoing for years now) and I don't think I'm alone here. And many customers who've been loyal to CP for years are now missing out. And spare a thought for those poor customers in the wrong time zones (e.g. Australia) who now have to set their alarms for the witching hours to stand any chance.

2) As far as I understand, Rich is talking about a few titles per year (2-3?) so the financial outlay for those on the 'train' will not be comparable to Suntup. I assume this constraint is the result of all the designing/printing/binding being carried out by a small team of individuals (at least for now) - there are only so many they could produce!

3) There were only 100 copies of the leather Stardust and it seems the numbers are being increased. So customers like >24 GusLogan: do stand a good chance of getting on-board for the next book.

4) Re the 'on-demand' model mentioned above by >23 EdmundRodriguez: I could see this not being at all realistic for all publishers, firstly due to possible rights constraints, secondly due to the aforementioned fact that there are only so many a small team can be expected to produce.

5) Finally, just to note that it actually seems quite easy to get on the Suntup numbered train these days for most titles.

Redigerat: okt 15, 2021, 1:12 pm

>30 Levin40: Agreed. Lyra's rights system as explained seems customer focused in the sense that it tries to provide something for everyone. That's the right way to do it. While Suntup rights currently aren't really worth a premium as the upcoming titles will likely all go to public sale and won't sell out as quickly as Charlie did, one could imagine a scenario for Q1 2022 when the hints indicate that the February book will be a King book. The January book could literally be anything, and there is little doubt that it either will not make to public sale or lottery, or will end up with a few copies for a lottery. There is also little doubt the January book would then be dumped in large numbers at a discount by people who bought it in anticipation of the King book but have no interest in the January book. So that's a fundamental flaw in the Suntup rights system IMO, exacerbated by publishing too many titles.

okt 15, 2021, 1:12 pm

I'm just curious about the rights system. It's hard for me to interpret the direction of the company for me to sign up. If they continue to do literary fiction like this publication than I'll join today, if they continue to do authors like Gaimen in the future than I'm all set. I'm not sure if there have been other books published but these two books are so different in scope, and dare I say talent, that I'm not really sure what I'd be signing up for...

Redigerat: okt 15, 2021, 1:40 pm

>31 punkzip: The gist of your point is correct, in terms of popular books driving the demand, but Suntup's King books are on a different rights track, and do not affect the books published month to month.

The King rights track is itself insane, with people paying $8,500 for a $525 numbered book with rights to an author who is so advanced in age, and who signs books so sparingly, just with the hope that he'll do another Suntup book.

Redigerat: okt 15, 2021, 2:31 pm

>33 _WishIReadMore: Thanks - I didn't realize that. I think the Q4 announcement devalued rights rapidly as there weren't any blockbusters (as far as we can tell, unless the first November is Ready Player One which is doubtful). I do find the case of Charlie interesting. That's a famous property which will only become more famous soon as Netflix owns it, and the numbered is reasonably good value despite the high price as it is oversized, letterpress and full leather. Aesthetically it looks very nice to me. It sold out in 2 minutes or so in the public sale and the AGE sold out 1250 very quickly. Yet people are letting it go on the secondary market for a discount. Perhaps it is a combination of the higher price with a book that although famous, is a children's book which doesn't appeal to large segments of the Suntup collector base. No doubt if one bought Charlie and didn't actually want it, the Q4 announcement was a major disappointment because you are trying to get rid of the $950 book you just bought and will never see, and didn't gain anything from it.

okt 15, 2021, 3:23 pm

So if I’m understanding the post on the Lyra’s site correctly, there will be separate Rights paths between Stardust and Dorian, but the Lettered and Leather Rights holders for the modern titles will be given the first opportunity for Rights to the Lettered Classics. This is a bit disappointing as I wouldn’t imagine many Lettered Rights holders will pass, leaving even less an opportunity for new people to have an chance to buy a Lettered Lyra’s book.

Redigerat: okt 15, 2021, 3:35 pm

>35 Esoterics: I recommend reading Richard's clarification:

1) He's increasing the limitation # to allow newcomers, and apparently if I'm understanding correctly also offering a number of copies without rights so that some will always be available for general preorder.

2) Rights are non-transferable, so while there will probably still be some people buying just to stay on the rights train, often they'll resell at or below primary sales price and we won't have anyone attempting to jack up prices to include rights.

okt 15, 2021, 5:25 pm

>36 NathanOv: I don’t think the expanded limitation will apply to the Lettered. 26 Stardust Lettered, 26 Dorian Lettered. Considering how highly regarded Lyra’s is, I don’t imagine many will pass. Even those that don’t want the edition could probably profit generously off selling it afterward.

Richard is doing a good job here though, nothing against him or Lyra’s as a whole. I was just hoping the Classic Rights system would be open to all from the start. Especially as a Wilde fan and collector.

Redigerat: okt 15, 2021, 5:42 pm

>37 Esoterics: Well, I have yet to see a single Stardust lettered go on sale, and I doubt both that everyone willing to pay over $2000 for a special edition of Stardust would feel just strongly invested in Dorian, or that many people are willing to speculate on a $2k+ book that’ll likely be 6+ months out from publication.

That said, even if it’s just one or two lettereds up for grabs at a time, they’ll still go just about instantly, but that’s the nature of small limitations.

okt 16, 2021, 3:10 am

I have to say, as someone who determined to purchase everything that the Lyra’s imprint published as soon as I held the leather Stardust in my hands, that I am thrilled to have the opportunity to secure that desire through a rights system.

I’m also equally thrilled that Rich is endeavoring to not make the mistakes that Suntup has made. As well the relaxed release schedule makes this much more attainable.

I’d imagine that most buyers of the leather and letterpress editions of Stardust will sign on to this program. It’s difficult not to after what Rich accomplished his first time out of the gate.

Thanks goodness there will at least be an opportunity for others out there.

Redigerat: okt 16, 2021, 8:05 am

If I’m interpreting the recent Lyras email correctly there should be at least 150 copies of Dorian Gray numbered/unnumbered available to everyone. Possibly more if existing rights holders don’t exercise their rights. From the message here it looks like those will be a mix of numbered and unnumbered? Wonder what the premium at retail will be for numbered.

okt 16, 2021, 10:44 pm

>40 punkzip: Significant I’d imagine.

okt 18, 2021, 2:41 am

>40 punkzip: Where are unnumbered copies mentioned? The announcement seemed quite clear: 'It will be limited to 250 Numbered and 26 Lettered copies ONLY.'

okt 18, 2021, 5:27 am

>42 Levin40: see message from Lyras books above

okt 18, 2021, 5:45 am

>43 punkzip: Yeah, I read it. No mention of unnumbered. I think you're mixing up two different things: there will be copies with rights attached and copies without, but those without will still be numbered. Also, as rights are not transferable, it won't be possible for to sell a copy+rights, so there will be no premium at retail for these copies. At least that's the way I understood it. All will be revealed this week.

Redigerat: okt 18, 2021, 6:52 am

>44 Levin40: why would you not want a copy with rights? The issue would not be resale but access to future publications. So perhaps it will just be a race to get the copies with rights - or there could be a small premium at retail ..

okt 18, 2021, 11:40 am

>45 punkzip: I HIGHLY doubt copies with rights attached will be marked up directly from Lyra’s.

The idea isn’t that copies without rights would be “more desirable” to anyone - it’s simply that there are many, many individual collectors who have no intention of buying every single book from the press

okt 18, 2021, 1:29 pm

The latest post from Rich with more in depth information on rights:

Following the last news post a few days ago, here is some more information on the new imprint and how rights will work going forward. At the end I will also try and explain my reasoning for why I have chosen to go this route.

So, firstly, there will be ‘Lyra’s Press’ which began with ‘Stardust’. This imprint will focus on modern titles. Here the plan is to create more modern style bindings and, where we can, get author signatures. The second, and new, imprint will be called ‘Lyra’s Classics’. This imprint will focus on classic titles, most of which will be public domain. My initial plan with this imprint was to create a series of matching books on the shelf but, now we’re deep into developing the second one, I think this may not be the case. Often, different titles require a different creative approach and I don’t really want to back myself into a design corner. They will all be the same size though.

I have created another imprint so that I can cater for different kinds of collectors. I know some people love the classics, some people just want modern titles. But, perhaps the key reason is that I have discovered that getting reprint rights for modern books can be a frustrating task. It can literally take years. I think big publishers are simply not all that interested in the ‘small fry’ of fine press and, as such, we (or at least I) keep getting shoved down to the bottom of the pile for correspondence. It’s not especially that they don’t want us to do it, more that they have more important things to deal with! Having a public domain imprint means that I can keep publishing projects coming through while we wait for the permissions to deal with modern titles. Having this additional imprint, and the rights working the way I want them to, will hopefully mean that people don’t feel like they have to buy books they don’t want. I want to provide people with choices and variety.

The next book I publish will be from the ‘Classics’ imprint and will be the first of that line. As I mentioned in the previous post, this title will be ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ by Oscar Wilde. Both imprints will have separate rights tracks and will have a mixture of rights and non-rights copies within the Numbered limitation.

For those of you not in the know, having ‘rights’ or ‘matching rights’ essentially means that some customers will have the rights of first refusal on the next book. They will be given a window of time in which to make their order before the books go on general sale and thereby matching their current number/letter.

Please have a careful read through the FAQ page and take a look at the helpful flowchart. These will explain much more clearly how everything will work.

Let me try and briefly break it down for you here –

Rights for Lyra’s Classics
The first title will have a limitation of 250 Numbered copies and 26 Lettered copies.
There will be no Standard edition for any ‘Classics’ title as far as I can see.
The owners of Numbered (formerly Leather) edition 1-100 and Lettered edition A-Z of ‘Stardust’ will have first refusal on the first ‘Classics’ title. If that customer decides not to take up this offer, their rights for ‘Lyra’s Press’ will NOT be affected and that ‘Classics’ number/letter will go into the pool.
There will be a mixture of rights and non-rights copies within the Numbered limitation.
I will be increasing the number of Numbered copies that have rights attached to them. This will increase from 100 to 150 out of a limitation of 250. These additional 50 rights copies, plus any that are not taken up by Stardust owners, will be randomly allocated to people who order within the first 24 hours of open pre-order. Numbers 151+ will remain as non-rights copies going forward, meaning there will always be books available to everyone at every title.
Any available Lettered copies will be via lottery only.
Rights are not transferable.
Rights for Lyra’s Press
The next title will have a limitation of 500 Standard copies, 200 Numbered (formerly Leather) copies and 26 Lettered copies.
The owners of Numbered/Leather edition 1-100 and Lettered edition A-Z of ‘Stardust’ will have first refusal on the next title.
There will be a mixture of rights and non-rights copies within the Numbered limitation.
When the next title is announced, I will be increasing the number of Numbered copies that have rights attached to them. This will increase from 100 to 125. The additional 25 rights copies, plus any that are not taken up by Stardust owners, will be randomly allocated to people who ordered within the first 24 hours of open pre-order. Any copies over and above 125 for this and future titles will be non-rights copies, meaning there will always be books available to everyone. It is possible, depending on a few things, that I may increase the limitation to 250 and thereby increase the number of rights copies from 125 to 150 before we put these books on sale.
Any available Lettered copies will be via lottery only.
Rights are not transferable.
There will be no rights for the Standard edition as there may not always be one. This edition will be dependent on the title and whether we can get reprint rights for this many books.
I am going for a mixture of rights and non-rights copies within the Numbered edition because I think this approach offers the fairest balance for existing Numbered/Leather holders, new and occasional customers, and those that feel upset that they missed out on ‘Stardust’. As fair as it can be anyway. By adding a significant amount of copies and giving people another shot at rights, I hope this goes some way towards making amends for that. What I want from this method most of all, is for people not to feel pressured into buying everything I publish just to maintain rights. That is not healthy at all and I have no desire to see people get themselves into debt over a book. There will always be copies available at every release and those that do not wish to continue with rights can simply relinquish them, while still having a fairly good chance at getting another book a bit further down the line if they wish. Anybody who wants to purchase a book with rights will only be able to do so directly from me and at issue price. Those copies will be allocated entirely at random. If you don’t wish to have rights, once you place your order you can let me know and I’ll allocate you a higher number. Outside of the rights copies, I will also try and match numbers for people to the best of my ability.

I know this is not perfect and there will doubtless be some people who feel this does not work for them. There are flaws with every approach. Every angle you come at this from has it’s pros and cons. The arguments for and against rights are complicated. Nobody agrees what the best way forward is and it seems to cause a lot of heated discussion whenever it is brought up. As a publisher, you can imagine this makes things very tricky to navigate. Every time you think you have come up with the perfect solution, there is always something else that makes you think again.

Really it comes down to this – I do not want to tie up all copies with rights, at least not the Numbered edition. But at the same time, I do want to offer that opportunity of an early pre-order to those that want it. I said very early on, to people who asked me directly, that I would probably be having rights in some shape or form and I wish to see that through. What you see here is a kind of middle ground attempt to cater for as many people as possible, while still making it easy enough for me (a team of one, who does all the admin, accounting, email, social media… and the actual work of designing and binding etc) to implement and oversee.

As for people who may have already sold their copies of ‘Stardust’ with rights – I will honour any transfers of rights up to this point. There haven’t been many in all honesty and since I hadn’t made any announcements about how it would all work until now, I think it’s only fair. Please, if you have sold and transferred rights already and haven’t let me know, do so now.

That’s all for now. Like I said, please have a read through the FAQ page to familiarise yourself with how this will all work. Hopefully any questions you might have after reading this will be answered there. You can either click the link above or find it under the ‘Discover’ menu at the top of the page.

I will be posting more updates on the project as the weeks go by. Keep an eye out for those.



okt 18, 2021, 1:40 pm

Great! Have a lot of respect for the approach Lyra's Books is taking. Here's an interesting line: "What I want from this method most of all, is for people not to feel pressured into buying everything I publish just to maintain rights. That is not healthy at all and I have no desire to see people get themselves into debt over a book." Wonder which much discussed publisher this is referring to..;)?

okt 18, 2021, 1:48 pm

>48 punkzip: Ha! I wish we could just eliminate said publisher from Fine Press discussions. Yes - they print some books letterpress, but it's clear they do not fit and are only causing confusion about how the actual fine press worlds tends to operate.

okt 18, 2021, 7:05 pm

>49 NathanOv: I think that this forum is effectively the non-FS, EP and LEC forum :)

okt 19, 2021, 3:43 am

>48 punkzip: They may not want us to feel pressured but if they continue in a similar vein to how they started I look forward to owning their entire catalog.

Redigerat: okt 19, 2021, 9:17 am

1. Is there a limitation on the number of orders per individual/household/address/credit card?

2. The above discussion confirms my firm position against the rights system. Rich might need a thick ledger or an Excel spreadsheet and a dedicated bookkeeper to keep track of all of it, which may take his time away from making current and designing future spectacular editions and become a big headache in the end considering how high emotions already run. Why not simply reward faithful customers with a pre-order period just for them?

It seems Covid has accidentally triggered bad cases of an Investor Bug and a Reseller Bug with some people making a lot of irrational decisions. Some of today's "publishers" are rather in the business of manufactured collectibles with people investing in the books akin to stocks or sneakers. Gimmicky covers, funky storage cases or low limitations are not a guarantee of high returns...

Redigerat: okt 19, 2021, 9:58 am

>52 EPsonNY: If you read Lyra's statement, there already is a pre-order period for faithful customers with numbers who want to keep that number for every publication. Given that Lyra's isn't releasing too many books per year, it shouldn't be as hard to keep your number if you want every book. But the key issue is to allow other customers to buy just what they want and not feel any pressure to buy something they don't want just to keep rights for future publications. Given Lyra's system, for those who don't care about a specific number, it will be relatively easy to buy just what you want, as long as you pay attention to the release dates and times.

Also stocks are not a good example - but sneakers are - that market is far larger and crazier with bots buying up the hot releases. I’m guessing that the lettered and Roman numerals - outside the books by the most famous contemporary authors - from a certain publisher will result (this has already happened) in substantial losses for the “investors”.

okt 19, 2021, 10:16 am

>50 punkzip: you’d be surprised how much FS / LEC discussion still shows up! Luckily people aren’t creating multiple about them though

okt 19, 2021, 5:58 pm

The whole number thing makes ZERO sense to me unless you are collecting an entire series. It would be nice to have a 1# copy, but no way that's happening. LOL

Gonna try to snatch Dorian, but I am pretty sure this one will sell out immediately. I know it's going to be stunning.

okt 19, 2021, 7:06 pm

>55 Undergroundman: You'll want to be online and ready the minute it goes on sale, but I think you've got a better chance than you might think.

okt 19, 2021, 7:54 pm

>56 NathanOv: Agreed- there will be at least 150 copies of Dorian available.

okt 19, 2021, 8:26 pm

>56 NathanOv: Not sure about that. I had an exclusive email invite only for CP's Philip K. Dick novels set recently, and missed out while I was in the bathroom. That was a 300 copy run. I guess it depends where you are at when the email gets sent.

okt 19, 2021, 8:42 pm

okt 19, 2021, 11:55 pm

>58 Undergroundman: Well you learned a valuable lesson there. Even bodily functions must wait till you've secured your copy in the future. Destined for success next time!

Redigerat: okt 20, 2021, 12:01 am

>60 Sorion: This is why my phone goes with me everywhere.

But I’m sure Rich will communicate the date and time, like he did last time.

Redigerat: okt 20, 2021, 12:33 pm

>58 Undergroundman: To be fair, there'a huge difference in demand and active collectors for PKD (or Neil Gaiman, for that matter) than for Oscar Wilde and Dorian Grey.

Yes, Lyra's has built up quite an excited following since Stardust, but interest still seems to be skewed towards the modern titles.

Redigerat: okt 20, 2021, 11:52 am

>62 NathanOv: I’d also note that Amaranthine’s preorder of Dorian Grey will likely have occurred before Lyras. This would further decrease the pool of interested buyers. While there are no doubt many who will buy both not everyone will. The major difference might be at the lettered state of Dorian where I suspect the dual releases will affect sales for both publishers.

okt 20, 2021, 12:36 pm

>63 punkzip: That's certainly true when it comes to Dorian or Wilde collectors, though each still have their own separate audience with Lyra's being fine press and Amaranthine being more genre.

I do think Lyra's will fare better on lettered since Amaranthine has yet to sell out the Alice lettereds and I'd expect far more fine press collectors willing to drop that amount on a classic title than genre collectors who tend to favor current authors.

okt 20, 2021, 1:26 pm

>64 NathanOv: Although Lyra's principals have impeccable fine press credentials, they did start with a genre title from one of the most famous contemporary genre authors. So I'm not so sure that Lyra's audience is so different.

okt 20, 2021, 2:01 pm

>65 punkzip: Sorry to jump into the thread and I am a data point of one, but I have 0% interest in their first book and will definitely check out the second one. Fine press classic literature is my jam, never read a book by Neil Gaiman and I am pretty confident I never will.

okt 20, 2021, 2:14 pm

>65 punkzip: I think that’s all the more an argument for Dorian hooking less of the current Lyra’s following and leaving more copies available for open preorder.

The wildly fast sellout of Stardust had very little at all to do with Lyra’s or the fine press world and much more to do with love of a particular book that the author actively promoted on social media.

Yes, they earned a large following for their press over the impeccable quality of that book, but again Dorian is much less a match for that audience than their next modern title will likely be.

I still expect a quick sell out, but I think people will be surprised by the amount of copies available.

okt 20, 2021, 2:24 pm

>65 punkzip: Lyra seems to be focused on fine press, intricately printed and bound, with a discerning selection of titles. Dorian may have been selected for its length or the fact that it has been 130 since it was published.

Amaranthine seems to be more of a gimmicky Suntup Press focused on manufactured collectibles. Fluorescent or glow in the dark ink, impractical fabric covers, funky add-ons like chess sets or mugs, all meant to appeal to younger demographics with money to spare.

Too bad Beehive Books does not do letter press as with their modern artwork and overall design they could win a lot more fans...

Redigerat: okt 20, 2021, 2:29 pm

>68 EPsonNY: Amaranthine isn’t fine press, but I strongly disagree with your assessment.

They feature extensive original art and are highly focused both on internal and external book design in complement to the material being read.

It’s just more “pop-art” feeling than works like Beehive which don’t necessarily experiment and in my opinion, while featuring great artwork, do not offer a good reading experience due to their size and lack of attention to layout / typography.

Suntup, on the other hand, is purely focused on presentation bindings across most of its tiers with little focus on a “cumulative” effect and much less care for the reading experience.

Redigerat: okt 20, 2021, 2:40 pm

BTW what does everyone think about Beehive? I understand they use sewn bindings but don’t know anything about paper etc. I’d consider their books for $100 as that seems really good for the amount of original art and it looks like they have good slipcases as well. I’ve heard somewhere here that you might just pick up their $100 books on Amazon once published for a discount - is that the case?

Redigerat: okt 20, 2021, 2:45 pm

>70 punkzip: while I don’t endorse Amazon, they do seem to list them for considerably less on there which is in itself a bit off putting for me.

The Illuminated Editions are all about the artwork though - the large size, glossy paper, etc are all intended for the sake of displaying the artwork and I don’t love their typography or text layouts, nor the fact you can’t exactly hold the book open easily to read at length.

The slipcases are very solid and sturdy, but again focus is on the art itself rather than materials or any design element of the books (they’re all identical) or readability.

That said, I’m all aboard for Beehive’s other exciting projects like Dracula: The Evidence which I’m eagerly awaiting!

okt 20, 2021, 2:57 pm

>69 NathanOv: Amaranthine's mission statement:

"Amaranthine Books is a fine press publisher dedicated to creating special editions of great books so they could have the form that they deserve."

They attempt to reinvent the wheel. Book is a book. I would not be surprised if Dorian Gray is published with some mirrors on the covers or boxes that offer deep insight into one's soul...

I did consider their Jekyll, but in the end it looked a bit like FS's edition with dual-color cover. Their artwork reminded me of Harper Design's Becky Cloonan edition of Dracula, which I ended up buying. I am still searching for an attractive copy of Jekyll, but everything seems to fall short of Hand & Eye's edition, which due to low limitations seems to be almost impossible to get.

>71 NathanOv: Artwork is the main reason I like Beehive. I purchased FS's Atlas Shrugged for the Balbusso twins' art and would do the same with Beehive's Great Gatsby if I didn't already own two other copies of the work :).

okt 20, 2021, 2:59 pm

>72 EPsonNY: "I am still searching for an attractive copy of Jekyll, but everything seems to fall short of Hand & Eye's edition, which due to low limitations seems to be almost impossible to get."

Have you looked at the LEC edition?

Redigerat: okt 20, 2021, 3:37 pm

>72 EPsonNY: Not sure of your intent with the mission statement - do you think publishers like Foolscap, Caliban or the more inventive bindings from Arion are “gimmicky” for not sticking to a traditional codex? Or does Amaranthine get discounted simply for executing similar bold designs with less fine material and printing practices?

The “Jekyll” edition of Jekyll and Hyde is certainly their most basic edition, but the “Hyde” edition offers a very unique reading experience that complements both the book and its artwork with an all black binding and white ink printed on black paper.

okt 20, 2021, 3:35 pm

>68 EPsonNY: "Amaranthine seems to be more of a gimmicky Suntup Press focused on manufactured collectibles. Fluorescent or glow in the dark ink, impractical fabric covers, funky add-ons like chess sets or mugs, all meant to appeal to younger demographics with money to spare."

FWIW, I agree with you. I thought their edition of Alice in Wonderland was ... tacky.

okt 20, 2021, 3:58 pm

>75 LBShoreBook: I love their illustrations though. Wish they had a barebones artist edition.

Redigerat: okt 20, 2021, 4:13 pm

>74 NathanOv: Printing in white ink is rare and prohibitively expensive, which is why their claims of "white print on black paper" are somewhat dubious. From their photos and eBay listings (one of them below), it looks more like shades of gray...

>75 LBShoreBook: Tacky, garrish and few other words come to mind. Somebody there loves "textured cloth" or perhaps their family makes it and sells it, but I do not consider it the material of choice for fine press books. It makes their books look like oversized needle cushions. In terms of artwork, I am a Tenniel fan (with Rackham 2nd) so any contemporary, digital artwork would have to be exceptional to make me buy another copy. Amaranthine's isn't. For $400 one can get the leather-bound Easton Press DLE with all 13 full-color illustrations by Rackham on tipped-in plates...

>73 ultrarightist: I have Easton Press Wilson-illustrated edition with the same artwork, but would like something edgier :).

okt 20, 2021, 4:22 pm

>72 EPsonNY: >73 ultrarightist: I own the LEC Hyde and it's a wonderful little book. Or rather, short book.

Amaranthine is also a hard pass for me. Even passed at 20% off from a promo I had at another publisher who stocked their Alice.

okt 20, 2021, 4:24 pm

>77 EPsonNY: Ha! They won the "Inkspiration" award from Hewlett Packard for the printing of that book, but sure - argue that they cheated or took shortcuts if it makes you feel better about simply not liking an aesthetic and feeling the need to actively insult and argue against the quality of a publisher simply because it's not to your tastes.

okt 20, 2021, 4:45 pm

>79 NathanOv: To clarify, "Cerovski Print Boutique was announced as winner in 2016 HP Inkspiration Publishing category, due to really beautiful book produced for Amaranthine Books: "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” (Hyde Edition)."

"Inkspiration Awards were created by HP and Dscoop (shorter for Digital Solutions Cooperative, independent community gathering companies and professionals using HP Indigo technology worldwide) in order to recognize most creative, inspirational and innovative work produced with HP digital technology."

It is difficult to find out what criteria HP judges took into consideration and what their competition actually was. This is all secondary to the importance of HP Inkspiration's importance to the likes of Lyra. I am sure fine press publishers have lost many a sleepless night thinking of putting that one on the mantle piece :).

FYI - It still does not look snow white to me despite checking on 3 different devices..

okt 20, 2021, 5:29 pm

>80 EPsonNY: Hmm. Are we surprised to see HP printers dissed by... Epson??? 🧐

I'll be here all week.

okt 20, 2021, 5:37 pm

>81 grifgon: Lol!

>80 EPsonNY: the point wasn’t that HP is at all an authority on fine press printing - just that they’d be an authority on work created with their technology.

Not sure why you felt the need to paste in the press release.

okt 20, 2021, 5:51 pm

>69 NathanOv: Suntup, on the other hand, is purely focused on presentation bindings across most of its tiers with little focus on a “cumulative” effect and much less care for the reading experience.

>79 NathanOv: if it makes you feel better about simply not liking an aesthetic and feeling the need to actively insult and argue against the quality of a publisher simply because it's not to your tastes.

But tbf I didn't inspect the Transylvanian soil myself so cannot attest to its (lack of) quality. If someone has the deluxe Dracula from Amaranthine, can they post a short review of the soil? Does it pair well with the dried blood signatures?

okt 20, 2021, 5:53 pm

Oh and regarding J&H: Centipede did J&H a while ago, and it has Moser illustrations...

Redigerat: okt 20, 2021, 7:24 pm

>83 filox: I'm not sure if you meant that as some sort of "gotcha," but I made one comment about my view of the publisher, which I personally think accurately reflect Suntup's approach to books, but certainly did not argue that anyone take as absolute fact.

The commenter I was responding to had repeatedly called a publishers work "tacky" and "garish" and was trying to convince other people of the "fact" of their opinion.

I'm all for people arguing for what they like and trying to convert new followers for a publisher, but I don't think there's any place for repeatedly insisting people shouldn't like or appreciate a particular publisher and trying to push people away from them.

If you want to share your honest opinion on something or even warn others about a bad experience then fine, but leave it at that; it's supposed to be a group of enthusiasts, after all, not detractors.

Redigerat: okt 20, 2021, 7:38 pm

>69 NathanOv: To be fair to Suntup, they are not only focused on presentation bindings. Their letterpress numbered states are typically reasonable values by fine press standards, and some are on fairly good paper. I agree that Suntup does not pay much attention to layout and the reading experience is definitely not a focus. However, it doesn't look like letterpress, paper or reading experience makes much if any difference to the core Suntup fanbase, where the most popular numbered titles are the titles by well known contemporary authors with flashy presentation bindings. So it's more accurate to say that the majority of the Suntup fanbase is primarily interested in presentation bindings, but I don't think it could be said that Suntup is only interested in presentation bindings.

okt 20, 2021, 7:41 pm

>80 EPsonNY: amusingly, I was just reading an essay by Mardersteig (discussing the work of the punchcutter Griffo) that mentioned how during the 15th century discerning bibliophiles looked down on printed matter, and that fine books were expected to be written by hand. Griffo created many variations of letters in part, Mardersteig argued, to avoid too much regularity in the print and appeal to those used to fine scribal work.

Whether or not the result of this digital form of printing that Amaranthine used is technically impressive though, I also don't care for the overall design.

okt 20, 2021, 7:52 pm

>86 punkzip: when was the last time Suntup advertised (or even credited) the printers of their letterpress editions?

Back around the Wells books (The Time Machine, etc.), there were videos of Robert LoMascolo doing the printing. As far as I have seen, there hasn't been much mention of details beyond "letterpress" (when relevant) for more recent releases (but I don't follow that closely now).

okt 20, 2021, 8:11 pm

>86 punkzip: Well, that's fair - again, my point was less a criticism (though I have plenty of those about other aspects of Suntup), and more a distinguishment between them and Amaranthine who are all about the reading experience even though they still don't seem to be planning letterpress printing which is a shame.

okt 20, 2021, 8:38 pm

>88 abysswalker: FWIW - Some of the Suntup books that are printed letterpress were printed by as noted here -

Redigerat: okt 20, 2021, 9:37 pm

>81 grifgon: No problem, Brother ;).

>84 filox: Whenever I see Centipede's cover art, I cannot help but think of Steve Harvey's dentures ;P.

> Amaranthine's reading experience (with a bit of tongue in cheek):

- textured cloth or velvet-like cloth - seems very impractical for casual reading and may pick up dirt and grime over time, not to mention any possible discoloration, which oftentimes happens to various shades of orange/red (velvet jacket or sofa anybody?)
- stake-shaped or not-scratch resistant textured (possibly thick-ish) bookmarks, which may leave impression in the pages if stored or left inside the book for extended periods of time (similarly to thick page marker ribbons)
- glow-in-the-dark covers, spine and illustrations, which my buddies and I will try try to enjoy next time we are reading Dracula by flash light in the middle of the night while camping, just like when we were kids; cool thing - if one of them spills his beer on my book cover, at least the cover is water-repellant; hopefully so is the paper, in case they spill a larger bottle :D
- I am surprised that the entire copy of Through the Looking Glass was not -printed- "backwards as a nod to the looking-glass world, so it can only be properly read when pointed to a mirror"
- for the upcoming edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray, possible freebies may include a 4" vanity mirror framed in wolf bone from Transylvania, 2oz rejuvenating beauty cream that needs to be applied in reverse motion to work properly, lenticular print of Gray that changes appearances depending on which copy of Jekyll and Hyde you put it next to (feel sorry for those who did not purchase the set, but it won't work for you)

Redigerat: okt 21, 2021, 4:00 pm

>91 EPsonNY: tongue and cheek is fine, but it’s starting to feel like you have some vendetta against them.

Like I said before; totally fine to not like something and share why. But why do you feel like you have to continually detract from this publisher and continue to evangelize how much you dislike them?

I’d think we could stay a little more positive than that and focus primarily on celebrating fine publishing.

okt 20, 2021, 9:35 pm

Can we get back to talking about Lyra, and move the off topic conversation somewhere else. I’m starting to think I’m still in the Gimmicky Suntup thread.

Redigerat: okt 21, 2021, 5:39 pm

>93 _WishIReadMore: I was about to say the same. Can we please stay on topic. I keep opening the thread thinking excitedly that there is some new update on Dorian Gray only to read the non stop banter and criticism of Amaranthine press instead.

I was just wondering if there is a possibility of requesting for a number with rights if I do manage to snag a copy?
I read somewhere that you can request that you don't want a number with rights, but I wonder if Rich would consider those who really (I mean really really) do 😆

Redigerat: okt 21, 2021, 6:03 pm

>94 Praveenna_Nagaratnam: I think there's a possibility of requesting a matching number if rights aren't attached!

I think the vast majority are hoping for rights though, so good luck with that one :p

I'm really hoping he follows through on announcing what's next after Dorian so I have a better idea of how hard to try on this one, and possibly decide on it over the alternative from the other publisher who's not-to-be-discussed further (but who have become my go-to for gothic fiction despite their lack of letterpress).

okt 21, 2021, 6:11 pm

>94 Praveenna_Nagaratnam: according to the statement on the press website, any numbers available with rights to future matching preorders will be allocated randomly. You can clarify that you don't want rights, presumably for people who know they are really only interested in a particular book.

Redigerat: okt 21, 2021, 6:12 pm

>95 NathanOv: Lol good one! I am waiting for the next modern title too... Exciting times! (Not for my purse though haha) I do want to hop on the classics train though... Am really hoping for A Count of Monte Cristo and Jules Verne down the line... Imagine the potential illustrations for 20 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea or Journey to the Centre of the Earth!
P.S: I hope Rich is reading this 😂

Redigerat: okt 21, 2021, 10:54 pm

Back on topic, is there anyone who doesn't think the Lyra's rights system is not a great idea overall? It looks like Amaranthine's rights system functions almost identically to Suntup's, except the multiple tracks will likely make this much less of an issue in terms of trying to maintain a number. Lyra's rights system, to me, looks like it does everything right.

I am very curious to see how fast Lyra's Dorian Gray will sell out given that the Amaranthine prerorder will almost certainly take place beforehand. I think the real trouble with the dual releases will be at the lettered states. Amaranthine will have to up their game substantially for the Dorian lettered. I own the numbered Alice and have not been able to figure out how the lettered which is tremendously more expensive differs except for the limitation, different color, shimmering ink in a few places, and 2 non-book extras like the extremely heavy chess set which I would have no interest in regardless. Probably one of the worst values I've seen at the price relative to the lower state. I actually hope that this dual release will make both Amaranthine and Lyra's make both their books a good value in objective terms, even at the lettered states.

Edit: I do see that Amaranthine has posted on FB that they may add copies without rights, depending on future demand.

Redigerat: okt 21, 2021, 6:23 pm

>98 punkzip: “Back on topic … Amaranthine … Suntup…”

Good luck with that one!

But in all seriousness, I think Lyra’s is about the best system manageable and will be far less of an issue than people are making it out to be

okt 22, 2021, 9:11 am

>97 Praveenna_Nagaratnam: I don't mind those books but that's what I'm afraid of with subscribing. Those are books that have been done so many times and personally I think there is much better literature out there. Dorian Gray is an interesting choice but leaves more questions than answers. It's a popular and well know book a is unique, not spoken about too often, and is right in the middle. Will Lyra just stick to English language books? Will there be variety? Translations? What century? Would it entail some of the more modern 20th century fabulous literature out there? I just hope it's not the same old same old and somewhere in between an arion and thornwillow. If it's just the same Dickens, Austen, Dumas I would be quite disappointed and would pass even though the productions are wonderful. Even if it's English language only there are so many great titles to choose from which have never been published.

Redigerat: okt 22, 2021, 9:33 am

>97 Praveenna_Nagaratnam: Count of Monte Cristo is not a viable choice for letterpress - far too long. What I would really like to see is a version using the Robin Buss translation - rather than the anonymous translation used in the Folio editions and all the other fine press versions. Of course, this would entail additional cost, which is why the smaller fine presses almost always use public domain translations when better more modern translations are available. Folio is actually improving on this lately - while their Monte Cristo LE used the anonymous translation, a lot of recent books are using modern translations. Perhaps the best example is Zhivago, where FS commissioned a unique translation, by a Pasternak no less.

Redigerat: okt 22, 2021, 11:22 am

>97 Praveenna_Nagaratnam: As others mentioned, Count of Monte Cristo probably isn't feasible, but it would be wonderful to see other Dumas' books recognized in letterpress, such as The Fencing Master, The Wolf Leader, or even Georges which was the precursor to Count

>100 Joshbooks1: I’ll say that if we they were to do a translation, my pipe-dream of a book to someday see in letterpress would be The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

okt 22, 2021, 10:14 am

>100 Joshbooks1: Can you elaborate a bit more on what you mean when you say you're afraid of subscribing? As far as I can tell, there is no subscription to anything. You're not obligated to buy, and there will always be copies available to the general public.

Redigerat: okt 22, 2021, 1:07 pm

>103 _WishIReadMore: I suspect that there will be some people that feel pressure to keep their number just in case any upcoming title is of interest. The only way to really avoid this would be to announce titles way out, which is probably impractical, especially for a press just starting out, and even so would not totally handle the fear of missing out.

Whether "there will always be copies available to the general public" in practical terms will depend on supply and demand. If there are 50 open copies, for example, and 1000 interested buyers, the chances of securing a copy will be low.

I suspect the supply and demand will be more balanced than 5% demand satisfaction (people willing to spend hundreds of dollars on a single book really are outliers in terms of general book buying public), but we can also see a mismatch forming in, for example, the Centipede Press case, and there seems to be a big market for fantastic literature, even classics such as Dorian. In that light, the Lyra's prospective limitation looks low. But we will see.

On balance, I think the proposed system seems like a reasonable balancing act, but it may be that the underlying fundamentals (scarcity of expert labor, cost of materials) preclude satisfying demand at somewhat accessible price points.

okt 22, 2021, 12:47 pm

>104 abysswalker: Both Lyras and Amaranthine will be announcing far in advance going forward- to avoid a repeat of the double Dorian situation …

Redigerat: okt 22, 2021, 1:08 pm

>105 punkzip: I mean knowing what is coming looking forward many years, not just the next release. As I wrote, probably impractical. (I wouldn't want my hands so tied if I was a publisher.)

The value of keeping an option to preorder will depend on the entire unknown (and certainly undetermined) unpublished future catalog.

Side note: "Double Dorian Situation" is a good name for something.

okt 22, 2021, 1:18 pm

>106 abysswalker: To clarify, Rich has said it's highly likely he'll be announcing the next two books shortly; so in addition to knowing the next Lyra's Edition, we'll also likely know which Lyra's Classic you'd potentially be getting rights to by ordering Dorian.

Simply knowing the title you'll be getting rights to along with your pre-order should be enough to aid with that part of the decision, should it not?

okt 22, 2021, 1:45 pm

>107 NathanOv: "Simply knowing the title you'll be getting rights to along with your pre-order should be enough to aid with that part of the decision, should it not?"

Seems reasonable to me! I'm not a completist in any aspect of book collecting though.

Just to clarify though, it's not just that one title you'll be getting rights to, it is every title after that as well (as long as you continue placing preorders, or "staying on the train" as the Suntup faithful like to say).

okt 22, 2021, 1:57 pm

>108 abysswalker: "Just to clarify though, it's not just that one title you'll be getting rights to" I think we're by-and-large in agreement here, but you're getting rights exclusively to the subsequent book, and that subsequent book carries right to the book that follows it etc.

So unless you're just crossing your fingers that the third book in line is something more up your alley, simply knowing what's next after the current pre-order gives you the full picture of what you're purchasing and getting rights to.

Redigerat: okt 22, 2021, 2:09 pm

>108 abysswalker: I think the whole point of Lyra's system - and Amaranthine's possibly as well (they are currently taking feedback on the rights system on FB) is that THERE WILL BE NO TRAIN. Ideally, if the system works, a customer who pays attention to the release dates and times should be able to buy almost any title they want. The only reason then to "stay on the train" would be if one is attached to a particular number. Both Lyra's and Amaranthine do not want a situation where a customer feels the need to buy a book they don't want just to "stay on the train". They've learned from the mistakes another press has made and want to, as much as possible, create a low stress situation for their customers. The other publisher's train looks like it has derailed...

okt 22, 2021, 2:08 pm

>109 NathanOv: this is probably just a quirk of the brief forum communication format, but I am not sure what distinction you are trying to draw.

The rights relation is transitive (A grants rights to B, which grants rights to C implies that A grants rights to C, assuming you purchase all intermediate releases).

So "knowing what's next after the current pre-order gives you the full picture of what you're purchasing and getting rights to" is incorrect in a practical sense, as there is good reason to expect the system to persist (though of course there is always a small chance that the policy will change or that the current or next book will be the last book).

okt 22, 2021, 2:10 pm

>100 Joshbooks1: fair enough. I think we each have titles we are rooting for and hoping gets the Lyra's treatment. There are so many older chassics I could name I want done and I for one wouldn't mind at all and would actually be happy with Dickens or Austen haha...
20th century ones am hoping for the most is The Alchemist and The Catcher in the Rye. I know FS has their version of the alchemist but am still holding on to my worn paperbacks until I find a copy I really love 😅 I wonder if those would be categorized as Lyras Press? and of course I'd love to see more Gaiman down the road

okt 22, 2021, 2:11 pm

>102 NathanOv: Oooh I'd love the Hunchback of Notre Dame too!

Redigerat: okt 22, 2021, 2:22 pm

>111 abysswalker: it’s the same distinction >110 punkzip: made a little more thoroughly; the idea is very much NOT to be selling rights that customers feel the need to maintain by “staying on the train”, and only to be giving you the first chance to order the book directly next in line.

EDIT as well as keeping your number

okt 22, 2021, 2:26 pm

>110 punkzip: 'The only reason then to "stay on the train" would be if one is attached to a particular number.'

Or a desire for increased certainty or decreased hassle. Paying attention to the release dates and times involves increased uncertainty and stress for some people; just look at how Centipede Press fans are talking about the long-awaited preorder for Dune this coming Sunday (I am glad this book is not on my want list). Additionally, the ability to preorder guards against other life commitments and many potential tech failures getting in the way.

I understand that they don't want a situation where a customer feels the need to buy a book they don't want just to "stay on the train" but nonetheless the incentive remains.

I agree with you though that they have learned from the Suntup example and I like this system better, even if it doesn't completely alter that particular dynamic. If I am understanding it correctly, the only differences are 1) that rights are non-transferable and 2) there will be a subset of numbers which do not carry rights. 1) should decrease the attractiveness (a little bit) to speculators. 2) increases utility for people who know they don't want to buy all the books. But neither modification removes the value of staying on the train for potential future uncertain reward if demand is larger than supply (and the value becomes larger the more demand outstrips supply).

okt 22, 2021, 2:33 pm

>115 abysswalker: I’d encourage you to look at presses other than Suntup for context here.

As I’ve said before, it’s a regular convention of the Fine Press world to offer a certain percentage of their limitation via subscription or standing order.

That’s essentially what Lyra’s doing, except you haven’t “committed” to ordering anything in the future and it sounds like you’ll still have to watch release dates / communications and take action to secure each title as it comes up.

I really wish Lyra’s and Amaranthine had avoided the language of “rights” which has forced all this comparison with the small press genre publishers like Suntup and Subterranean.

Redigerat: okt 22, 2021, 2:40 pm

>115 abysswalker: These are Rich's words: "What I want from this method most of all, is for people not to feel pressured into buying everything I publish just to maintain rights. That is not healthy at all and I have no desire to see people get themselves into debt over a book. There will always be copies available at every release and those that do not wish to continue with rights can simply relinquish them, while still having a fairly good chance at getting another book a bit further down the line if they wish"

If given the above, you still feel a need to buy books you don't want in order to get access to future books, then go ahead and do so, but the system is designed explicitly to remove this motivation as much as possible.

okt 22, 2021, 2:54 pm

> Rich crafted an amazing cover for a copy of the first edition of Brave New World, which I hope may inspire him to print this title next. If not, I would like to see We by Zamyatin... Both fit in terms of length :).

Redigerat: okt 23, 2021, 6:18 pm

>116 NathanOv: I suspect that the challenge here at base is market fundamentals (supply and demand), not the specific design of customer loyalty programs (both Suntup "rights" and traditional standing orders with discounts are forms of customer loyalty program).

I agree the rights language is unfortunate (but it is also good marketing).

okt 22, 2021, 5:03 pm

>119 abysswalker: Well in that case, I think we're yet to find out what the demand is for a general Lyra's book versus what was the first fine press Gaiman book, and one of the favourites to boot, that was likewise heavily promoted by the author.

While it will certainly sell out, I'd be surprised if there's many people at all ready and planning for the initial pre-order who miss out on a copy.

okt 22, 2021, 7:28 pm

I think Rich should have done it the other way around. Have fewer numbers with rights, and more numbers without. That way folks would be more confident that there will indeed be a chance to pick up a book they want down the line. This way, with something like 50 free-floating books, it's still creating a lot of pressure because you know that for a popular title almost all the rights holders will exercise their rights and then you're still not sure you'll get your copy. And I doubt many folks are that attached to having a particular number, so if that's the only incentive it's strange to have that many numbers with rights.

Redigerat: okt 22, 2021, 11:48 pm

Det här meddelandet har tagits bort av dess författare.

okt 23, 2021, 8:30 am

>121 filox:

I agree. A larger number of freely available books would be very helpful.

Redigerat: okt 23, 2021, 9:46 am

>121 filox: For Lyra's Dorian, there will be at least 150 books available for public sale (50 of those will have randomly allocated rights attached). After Dorian, there will be at least 100, or possibly at least 150 copies, available for public sale, with either 25 or 50 of those with randomly allocated rights attached. Currently Amaranthine plans to have 40 books without rights available for public sale - not sure whether this will start with Dorian or not. Interestingly one thing that Amaranthine is concerned about is whether current rights holders will be unhappy with increasing the limitation from 260, but general consensus seems to be that 40 is not too much. Lyra's is increasing the numbered limitations greatly from 100.

okt 23, 2021, 11:12 am

>124 punkzip: After Dorian, there will be at least 100, or possibly at least 150 copies, available for public sale, with either 25 or 50 of those with randomly allocated rights attached.

This is misleading at best and just plain wrong at worst. Here's a clear summary of the numbers (steady state after the first publication, because the first one is kinda special):
- Lyra's classics: 150 for pre-order, 100 free-float
- Lyra's press: 125 pre-order, 75 free-float, with a possibility of increasing to 150 pre-order and 100 free-float

In absolutely no scenario (unless I'm not understanding the blog post properly) will there be more than 100 free-floating books available for sale (after the special first release of course). And this was my point: instead of having just 75 books that are guaranteed to be available, it would have been better to have fewer books with rights (say, 50) and more free-floating. This would create less of a sense of urgency, especially for popular titles.

And FWIW, I own the numbered Stardust and I couldn't care less how much Rich increases the limitation. That book is not worth more to me because there are fewer copies of it. If Rich can do 1000 copies with the same level of craftsmanship he's put into Stardust, I would be ecstatic. It just means I have to worry less about the book selling out quickly.

Redigerat: okt 23, 2021, 12:14 pm

>125 filox: After rereading Lyra's statement, we are basically saying the same thing, you are just using different terminology. My post is correct - you misquoted me in the first 2 words of your post.

okt 23, 2021, 1:04 pm

For the Classics, doesn’t it say there will be 100 copies always available to the public? Copies 151-250?

Unless I’m misinterpreting it. Where does 75 come from, >125 filox:?

okt 23, 2021, 1:18 pm

>127 _WishIReadMore: You're confusing Classics and Press tracks. If you read my post carefully, i say it's 100 for Classics (in line with your understanding), and 75 for Lyra's Press.

Redigerat: okt 23, 2021, 2:20 pm

The actual numbers are described clearly above (comment >47 Sorion:). For Classics:

"I will be increasing the number of Numbered copies that have rights attached to them. This will increase from 100 to 150 out of a limitation of 250. These additional 50 rights copies, plus any that are not taken up by Stardust owners, will be randomly allocated to people who order within the first 24 hours of open pre-order. Numbers 151+ will remain as non-rights copies going forward, meaning there will always be books available to everyone at every title."

okt 23, 2021, 1:27 pm

>126 punkzip: Sorry, which part did I misquote? I literally copy pasted your sentence...

okt 23, 2021, 1:34 pm

>130 filox: For Lyra’s Dorian - not after

Redigerat: okt 23, 2021, 2:31 pm

>128 filox: I did read your post carefully, but I think your switching of what you're referencing specifically has created some confusion. Thanks for clarifying.

Regardless, I think 75-100 copies available for everyone to have a chance at is a pretty good balance. Clearly there is no scenario that would please everyone.

I also find the public brainstorming going on with the Amaranthine FB post to be a bit odd, though I can't exactly articulate why.

okt 23, 2021, 2:44 pm

>132 _WishIReadMore: I also find the public brainstorming going on with the Amaranthine FB post to be a bit odd, though I can't exactly articulate why.

Mind posting a gist of it here for those of us not on Facebook?

okt 23, 2021, 3:36 pm

There was discussion about three different sets of rights, with different names, which was quickly canned I think. Then discussion about what if they ever published a Stephen King book, and that should be separate. Now it might be two, with it being a bit fuzzy on what qualifies for the two types. I stopped reading. There's a couple other threads a more detailed discussion could be had, I don't want to be guilty of straying too far off topic myself.

I think the Lyra's approach is pretty clear - public domain and not public domain.

okt 23, 2021, 4:58 pm

To give a sense of how fast books with a substantial number of copies from a very popular press sell out:

Suntup Red Dragon: 76 copies - 26 minutes
Suntup Seed: 107 copies (increased print run) - 29 minutes

This suggests that with 100+ copies, if one pays attention to the release date and time, one will get a copy

Redigerat: okt 23, 2021, 6:19 pm

>135 punkzip: Not at all comparable, I'm afraid. Very different type of press, which I think you're well aware has a unique craze around it, and neither of those are public domain classics.

But yes, I think your conclusion that all one needs to do is be online when preorders open is still correct.

okt 23, 2021, 7:48 pm

>136 NathanOv: agreed. My point in posting the times was to point out that if Suntup takes 30 minutes or so to sell out 75-100 copies you don’t have to worry about getting a Lyras book if you are online at the start of the public sale.

okt 23, 2021, 7:49 pm

Detta konto har stängts av för spammande.

Redigerat: okt 23, 2021, 8:44 pm

>137 punkzip: That's fair I guess!

To turn the discussion in a different direction, what do people anticipate in terms of pricing? I would assume the numbered would not exceed Stardust (455 GBP), though I also can't see it being much less, and interestingly that's almost the exact price that Amaranthine seems to have landed on for their numbereds which, while quite to my liking, certainly don't use the same quality of materials, printing or production.

okt 23, 2021, 8:57 pm

>139 NathanOv: I'm actually wondering if the dual release situation with Dorian will influence the prices, at least I hope AB will make their Dorian come in below the $600 for Alice given that there is a direct competitor on the horizon. I have the AB Alice and I think it is a much more coherent design than Dracula (which I also own but have come to dislike over time as the 666 and glow in the dark motifs don't really have much to do with Dracula and actually remind me of something my friends and I might have come up with during grade school if creating a Dracula book). I don't have a sense of how much the Jacquard woven fabric adds to the cost, and the slipcase is nice, but $600 seems too much for a book without traditional markers of value (letterpress, leather etc). So while I quite like my AB Alice I feel it was overpriced, but perhaps the limitation plays a role. The design is an encouraging advance over Dracula and I plan to purchase both the AB and Lyra's Dorian.

okt 23, 2021, 11:20 pm

>140 punkzip: I think another press could’ve gotten away with starting the numbered Stardust at well over $1k, so I don’t think recognizing that Alice isn’t nearly the same value necessarily means it was over priced.

As a Subterranean Press collector, the numbered Alice definitely blows a lot of their similarly or higher-priced Lettered editions out of the water with the attention to design and extra details like the Jacquard sewn covers and enclosed slipcase.

I think it’s just when you start comparing to strictly fine press editions that you see a lot of higher quality materials at similar price points.

okt 24, 2021, 5:44 am

>135 punkzip:

All that presupposes that one can be at the computer during those few minutes (not always possible) and that the website works properly. I wasn't able to buy a numbered Lyra 'Stardust' because the system didn't show a purchase button and it was gone very quickly. I was okay with the other edition, but still, this was less than ideal. My impression is that the website was overwhelmed by the number of people trying to buy at the same time, which is an issue when such a limited number of books is freely available and there's an interest. Something similar happened with Arete, where luckily things didn't sell out that quickly, so I could spend half an hour experimenting on my computer and mobile phone until I stumbled upon a way to actually buy what I wanted. Others here had similar problems and published how they finally managed to trick a poorly functioning webshop into actually selling them a book. I could laugh afterwards, but at the time it was stressful. With another title / publisher, that could have been it. I lost out on a Suntup book like that, because I couldn't finish the payment quickly enough.

Redigerat: okt 24, 2021, 9:37 am

>141 NathanOv: I agree completely with your thoughts on Stardust, and wasn't comparing Alice to Stardust, as Stardust was a tremendous value at the price. I have never seen a Sub Press lettered, but I assume that the cost of the lettered is primarily related to the small 26 limitation. Almost all the lettered (or whatever the smallest limitation is called) from genre small presses are poor objective values, but arguably the customer is paying for exclusivity and perhaps the possibility of appreciation based on that exclusivity. It might be better to compare Alice to other titles which have a similar limitation. I'm hesitant to bring up a certain publisher again, one which is probably closest to a genre small press which dabbles in fine press elements but I do think it is a reasonable comparison as AB is not a traditional fine press for sure. The recent Collector was around $600 but was quarter leather, letterpress, on Mohawk Superfine. That compares favorably to Thornwillow, and is better outside the Kickstarter. It's also a title under copyright so there is the additional cost of that. Alice does have a better slipcase and more art though. Now if we are comparing to public domain Moreau was $365 and letterpress. If we are comparing to non-letterpress, most of the said publishers non-letterpress titles were quite a bit below $600 and the ones in that price range (Jaws, Blackwater) were quarter leather and Blackwater is close to 900 pages. Perhaps the reason I find AB difficult to assess is that I don't have a good idea of what elements like the Jacquard weaving are "worth" as I don't have comparables. Having said that, I'm definitely a fan of AB - primarily based on Alice - and plan to purchase their next 2 titles (I will likely skip Catch-22 as I do not like that book much). They bring a lot to the table in terms of creativity.

But getting back to the question of prices. I think Lyra's knows it could charge more, probably substantially more, for a numbered leather Dorian. My hope is that the dual release situation, with the AB version being announced first, will prevent the price of the numbered Lyra's Dorian from rising too much or not at all. I also hope that that AB will bring in their version of Dorian below $600, given that they know another release is on the horizon. So essentially, I'm hoping that the dual release situation will benefit customers, although it is certainly not an ideal situation for the presses.

Redigerat: okt 24, 2021, 10:16 am

>143 punkzip: I’m getting a little deja by, so I’ll just say I respectfully disagree with your choice of price comparisons for reasons I’ve mentioned before.

I’d be plenty happy if the two competing editions drove the price down or forced AB to upgrade their materials, though!

Honestly, it’s just amazing to me that Richard is creating such deluxe, hand-bound editions at the high limitations that he is.

Death and Honey #’d could’ve been the design and quality for a lettered at many presses, and the Stardust numbered if most comparable to the

Redigerat: okt 24, 2021, 10:32 am

>142 SF-72: You’ve probably got a window of at least several hours, for multiple reasons:

1) Everyone who contributed to the rapid sellout has a copy of Dorian already reserved for them, should they choose to exercise rights, so you won’t be “competing” with any of the same people.

2) There will be more copies available after rights (150, for 250 total) then were available of Stardust to begin with (just 100 total)

3) Many likely won’t exercise their rights for the Classics as they were Gaiman collectors. There was no such thing as a “Lyra’s collector” when that book went on sale.

Redigerat: okt 24, 2021, 10:38 am

>144 NathanOv: I would also note that if you currently have numbered rights you can skip the Lyras Dorian and retain rights to next -Lyras Press - title. So it is another reason why it not a given that a Gaiman fan with rights will purchase Dorian and there will likely be more than 150 public copies

okt 24, 2021, 12:27 pm

>145 NathanOv:

I'm actually not interested in Dorian, but would be very much so when it comes to future Gaiman titles, possibly others, too. But I hope you're right and that this won't be an issue.

okt 24, 2021, 12:50 pm

>145 NathanOv: Everyone who contributed to the rapid sellout has a copy of Dorian already reserved for them, should they choose to exercise rights, so you won’t be “competing” with any of the same people.

I don't think that's true. There were many who missed out on Stardust, and I think a lot of them might be going for Dorian as well.

>145 NathanOv: Many likely won’t exercise their rights for the Classics as they were Gaiman collectors.

I'm curious, what makes you think that? My impression was that a lot of Stardust buyers were general book collectors, but that view may have been skewed by this very forum. I own the numbered and I've never read Gaiman in my life, and I seem to remember at least a few more cases like that on this forum.

Redigerat: okt 24, 2021, 3:18 pm

Another data point: Up to 250 copies of the unsigned Centipede Press Dune sold out in about an hour. These were made available to everyone on the general email list, and not just those who asked to be put on the Dune list specifically. I never asked to be put on the Dune list (too late for that) and was able to purchase an unsigned copy - happy with that as I don't want the whole series as I dislike some of the later books in the series. This is for a book for which there has been tremendous anticipation built up over years. As previously noted, Suntup at the height of their hype sold out 75-100 copies in about half an hour. So I think the fastest possible time for 150+ copies of Lyra's Dorian to sell out would be about 45 minutes - more than enough time for anyone who pays attention. I agree with NathanOv though that Lyra's Dorian is not in the same category at all and I anticipate a few hours if not longer to sell out.

okt 24, 2021, 3:14 pm

>149 punkzip: the limitation for Centipede Dune was 750 (500 signed and 250 unsigned).

It's not really comparable to the upcoming Lyra's release for number of other reasons as well, though there's probably some overlap in customer base.

Redigerat: okt 24, 2021, 3:22 pm

>150 abysswalker: Thanks, changed the number. Agreed that Lyra's Dorian is not in the same category at all and mentioned at the end of my prior post. Just pointing out again that no one who really wants a copy of Lyra's Dorian has to worry about getting one - which is what Rich wants to do with the system he described.

okt 24, 2021, 3:23 pm

>148 filox: again, I wouldn’t assume that people who “missed out” in the leathered Stardust will necessarily be attracted to Dorian, nor that there are 150 of them in total.

As far as Gaiman collectors, Lyra’s certainly caught the attention of the larger fine press and book collecting worlds, but it was initially promoted by Neil to his followers and I haven’t seen more than half a dozen people on this forum with the leather.

okt 24, 2021, 4:02 pm

>150 abysswalker: Yes, I can assure you that there is some overlap between CP and Lyra buyers not to mention Thornwillow, Suntup, and FS.

okt 24, 2021, 5:24 pm

>152 NathanOv: Everyone who contributed to the rapid sellout has a copy of Dorian already reserved for them, should they choose to exercise rights, so you won’t be “competing” with any of the same people.

The bolded parts are where I think the statement is wrong. At least some who didn't get Stardust will be getting Dorian, this I am sure of (in fact, I think even on this very forum there are a few who voiced this opinion). It's a matter of how many, this remains to be seen, but my opinion is that we're underestimating this number.

okt 24, 2021, 6:23 pm

>154 filox: Literally every single person who bought a copy of the leather Stardust has a copy of Dorian reserved for them. You truly will not be competing with any of these people.

Sure, there may be some people who, coincidentally, missed out on Stardust but continued to follow Lyra’s and want Dorian. But there will also surely be a good number of collectors who pas on their classic rights, either waiting for the next Lyra’s Edition or simply having no interest in the press beyond the Gaiman title they originally purchased.

okt 24, 2021, 6:35 pm

>155 NathanOv: Literally every single person who bought a copy of the leather Stardust has a copy of Dorian reserved for them.

>145 NathanOv: Everyone who contributed to the rapid sellout has a copy of Dorian already reserved for them

These two statements are not equivalent. It is left as an exercise to the reader to find the difference.

As an aside: I find it a bit unfortunate that the modern imprint will be called Lyra's Press, as it sounds more general than the new Lyra's Classics and one might expect that the latter is somehow a subset of the former, where this is not the case. I really wish the name Lyra's Press was changed to something like Lyra's Modern or similar so that the books from the two imprints make a more coherent story when presented side by side on the shelf.

okt 24, 2021, 7:12 pm

If you score a limited edition, great. If you don't, tough luck. I don't see what going in circles in this thread for days on end accomplishes as nobody in private press is obligated to democratize a process that easily outstrips a month's rent in most parts of the world. There are surely better ways to kill time until pre-orders open in Dec/Jan.

okt 24, 2021, 10:56 pm

I’m struggling to understand why anyone would not want a fine press version of Dorian in the type of quality that Rich is capable of providing.

okt 25, 2021, 12:16 am

>156 filox: I really can’t wrap my head around what you’re trying to say here other than “You didn’t mean what you think you meant even though I know what you think you meant!”

Don’t you have better points to argue?

Redigerat: okt 25, 2021, 8:14 am

Nathan, there is an issue where you speculate the demand won’t be as high for Dorian because, you say, competition is less fierce since all the Stardust buyers would have theirs already. You’re assuming incorrectly that there was just 100 people interested in Stardust, or a bit more, and that same number, or a bit more, will be interested in Dorian.

I’d venture if there were 500 copies of Stardust, they would have all sold out in a couple days. But that’s just me speculating. Based on so few copies being available for sale, we actually have no measure on what the true demand is, other than it was enough to slow down the website.

Now, I’m not going to debate this with you, because I don’t think it’ll go anywhere, and I don’t need to change your mind, just offer an opinion. Plus it seems like you have a hard time letting some things go.

okt 25, 2021, 8:38 am

>160 _WishIReadMore: Little passive aggressive to throw jabs and then back away? Time will tell very soon, but in no way will it fly off the shelves like a Gaimen novel - although I still can't wrap my head around his popularity. To each their own I suppose.

Anyway, does anyone have any information regarding the release? I'm quite excited and just a little fearful Lyra will release their book while I'm at work or due to time difference.

Redigerat: okt 25, 2021, 8:59 am

>161 Joshbooks1: It looks like we will be able to preorder in December/January.

Redigerat: okt 25, 2021, 9:13 am

>160 _WishIReadMore: my statement was that everyone who bought a copy of the leather Stardust (causing the instant sellout) has a copy reserved.

I really don’t know why there’ve been half a dozen response questioning the phrasing of my comment.

It doesn’t matter if there were one or one hundred more people trying to purchase books at the time - they were a non-factor in how fast it sold out, and are considerably less likely to have followed Lyra’s to this point than if they have a copy in their collection.

dec 7, 2021, 7:59 am

Previews of the bindings are up on Facebook, with an email going out soon. Looks amazing.

dec 7, 2021, 8:08 am

>164 What_What: Wish the news would go up on their website before facebook as most of us have abandoned that sinking ship.

dec 7, 2021, 8:45 am

>165 L.Bloom: you meant email update? unless you're frequently refreshing their website, social media is the way to go.

dec 7, 2021, 9:09 am

These look lovely—I can’t wait to see more details. Also +1 for email or website updates. They really are the best. The fewer reasons to check social media (Instagram and Twitter in my case, I’ve abandoned the quagmire of despair called Facebook) the better.

dec 7, 2021, 9:34 am

>166 HamburgerHelper: That black cover design is truly stunning. I'm afraid that's more likely the lettered, which I might again be priced out of due to the Gregory Manchess original it's set to include, but it's going to be hard to resist if so

dec 7, 2021, 9:43 am

>168 NathanOv: you're assuming there will be lettered available for general public, or did you get Stardust lettered?

Redigerat: dec 7, 2021, 9:54 am

>169 filox: There will almost certainly be copies available via the lottery.

Remember that Lyra's was not a known entity at the time of Stardust, and many of the biggest purchasers were strictly Gaiman collectors

dec 7, 2021, 10:13 am

>166 HamburgerHelper: Thank you for the lovely pictures! To be honest I'd be happiest if I received updates via hand pressed, gold filigreed card through the post but we must make do with what we have.

dec 7, 2021, 11:29 am

>171 L.Bloom: love this reply! haha... hand pressed, gold filigree for the win!

dec 7, 2021, 11:52 am

>171 L.Bloom: Ah, but would you prefer they arrive via carrier pigeon or messenger coach?

dec 7, 2021, 1:57 pm

>165 L.Bloom: Haha I hear you. It’s almost like different people enjoy different things.

dec 8, 2021, 9:17 am

A few more pictures of the Lettered have been released. Rich expects pre-orders for rights-holders to begin in early January.

dec 8, 2021, 10:40 am

Numbered photos are up now as well. I'm excited for this edition - I'll be doing my best to snag a numbered copy while also entering the lettered lottery.

However, does anyone else feel like the tiers have shifted down from Stardust? The Dorian numbered is almost identical in concept to the Stardust clothbounds, with just one slight upgrade in materials, while the Dorian lettered is much closer to the Stardust leatherbound, albeit with the added artwork, but without quite matching the really extravagant production of the Stardust lettered.

dec 8, 2021, 11:46 am

Perhaps I’ve overlooked this info elsewhere, but is there any sense yet as to the anticipated format of Dorian? I.e., folio, quarto or octavo?

dec 8, 2021, 12:25 pm

>177 kermaier: I suspect that will be included in the blog post this weekend with the pre-order & pricing details.

My guess is quarto for the numbered and an oversized lettered.

dec 8, 2021, 2:11 pm

This is going to be the greatest edition of Dorian Gray :)

Redigerat: dec 8, 2021, 2:17 pm

My hope is that the current double Dorian situation will result in very competitive pricing for both Lyra's and Amaranthine's versions. After all, a total of 510 numbered and 52 lettered editions, with both preorders happening in close succession - Amaranthine this month, and Lyra's next month - is a lot, particularly for a classic title. Lyra's editions are beautiful, but more or less what I would have expected. I'm looking forward to Amaranthine's announcement which I think will be more of a surprise. Plan to get a numbered of each.

dec 8, 2021, 7:01 pm

>180 punkzip: My hope is that the current double Dorian situation will result in very competitive pricing
0% chance. I don't know about Amaranthine's edition, but I predict that Lyra's will be about the same cost as Stardust and sell out super quickly. Fine press books are such a niche market that there's basically no competition.

dec 8, 2021, 7:43 pm

>181 astropi: I’m afraid you’re likely to be right, although I hope that, since the numbered is half leather and not full leather, the cost is closer to the cloth edition of Stardust, rather than the full leather.

dec 8, 2021, 7:56 pm

>181 astropi: Not sure I agree here. The 2 editions of Dorian are definitely in competition, and this is recognized by the publishers themselves, who have taken to announcing releases far in advance to avoid similar situations in the future. 510 numbered editions, and 52 lettered editions is a lot to sell but I think the effect on sales will be at the lettered level. Take a look at the highest state of the Hand and Eye Wind in the Willows and the DWP WiTW - both around $2000 and neither has sold out.

dec 8, 2021, 8:33 pm

Whether they are in competition is really decided at the individual level, and not something a blanket statement can accurately describe. I for one have no interest in the Amaranthine edition, and would have no interest even if Lyra’s weren’t doing one as well.

dec 8, 2021, 8:40 pm

>183 punkzip: The numbered edition of Stardust was around $500. If Dorian is in the same ballpark, which I am confident it will be, perhaps even lower as noted by >182 jsg1976:, then I have no doubt it will be sell out incredibly fast. It's a funny coincidence that both publishers choose the same book, but I really just don't see any competition here. Lyra is producing 276 copies. Amaranthine could produce 10,000 and I don't think that would affect Lyra at all. Lyra's edition is letterpress, and judging by the quality of Stardust will be truly heirloom. I believe Amaranthine appeals to a different crowd. That said, I wish both publishers much success :)

Redigerat: dec 8, 2021, 8:50 pm

>184 What_What: I was just pointing out that the publishers seem to think that dual publication is an issue. Rich Tong described it as a "mini-crisis". So while some people here may think there is no competition, the publishers themselves don't seem to think so.

dec 8, 2021, 9:33 pm

I do think it's not as bad as bad as that, really.

Redigerat: dec 9, 2021, 2:03 am

Regarding pricing, I expect Dorian to take a good jump over Stardust pricing. New businesses, generally, are notorious for underestimating both their expenses and what people are willing to pay and almost always underprice at the beginning. I bought a standard blue Stardust on the secondary market for $450. The quality was such that I would have gladly paid that amount direct to the publisher, and the actual price was what... about US$250?

I realize there is no standard this time around but neither is the numbered full leather, as the Stardust numbered was. Still, I would actually be thrilled if it winds up only being $500. I'm fully prepared for $800-1000. But I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Redigerat: dec 9, 2021, 2:53 am

>185 astropi: >188 whytewolf1: Regarding pricing, I agree with >185 astropi: that the numbered Dorian will be around the price of the leather Stardust - my guess would be around £500 (not $!). I think it's highly unlikely the price will be in line with the standard edition of Stardust (around £150). Dorian is not full leather, there are no rights to pay and no author's signature; on the other hand significantly more art has been commissioned here, there's no standard edition to offset costs and, as we all know, Stardust was originally underpriced.

Re the competition with Amaranthine, there is a level of competition here but I'd guess Amaranthine are more worried about it than Lyra's (probably no letterpress, leather etc in the former). Also, even if >180 punkzip: claims that Amaranthine's edition will be up for pre-order this month, Lyra's have been first out of the gate with details which gives them an advantage. I may be wrong, but it seems that Amaranthine may be rethinking their edition following Lyra's announcement. I don't receive any newsletter from Amaranthine so may be missing some information here, but given that there's no recent update of their FB page and the last news on their website is dated 9th April, at this point it seems unlikely they'll be releasing Dorian this year.

Redigerat: dec 9, 2021, 3:40 am

>189 Levin40: Marko from Amaranthine has been posting in the FB group about their Dorian, and about a week ago said he still expected pre-orders to happen this month, barring unforeseen production issues, and pre-orders for their Frankenstein to occur in January

EDIT: right after I posted that, they posted the first illustration on the Amaranthine FB page

dec 9, 2021, 4:43 am

I also doubt that the price of Lyra's edition would be influenced by the fact that Amaranthine is publishing the same book. It feels like a very different audience between the two. I know a few people on this forum said they're interested in both, but it seems to be more of an exception than a rule. Also, even if the two competed, I doubt that selling books below cost is a smart move, unless they're really strapped for cash. Profit margins on fine press books are really thin, so there's really almost no wiggle room left.

Redigerat: dec 9, 2021, 4:52 am

I’d assume that the pricing for the numbered edition would be along the lines of the numbered edition for Stardust. The lettered edition looks magnificent but I’ll be surprised if there is an opportunity to purchase it for numbered members let alone for public sale.

I’d also agree 100% with >179 astropi: .

Redigerat: dec 9, 2021, 6:00 am

Just to add that I think the lettered edition will have a large jump in price here. Stardust lettered was £1575 which I would say was very underpriced. I would expect the Dorian lettered at least the price of A Case of Death and Honey Artist's edition: £3200.

>192 Sorion: Remaining lettered will be by lottery only. So it'll make no difference if you're a numbered member or a new customer.

Redigerat: dec 9, 2021, 8:22 am

>191 filox: I think there is some room for pricing adjustments for both publishers. As everyone has said, Stardust was underpriced, and Lyra's could certainly raise the prices on Dorian relative to Stardust, and still sell out, but may not do this as much due to the competition. Alice IMO was overpriced, so I think there i some room for price adjustment there. Another thing to keep in mind is that there are no copies of the Amaranthine Dorian without rights (all will be offered first to the 260 rights holders from Alice) so rights might be an issue if one is interested in their Frankenstein as well. FWIW, Marko was thinking about offering additional copies over 260 (and will likely do so with future publications) but didn't do so with Dorian, perhaps because of the competition issue.

As for Lyra's - from the beginning of the Dorian announcement:

"Well… I had hoped to approach the various announcements I have to make over the next couple of weeks in a slightly different order but, oh well! As some of you may be aware, another fine press has just announced that they will be publishing ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ by Oscar Wilde this year. It seems that both of us have been secretly beavering away on the same project for many months! So yes, the next book to be published by Lyra’s Books will also be ‘Dorian Gray’, although I expect our versions to be quite different from one another. I’m hoping for the pre-order to happen sometime shortly before Christmas, perhaps January if it is unavoidable. Whatever happens, we are printing in December and binding in January/February. There are two other books lined up for next year and it’s possible, given this mini crisis, that I might just let you know what they are a long time in advance! That worked quite well for ‘Stardust’ so perhaps it’s the way forward with future titles."

dec 9, 2021, 8:28 am

>189 Levin40: I think the best price comparable for the Lyra's Dorian numbered would Thornwillow half-leathers. $600+ at Kickstarter prices.

dec 9, 2021, 10:17 am

>179 astropi: I agree. It’s a beautiful and am really looking forward to January and hearing more.

dec 9, 2021, 12:15 pm

Wish they would have gone with purple velvet for the numbered. Something a bit more flamboyant, and dandy looking.

dec 9, 2021, 12:59 pm

>193 Levin40: It doesn't actually specify in the email if it's a lottery of public/subscribers or if by remaining copies he means after all subscribers have had the option to purchase or just lettered subscribers.

dec 9, 2021, 1:39 pm

I truly hope there isn't a great price jump. I predict the numbered will be around £450-£500 and the lettered above £2500 (as there is original art)

Redigerat: nov 19, 2022, 5:13 pm

Det här meddelandet har tagits bort av dess författare.

Redigerat: dec 9, 2021, 2:27 pm

>199 Praveenna_Nagaratnam: Yes, I can see the lettered going for that price (or more) because of the original art. The numbered should be around the same price as Stardust. Stardust reproduced full-color illustrations by Charles Vess - it's possible Gray's illustrations are duotone which is less expensive. At the end of the day, there were some 600 copies of Stardust plus the lettered, for a total of 626 (plus a few others). And Dorian is less than half that, so I predict copies will sublimate like water on Mars...

dec 9, 2021, 4:13 pm

>197 Undergroundman: Then Rich would not be working in his material metier

dec 9, 2021, 5:23 pm

The artwork reveal for the AP edition has further cemented my decision.

Regards to pricing of the LP numbered, hopefully it's about the same as the Stardust - I think a number of factors are pushing it both up (additional artwork, upgraded paper, fewer copies overall) and down (public domain, not full leather binding), and maybe it'll even out to be about the same.

dec 9, 2021, 5:29 pm

>194 punkzip: Again, I doubt the two editions have much in common and will influence each other in any significant way, but I guess it doesn't even matter much in the end. I'm pretty happy with the way the editions look, and I'll get it if it's 400GBP or less. If it's between 400 and 500 I'll have to think about it, and above 500GBP I'm probably out.

Also, not sure what the c/p from the email is meant to convey here.

Redigerat: dec 9, 2021, 5:49 pm

>204 filox: The quote from the Dorian announcement was just meant to convey that Rich himself thinks that the dual publication is not an insignificant issue.

From my perspective, I am interested in the traditional fine press virtues that Lyra exemplifies but also appreciate the creativity of Amaranthine (although they can misfire - Dracula IMO). The Lyra edition is exactly what I would expect, but the Amaranthine edition could surprise me - I like that. The same person can be interested in more than one thing.. I would have bought the Lyra's Dorian, and would have bought the Amaranthine Dorian. Fortunately I can buy both (although this means I'd be less likely to spring for a lettered) but what if someone is interested in both and can only buy one? I don't think we should assume that Amaranthine customers don't care about paper quality, letterpress, etc., and Lyra's customers don't appreciate Amaranthine's creativity.

dec 10, 2021, 12:39 pm

>205 punkzip: To be fair, there's also no confirmation yet that Marko's not printing letterpress or using finer paper this time around. He's asked for and applied feedback on limitations, rights, pricing / tiers etc. and letterpress was a HUGE want from current collectors

dec 10, 2021, 1:31 pm

>206 NathanOv: I wonder though if letterpress and better paper would be for the lettered edition as it is possible that AB has abandoned their previous design philosophy of making the numbered the ultimate edition of the book. If letterpress and better paper is a huge want from current AB collectors, that further supports my contention that this is a lot more overlap between the AB and Lyra's collector base than some here seen to think. I'm also wondering if the upcoming AB Frankenstein preorder will affect the AB Dorian, as there may not be additional copies over 260 of Frankenstein, and I anticipate Frankenstein will be pretty popular - more so than Dorian - so if you don't buy Dorian it may not be that easy to buy Frankenstein.

dec 10, 2021, 2:04 pm

>207 punkzip: I could see a paper upgrade for Lettered, but I can't imagine that they'd take the time to typeset / proof etc. for 26 copies when I'd have to assume it would only be marginally different in cost to do all 300 or so.

I believe Marko has confirmed there will be at least 40 copies available of each publication withou rights attached, though those will go fast.

I think both will sell out rapidly, and while Marko has stated that he has not been designing for a specific price point, I can't help but wonder if the slight downgrade in materials for the Lyra's Dorian is because Rich was attempting to keep a specific price target while commissioning new art.

Redigerat: dec 10, 2021, 2:28 pm

>208 NathanOv: There actually won't be 40 additional copies of Dorian. The email announcement says 260 copies. Marko is actually using Dorian to gauge demand for the numbered. If there is a quick sellout, the 40 additional copies will be added for future publications.

dec 10, 2021, 2:56 pm

>209 punkzip: When'd you get this email?

dec 10, 2021, 3:13 pm

>210 NathanOv: Email was 11/24. Using Dorian (and maybe Frankenstein as well) to gauge demand before adding additional copies was from a FB post, don't recall when. I think someone asked about additional copies and that was Marko's response.

dec 10, 2021, 3:30 pm

>211 punkzip: Huh - guess I got that email too and didn't notice that discrepancy, but that's a bit of a back-track.

I feel like they only really blew up after Alice, so it's odd that he feels there's any question over demand for 40 additional copies

Redigerat: dec 11, 2021, 9:21 am

>212 NathanOv: I suspect that this may be related to the competition from Lyra's and the preorder taking place during holiday season when people have less money for books. In any case, it will be interesting to see how many of the 260 copies of the AB Dorian are available for public sale.

dec 11, 2021, 9:26 am

The Folio Society also relatively recently reprinted Dracula as a LE and a standard edition, and I can easily see them doing the same with Frankenstein as well at some point. As book enthusiasts it’s nice to have options.

dec 11, 2021, 10:45 am

>214 What_What: There are always going to be a large number of versions of public domain titles with fantastical elements. I think Amaranthine could do something different than other publishers which is why their version of Frankenstein might be worthwhile. Similarly, the version of Dracula I'm looking forward to the most is Beehive's version.

dec 11, 2021, 12:40 pm

>214 What_What: Not to mention Arion has very recently produced a wonderful edition of Frankenstein.

dec 12, 2021, 4:30 pm

>216 Sorion: A wonderful edition in a very different price bracket.

dec 14, 2021, 9:54 am

Looks like >189 Levin40: was close with respect to pricing of the Numbered. £550.

dec 14, 2021, 9:59 am

>219 const-char-star: Including international shipping, which makes it more attractive. Most other publishers in the UK charge around £60 for that.

Redigerat: nov 19, 2022, 5:13 pm

Det här meddelandet har tagits bort av dess författare.

dec 14, 2021, 10:22 am

Looks nice, but unfortunately I'm not willing to spend that much on it.

dec 14, 2021, 11:33 am

>219 const-char-star: I'm surprised by the nearly £100 price jump given it's not nearly as extravagant as Stardust, but then I guess the commissioned art balances out the difference in binding, and for me at least the free US shipping makes up at least half that price difference.

Despite Stardust leather being an incredible bargain, I'm just having to swallow the hard pill that this one won't be less costly.

dec 14, 2021, 12:03 pm

Does anyone know how the illustrations will be reproduced?

Redigerat: dec 14, 2021, 12:16 pm

>223 NathanOv:
This uses better paper than Stardust leather, and the leather used for the half-binding is also of a quite higher quality. Not to mention the raised bands, and leather on the slipcase. I wouldn't say it is any less extravagant than Stardust, actually it is of a higher standard all things considered.

dec 14, 2021, 12:34 pm

>223 NathanOv: The Stardust leather isn't a good comparison as I think that was underpriced. The numbered Lyra's is still a very good value - compare to what you would get from Thornwillow, or Suntup, at roughly $700 USD. Better leather, better paper, and illustrations (which TW may be not have at all).

dec 14, 2021, 1:10 pm

Redigerat: dec 14, 2021, 1:17 pm

>226 punkzip:
Agreed, but I generally can't afford the TW half-leather editions either. :-)

dec 14, 2021, 4:11 pm

The book looks amazing, but unfortunately I don't think I'm willing to spend 550 GBP on Dorian. I'm hoping Rich is going all out for his first Lyra's classics book, but will make more affordable editions in the future. For one, I could do with lower quality leather from Stardust and without the raised bands if that meant knocking off 100GBP from the price.

Redigerat: dec 14, 2021, 4:58 pm

Gonna pass. Don't like the color of the leather, and design of the marbled boards on the numbered. Nice illustrations though.

dec 14, 2021, 5:20 pm

Since this will easily be the greatest edition of Gray ever made, it's not a difficult decision. I do also agree that this is NOT cheap, but the old adage you get what you pay for is so true when it comes to fine books. I also imagine this will sell out faster than hotcakes during a Vermont snowstorm...

dec 14, 2021, 6:06 pm

>231 astropi: Agree wholeheartedly on all points. Now, I just need to make sure I can get a copy!

dec 14, 2021, 11:40 pm

I am sure that it will sell fast, but I do not find it attractive enough for me to spend such money on it.
Limited Edition Club's version of the work is very nice, and I already have it.

dec 15, 2021, 1:51 pm

>205 punkzip: I totally agree with what you said. I loved Stardust and Arete's D&H. I only managed to purchase a fine edition of Stardust and was really looking forward to purchasing a numbered Dorian Gray.
I just got my hand on Amaranthine's Alice today and I must say I love it. It is different and creative and to me worth the price point although it isn't letterpress. Dorian isn't a title I would spend on for two fine press copies. I now admit I do want to see more of Amaranthine's Dorian before I decide though the artwork in Lyra's looks stunning

dec 15, 2021, 4:42 pm

>234 Praveenna_Nagaratnam: Luckily, it sounds like we'll have all the details on both titles to compare since Amaranthine is sure to go on preorder before the end of January date for Dorian!

A big reason I buy fine press is simply because I enjoy reading in letterpress, but I also love my Amaranthine Jekyll and Alice so it's a hard choice for me. Planning on Lyra's do to Gregory Manchess's art, but who knows!

dec 15, 2021, 5:10 pm

>235 NathanOv: Same here... Am still leaning towards Lyra's Dorian but will very likely get Amaranthine's Frankenstein and Catch 22... I do want to compare the full details of the Dorian

Redigerat: dec 15, 2021, 6:05 pm

>236 Praveenna_Nagaratnam: I guess a question is how whether one will be able to get Frankenstein easily without rights from buying Dorian. I anticipate Frankenstein will be more popular than Dorian and not sure whether there will be additional copies over 260.

dec 16, 2021, 6:54 am

Detta konto har stängts av för spammande.

dec 16, 2021, 10:08 am

>237 punkzip: These will be the first Amaranthine publications where initial demand matches or exceeds the limitation, but I still imagine if you're quick on release day you'll be able to get copies of each.

Lyra's? Who knows really - Dorian seems to have a slightly calmer sentiment around it than Stardust, but I think it's going to vary from title-to-title.

dec 16, 2021, 1:02 pm

>239 NathanOv: I'm not sure that the AB Dorian will sell out that quickly, primarily due to competition. 510 fairly expensive numbered copies of a public domain title, a classic but not that famous compared to some other classics, is a lot, particularly when we know that one of those editions is around $700 USD. A lot will depend on what is revealed and at what price. AB would have to come in substantially lower than $700 I think to sell out reasonably quickly. Frankenstein I anticipate will sell out much more quickly.

dec 16, 2021, 1:20 pm

>240 punkzip: This debate is starting to sound like a broken record, and I think it's a unique situation where Lyra's has strong cross-over into the Small Press world, and Amaranthine likewise has a lot of crossover from Small Press to Fine Press fans, but both exist in largely separate worlds and are created for quite different audiences.

I never see the cost / value debate for Small Press titles where lettereds are just the same off-set printed page blocks in a different binding for like $1k markups in some cases, so I don't think that's going to be an issue for AB. Oddly, fine press collectors seem a lot pickier about cost matching the value of materials and effort required.

Redigerat: dec 16, 2021, 4:05 pm

Wanted to touch a little on the pricing of books, as well as with Dorian, I hope you all don’t mind, it’s not addressed to any one in general, from my point of view as a publisher.

Noted I have skin in the game, however, in my experience small press bookmakers want to create a unique book that best show each of the artisan’s skills and imagination. The cost of making these kinds of books is very expensive and, in my world, the margins, and therefore the ability to be able to continue making books like this, are very small. You also often want to expand the quality of the book, which cuts even deeper into your profits, but you still do it.

The price of these kinds of books, for us at least, is determined by the price of the materials that the craftspeople want to use that is best for the book, as well as the cost of the time and expertise of those craftspeople. We make books which are different than off-set printed books. Death and Honey with Arete took Phil nearly seven weeks to print letterpress, some of my previous books, printed with offset litho, were printed in three hours. It will take Rich, and the team at Ludlow Bookbinders, to fold, sew, hand bind and tip in thousands of plates and tissue guards (for a few hundred Dorian books) months. With a machine binder I can get all of this done in a day or so. This hand craft quality costs. On Stardust, Rich had under-priced everything and only, when after making them, did he realise. On Dorian, he has upped his game with better materials. He wanted a half leather binding, actually more expensive to make, than the striking but actually fairly easy (from a production point of view) leather Stardust, because of the additional time needed to make them. He wanted to do so because he thought that was what the book needed in his eyes. He was making the book that he wanted to make. I know that the paper he is now using is way more expensive than he has previously used, and the leather. But you use the best for the book.

For me, in order to make other books, a certain amount is needed to pay for books in development and only recouped once the new book is sold. But they take years to make, however, rights need to be bought, artists commissioned. Rich makes dozens of book ‘sketches’, designing, making book bindings, all which we also do over a year or more of development. That also costs. Some may be quicker and therefore cheaper, but when you decide to put the book ‘out there’ all these years costs are factored. That is what dictates the price of the book for us. Not the price of the previous book.

On Frozen Hell, I wanted to make a book, with a popular character, ‘The Thing’, into a book which has the case and bindings which is, really, only found in one-off books. But we felt was right to do with this book. Because that is what the experience is about. I like a book which has a slipcase/box which sets a reader up for the story they are about to read. I want the cover to feel like it is visually going to introduce a reader to the way we set up the story. I want the typo/printer to tell the story the way that their decades of experience can enhance my design. These are crafts which cost. And each book is what the artists feel is right to tell the story, whether it be the materials for binding or the paintings the artist wants to do to tell his art to the story. I want the reader to be at ease with the set up and the reading. As a book.

I look at the small press publishers and most, most, seem to follow the same formula, make the book you want, using the materials you want, how much does that cost? Split it by the number of books you want to make and one arrives at the price of the book. It rarely seems to be about how much money can be made.

dec 16, 2021, 3:50 pm

>242 marceloanciano:
Thank you, very interesting.

dec 16, 2021, 3:55 pm

>242 marceloanciano: I definitely appreciate the putting the book first with the reading of it in mind approach. Thanks for this!

dec 16, 2021, 5:30 pm

>242 marceloanciano: Thank you for this post. The commitment to quality and love of the craft is evident.

dec 16, 2021, 6:11 pm

>242 marceloanciano: Thank you for the post. You put so much love into the craft and that comes through for sure and it gives us valuable insight to the amount of labor and effort it takes. Can't wait for more information on Frozen Hell as well

dec 18, 2021, 12:28 pm

>230 Undergroundman: Agree on illustrations. I find the design of the marbled boards on the numbered to be visually disturbing and not complementing the themes of the book in any way...

On a different note, are such books still books or rather shelf decor as part of broader category objects of art...?

I am guessing few buyers will actually read the limited edition and even fewer owners will actually read the lettered edition. Books are meant to be read, even the antique volumes. While reading illustrations, craftsmanship of binding, tooling, printing, can all be admired.

By including more expensive, in cases of some publishers gimmicky, features with no apparent demand from buyers in some cases (push marketing written all over in glow in the dark ink :D), overall prices keep creeping up and in the end so many will still read their paperback back-up copy with the ultra-expensive pimped out volume resting somewhere on a trophy-book shelf weeping quietly behind the dust-sealed glass doors...

dec 18, 2021, 1:24 pm

>247 EPsonNY:
I feel the same way!

dec 18, 2021, 4:36 pm

I definitely read my fine and limited editions, and thoroughly enjoy doing so!

dec 18, 2021, 4:43 pm

>247 EPsonNY: I'm not getting Dorian simply because it's more than I'm willing to pay for this title, but if I did get it, I'd definitely read it. We've had this discussion many times on this forum, and I think the majority of collectors here do read their books.

Redigerat: dec 18, 2021, 7:54 pm

>249 wcarter: As do I!

>247 EPsonNY: It's interesting that so much is a matter of taste, isn't it? I've seen lots of hand marbling that I don't care for, but I find the look of the hand-marbled boards on the numbered edition quite attractive.

dec 18, 2021, 6:28 pm

>251 whytewolf1: So true. It all boils down to individual preferences. I think the cover looks beautiful and I love Freya's marbling works. Have been eyeing her notebooks for some time. Would have been fun to have more than one choice of marbling patterns for the cover and be able to choose 😄 like with the mustard and blue editions of Stardust.

Redigerat: dec 18, 2021, 8:02 pm

>252 Praveenna_Nagaratnam: See, Rich has spoiled you already! It's very unusual to have two different variations of a single state offered (at least at the lower end). I may be wrong, but I wouldn't be surprised if we didn't see that again. But yes, I think it very much boils down to individual preferences.

dec 19, 2021, 2:38 am

>253 whytewolf1: agreed! it was terrible of me to even suggest it given the amount of labour that goes into these lovely books

dec 24, 2021, 3:52 pm

Looks like Lyra's next classics is A Christmas Carol... Merry Christmas everyone

dec 24, 2021, 6:17 pm

>255 Praveenna_Nagaratnam: Fantastic! Hopefully delivered in time for next Christmas. Illustrated by Gary Gianni, perhaps?

Merry Christmas everyone.

dec 24, 2021, 10:37 pm

>256 Levin40: it looked like Gary Gianni’s work in the “tease” to me!

dec 25, 2021, 6:39 am

>257 NathanOv: Yes I felt like it was too

dec 25, 2021, 12:36 pm

>258 Praveenna_Nagaratnam: Where/how can the “tease” be viewed?

dec 25, 2021, 12:53 pm

>259 DavidMF:

It is Facebook, but public facing, so you should be able to view it without an account or logging in (I was so able).

dec 25, 2021, 1:03 pm

dec 26, 2021, 3:30 pm

I don't mean to sound negative but is anyone else extremely disappointed with this choice? One couldn't find a more generic and obvious selection than Dickens - and A Christmas Carol at that? I was looking forward to Dorian but if future literature titles are like next years production, although likely beautifully made, count me out. I don't want the same old titles that have already been done countless times before like Pride and Prejudice, 1984, Middlemarch, Frankenstein to name a few. Although not my favorite genre, the British Isles have much to offer and would love to see Under the Volcano, Of Human Bondage, Razors Edge, Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable, The Book of Ebenezer Le Page, Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky, Root and the Flower to name just a few. Heck even Conrad, Woolf, Lessing would be a welcome sight.

Oh well, I'll guess I'll try to figure out the next upcoming days if I event want to get Dorian now.

dec 26, 2021, 3:39 pm

> Yes. Unless, of course, it is creatively brilliant then I will quickly change my mind. It seems like an odd choice given that Hand and Eye just did A Christmas Carol a few years ago.

dec 26, 2021, 3:45 pm

>262 Joshbooks1:
>263 SDB2012:

Disappointing and unnecessary choice for reasons mentioned above >262 Joshbooks1:.

Redigerat: dec 26, 2021, 4:27 pm

>262 Joshbooks1: I was honestly surprised given that Hand & Eye did their edition few years back. However, I did not manage to get my hands on their copy, and can't find any in the secondary market; so I have to say I am happy with this. I do also want other titles by Dickens namely David Copperfield and Great Expectations and I hope those will be done in the future as well. I guess if you are relatively new to fine press collecting (as I am) then the conventional titles won't be a disappointment as it would be for long time collectors who have seen multiple versions of the famous titles.

dec 26, 2021, 4:47 pm

>262 Joshbooks1:
>264 dlphcoracl:
If I remember right, it took several years for the Hand and Eye version to sell out.

dec 26, 2021, 4:49 pm

>262 Joshbooks1: Looking at it from the perspective of the press, publishing lesser known titles is a risk unless there is a subscriber base (e.g., Arion) or a preexisting fan base interested in maintaining rights (e.g. Suntup). I think A Christmas Carol would sell better - probably a lot better - than any of the titles you mentioned, and have a better chance of selling out lettered copies priced at $3000 or so. Lyra's Books classics line is not yet established, their reputation comes from a single book by one of the most famous contemporary genre authors. From the perspective of the press, the lesser known titles should probably come later.

dec 26, 2021, 5:06 pm

It may be a bit strange to bring a film director into this, but Dorian Gray feels like another Tarantino movie where the director pays homage to this, that or the other (classic bookmaking perhaps in Dorian's case); where all the t's are crossed and i's dotted, but something's amiss nevertheless, perhaps the soul...

Stardust seems to have been a child of passion where craftsmanship of design, illustrations, print, binding - all came together. Even though I initially wanted to see a ribbed spine with author's name on the spine, I came around and ended up liking the cover's entirety as the vast expanse of the sky glittering with stars in the final product. Beautiful illustrations ended up being the cherry on top.

Dorian feels a bit like a child of necessity. Classic design seems to pay homage to its past fine predecessors through its impeccable craft (still dislike the marbling choice), but seems a bit boring compared to Stardust. If Christmas Carol is the same same size, same cover design, but red/green marbling pattern, these books, especially if stored side by side, will quickly end up looking very uniform and mundane, like volumes in a lawyer's library...

Redigerat: dec 26, 2021, 7:51 pm

>262 Joshbooks1: I guess the problem is most people who would have bought Stardust, that is, his fan base, probably never heard of many of those books. To be honest, only one of the books you mention is familiar to me - Of Human Bondage - and that’s because I somehow have a dusty old LEC copy somewhere, which I’ve never read. At the end of the day I’m sure he needs some amount of confidence his books will sell, that there’s a strong market.

Also, mind sharing how does the next book possibly being A Christmas Carol influence whether you want Dorian?

dec 26, 2021, 5:49 pm

>262 Joshbooks1: I disagree on Dickens since he’s not particularly well represented in modern fine press publications, but when he is published I agree that it’s almost always A Christmas Carol.

dec 26, 2021, 5:57 pm

>270 NathanOv: I think the reason for this is simple - it’s both famous and SHORT.

dec 26, 2021, 6:13 pm


Bibliophiles are too demanding. Would I buy a fine press Dickens book? Hell no! Still, if a publisher thinks that would be best for them, that's their business. I just won't participate. Kind of ridiculous to expect a publisher to release a book almost everybody will be ecstatic about every time.

Redigerat: jan 25, 2022, 9:32 am

Det här meddelandet har tagits bort av dess författare.

dec 26, 2021, 6:21 pm

Rather amazed at some of the comments here. It feels like the inevitable, and frankly rather tedious, backlash following the universally acclaimed first record or movie. Not quite sure what some people are expecting here. The entire reinvention of book design, it seems.

>262 Joshbooks1: would love to see Under the Volcano, Of Human Bondage, Razors Edge, Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable, The Book of Ebenezer Le Page, Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky, Root and the Flower to name just a few
Seriously? While I'm not doubting the merit of these titles, I'm pretty sure that many of us here (never mind outside the book collecting/bibliophile world) have never heard of some of these titles, never mind read them. Are you really saying that these would sensible choices for a new publisher, starting a new 'classics' line? Even the Folio Society, who have published hundreds of titles, wouldn't touch many of these. Whilst I have no inside information here, I would hazard a guess that by 'classics', Rich Tong means books that most of us have heard of, and inevitably this will be labelled as 'boring' by some. But if his intention is to produce some of the finest ever editions of some of the world's best-loved books, in editions which can be treated as heirlooms and passed down the generations, then I for one am all for it.

>268 EPsonNY: It may be a bit strange to bring a film director into this, but Dorian Gray feels like another Tarantino movie where the director pays homage to this, that or the other (classic bookmaking perhaps in Dorian's case)
Again, not quite sure what is expected here. Also rather ironic that you say this given that Stardust itself is unashamedly an homage. In fact it's stated on the website that 'The design of this special, limited edition of ‘Stardust’ was heavily influenced by the books of the ‘Golden Age of Illustration’ from the early part of the 20th century'.

>268 EPsonNY: If Christmas Carol is the same same size, same cover design, but red/green marbling pattern, these books, especially if stored side by side, will quickly end up looking very uniform and mundane, like volumes in a lawyer's library...
Rather a big 'if' there, based on nothing but a 'tease' of a single illustration. I suggest we all just wait for details here. If (and I believe it's quite likely) Gary Gianni really goes to town on this edition, as he has with A Case of Death and Honey, then it could be very special.

Everything is subjective of course, but I personally think Dorian looks wonderful...and we haven't even see yet the full scope of the interior design and illustrations. I will certainly be ordering.

Redigerat: dec 26, 2021, 7:49 pm

If presses publish books no one will buy, they won’t be around for very long. Josh expressed similar sentiments in the FS forum, complaining the FS has now pivoted to books that will sell like hotcakes, instead of another list of authors/books I’ve never heard of.

dec 26, 2021, 8:08 pm

In an article called “Poetry and the Fine Press, 1: The Case for the Canon” published in Parenthesis issue 13, Crispin Elsted said, “Tirades nowadays about the redundancy of new editions of the classics from fine presses miss the point that the design and publication of such a book constitutes not mere redundancy, but a new interpretation of a canonical text.“ The article is one that comes to mind for me often when these sorts of discussions arise and I think he makes a good point. The new publication is a celebration of the text and while it might not be an adventurous choice, that doesn’t make it an unworthy one.

The entire article is worth reading if you have a copy of issue 13 (and worth seeking out if you don’t!)

dec 26, 2021, 8:16 pm

>276 ChampagneSVP:
Interesting viewpoint. I had passed on the Hand & Eye “A Christmas Carol”, being largely satisfied with my LEC copy, and not feeling that it broke new ground. Remains to be seen what Lyra’s do with it.

dec 26, 2021, 8:46 pm

>275 What_What: Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't we discussing books on a book forum? Sure I guess one can have beautiful books that everyone in the English and mostly non-English speaking world has heard of and possibly read, but most of the books I listed are quite popular and well known. Maybe I'm wrong but shouldn't fine press books be for people who like reading... Maybe I like reading more than collecting? Who knows.

Under the Volcano - Modern Library 100 Best Novels, ranked #11 behind Grapes of Wrath and Sons and Lovers and ahead of Slaughterhouse-Five, 1984, To The Lighthouse and Invisible Man.
William Somerset Maugham is very well known and does not need further explanation. If you have never heard of him I suggest you read Of Human Bondage for it is a wonderful book.
Samuel Beckett - the Nobel Prize winner from Ireland, and his beautiful trilogy...
Not from the UK but for it's genius and beauty I presume The Book of Ebenezer Le Page is popular and just hasn't taken off in the US, but maybe not? Maybe the same rational for Patrick Hamilton?

Sure, maybe these are too obscure, I guess, but when a publisher states they are going to dedicate half of their works to literature and the second book they list is A Christmas Carol I was disappointed and still am. My rational is why buy Dorian Gray if future releases will be extremely popular titles that I have no wish to buy or reread and have already been done. It's like cinema now when every new movie is just a rehash or remake of movies done decades ago. I presume they will sell well and I wish the publisher luck in their endeavors but I was hoping, perhaps irrationally, for something different. These presses can just rehash Count of Monte Cristo every 20 years in different designs and materials, and I agree what others have posted about making money, but to attack me and then claim ignorance on titles on a book forum nonetheless I think is a little strange and uncalled for.

And I do have similar sentiments regarding Folio which is why I rarely buy books from them anymore and am disappointed (an understatement) with their direction which benefits others and has led me to fine press books.

dec 26, 2021, 8:52 pm

>277 kermaier: Yes, they have an opportunity to do something new and exciting with their interpretation. We’ll see how it shakes out.

dec 26, 2021, 9:22 pm

>276 ChampagneSVP: I'll have to take a look at it. I partly agree, but at the same time not fully. As in cinema and what appears to be almost everything these days, things seem to be nearly the exact same but with a little twist. How many more Batman and Superman remakes can we get with a slightly different interpretation to maximize profit on a sure thing. Where are the artistic masterpieces like Tokyo Story and Wild Strawberries? Sure I guess publishers can just keep reinterpreting the same books again and again for near certain profit, but I just feel artistic risk and creativity to be lacking more and more. There are so many life changing books that can be published in their ultimate form but instead we get the same old. Haha or maybe I just sound like an old grump who has become far too cynical in his middle years.

dec 26, 2021, 9:50 pm

I'm happy that these fine presses still produce classics. Many of us missed the hey day of say, Arion Press. It's a bit like: "Oh, you want a fine press Moby Dick? Sorry, we only do obscure plays and sheet music now. Have fun on the secondary market."

dec 26, 2021, 10:18 pm

>281 L.Bloom: I agree, however, I think there's a huge middle ground between extremely popular classics and sheet music. Not sure how some of the best literature the British Isles has to offer is considered obscure and not worth it.

dec 26, 2021, 10:28 pm

>278 Joshbooks1: I too, like "more obscure" works that are wonderful and there are many that deserve the fine press treatment. That said, while Gray is not an obscure work, there are not many fine press treatments. The only one I am aware of is the LEC edition, and that is priced anywhere from $300-700 on the secondary market. Sure, there is also the Easton Press edition and Folio Society edition, but neither of those is fine press, and I would argue they are overpriced. Lyra's edition looks to be, by a long shot, the most beautiful edition of Gray ever published. If you're not happy, well fortunately no one is making you purchase this. Also, as a new press, I fully understand why Lyra wants to publish very popular books - this is how you build up your base. Once you're established, you can venture forth into more obscure territory.

dec 26, 2021, 11:14 pm

>278 Joshbooks1: Have you discovered these guys yet? They're creating some very nice letterpress (though not quite fine press) editions of the types of titles you're talking about.

As far as the titles you mentioned, I think there's often a vast difference between much "worthy and recognized literature" and worthy and recognized literature that enough book collectors are sufficiently familiar with, and like enough, to spend around $750 on (for, say, a numbered edition from Lyra's). Personally, I think TOC is at a good price point for the types of titles you're recommending (less than $200). Even Suntup (as well as they have done) have a comparatively tough time moving copies of less popular literary titles like "Johnny Got His Gun" and Fowles' "The Collector," compared to many other titles they've solicited.

I think it's important to remember that the main purpose (though not the only purpose) of almost any business is to make a fair profit while delivering a quality good or service to the marketplace. Translation: Lyra's needs to sell books. Like most folks here, I'm not exactly a literary Philistine, and of course I'm familiar with Maugham, but I've never read The Razor's Edge. And I seriously doubt I would be as eager to drop $750 on a Lyra's edition of that book as I am The Picture of Dorian Gray (and I doubt very many others would be either).

The more successful a company is, the more it can afford to take the type of risks you're talking about. But my guess is that Lyra's won't be looking to take any big risks anytime soon (nor would I expect them to).

dec 27, 2021, 2:00 am

>268 EPsonNY: "will quickly end up looking very uniform and mundane, like volumes in a lawyer's library..."

That's Easton Press :D

dec 27, 2021, 7:38 am

>278 Joshbooks1: I strongly disagree with your opinion, and I’m sorry you feel it’s an attack. Also, not sure what you meant about the claiming ignorance part? Was it my being unfamiliar with the majority of books you mentioned? If so, I’m in very good company.

dec 27, 2021, 7:43 am

I thought I’d put my bit in here, some books we make, a lot of Arete’s actually, are driven by the artist. Gary Gianni, after we had done Death and Honey, was asked what he would like to illustrate as a passion project, most required rights which both Rich and I and Phil are in the process of obtaining. Bear in mind that these rights can takes many, many, many months, if not a year, to get. Gary really, really, wanted to do Christmas Carol, it had always spoken to him. Rich thought it perfect to make in time for people to have them in their hands by next Christmas. Gary’s take on the book is uniquely his. It fitted a classic take for Rich, so became his next classic book, it will be lavishly, uniquely illustrated, because that is what Gary wanted. Rich’s next Lyra’s book is a lot more in line with, well, Lyra. The choices we all make, Arete has a number of books lined up, are driven by the stories that we would like to spend a couple of years on, they are driven by stories that we like, or the artist would like to make and we would too. A number of the books Arete have upcoming over the next couple of years are mentioned above, however they are the best stories that we feel will make lovely books. Personally, books we have coming up are all books Phil and I feel we bring something to. We are doing Brave New World, it is Huxley’s most famous story, we could have done one of his other, less popular, stories, which have never had nice editions, but why? When it is BNW that spoke to us, and many readers. The Maugham book I hope we get, is not, (his most famous book) but is a story that spoke to Phil and I, and would be really nice to read as a metal letterpress book. We hope these find buyers, but are all stories that we feel would be enhanced by our handmade productions.

dec 27, 2021, 8:03 am

Dorian and Christmas Carol aren't what I would do if I ran a fine press -- my inclination is more towards the Willa Cathers of the world -- but I'm excited to see what Rich makes of them.

Redigerat: dec 27, 2021, 10:11 am

>287 marceloanciano: Thank you for the background on this. I appreciate that you start with the artist and aim to publish works that speak to them.

For my own preferences, I like it when fine presses go off the beaten path and publish lesser known works (I am an Arion subscriber after all) , but am young enough to where I don't mind it when the classics get done again. There are some titles that were published long ago and are really hard to find in fine condition or for a decent price. Plus, I like supporting living artists more than auction houses or ebay estate sales.

I am highly tempted by Dorian Gray, and by the description of the Christmas Carol, may be by that one too. In the end, I'll dream of someone taking on Yasunari Kawabata or Eduardo Galeano, but will take what I can get.

dec 27, 2021, 10:09 am

>289 mnmcdwl: I love what Arion do, however they have decades of building up a base that will buy their books, we have to build an established reputation, way beyond what Hand and Eye, and now Arete and Lyra, have done so far before we can contemplate doing more obscure books, and there are a few I really want to do. However, these books cost us many, many, tens of thousands of pounds to make, so we do have to feel that we can sell 3/4 at least, just to break even. If we can eventually turn over enough that we can still keep going and pay for upcoming projects, we can have long sellers like Arion does.

dec 27, 2021, 10:36 am

>289 mnmcdwl: Snow Country is one of the Schiff-era LECs to own imo.

dec 27, 2021, 10:44 am

>291 gmacaree: Seconded. However, it is incredibly difficult to obtain a copy without a sunned spine. I got impatient, bought one and send it to a binder.

dec 27, 2021, 12:23 pm

I am very surprised none of the fine press publishers have yet to tackle Fernando Pessoa, a giant in Portuguese literature/poetry. Perhaps he is too obscure outside of Portugal? Maybe he's too popular for AP to tackle at this point, lol.

dec 27, 2021, 1:02 pm

>287 marceloanciano: Thank you for the insight once again Marcelo. I have said this before, and will say it again, I absolutely admire and am full of respect for the amount of passion and love your team has; and am very excited to see all you plan to bring out to the world. I am happy with Christmas Carol having missed out on previous versions of it, and am sure Gary will knock it out of the park; and as someone else pointed out, there are many of us who would happily purchase the popular titles (like Moby Dick) because not everyone had access/funds when it came out before and not everyone was content with whatever was published before and would love to see new takes on those titles.

dec 27, 2021, 1:11 pm

>294 Praveenna_Nagaratnam: Thanks, when it's said that Christmas Carol, Jekyll and Hyde etc. (books that Hand and Eye have done) have been done before, rather splendidly, that is true. But try getting a hold of those books! I can't and he's my partner in Arete. So, I do think there's enough room for other interpretations...

dec 27, 2021, 1:16 pm

>268 EPsonNY: interestingly, that was Rich's original intention in creating the classic line - a row of uniformly looking, finely binded classic books. He stated that he changed his mind on that so we'll see.

dec 27, 2021, 1:17 pm

>295 marceloanciano: Exactly! P.S: Very excited with the hints/titles dropped btw 😄

dec 27, 2021, 1:36 pm

Regarding doing the classics again, it is also worth keeping in mind that tastes differ, and not everybody is satisfied with previous press offerings, even the famous ones, and even if editions can be found secondhand.

For example, despite liking much of Rockwell Kent's work (such as his illustrations for Leaves of Grass), I find his illustrations for Moby-Dick to be cartoonish, overly simplistic, and completely at odds with the work as literature.

At first my reaction to a Lyra's edition of A Christmas Carol was rather lukewarm (not that they should care overly much what one potential customer thinks), but it is a classic ghost story, and a treatment akin to The Case of Death and Honey would be suitable and unique. The reputation of the story has suffered something of a Hallmark card effect, and I think people often forget how existentially terrifying the message of a life wasted in greed actually is. I imagine that a Gianni illustrated edition could perhaps capture some of this seriousness, without descending into camp or parody. We will see.

dec 27, 2021, 1:40 pm

>298 abysswalker: Hit the nail on the head, that is exactly what Gary's interpretation is.

dec 27, 2021, 1:47 pm

>293 LBShoreBook: Pessoa absolutely, especially Book of Disquiet. Richard Zenith's recent Pessoa biography - which is outstanding - got a lot of attention so this should raise the profile of Pessoa.

dec 27, 2021, 3:09 pm

>300 punkzip: Agreed, Book of Disquiet would be awesome! At this point I would love to see anything, a broadsheet poem (The Tobacco Shop), a chapbook (e.g., the wonderful short story The Anarchist Banker), etc. Pessoa warrants fine press treatment. 😊

dec 27, 2021, 4:10 pm

>300 punkzip: Book of Disquiet at nearly 400 pages, using hot metal would be an epic endeavour, it would take years to print...

Redigerat: dec 27, 2021, 6:21 pm

>291 gmacaree: >292 SebRinelli: Yes, the LEC Snow Country is gorgeous. It was my white whale (since there is so much talk of Moby Dick) for a very long time, but I am happy to report I found one without a sunned spine just last month.

>300 punkzip: And consider me a other vote for Pessoa and the Book of Disquiet. At this point I could only see Arion or Thornwillow being able to take it on though.

jan 10, 2022, 9:13 pm

Surprisingly quiet for a book that is now taking pre-orders (from rights holders).

jan 10, 2022, 9:35 pm

>304 kdweber: I guess there will be more chatter when it’s revealed how many lettered spots are up for auction, and then when the public sale goes live.

jan 10, 2022, 10:15 pm

>304 kdweber: ah, there’s only 126 at most and many of them are Gaiman fans not as much involved in the fine press world.

There’ll be more noise when public orders open!

jan 11, 2022, 11:50 am

Numbered preordered!

jan 11, 2022, 2:03 pm

jan 11, 2022, 2:05 pm

>309 ultrarightist: Rights from Stardust.

Redigerat: jan 11, 2022, 3:33 pm

>309 ultrarightist: If you purchased Stardust, last year, you have the chance to preorder the same kind of edition of Dorian Gray (numbered or lettered). This started yesterday, and will last for 5 days. There will be a lottery for any remaining lettered books where the option to purchase Dorian Gray wasn’t taken up. And public sale for the numbered books happens on January 29th.

jan 11, 2022, 3:34 pm

I passed on my numbered copy so y'all can have one more in the pool.

jan 11, 2022, 3:54 pm

Two more, I also passed.

jan 11, 2022, 4:04 pm

>312 filox: >313 fp13: lol you guys

jan 15, 2022, 8:48 pm

The preorder will end today. I don't know if numbered and lettered rights holders have access to information about how many copies are left (Suntup rights holders do) but if so, could you post how many are left after the preorder ends? I'm primarily curious just to see how many rights holders exercised their rights. With 150 public numbered copies in addition to the any left over from the preorder, I don't anticipate that anyone who wants a numbered and logs on at the start time will have any trouble getting one. I also expect that the chance of getting a copy in the lettered lottery will be reasonable.

jan 15, 2022, 9:06 pm

>315 punkzip: Private pre-orders were done manually by Rich, so there’s no way for anyone but him to truly know how many passed up their rights to buy DG.

And I agree, the beauty of how he’s arranged it is there will always be a generous number of copies available to the general public, as opposed to a mad scramble or a lottery.

jan 17, 2022, 7:16 am

6 copies of lettered available for the lottery

Redigerat: jan 17, 2022, 8:42 am

The lottery for the lettered edition is open. There are 6 copies available, and I suspect that the chances will be reasonable if one enters (I will not be). For comparison, the most copies that have been available in a Suntup lettered lottery is 5.

Interestingly, there are 3 preorders for lettered books in the $3000 range this month. The Amaranthine Dorian Gray will also likely be offered this month, but there is no information on the lettered book or the price.

A comparison of the 3 lettered books, as well as a major fine press book (hopefully due in March) and also in the $3000 range (also posted in the Suntup thread).

Suntup Handmaid's Tale lettered - Letterpress on mouldmade paper, full leather, with an original drawing. A very famous copyrighted book signed by the author.

Lyra's Dorian Gray lettered - similar in many respects, but very likely superior in craftsmanship. Also has the original drawing. More illustrations. Better enclosure. However, this is a public domain book. Nothing prevents anyone from doing other versions (and of course, another version will be up for preorder soon).

Books Illustrated The Night Circus Prestige lettered- full vellum instead of leather. No original drawing, but a LOT of illustrations (21). No mouldmade paper (Mohawk Superfine) but gilded with real gold on all 3 edges. Copyrighted book signed by the author. However, a much less famous book than Handmaid's Tale, by a much less famous author.

Basically with all 3 of these books you are paying quite a bit for the limitation, because the materials cost won't justify the premium over the numbered states. The limitation is almost certainly the most meaningful with Handmaid's Tale, given the fame of the book, and the fact that rights were very hard to obtain. Limitations become more and more significant the more famous the book is, and particularly if there are not competing limited editions. The problem with many of the Suntup lettered editions is that the limitations have largely been meaningless because they are of non-famous books - that's why most of the Suntup lettered editions have been terrible values. This one is different because it's Handmaid's Tale.

I'd say all 3 lettered editions compare favorably (none is greatly overpriced relative to the others) - the differences are what exactly you are paying for. For Handmaid, no doubt the rights which were likely quite expensive are part of the cost, but in exchange the buyer gets a 26 limitation author signed famous book. Dorian's cost is more in the materials and craftsmanship, as there was no rights cost. The Night Circus is somewhere in between.

Finally - Saint James Park 1984 (I subscribed to this) - very difficult to compare to the books above. The value here is not in the binding or enclosure (I didn't even care about those when I subscribed and not too many details were given).

For me, the order of desirability (based of course on subjective factors) is:

Saint James Park 1984
Suntup Handmaid's Tale
Lyra's Dorian Gray
Books Illustrated Night Circus

In terms of long-term market value, I suspect that the Suntup Handmaid's Tale will appreciate the most - regardless of what anything thinks about the scrabble tiles on the binding, it is 26 limitation very famous book signed by the author.

jan 17, 2022, 11:26 am

>318 punkzip: It should be noted that Margaret Atwood is a prolific signer, it's not difficult to find signed first trade editions of her books.

Redigerat: jan 17, 2022, 12:26 pm

>319 kdweber: in 26 limitation states? In any case I was comparing to the other books - which do you think will appreciate the most? - I’m hoping SJPP 1984 of course but I don’t think so (the potential market is just a lot smaller). Dorian Gray, no matter how beautiful is ultimately a public domain book. And Night Circus (and Erin Morgenstern) would have to become a lot more famous.

Redigerat: jan 17, 2022, 1:24 pm

>320 punkzip: My thought is that Handmaids Tale will probably be the most sought after for the near future, but we just have no idea how the Lyra’s Classics series will take off.

SJPP is also a fairly young press, and 1984 is there first edition to get wide attention so depending on how they continue 1984 could be quite sought after as an early notable publication.

It’s very cool that Books Illustrated is doing letterpress, but that publication just doesn’t compare to the other three.

Redigerat: jan 17, 2022, 1:51 pm

>321 NathanOv: Why don't you think the Prestige lettered Night Circus compares to the other 3? I got the Collector's, a lot of it was just to see what a publisher new to letterpress can do. I never considered the Prestige as I just don't like the book enough. It is the least expensive of the 4, I'd say it's major flaw is that it doesn't use mouldmade paper - I understand this was because they wanted to gild all 3 edges with real gold (which I don't care about personally). It's also full vellum, which isn't that common. I don't think it's a bad value compared to the other 3, assuming you like the book a lot.

Whether or not Lyra's classics takes off, I don't see as much room for appreciation for public domain titles compared to copyrighted titles, particularly very famous copyrighted titles. For Dorian, there is also the Amaranthine version which hopefully will come up for preorder soon so having 2 limited editions on the market at the same time isn't going to help. The Lyra's does look like the most beautiful of the books.

Redigerat: jan 17, 2022, 2:19 pm

>322 punkzip: It’s not necessarily the materials or the craft of the Night Circus prestige edition - it just doesn’t have the special positioning or extra notability of the other three.

Lyra’s Classics are very much being setup as a “series” with the uniform sizes etc., and if it becomes extremely popular or more people jump in over time, the first book could become quite sought after.

I don’t think public domain or not is so much a factor in after-market price, at least in this specific case.

Redigerat: jan 17, 2022, 5:05 pm

>323 NathanOv: "Lyra’s Classics are very much being setup as a “series” with the uniform sizes etc., and if it becomes extremely popular or more people jump in over time, the first book could become quite sought after."

Yes I can definitely see that if the series becomes very popular, completist collectors who came in late will seek out earlier books, driving the prices up.

For me though, the series aspect with uniform sizes actually decreases my interest. I appreciate creative publishers- even if they misfire sometimes. Take Arion and Foolscap who have published scrolls, or Amaranthine. Essentially one could expect a very high level of craftsmanship and material quality with each release, but it would become boring for me as you would know what you are getting beforehand every time and the only variable is who the artist is. If we take the upcoming Amaranthine Dorian Gray release, I really don't know what to expect and I like that. I'm also not really a completist collector, and prefer to collect eclectically; in particular I don't want to feel compelled to buy a book I don't really like just to stay complete - this would get really expensive at the lettered level.

I also agree that the Night Circus Prestige is the only one of the 4 which doesn't have something "special" about it.

In any case, good luck to everyone entering the lettered lottery!

jan 17, 2022, 7:19 pm

Perhaps this is another thread entirely but what about the content of Dorian. I've seen mixed things. I've never read the book but I am a lover of great classic literature. Is this that? Is the book good? Personally I don't buy books I do not intend to read.
For a flavor of what I love:

Does Wilde compare with these?

jan 17, 2022, 7:29 pm

Redigerat: jan 17, 2022, 7:31 pm

>325 L.Bloom: My (probably controversial)) opinion on Dorian, as well as a lot of classic literature, is that the merits of the story far outweigh those of the prose.

If Jekyll & Hyde was a bit more flowery and waxed poetic is how I would describe the style. However, it's hard to argue against the story being classic and memorable, and Wilde is certainly a figure who deserves to be read and remembered.

Redigerat: jan 17, 2022, 8:15 pm

>325 L.Bloom: >326 dlphcoracl: well a plain "no" is a bit oversimplified.

Dorian is trying to do something much different (and less ambitious arguably) than the authors on that list are, most of the time.

Wilde was a great wit and prose stylist, but he wasn't so much a formal innovator.

As a morality play or danse macabre, I'd compare it with works such as Frankenstein or Kafka's The Metamorphosis. (It's more cohesive but less creative than Kafka.) Faust is an obvious touchpoint as well, though Dorian is not verse (and Wilde is no Goethe when it comes to poetry... but it's not poetry so the comparison on that dimension is maybe irrelevant).

It is a classic of decadent literature.

jan 18, 2022, 3:40 am

>325 L.Bloom: I think Wilde's idea was better than his execution. The prose is ok, not at Joyce or Melville's level (a high bar!), but I think the story is surprisingly weakly plotted given the strength of the core conceit.

Redigerat: jan 18, 2022, 11:07 am

>325 L.Bloom: I love this description of the book from the Guardian - "an arresting, and slightly camp, exercise in late-Victorian gothic". Is it anything like the authors you mentioned? - not really.

So has anyone here already purchased the lettered, or entering the lottery? 6 books available (quite a few by lettered lottery standards), although I anticipate that number will go down for future releases as the future books will be targeted at a similar audience (unlike Gaiman vs. Dorian Gray).

jan 18, 2022, 11:01 am

>325 L.Bloom: my tastes generally align with your list (Melville would be at the top though). I had a pretty cool Grabhorn Press edition of The Fisherman and His Soul that I unloaded solely because I did not like Wilde's writing. The short story was a slog to finish. Based on this experience I am enjoying the Dorian Gray sweepstakes from the cheap seats eating my popcorn. 😊

jan 18, 2022, 12:01 pm

>330 punkzip: From what Rich wrote in the fan group on facebook, he has received more lottery entries than numbers available within 2 minutes of it opening... Though Dorian wont sell out as quickly as Stardust did, I still think it will be sold out on pre orders day. Stardust had 100 leather and 500 fine... Dorian only has 250 numbered... and there are many who did not manage to purchase a numbered Stardust who want in (myself included) so I honestly think they will be sold out pretty fast...

Redigerat: jan 18, 2022, 12:58 pm

>332 Praveenna_Nagaratnam: My point was that 6 copies in a lettered lottery is quite a bit (no doubt this was due in part to Gaiman fans jumping ship). The popular Suntup lettered books never make it to lottery, and even for the relatively unpopular books, the most that have ever been in lottery is 5. I’d say 20 reserved copies is pretty good retention though overall. The pool of potential buyers for a 2250 GPB edition of Dorian Gray just isn't that large. I'm guessing that there will be at least 10 times as many people entering the lottery for 2 copies of numbered Handmaid's Tale, as the pool of potential buyers is just a lot larger for a much less expensive book, a famous signed copyrighted book no less. No one here has even said they are entering the lottery. It's also a month with a lot of other releases, including a preorder of the same book from Amaranthine (hopefully). The lottery number will almost certainly decrease in the future so now would be the time to enter.

I do plan to purchase the numbered state (as well as the Amaranthine numbered). Perhaps this is to avoid choosing between the 2. I don't have rights, but I'm absolutely confident I will be able to obtain a copy. Just log on when the preorder starts and you will get a copy.

jan 18, 2022, 12:38 pm

>333 punkzip: I think it’s insightful to recognize that after Dorian, the number of spots going to lottery for future releases may not be as many as 6. It’s a hard transition from Gaiman to Dorian, and I think it’s actually quite the feat, in some respects, to have so many (20/26) persons stay on.

jan 18, 2022, 12:49 pm

>333 punkzip: I get you... Agreed on the comparison with Suntup's lottery for Handmaid's Tale as well (though I do wish lesser people entered the lottery - just so I stand a better chance at it 😅)

Nice that you are purchasing both editions of Dorian.. I was offered Alice with rights when i purchased it from the secondary market but declined the rights because of Lyra's Dorian. I hope I don't regret it as I do want Frankenstein and Catch 22; but I just don't have the means to nor love Dorian enough to justify purchasing two fine press copies of it... and I do want the Christmas Carol

Redigerat: jan 18, 2022, 12:55 pm

>335 Praveenna_Nagaratnam: But here's the thing - Lyra's numbered rights system is designed so anyone can purchase their books without rights. - good on them. So you won't need rights from Dorian to buy Christmas Carol, as there will be at least 100 public copies. On the other hand, Marko has not yet decided when he will start offering public copies outside the rights system. If this doesn't happen with Frankenstein, it will be a lot harder to get Frankenstein than Christmas Carol...

Redigerat: jan 18, 2022, 1:45 pm

>336 punkzip: just jumping in to add that for whatever reason, Amaranthine really doesn’t have a competitive market at the moment.

Copies of Alice have gone from $1k + right back down to pub price, and while it may just be the same handful of copies getting resold I see several new listings per week.

I’d imagine there will be a lot of passed rights on the Amaranthine Dorian given the current situation, but Frankenstein could be more competitive if Marko decides it will carry Catch 22 rights.

Redigerat: jan 18, 2022, 1:40 pm

>337 NathanOv: Very true. However, I'm wondering if this is not a more general trend rather than anything to do with Amaranthine. The Suntup secondary market is also not competitive - except for the most popular releases. Most of the numbered books are now below retail, a few are around retail, and if you leave aside the very early releases, there are about 4 books which can consistently sell above retail - and these are all famous and copyrighted. To my knowledge no Amaranthine release has dropped below retail.

Redigerat: jan 18, 2022, 1:45 pm

>338 punkzip: True, Suntup is in a similar cadence but I don't think it's market-wide. They peaked at Charlie, had a few less exciting titles, and are now picking back up with the one-two punch of Handmaid's Tale and Animal Farm. Amaranthine hit a peak (for now) on Alice, seems to have less demand (at least from their current rights holders) for Dorian, but already has tons of early interest for Catch 22 with Frankenstein kind've an intermittent unknown.

Definitely similar situations, but seems more like a coincidence between two presses than a trend.

Redigerat: jan 18, 2022, 4:55 pm

>335 Praveenna_Nagaratnam: I actually don't really love Dorian enough to purchase two fine press copies of it either. I guess a lot of it is that I don't want to face making a decision between the two. Of course this will depend on the details of Amaranthine's version which I know nothing about. I'm encouraged by Marko's comments that this was the hardest book he's ever worked and that this will be something special. The Lyra's version is of course a beautiful book with classic fine press virtues. The only other book I have 2 fine press copies of is actually 1984 but I like that book substantially more than Dorian. I have the numbered Suntup and the SJPP 1984 on the way. I know some people here have more than 2 fine press editions of the books they really love.

Redigerat: jan 19, 2022, 10:24 am

>333 punkzip: I don't know whether Rich will mind, but what the hell, he probably won't tell and I'll delete this if he does mind. But Dorian's lottery attracted at this moment, 118 applicants so far, a number were where a couple of people had put in multiple requests! Even when you take those away it comes to more than 100. Which I feel is pretty healthy for his new publishing house. I hope that Rich can keep going with the Classics...

Redigerat: jan 19, 2022, 10:21 am

>341 marceloanciano: Wow, that's way more than I expected - congratulations! My rough estimate was way off (I would have guessed in the 30 -40 range). As I mentioned previously I think the major reason there were 6 remaining was that Stardust and Dorian Gray were not targeted at the same audience, there will likely be few if any lottery copies available going forward.

The multiple requests is interesting - hopefully not under different email addresses as that wouldn't be sporting ;)

jan 19, 2022, 10:24 am

>342 punkzip: Personally speaking, I like that some can buy the book, his Lyra's Press books, the lettered may never get to anyone else because of rights.

jan 19, 2022, 10:27 am

>342 punkzip: re: 'The multiple requests is interesting'
Yeah! ha ha ha, cheeky buggers!

jan 19, 2022, 12:50 pm

>341 marceloanciano: Wow... that is fantastic! Congratulations...

Redigerat: jan 20, 2022, 9:25 am

>344 marceloanciano: "Yeah! ha ha ha, cheeky buggers!"

I just saw that there were 130 entries, but when the duplicate entries were removed there were under a hundred. So either there were a lot of cheeky buggers, or a few VERY cheeky buggers :).

I have no stake in this as I didn't enter (I plan to get the numbered as well Amaranthine's numbered - pending details of AB's book of course) - enthusiasm is one thing, but this is a bit dismaying to me.

jan 20, 2022, 9:40 am

>346 punkzip: I can only imagine all those who don't win the lottery are going to be aiming for the numbered... Which means alarms have to be set for 6pm (UK time) on the 29th...

jan 20, 2022, 10:40 am

>346 punkzip: I’m sure some people also didn’t remember if they submitted an entry and so submitted twice. So long as they aren’t actively disguising their identity, I wouldn’t ascribe malintent.

jan 20, 2022, 10:55 am

>348 jordanxn: "I’m sure some people also didn’t remember if they submitted an entry and so submitted twice"

Someone would not remember if they submitted an entry which commits one to purchase a 2250 GBP book?

jan 20, 2022, 11:23 am

>349 punkzip: I am not surprised that a quarter of the entries were duplicates, seems about that I’d expect.

Happy the demand is there for his books. It’s never been revealed by Suntup how many persons enter their lettered lotteries, though I imagine it’s quite the range depending on the book.

jan 20, 2022, 11:31 am

>349 punkzip: Yes? For example, I can’t remember if *I* did, and I got an email from Lyra’s this morning saying the lottery has now ended. (I don’t think I did, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I had…)

Redigerat: jan 20, 2022, 3:10 pm

>350 What_What: To my knowledge, lottery information of this type - both duplicate entries and actual entries - has not been previously provided by other publishers, so this is helpful.

I think the numbered line is a sort of a no brainer to be successful given the reputation for craftsmanship Lyra's has. But there isn't a precedent for a high end lettered line of public domain titles in this price range, particularly since at this point it's not clear (at least to me) what the value of the limitation is for lettered public domain titles produced at this level. It looks like the lettered line is off to an excellent start.

jan 21, 2022, 6:44 pm

So did anyone here win the lottery?

jan 21, 2022, 7:44 pm

>353 ChampagneSVP: Sadly, no. :-/

jan 21, 2022, 8:11 pm

For those that did enter the lottery, were you planning to get both the numbered and the lettered? If not, what justified the very large premium over the numbered for you? For me, I would really only considered a lettered in this price range if it were an author signed copyrighted work..

jan 21, 2022, 8:39 pm

>355 punkzip: Initially, I was not going to enter the lottery, but I changed my mind. What justifies the premium is Richard Tong's binding. It goes beyond de luxe binding to what might be called prize binding or semi-custom binding. The higher grade paper also contributes.

jan 21, 2022, 8:51 pm

>356 ultrarightist: What he said.

jan 21, 2022, 11:07 pm

There’s also the original artwork sketch included, which must have added some amount of cost over the numbered.

jan 21, 2022, 11:13 pm

>355 punkzip: My plans were to only obtain the lettered. My intentions as a collector are to collect the finest I can afford, and lettered would have been that. As such, now it looks like I'll try to obtain a numbered and go from there. With the hopes that I can get a letter from a lottery at some point.

jan 22, 2022, 9:16 am

I'm actually quite happy I didn't get an email saying I was selected. It's moments like these whenI know I have a book buying problem. If I was selected I probably would have been disappointed but bought the book anyway. It looks lovely but for the price tag I'd rather have other books from upcoming private presses. But congrats to the people who were selected and I can take a big sigh of relief. Haha and maybe try to curb my habit a bit this year.

jan 22, 2022, 9:27 am

>360 Joshbooks1: Who knows, since apparently 2 of the lottery winners didn’t follow though, you may still get an email for round two ! Haha

Redigerat: jan 22, 2022, 10:48 am

>361 antinous_in_london: How do you know 2 of the lottery winners didn't follow through? 2 out of 6 is huge... make me wonder how many of the close to 100 entrants was actually serious. I was estimating 30-40 entrants based on how many people I thought would actually want to pay that much for a high end Dorian Gray - maybe I wasn't too far off in actuality... Besides being bad form, I wonder if Lyra's will exact a penalty? I understand that if you win a Suntup lottery and do not follow through, they ban you from future lotteries.

Redigerat: nov 19, 2022, 5:13 pm

Det här meddelandet har tagits bort av dess författare.

Redigerat: jan 22, 2022, 10:09 am

>362 punkzip: Rich put it on his Instagram this morning, he said 2 of the 6 either ‘didn’t respond in time or decided against continuing with their purchase’ so he’s sending out round 2 emails today & they will have until noon on Sunday to respond or it will go to round 3, or 4 , or 5 , until they go.

jan 22, 2022, 10:22 am

>361 antinous_in_london: hahaha wouldn't that be something

jan 22, 2022, 4:12 pm

Anyone know if info on the Amaranthine edition of Dorian is expected to be available before the first order day of the Lyra numbered edition?

jan 22, 2022, 4:48 pm

>366 DavidMF: I was told - early LAST week - that the next 2 weeks was possible so I'm holding out hope. It would behoove AB IMO to get this information out before the Lyra's preorder. I know some people don't think these books are in direct competition but I think for quite a few people they are and without any info at all about the AB edition Lyra's version has an edge up. It's highly likely I will be getting both - Lyra's numbered is a definite. I'm also quite interested to see what AB will do for the lettered (although I'm not getting that). Their previous design philosophy was to make the numbered the ultimate version of the book, so for Alice the lettered book was almost identical and they had to put all the extra cost OUTSIDE the book. It looks like this may not be the policy for Dorian so what they do for the lettered will be interesting. I do think it is quite possible to appreciate both Lyra's high level of traditional craftsmanship and AB's creativity - I know what all the Lyra's Classics books will be like going forward, but AB could surprise me with each new book.

Redigerat: jan 22, 2022, 6:01 pm

>367 punkzip: Many thanks! Since I won’t be ordering both books and would prefer to have info on the Amaranthine one before decision-day on the Lyra’s version, getting the Amaranthine info asap would be of considerable interest to me — and, I suspect (as you do), that the same could be said of others.

Redigerat: jan 22, 2022, 6:37 pm

>367 punkzip: I have always thought that design philosophy the weirdest thing. Essentially people with the lettered are paying for a giant chess set. I don’t think they’ll go that kind of route again.

>368 DavidMF: You can at least get a taste for the artwork - there was a preview of the title page and an illustration shared on Facebook and somewhere on here as well.

jan 22, 2022, 7:46 pm

>369 What_What: Thanks for the tip. I did see the sample of the title page lettering, which I didn’t think was sufficient for me to make a decision on the book, but I don’t think I’ve seen another illustration. And the price, compared to that of Lyra’s, would of course be another consideration.

Redigerat: jan 23, 2022, 5:57 am

>367 punkzip: I do think it is quite possible to appreciate both Lyra's high level of traditional craftsmanship and AB's creativity - I know what all the Lyra's Classics books will be like going forward, but AB could surprise me with each new book.

I think you've mentioned this, or similar sentiments, several times in this thread. I think it needs addressing as it seems to imply that Lyra's are churning out rather dull, staid repica volumes (think Easton press etc). From the two Lyra's editions we've seen so far (and only one in hand) I just don't think it's the case: the binding of the leather Stardust is amongst the most beautiful and unique in my collection, the marbling on both books is stunning and highly creative in my opinion, the illustrations in Dorian - showing his descent solely though the changes in the portrait - will be very special if they pull it off (and I'm confident they will). Yes, it's clear that future Lyra's titles will likely be in essence what one expects from a fine press title: superior workmanship and materials, leather bindings, letterpress printing, newly commissioned introductions and illustrations etc etc. But I expect they'll all be highly creative, within the boundaries of fine press expectations.

I don't own any Amaranthine titles but I agree that they seem to be pushing the boundaries a little more: inverse printing, glow-in-the-dark illustrations and bindings, Transylvanian soil and titles written in blood (!!), giant chess sets... This sort of creativity is fun and I'm sure there is a place for it, and a market. It's just that I find it slightly incongruous within the fine press world and I'm not sure these features alone should command fine press prices (no disrespect, but glow-in-the-dark illustrations are generally a feature of kids' books). Though probably I'm just a stuck-in-the-mud. Anyway, having said all that I'm still intrigued as to what Amaranthine will do with future titles and good luck to them.

Redigerat: jan 23, 2022, 7:10 am

>371 Levin40: I was referring to the Lyra's Classics line only. As I understand it the Classics line is designed to have a relatively uniform appearance -which makes sense as they will have a better appearance as a set on the shelf. I can definitely see the appeal of this but not for me as I'm not really a completist collector.. As I understand it this won't necessarily be the case for the Lyra's Press (copyrighted) line.

IMO the Amaranthine Dracula (which many people seem to like though) was a bad misfire. The core problem is that design elements like glow in the dark and 666 don't actually have much to do with Dracula. The reason glow in the dark isn't used in any books targeted at adults is that it can be found in $10 children's books and Dracula certainly doesn't glow in the dark. Making the book 666 pages is also a misfire IMO as this changes everything for a design choice with only a very peripheral relevance to Dracula. I also think the chess set was a misfire but they were forced to do something like that due to the stated design philosophy (making the numbered the ultimate edition of the book, which means the lettered book itself can't be better). However, the Alice book itself is a cohesive and excellent design, although overpriced IMO for an offset book. It's really Alice IMO that is a good harbinger for future AB publications.

I also think public domain is an area where I'd particularly value creativity. Books like Dracula, Alice, Frankenstein are done over and over again and I appreciate trying to bring something new to the table (another example is the upcoming Beehive Dracula). The Beehive Dracula of course is not fine press at all, but why does that matter?

In terms of creativity from the fine press world - the SJPP 1984 (which incidentally is almost the exact same price as Lyra's lettered Dorian) has an embossed eye on every page, as well as Principles on Newspeak on the margins. These design elements could turn off some potential buyers in this price range, but this is the type of creativity I appreciate.

Redigerat: jan 23, 2022, 7:42 am

>372 punkzip: Ok, I understand what you're saying about Lyra's Classics. For a series, a relatively uniform appearance is a generally seen as a plus and appreciated by collectors as the series is added to. And if you're only collecting some of the books, so what? For Lyra's Classics I'd imagine Rich would go for something like same size and consistent spine design, probably with different coloured leather. But let's not forget that the majority of design work is inside the book: I'm sure the Gianni-illustrated Christmas Carol will have a completely different feel to Dorian. That's also what I was responding to when you said 'I know what all the Lyra's Classics books will be like going forward'.

So for Amaranthine's Dracula we have glow-in-the-dark illustrations, 666 pages, real blood, Transylvanian soil...Sorry if this sounds harsh, but that sounds like something a bunch of teenagers would come up with if asked to design an 'ultimate, best ever!' edition of Dracula for a school project. However, they seem to have found a market so what do I know? If they mature a bit in their design choices, future titles could be worth checking out.

jan 23, 2022, 8:14 am

>373 Levin40: For what it’s worth, I agree with you, and I’m not sure what really qualifies AB to be compared with fine press books other than the price point being about the same.

jan 23, 2022, 9:06 am

>374 What_What: The price point is specifically what justifies the comparison. AB isn't a fine press in any traditional sense of the term. But many if not most collectors I take it don't only collect traditional fine press, they might also purchase (say) Folio LEs in this price range. So assuming your budget is not unlimited, there are choices to be made.

jan 23, 2022, 9:51 am

Due to my daughters excitement for anything Dracula, I do own a book from Amarantine. It was purchased as new and still sealed but unfortunately it came from a secondary market source. I was very disappointed with the quality and if it had been a direct purchase I would have requested a refund.
That experience has meant I wouldn’t consider another similar purchase at this time.
Conversely I spent a weekend at the Ludlow Book Fair last year and handled numerous books linked to Lyra’s Books and others. The place was awash with very fine quality work from the cream of UK book makers.
From that point I knew where my money would be better spent.

Redigerat: jan 23, 2022, 10:52 am

>373 Levin40: "Ok, I understand what you're saying about Lyra's Classics. For a series, a relatively uniform appearance is a generally seen as a plus and appreciated by collectors as the series is added to. And if you're only collecting some of the books, so what?"

A lot of my previous comments about this were more about the lettered line. The numbered line is designed so you can dip in and out. In the numbered price range, if something looks interesting I would just buy it. In the lettered price range, I'd always ask the question - "Why is this special?" (and as I've previously posted I feel that the SJPP 1984 and the Suntup Handmaid in this price range, in my subjective opinion, are more special). If all of the lettered volumes are relatively uniform I'd feel that each individual volume would be less special (again my subjective feeling). In addition it will likely be quite hard to buy individual lettered Lyra's Classics volumes going forward, so to some extent you'd feel some pressure to continue buying regardless of the book, and while I can see the appeal of a full lettered set, I wasn't interested in a full set of $3000 + similar looking public domain books - which are ultimately not a real series to begin with.

Redigerat: jan 23, 2022, 11:10 am

The Numbered Edition of Dorian Gray was a distinct "miss" and was of no interest to me. Despite having rights to the Numbered Edition it was an easy "pass". Unlike the Stardust numbered edition, this binding design was uninspired and it had a generic look, i.e., been there, done that. It looked more appropriate on the library shelf of a major law firm rather than the shelf of a private press book collector.

Lyra's Books stated intent to produce bindings in the Classics Series with uniform size and appearance is wrong-headed, seriously undermining Richard Tong's bookbinding skills and use of top-quality materials, and this may prove to be his Achilles Heel. Gregory Manchess' portraiture-styled illustrations aside, I do not want to purchase a book in the $750 to $800 range that is a classier version of an Easton Press book.

Redigerat: jan 23, 2022, 11:20 am

>375 punkzip: I see your point, to an extent. But if I wanted to buy a $70k Tesla sedan, we wouldn’t compare it a $70k Jeep because they’re the same price. But your point is taken.

Where are we getting that all the bindings for Lyra’s Classics will be the same? Is it from this part of the FAQ?
“We will be bringing in new illustrators for a fresh approach to classic titles and, in the long term, creating a series of books which will complement each other on the shelf. These books will be uniform in size. Lyra’s Press will focus on publishing more modern titles. The emphasis will be on more heavily illustrated art books, author signatures (where we can get them) and more modern and unique bindings.”

Because that’s not what I’m getting from that paragraph. It says uniform size, and complementary, but it doesn’t say similar appearance. Is there something else?

And I doubt that someone with Rich’s talent would essentially phone in his work and use the same design on all his books.

Redigerat: jan 23, 2022, 11:35 am

Det här meddelandet har tagits bort av dess författare.

jan 23, 2022, 11:34 am

>379 What_What: Each of Rich's classics are going to look radically different, at the moment he wants to keep them the same size, but actually that may change

Redigerat: jan 23, 2022, 11:36 am

Det här meddelandet har tagits bort av dess författare.

jan 23, 2022, 11:37 am

>381 marceloanciano: I very much hope so! That would increase the appeal for me for sure.

jan 23, 2022, 11:45 am

>383 punkzip: Yeah, and for me too! And I'm involved. His sizing is really because of paper availability, which is, granted, getting harder and harder...

Redigerat: jan 23, 2022, 12:47 pm

>384 marceloanciano: Yeah, I noticed that Dorian is using Zerkall Smooth. I hope you managed to get stock in before they closed down.

>378 dlphcoracl:. It's a book which is supposed to have a 'classic' feel. Not quite sure what you were expecting. It's all subjective but personally I strongly disagree with your assessment. Anyway, as has been explained, they won't all look the same. I'm quite sure this series will become highly sought after as it grows and I hope you don't regret missing out later.

ETA: just noticed that there's an interesting summary of the Numbered design choices on the website:
'The Numbered edition needed to be something that was less complex than the Lettered and also utterly different. Initially, I devised another full-leather binding with a different type of leather, but found that the design we created just didn’t sit perfectly on the cover and felt way too modern. Instead, part of that design found its place on the slipcase where it turned out to be far better placed. Accidents and failures can often be quite providential. After more experiments and consideration, I made the choice to bind the book in a half-leather style which seemed much more suited to a classic title. This would end up being a much more labour intensive binding than the intended full-leather, due to the additional operations required in its construction, but it just felt right for this title. I also chose to upgrade the leather to the same as the Lettered in order to make this edition shine. A half-bound leather book has a very elegant style and simplicity of design, while still allowing the use of high-quality materials to create something quite magnificent and in keeping with the time period.'

Redigerat: jan 23, 2022, 2:54 pm

>378 dlphcoracl: The Numbered Edition of Dorian Gray was a distinct "miss" and was of no interest to me.

I fully respect your opinion, although I have to say it's hard for me to find anything "amiss" with Lyra's Dorian Gray. For a classic book such as Gray I really love the look and illustrations and have no doubt this will be THE greatest edition of Gray ever published.

I do not want to purchase a book in the $750 to $800 range that is a classier version of an Easton Press book.

Can't you say that about pretty much any book? For instance, what's the difference between an original limited edition 1908 The Tempest featuring illustrations by Dulac, and the Easton Press facsimile? Both feature all the texts and illustrations - the difference being that the original is, in your own words, "classier" - it has better paper, printed letterpress, etc. Ultimately no edition pleases everyone. That said, having purchased many Easton Press books over the years, I am confident Lyra's edition will be in a different league altogether.

Redigerat: jan 23, 2022, 3:17 pm

>386 astropi: thinking of it as an “upgrade” from publishers like Easton Press has the whole situation totally backwards.

Easton Press took one particular Fine Press aesthetic, then downgraded it and stripped it of most of the craftsmanship involved as well to achieve a lower cost.

Redigerat: jan 23, 2022, 3:32 pm

>386 astropi: "have no doubt this will be THE greatest edition of Gray ever published." Not much prior competition though. Anyone know anything about the LEC Dorian Gray?

Now, the greatest edition of Moby Dick, that's a much bigger hurdle to aim for :)

Redigerat: jan 23, 2022, 3:45 pm

>378 dlphcoracl: Yes, thank you, the design of this book is simply "late 19th century standard." Perhaps appropriate for the work, but hardly interesting and innovative as one would have hoped. "Been there done that" is right.

>386 astropi: I think the greatest edition of "The Picture of Dorian Gray" ever published is probably the first book edition. Beautifully designed, on top of being printed letterpress on handmade paper - bound by hand in half vellum - numbered - and signed (by Oscar Wilde). I think Lyra's will have their work cut out for them to be the greatest. Take a look:

Redigerat: jan 23, 2022, 6:46 pm

>385 Levin40:
>387 NathanOv:

Ask yourself the following:

Would you ever expect to see a standard half morocco and marbled paper binding from the Foolscap Press? The Barbarian Press? The Janus Press? The Salvage Press? The St. James Park Press?

Looking at this a bit differently, here is what $750-$800 can buy in the private press world:

1. The Story of a Fisherman, Foolscap Press.

2. Sudden Immobility: Selected Poems of Molly Holden. The DELUXE edition (at pre-publication price) with separate suite of Andy English wood engravings.

3. Stardust DELUXE full morocco edition at pre-publication price, Lyra's Books.

4. The Tempest or A Ghost Story of Christmas: Being a Christmas Carol, Caliban Press

5. An Albion in the Antarctic (pre-publication price), St. James Park Press

6. Venice by John Craig, semi-deluxe edition "B", Whittington Press. $460 at time of publication in Jan. 2017.

Hopefully, one can appreciate the differences in book design and imagination.

Bottom line for Lyra's Dorian Gary:

Quality of materials and workmanship (printing and binding): Superb.
Book design and imagination: Not so much.

Redigerat: jan 23, 2022, 3:53 pm

>390 dlphcoracl: Not sure why you feel the need to continue arguing your case for why you don’t like something. You’ve said it.

Why continue disparaging?

Redigerat: jan 23, 2022, 4:19 pm

>391 NathanOv:

Two final points with regard to "why you feel the need to continue arguing your case" :

1. Feedback, both positive and negative, is critical to the success of a small fledgling private press such as Lyra's Books, especially one just starting out and branching into book publishing from bookbinding. Continuing along this path with uninspired design and editions which maintain similar book size will, in the long run, seriously undermines Richard Tong's skills and prodigious efforts.

2. To present better and/or more interesting alternatives to serious private press book collectors who are just beginning their book collections. At worst, giving newer collectors some basis for comparison and something to think about with regard to their future book purchases, especially those with limited budgets.

If you find this negative or offensive, please add your own constructive comments to counter this instead of flinging mud.

Redigerat: jan 23, 2022, 4:12 pm

>392 dlphcoracl: I find actively trying to drive business away from a “small fledgling private press” as you put it, with one of the creators actively participating in this thread no less, to be in very poor taste.

My first impression of the book’s “look” was also on the cooler side, but you’ve been given clear answers on the justification for the cost and the intent of the design.

It would be one thing if you’d purchased the book, there were a generally negative sentiment towards it, and you wanted to warn others.

However, the general sentiment is not negative and any other potential buyers have the same information about the book that you do, so it’s up to them to decide whether the design (because this is purely about design choices - not craftsmanship, materials, quality printing, etc.) is to their tastes or not.

jan 23, 2022, 4:33 pm

>389 realto: First editions have historically been the most valuable books for collectors. That does NOT make them the most beautiful and attractive copies on the market. The fact that it is signed by Oscar Wilde does make it special in my opinion. That said, apart from the signature I did not see anything particularly noteworthy about the production. Let's compare the opening of both books - the first edition Gray alongside Lyra's edition -note that I got both illustrations from the good ol' web.

I really don't know what there is to compare? Lyra's edition is beautiful in every way. The first edition Gray again has the price-point of being the "first edition" and Oscar Wilde's signature commands huge dollars, but that said, to me the difference between editions is like night and day.

jan 23, 2022, 4:38 pm

Detta meddelande har blivit flaggat av flera användare och visas inte längre (visa)
>378 dlphcoracl: Yup, boooring! These talented people can do much better. Hope they will in the future. Feedback from serious collectors like you is very important. Also, great examples of what you can get for the same price.

BTW, I feel like there's too much Nathan and punkzip on this forum lately. No offence.

jan 23, 2022, 4:47 pm

>395 Lukas1990: I think it's good to have different opinions. However just calling a book "boring" I feel brings little to the table. How would YOU have made this book exciting? What are you looking for? Everyone is entitled to their opinions, I think constructive comments are the best. Also, judging by what I've heard so far, it sounds like there are plenty of people interested in Lyra's edition which I think is great. I want Rich to succeed and continue producing beautiful books for us all!

BTW, I feel like there's too much Nathan and punkzip on this forum lately. No offence.
Not sure what you mean??

Redigerat: jan 23, 2022, 5:02 pm

>390 dlphcoracl: While I'm obviously an ignoramus here, I'm a little confused as to what is the current consensus among the illuminati on what qualifies as an acceptable binding choice in the fine press world.

You say: Would you ever expect to see a standard half morocco and marbled paper binding from the Foolscap Press? The Barbarian Press? The Janus Press? The Salvage Press?
Well, according to the Barbarian Press website the deluxe Sudden Immobility is 'Bound in half morocco with a skived leather spine label and patterned paper over boards'. So is it the marbling you have an objection to? Foolscap Press' Mandeville is 'bound in handmade, Cave Paper'. So would you have preferred a paper binding for Dorian?
You say: If you cannot appreciate the difference in book design and imagination, well....... .. (That's a pretty snobbish statement btw). No, please accept my humblest apologies, but looking at the photos of these bindings I fail to see why you think they're soooo superior.
Also, most of the books you mention are very short, often well under 100 pages.
Also, on a personal level I have little to no interest in the content of most of the titles you mention, certainly not enough to pay the asking prices.
Finally, you seem to focus entirely on the binding with little interest on the book's interior.

Anyway, I'd be interested to know the binding choice you would have found acceptable for Dorian.

Redigerat: jan 23, 2022, 5:00 pm

>396 astropi: dlphcoracl made some constructive comments and gave good examples of imaginative book design but was called out for no reason.

I am not a book-designer so you don't need to ask me how I would design a book.

"Not sure what you mean??"

I mean they are all over this forum these past weeks or month with not that constructive comments.

jan 23, 2022, 5:10 pm

The binding looks very high quality, but it is not innovative or unique (not that it necessarily needs to be). Stardust, I would say, did have a more special binding design.

Personally I don't like the novel enough to spend £550 on it, and the binding doesn't excite me enough to kid myself that I do.

I very much expect to purchase some future Lyra editions, as and when the titles suit me better.

Redigerat: jan 23, 2022, 9:38 pm

Det här meddelandet har tagits bort av dess författare.

jan 23, 2022, 5:43 pm

>394 astropi: I would never suggest that a first edition is inherently more beautiful than subsequent ones, I merely suggested that the first edition of "The Picture of Dorian Gray" is more beautiful than subsequent ones. The photos you show are an example of differences of opinion, as I find the first edition significantly lovelier than the Lyra's. I don't like the artwork, roses-and-skulls illustration, or the typography choices. I also prefer the binding of the first edition, the handmade paper, the size, and yes, I appreciate the fact that it is signed the the author. Your night is my day, it seems, but I can respect that.

I don't think anyone wishes Lyra's Books anything but immense success with their endeavors. Why is constructive criticism so wrong?

jan 23, 2022, 5:58 pm

>401 realto: Constructive criticism is never wrong, and I respect your opinion. For me however, the first edition has no sway apart from Wilde's signature, but that was only for a few of the first editions and the book you noted sold for €100,000 on 7 October 2019. So, unless one is super wealthy the prospect of acquiring a signed Gray is basically zero. That said, the first edition just looks utterly plain and boring to me, but again, that is my opinion.

>390 dlphcoracl: 6. Venice by John Craig, semi-deluxe edition "B", Whittington Press. $460 at time of publication in Jan. 2017.

Okay, but that was six years ago, before the pandemic which seems to have universally raised prices across all collections from video games to books and art etc. The incredible Deep Wood Press Heart of Darkness from 2010 was originally $500. I don't know of a single edition available on the second-hand market and I believe someone some years ago paid $2000 for a copy - point is, I don't feel it's fair to compare original prices from books especially those that came out years ago. I don't know whether Lyra's Gray will appreciate in value, but I think Richard did exactly what he set out to do - produce an exquisite illustrated edition in the same vein as classic editiions of the past.

Redigerat: jan 23, 2022, 6:32 pm

>389 realto: I think the greatest edition of "The Picture of Dorian Gray" ever published is probably the first book edition.

Check out the 1908 complete works edition put out under the imprint of Charles Carrington, which is bound in full vellum with yapp edges and limited to 80 numbered copies. Some web sites list the binding material as Japanese vellum, but I think the binding is "real" animal skin vellum, though I am not 100% sure. I believe the confusion comes from the fact that it is printed on "Japanese vellum" (paper) and bound in vellum. (The Carrington edition is uniform with the other volumes of Wilde's complete works, though the imprint on the others is Methuen.) I have not seen the Carrington edition of Dorian in person, but I have seen some of the other Methuen volumes in series, and I find the effect satisfying. They also have designs by Charles Ricketts (of the Vale Press).

I agree with >394 astropi: in that I could not care less about association copies, even when the association in question is an authorial inscription, but the market certainly likes them. This valuation seems to be clearly about scarcity though, not fine printing or excellence of craftsmanship.

Personally, I love the design Lyra's went for with Dorian; in fact, I like the half leather with marbled paper over the boards more than the full leather lettered design.

>390 dlphcoracl: raises some useful comparisons. In fact, I was mildly surprised (though I shouldn't have been) with the cost comparisons after doing some currency conversions. After subscriber discount, last July I paid about $950 CAD for my preorder of Sudden Immobility, and Google tells me that at present £550 weighs in at $940 CAD... indeed within spitting distance.

Sudden Immobility deluxe: I love this design, but it is also simple and classic. Half leather with printed paper sides. Hard to compare the layout and illustrations at this point since neither have arrived yet, but I expect similar levels of craftsmanship inside the text block, maybe with a slight edge to the engravings for the Barbarian volume (given their wood engravings specialty) in the illustration level of craft dimension; I suspect I will enjoy Wilde's novel more than Molly Holden's poetry, but we will see. And in terms of the actual art content, the character portraits of Dorian look perfect for the story.

Stardust deluxe full morocco: This is striking, and obviously uses more leather, but in terms of aesthetics I prefer the standard blue quarter cloth edition. Heresy, I know, but I have a thing for marbled papers, and the blue Stardust has one of my favorite marbled papers that I have yet seen.

An Albion in the Antarctic (St. James Park Press): This is nice, but not particularly creative. I like the half-leather with marbled papers binding style more. In fact, in some ways I see the Albion binding design as private press default. Half-cloth binding with printed paper sides and a printed paper spine label.

The Tempest (Caliban Press): Admittedly this is more creative, but I do not like it at all. The printing is good, but the overall edition looks like a craft project to me. Collages of printed music notation etc. No thank you. I'll take my Letterpress Shakespeare Folio Society edition over the Caliban Press edition any day, even though the Folio LE follows a classic formula in design.

dlphcoracl, it sounds like your dissatisfaction is entirely due to the binding style. Is that correct?

Redigerat: jan 23, 2022, 6:30 pm

>400 NathanOv: This is not a "Fans" FB group where there is a high amount of groupthink and any criticism would likely be shouted down. I do see what you are saying though when the creators participate in this forum - is there a line when criticizing that shouldn't be crossed? I don't know - it would really be up to the creators as to what they think about this.

FWIW I don't think anything said here could affect Lyra's sales one way or the other. They were fortunate enough to start with a title by one of the most famous contemporary genre authors - a title which has seen substantial secondary market appreciation which is certain to attract certain collectors (although I would be surprised if the public domain titles will see much appreciation) as well as a genre collector audience used to certain contemporary sales techniques. Their principals have impeccable fine press credentials, but the press has also adopted contemporary techniques from a very successful publisher (a very expensive lettered line, lotteries, a rights system, as well as a rush to buy books at the very moment when they go live (creating FOMO) although they have tried to mitigate the worst aspects of said publishers rights system). They operate in a far different manner than traditional fine presses (e.g. Barbarian, Foolscap, SJPP, No Reply) and a large part of their initial customer base may be interested primarily in "beautiful" bindings and the art, and much less in what traditional fine presses do well (for example, I've never seen paper mentioned once in a prominent fan FB group). So I'd doubt that most of their initial core audience would even seriously consider the titles mentioned by dlphcorcal. - although they may eventually do so.

jan 23, 2022, 6:30 pm

Personally I like the classic look of the book and hope that there is uniformity on the "Classics" imprint of Lyra's. He can get innovative and whacky with the imprint that is dedicated to more modern works but leave the classics, classic.
Many of us missed the boat on some of the great presses that produced the great classics. Now most of those presses (looking at you, AP) are printing books that are more for the "hey look what we can do" factor. There are plenty of presses pumping out flashy versions of Alice and WITW every couple of months. "Look everyone! We've made a spherical book! You must rotate it around your lap as you try to read it. Fun, right?"
Let's cheer Lyra's printing classic, exquisite tomes in a sea of presses printing things like: "Mid-day Observations" by: insert local poet you've never heard of.

Redigerat: jan 23, 2022, 7:15 pm

>397 Levin40:
>403 abysswalker:

To answer your questions:

1. My comments were directed to the book design, not content or length. Clearly, if The Picture of Dorian Gray is a title of great interest to a collector, this is the only game in town and would have been quite appealing. The LEC edition is not comparable.

2. The half-leather Barbarian Press edition of Sudden Immobility is quite different from Lyra's half leather edition of Dorian Gray. The Elsteds chose a delicate, subtle patterned paper that was in keeping with Molly Holden's fragile world and newly-found focus of acute observation of nature and natural phenomenon forced upon her. By contrast, dozens of high quality marbled papers can be found at Talas Online (see link) and Richard's choice did nothing to enhance or reflect the time and milieu surrounding Dorian Gray. I feel he was trying to play it safe rather than following his own instincts and creative juices.

3. "You seem to focus entirely on the binding with little interest in the book's interior".

Yes, that is correct and that is precisely the point. I found the concept of using Gregory Manchess' John Singer Sargent-style portrait illustrations showing Dorian Gray's progressive deterioration over time innovative and appropriate but it was overweighed by my dislike for the binding.

4. "I'd be interested to know what binding choice you would have found acceptable for Dorian."

For me, a much better choice would have been a patterned paper or wallpaper typical of Victorian style and tastes, a paper which was "of the time". Something similar was done to marvelous effect by Luke Ives Pontifell in the Thornwillow Press edition of Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice'. As Pontifell aptly stated:

"Why this edition of P&P?"

"We're excited to return this beautiful classic to a format with which Austen would have been familiar and also to bring something entirely unique to this project. We believe a novel of this caliber deserves the best. Therefore, we are making an edition that would have fit in perfectly on Austen's own bookshelf, using the same time-tested craftsmanship, techniques and style of the Georgian period. We have chosen historically accurate greens for the leather and cloth bindings ......... . Most fitting, we are using a replica of the wallpaper in Austen's home for the boards."

Pontifell's genius is that he was not afraid to make bold yet appropriate choices, which is what I hope and expect a top-tier private press to do. Even if this specific example is not to one's taste, it still separates the Thornwillow Press edition from all else. Photos below of the half-leather edition.

jan 23, 2022, 6:41 pm

It would be really useful if everyone here took a deep breath and just stepped away from the keyboard for a sec. I love books as much as anyone here I guess, but some comments here are crossing the borders of good taste.

While I get people might feel strongly about a book or a publisher, I think it's very important to allow folks here to express their opinion, negative though it may be. Otherwise we run the very real risk of becoming an echo chamber. I used to hang out over at the TDT Suntup group when it started and left because I was getting nauseated by the endless stream of sycophantic praises, the smallest negative comments would get attacked mercilessly. I really hope we can stop that from happening here.

As for publishers being present on this forum, I'm sure that Marcelo and others have better things to worry about than a few negative comments about a book. I think it's definitely true that whatever you do in life, some people will not like it, it's just the way it goes.

And let's remember that ad hominem attacks are against the rules (at least they used to be, not sure if anything changed).

Redigerat: jan 23, 2022, 9:44 pm

Ok. I removed my comment about my opinion of NathanOv's impact on this forum. I do not remove:

>393 NathanOv: The idea that an irreproachable source of fine press information and opinions should censor himself because a press operator may read his words is laughable indeed.

Redigerat: jan 23, 2022, 10:12 pm

Det här meddelandet har tagits bort av dess författare.

Redigerat: jan 24, 2022, 10:02 am

Message deleted to reflect skipjack3’s removal of his comment. Thanks.

jan 23, 2022, 9:36 pm

>408 skipjack3: Keep it civil, please.

Redigerat: jan 23, 2022, 10:09 pm

I deleted a reply that’s now out of context, and another that was mainly repetitive and in a less positive tone than the original.

I just think we can be courteous and respectful to each other and the presses we patronize, even when we’re disappointed and even when we’re discussing those disappointments, which I never had any intent to censor or invalidate.

jan 23, 2022, 10:28 pm

I deleted my opinion of NathanOv’s impact on the forum, though it hasn’t changed and has in fact been reinforced since I made my edit AFTER he deleted his reply, which apparently he then re-edited to obtain a later time stamp and create some artifice that he deleted it once it was out of context. None of which really matters but is strange. Maybe it’s for sympathy.

Now, to the point of the thread, I’m one of the grandfathered Lettered rights holders but I agree that the Numbered design is uninspired. Time will tell whether I keep the Lettered.

Redigerat: jan 24, 2022, 3:26 am

>397 Levin40:
>413 skipjack3:

A picture is worth a thousand words and these links will better illustrate what I had in mind for Lyra's Books edition of Dorian Gray. A Numbered Edition with a dark navy blue half morocco binding (similar to the Stardust Numbered Edition) or appropriate shade of green morocco would have worked exceptionally well with many of these Victorian Era papers.

1. Put the phrase Victorian Wallpaper Patterns in the google search box. Then click on 'Images for victorian wallpaper patterns'. Dozens of beautiful patterned papers will appear.

2. Click on the following link to see one dozen William Morris Victorian papers on the Etsy website. Note that before William Morris founded the Kelmscott Press and devoted the last decade of his life to it, he was a renowned interior designer of fine wallpapers, fabrics, carpets, etc., for wealthy Victorians, which is how he made his fortune.

jan 24, 2022, 6:30 am

>413 skipjack3: If you were disappointed in the numbered why did you decide to purchase the lettered? Compared to the numbered - full leather, solander instead of slipcase, original drawing and slightly better mouldmade paper - I assume the specific full leather binding?

Redigerat: jan 24, 2022, 10:09 am

>414 dlphcoracl: A broader question is: why does the binding even matter? The most prized relatively contemporary private press publications, such as the Barbarian Play of Pericles, and Chester River Press Heart of Darkness, are prized for reasons (I take it) completely unrelated to the binding. Similarly, the most prized Arion Press publications are valued (I take it) for reasons completely unrelated to the binding. (Not implying that Lyra's Dorian Gray is in that company - IMO it's a good value in the numbered state, but not particularly notable). In the broader world of book collecting, it is rarity, first editions, signatures, along with the fame of the book itself (assuming F/NF condition). When I subscribed the SJPP 1984 - incidentally about the same price as the lettered Dorian Gray - I was only given vague and preliminary details about the binding and enclosure, and I did not need to know more to subscribe in that price range.

Redigerat: jan 24, 2022, 11:18 am

>416 punkzip:

Fair question - I will try to answer this is several ways.

1. I consider the binding, both its quality and design, to be an integral part of a modern private press book and I value it as much as the quality of the paper and letterpress printing. It is part of The Arts of the Book and I am unable to look past this, unless there is an overriding factor, e.g, superb illustrations, a work of literature or poetry not represented in private press, etc. Incidentally the examples you have mentioned - The Play of Pericles, Chester River Heart of Darkness, top-tier Arion Press - DO have bindings I consider attractive.

2. I did not consider the Numbered Edition of Dorian Gray to be great value. As you will see shortly the same money can be spent on one of the No Reply Press longer editions in 2022 that I believe will be far superior, in terms of book design, quality of paper AND the actual works of literature or poetry planned. I actually used the money saved on Dorian Gray to purchase a superb book from Labyrinth Editions - the deluxe edition of Between Two Wars by Kenneth Rexroth (1982) and it is far superior to Dorian Gray in every way imaginable.

Redigerat: jan 24, 2022, 11:57 am

>417 dlphcoracl: Thanks for your reply. My question was more about what specifically was notable about the Pericles, Heart of Darkness and top Arion Press books that made them notable and highly valued - while the you and other collectors may consider the binding to be an integral part they are certainly not valued highly because of the binding, and I would think that they would still be as highly valued if they were released with different bindings. As a practical matter, books can always be rebound, but the internal contents are fixed.

As for the No Reply Press longer editions, I agree that they are more notable than the Lyra's Dorian Gray (2 in particular seem notable for specific reasons) and have already subscribed to all 3. By Lyra's Dorian Gray being a good value I just meant the quality of the materials and craftsmanship relative to the price. I think the leather quality, Rich Tong's bookbinding, illustrations, and use of mouldmade paper make it a good value compared to - say - Thornwillow's half-leather states, even if the book itself is nothing special.

jan 25, 2022, 12:00 pm

>368 DavidMF: It looks the Amaranthine Dorian Gray reveal is coming very soon...

jan 25, 2022, 2:10 pm

>419 punkzip: Thanks! Eager to see it.

jan 25, 2022, 2:35 pm

>420 DavidMF: Thursday 7PM CET.

jan 26, 2022, 9:57 am

>421 punkzip: Bit cheeky, haha. Nipping in like that before the Lyra's edition goes on general sale.

jan 26, 2022, 11:13 am

>422 Levin40: Personally I think it comes across as desperate.

jan 26, 2022, 11:17 am

>423 What_What: More like sound business practice. They developed the same book separately, but people are inevitably going to compare the two. For people to make an informed decision, they need to know what Amaranthine’s version will look like before Lyra’s is available to purchase.

jan 26, 2022, 11:25 am

>424 jordanxn: I agree with this assessment. Lyra's put their product and pricing out there with (justified imo) confidence in what they are offering. They were aware of Amaranthine's plans before they put the info out there. Lyra's could have waited and based their pricing/marketing on what Amaranthine was doing but they chose not to. I do not think there is any fear or concern over competition on the part of Lyra's.

jan 26, 2022, 11:27 am

Just saw the update from Rich Tong. 176 copies of the Numbered will be available. That means 74/100 Stardust rights holders chose to purchase the book. Pretty good going I think!

jan 26, 2022, 11:30 am

>422 Levin40: The original plan was actually to reveal much earlier, but this got delayed. Since it did get delayed, in many ways this is the best time to reveal, to create the your peak buzz right before the competitor's preorder. Interestingly, the Amaranthine public sale will take place on Sunday - one day after the Lyra's public sale. I'd be very curious how many copies will be available, as there are no additional copies outside the rights-bearing ones. Lyra's will have more than 150 public copies. I find this more "exciting" than Lyra's reveal as I have much less of a sense of what will be coming. My plan is still to get both numbered, pending a good result from Amaranthine's reveal of course.

Redigerat: jan 26, 2022, 11:38 am

>426 Levin40: It's interesting how the percentage of rights holders exercising their rights was very close for the lettered 20/26 and numbered 74/100, and in fact the percentage retention for the lettered was slightly better. I would have thought that it would be the other way around, as it is much less of a reach for a Gaiman fan to spend 550 GBP as opposed to 2250 GBP on a public domain title they may not necessarily have much interest in.

In any case with 176 copies, I don't anticipate a problem getting a numbered Lyra's Dorian for anyone who logs on at the start time.

jan 26, 2022, 11:36 am

>427 punkzip: This is not an event which happens too often (if ever before...) in the fine/quality press world: two competitors opening for pre orders of the same title on the same weekend. As I've already purchased my copy from Lyra's and am unlikely to purchase ABs, I'll sit and watch with interest from the sidelines.

jan 26, 2022, 11:41 am

>428 punkzip: I personally think the stats are impressive, given that no one purchasing Stardust knew where Lyra's would go next, or about rights and (if memory serves correctly) Stardust pre orders were over 1.5 years ago. And we're not just talking about Gaiman fans possibly dropping out; in 1.5 years people can change hobbies, change financial circumstances, pass away etc etc. Such a retention after that amount of time is excellent.

jan 26, 2022, 11:42 am

Can someone help clarify: Rich mentioned if you get a numbered Dorian with rights that it will allow you to purchase the next Classic, but not the next Press book - those rights stay with the leathered Stardust holders. Does this indicate that no one will be able to obtain rights except if a numbered holder drops out, or did he allocate a number above for rights to these too?

jan 26, 2022, 12:10 pm

>431 Objectr: The next Lyra's press title in 2022 will consist of 26 Lettered, 200 Numbered and 500 Standard editions. So for the numbered there will be at least 100 public copies, + however many from rights holders from Stardust (not Lyra's Classics) who passed. The Lettered will operate as Dorian, with copies going to lottery that the Stardust Lettered rights holders passed on.

jan 26, 2022, 12:21 pm

>432 punkzip: understood - however, will the 100 public copies have rights going forward or not? That's my basic question: other than lottery from those who pass, will anyone be able to obtain rights? Hopefully that makes sense. I'm traveling and on my phone.

Redigerat: jan 26, 2022, 12:25 pm

>433 Objectr: 25 will have rights randomly assigned + rights from those who passed

jan 26, 2022, 1:15 pm

>432 punkzip: probably too soon to bring this up.. but i really wonder what the Lyras Press title is going to be...

jan 26, 2022, 1:53 pm

>435 Praveenna_Nagaratnam: I'm curious too, and I know Rich said it will be a living author. Heck, maybe it will also be Handmaid's Tale, or Golden Compass - let's guess :)

Redigerat: jan 26, 2022, 2:31 pm

>436 astropi: The chance that Atwood would give rights to 2 limited editions in such a short period of time is close to nil. In any case, please no. There are few enough letterpress novels by living authors to do one more than once. As for Golden Compass, how many letterpress series by living authors are there (FWIW I think a book series from Lyra's would be unlikely given the structure of their rights system)? I can think of one upcoming: the Blade Itself from Curious King. Any others?

jan 26, 2022, 2:40 pm

>436 astropi: >437 punkzip: I agree it's almost certainly not Handmaid's Tale. Could be another Gaiman. Something not too long for letterpress, such as The Ocean at the End of the Lane. The Golden Compass (or Northern Lights, as a Lyra's edition would almost certainly be called) would be amazing, especially given the 'Lyra' connection.

Redigerat: jan 26, 2022, 4:46 pm

>438 Levin40: Northern Lights would be fantastic, and very in keeping with the Lyra’s “theme” so far.

It’s also worth noting Pullman has given fine press rights before, and yet it was only excerpted in part by Oak Tree.

jan 26, 2022, 4:12 pm

Would love me some Simmons. Sub press Hyperion was a total miss IMO.

jan 26, 2022, 4:19 pm

>440 filox: I second the Simmons suggestion

Redigerat: jan 26, 2022, 4:30 pm

>439 NathanOv: Would love Pullman as well. Re: past Pullman fine press, did you mean the (I think very stunning) Oak Tree edition 'A Outrance'? That's one of my very favorite books, and amazing to me it's still available from them. But if there's an Oak Knoll publication I'd love to know what it is!

I also wonder about something from Susanna Clarke, I could see that being a strong fit (though the size of Strange & Norrell would be something).

jan 26, 2022, 4:46 pm

>442 eanson: you’re right, Oak Tree not Oak Knoll!

jan 26, 2022, 4:47 pm

>442 eanson: Hyperion or Strange & Norrell would both be winners in my book. Though I suspect the latter would be multiple volumes…

Redigerat: jan 26, 2022, 5:07 pm

>444 jordanxn: Re Susanna Clarke - The Norell was among the 5 titles on the recent FS poll for potential publication for their 75th anniversary in October, so might dampen other publishers ardour for it (& i think ‘Piranesi’ will be too recent).

jan 26, 2022, 5:09 pm

>445 antinous_in_london: Have you read Piranesi? If so, would you recommend it?

Redigerat: jan 26, 2022, 5:14 pm

>446 ultrarightist: I really enjoyed it (and it would lend itself to a really nice design/illustrations) - it’s also much shorter than Norrell so a good starting point if the size of Norell is daunting !

jan 26, 2022, 5:51 pm

>446 ultrarightist: I found Piranesi to be fantastic in the first half but somewhat of a letdown in the second. Worth reading and lends itself to absolutely beautiful illustrations, but not as amazing as Strange and Norrell.

Redigerat: jan 26, 2022, 6:10 pm

From a purely commercial point of view - if Lyra were to publish *any* novel by Stephen King, it would be insanity. Instant sell-out, huge prices on the second-hand market, etc etc.
That said, I'm not a King fan. There was a point in time when I would have loved to have seen Alice Walker in fine press, but since it became known how antisemitic she is, I don't want to have ANYTHING to do with her. In complete contrast to the hateful Walker (read what she says, she absolutely is antisemitic) I think a wonderful living American author that deserves the fine press treatment is Michael Chabon.

Edit: or... Game of Thrones? Now wouldn't that be something :)
Of course, you might argue if Lyra does publish Game of Thrones wouldn't be years before he publishes all five novels? Yes, and by then, GRRM will still NOT have finished novel number six.

jan 26, 2022, 6:20 pm

>446 ultrarightist: apologies in advance for inserting my opinion without being asked directly, but I will recommend Piranesi any chance I get. I think it is a much more effective work than Norell, simultaneously tighter, more restrained, and more ambitious. (And I liked Norell too.)

Piranesi does, however, have a formal conceit that I imagine some could find annoying (I have met one person so far that reacted negatively).

Lightly off-topic, the audiobook for Piranesi is also the best-read audiobook I have yet come across, the one narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor (several minutes of sample).

Redigerat: jan 26, 2022, 6:46 pm

>450 abysswalker: Agreed, I also prefer it to Strange and Norrell. She seems to have matured as a writer since that one. This isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy Norrell, it’s a great book too.

Have you read her collection of stories? The Ladies of Grace Adieu. It is also quite a charming little read.

Redigerat: jan 27, 2022, 3:21 am

Det här meddelandet har tagits bort av dess författare.

Redigerat: jan 27, 2022, 4:05 am

Was just thinking that it would be hilarious if Rich completely blindsided us here and did something like Trainspotting.

ETA: or could something like Atonement be possible? Everyone is assuming Lyra's will focus on speculative fiction but it might not be the case.

Redigerat: jan 27, 2022, 8:05 am

>453 Levin40: As much as I would like to see non-speculative fiction from the best contemporary writers (e.g. McEwan as in your example) I just don't see it as viable, particularly at the lettered states which will be in the $3000 USD range. While Lyra's principals have impeccable fine press credentials, the model they are adopting (with numbered and very expensive lettered states) is straight from the Suntup and genre small press model where collectors will pay high premiums for SF/fantasy/horror books at the lettered level, based almost entirely on the limitation (as lettered states are mostly very bad values in objective terms), mostly in the hopes that they will appreciate in value. I suspect the largest part of their audience comes from the Suntup crowd (there's quite a bit of enthusiasm for Dorian on the FB page) rather than the fine press crowd (note the negative reaction to Lyra's Dorian from a very knowledgeable fine press collector here). It's hard to imagine there being much of a market for an edition of Atonement in the $3000 range. No doubt the book is famous, but it's primary audience isn't used to paying that much. In fact, I suspect that if Lyra's had started with Dorian Gray (as opposed to Stardust which generated their hype), it would be a hard sell, and I'm curious how many purchasers of Dorian Gray, particularly at the lettered level, actually love the book (which is no great shakes IMO).

jan 27, 2022, 7:38 am

>453 Levin40: Marcelo did reply somewhere in the thread saying Lyra's next project is very Lyra's... So my vote would be that it might be another Gaiman or Northern Lights sound like a good possibility

Redigerat: jan 27, 2022, 8:00 am

>455 Praveenna_Nagaratnam: My concern over Northern Lights would be the nature of Lyra's rights system, where there are a lot of public copies. Almost all presses which publish series with numbered states - correctly IMO - give right of first refusal to ALL purchasers of the first volume. With Lyra's rights system, which is designed to let people buy their books without buying all of them, there would be a huge difference between getting Northern Lights with rights and without rights, given that there are 2 following books. Essentially you'd have scalpers going for the later volumes and trying to sell them at premiums to those who have the first volume only.

jan 27, 2022, 8:23 am

>454 punkzip: I think there's something in what you say: the main audience appears to be in it for speculative fiction. But I don't think you're correct that it's Lettered editions which will be the hard sell if he were to experiment with different genres. Let's look at the evidence. Firstly, Lyra's Classics are by no means guaranteed to be speculative. Even if the the two announced so far are at their core really horror stories, they're not really thought of as such in the popular imagination. Still, the Lettered edition was hugely oversubscribed. Secondly, Suntup has also experimented with non-speculative fiction (The Collector, Johnny Got His Gun) and has never had a problem selling out the Lettered, even if the AEs are slower sellers. Thirdly, people buy books for all sorts of reasons: they like the story, they like the publisher, they simply like the look of the book, they think they're making an investment etc. There was a Stardust Lettered Owner on the Lyra's FB page a few days ago claiming he knew nothing about Gaiman or Stardust before making the purchase, he simply loved Rich's binding work. I'm sure Rich could produce beautiful versions of non genre modern classics - Atonement, for example, or Ishiguro's Remains of the Day - and would have an easy sell-out, at least for the Lettered and Numbered. There's even an argument that such titles would introduce a whole new audience, in addition to the current one.

Anyway, this had been an interesting exercise. There are some good suggestions here but it's actually quite hard to think up speculative titles which 1) have a living author, 2) are not too long for letterpress and 3) have a very wide appeal. I'm very interested to see where he goes with this. For example, as you mention above, will series be excluded? I hope not...but with the current output a series could tie him up for some years.

jan 27, 2022, 8:24 am

>455 Praveenna_Nagaratnam: Just thought of another good fit for Lyra's: Life of Pi. Probably won't be the next one but would be nice at some point.

jan 27, 2022, 8:26 am

>456 punkzip: I guess he could just change the rights model for series. I don't think it would be sensible to exclude them altogether. But I agree that, for the reasons you state, the next title is probably not the start of a series.

Redigerat: jan 27, 2022, 8:29 am

>457 Levin40: The Suntup lettered sales, for most titles at least, are IMO almost entirely driven by the rights system (people hope to get the really desirable lettereds by buying the less popular ones). Absent the rights system, I don't think that many of their lettered states would even sell out at the retail price - the evidence for this is that they cannot actually be sold on the secondary market without offering discounts, often very large discounts - in some cases 4 figures - from retail. If people really wanted the lettered books, they would be willing to pay close to retail without the rights.

jan 27, 2022, 8:29 am

>460 punkzip: Yes, but at Lettered level the rights systems for Suntup and Lyra's are the same.

Redigerat: jan 27, 2022, 8:36 am

>460 punkzip: I guess we will have to see if the lettered Dorian Gray can be sold at close to retail or for more than retail on the secondary market to see if people actually want the book absent the rights. It's a public domain title, I wouldn't be surprised if it declines in value like most Suntup lettereds have. If you are just buying it for the quality, the lettered (like all lettereds) doesn't justify the price premium over the numbered.

jan 27, 2022, 8:37 am

>462 punkzip: I think the main reason for this is simple: there are just far too many Suntups now! Seems like this won't be a problem with Lyra's so I imagine their books will always be more exclusive and desirable. Also, Lyra's Classics could become a highly sought after series.

jan 27, 2022, 8:49 am

>463 Levin40: At the $3000 or so level, it isn't much of a stretch to say that the books that can hold or increase their value in that price range will be famous, copyrighted, usually author signed books. I don't see a precedent for $3000 public domain books (which are not a publisher's magnum opus - it's not like Dorian Gray will be much better than future Lyra's Classics) holding or increasing their value. When the hype has died down, people can think carefully whether they really want a 2250 GBP copy of Dorian Gray. I suspect not that many will on the secondary market at that price.

jan 27, 2022, 9:50 am

>464 punkzip: So Moby Dick is not Arion's Press magnum opus because it is a public domain book?

Redigerat: jan 27, 2022, 10:04 am

>465 ultrarightist: I think you misread what I wrote. The only public domain books which would plausibly have a good chance of increasing in value are a publisher's magnum opus. Moby Dick IS Arion's magnum opus because it stands above other AP publications. I certainly hope Dorian Gray will NOT be Lyra's Classics magnum opus because that would mean all the future books will be appreciably worse or lesser in ambition. Given that Dorian Gray won't be appreciably better than other Lyra's Classics titles it will just be another public domain title alongside the other public domain titles (some of which may be more famous than Dorian).

jan 27, 2022, 10:29 am

>466 punkzip: I understand your point, but that is not what you wrote in >464 punkzip:

"I don't see a precedent for $3000 public domain books (which are not a publisher's magnum opus"

That is a categorical statement.

jan 27, 2022, 10:33 am

>458 Levin40: Life of Pi would be great... The one am really rooting for is Paulo Coelho's the Alchemist...

Redigerat: jan 27, 2022, 10:35 am

>467 ultrarightist: badly phrased I agree - I should have said unless they are - but if you read what comes immediately afterwards it expresses what I meant

jan 27, 2022, 1:21 pm

What a funny coincidence that Freya Scott apparently did the marbling for both Lyra’s and Amaranthine’s Dorians unbeknownst to both.

jan 27, 2022, 1:44 pm

>470 NathanOv: Thoughts on the edition? I felt the lettered concept was good... Maybe gimmicky but I like it... I also like that the numbered cover has original artwork... but overall Lyra's appeal more to me... can't wait for saturday

jan 27, 2022, 1:45 pm

>470 NathanOv: The marbling was really lovely...

jan 27, 2022, 1:55 pm

>471 Praveenna_Nagaratnam: I love the lettered concept! And Marko’s right that it’s much more practical and complementary to displaying the edition than the Alice lettered.

I’d kind’ve guessed at the printed canvas cover concept, but wish the numbered was also Dorian’s portrait.

I think I’ll probably pass on the numbered because I don’t like the look of the typesetting with it looking kind’ve wide and blocky, but am still considering trying for a lettered.

jan 27, 2022, 1:58 pm

>473 NathanOv: Good luck! Are you also a lettered/numbered holder of Lyra's?

Redigerat: jan 27, 2022, 2:08 pm

>473 NathanOv: I won't be buying the AB lettered as I don't like Dorian enough to buy both a lettered and a numbered (I'm committed to buying the numbered Lyra's Dorian as I think it's quite a good value for the materials). Not really a fan of the art. Numbered is just ok for me, still thinking about whether I will exercise my numbered rights.

However, I think AB did a great job with the lettered concept and it shows what AB can do when it's creativity is on track. It's a much different book than the numbered, and I'd rather have the AB lettered than the Lyra's lettered. The Lyra's lettered is just a nicer version of the numbered.

I suggest this conversation move to the Amaranthine thread.

Redigerat: jan 27, 2022, 2:24 pm

>474 Praveenna_Nagaratnam: I’m not unfortunately! Just the Standard Stardust from Lyra’s for me so far, though I’m hoping to change that.

I have somebody assuming my AB Dorian numbered pre-order for me at publication price so I can keep those rights, but so far just can’t decide which of the remaining Dorian options I want to end up with.

>475 punkzip: the creativity behind this AB lettered definitely has me excited to see what they do in the future, even if I don’t purchase this one! I’m hoping they’ll deliver on a “definitive” version of Frankenstein for me, since I’ve tried quite a few different editions and none quite did it for me.

Seems like the AB thread or starting to pick up now!

Redigerat: jan 27, 2022, 7:08 pm

>476 NathanOv: Same here.. hoping I get Dorian with rights on saturday... fingers crossed

Redigerat: jan 27, 2022, 2:41 pm

Det här meddelandet har tagits bort av dess författare.

jan 27, 2022, 4:39 pm

>454 punkzip: "I'm curious how many purchasers of Dorian Gray ... actually love the book"

I'm (hopefully) in for a Lyra's numbered Dorian. It has been one of my favorite novels since I first read it during my high school years as a disaffected, sable-clad teen.

(Admittedly I have a lot of "favorite" novels.)

I've probably read it at least three times, though it has been a while and so is certainly due for a reread.

I also independently appreciate Wilde, both for his writing and personality, and Dorian was his only novel. So there is that appeal as well.

Redigerat: jan 27, 2022, 6:50 pm

>479 abysswalker: I only read it once when I was much younger. I liked it well enough but it wouldn't be in my own list of top 20 or likely even top 50 titles of classics i would want a lovely copy of. I love Lyra's work and am still going to purchase one on Saturday, but if I somehow don't manage to grab a copy on the day, I doubt I will go looking for one in the secondary market and pay above the listed price for it.

jan 27, 2022, 6:56 pm

There really might be quite a number of people who are purchasing this mainly because of Rich Tong's craftmenship. As someone pointed out earlier one guy mentioned on facebook he never even heard of Stardust or read Gaiman and purely purchased the Lettered Stardust and now the lettered Dorian because of Rich's work which is such a lovely compliment I think

jan 28, 2022, 12:16 pm

>480 Praveenna_Nagaratnam: I'm primarily purchasing Lyra's Dorian as I don't have Stardust and want to see what their books are like rather than any great interest in the title myself. With 176 copies of a $750 public domain book as well as a competing less expensive book up for order the same weekend, I can't anticipate any problem obtaining a copy if one logs on at the start time. There is surprisingly little buzz on FB about the numbered Lyra's the day before the preorder, looks like AB's announcement was well-timed to create buzz and attention for their editions :).

Redigerat: jan 29, 2022, 1:05 pm

Just ordered a numbered Dorian Gray. Good luck to everyone who wants a number. For me, getting a number would mostly be a convenience for future purchases as I'm unlikely to collect the whole series going forward.

I've also decided to purchase the Amaranthine numbered. Will post a comparative review once I have both in hand.

jan 29, 2022, 1:05 pm

Ordered 😊

Redigerat: jan 29, 2022, 1:14 pm

Looks like everyone who logged on at the start time should easily got a copy - expected of course given the number of copies available.

jan 29, 2022, 1:19 pm

Just ordered a number, phew! Good luck to everyone else!

Redigerat: jan 29, 2022, 4:12 pm

Rich says 40 copies remain, which means 136 have sold through in three hours, which is pretty great. At this rate, might be gone within a couple days.

Pretty impressive considering the price, the change in direction to the classics, and the competition of the same edition being published by another press.

With all 26 lettered and 210 numbered copies already sold, probably not premature to call it a success already.

Redigerat: jan 29, 2022, 5:35 pm

>487 What_What: Agreed that 40/176 copies left after 3 hours is very good, particularly for a 550 GBP public domain title. Unprecedented really - if there is any public domain title in that price range that has sold that quickly I don't know of it. I do think that many books can be considered successful if they do not sell out in days, much less hours and minutes. Expectations should not be based on sales of a few famous copyrighted titles, or rights-driven sales, particularly in the fine press world. Even if Dorian copies are available a month from now, this does not mean the publication was not successful.

Here's a funny discussion I saw on the Suntup FB page - a very prominent member predicted a Dorian sellout in 2-3 minutes. Another member responded, no 10-15 minutes!

Redigerat: jan 30, 2022, 5:32 am

>487 What_What: >488 punkzip: I agree with both of you. It's an excellent result; I'm very happy that Rich/Lyra's are experiencing this success and really look forward to the book. This obsession with instant sell-outs is a new phenomenon, arising in the last few years only, and driven (I think) by rights models, facebook groups and people viewing books as investments rather than beautiful works of art. Let's not forget that one of the most acclaimed and sought-after fine press books on this forum - Chester River Press' Heart of Darkness - took literally years to sell out. The book was published in a 2008 and there's still a message on their website stating that 'As of 9/12/13 there are only 20 copies remaining.'. Incredible!

That said, I've a feeling that Dorian will sell out quite soon.

jan 30, 2022, 5:55 am

Detta konto har stängts av för spammande.

Redigerat: jan 30, 2022, 9:21 am

>489 Levin40: "driven (I think) by rights models, facebook groups and people viewing books as investments rather than beautiful works of art"

I think it worth noting that Lyra's could easily have ensured a quick sellout by giving rights for all copies and then linking the rights for Lyra's Classics to Lyra's Press. What would have almost certainly happened in this case is that a substantial number of people who have no interest in Dorian Gray would have bought the title solely for rights to the (yet announced) Lyra's Press title -i.e. the train FOMO phenomenon where people buy books they don't want to get access to books they do want. If you read Rich's post about rights, this is explicitly the phenomenon he wanted to avoid, particularly people getting into debt by doing this. So it was really a conscious, collector-friendly decision which lead to slower sales by the standards of another publisher which has the system described above. I would say of the factors you mention, it is clearly a particular rights model which is the primary driver of instant sellouts, particularly of less famous books (certain famous copyrighted books would of course sell out quickly regardless of rights). Social media (hyping books and increasing FOMO) and viewing books as investments (hoping the more famous books will appreciate) also play a role of course.

jan 30, 2022, 12:03 pm

Rich Tong just posted another sketch from Christmas Carol and gosh it is stunning. I can totally understand now why Rich decided to go along with A Christmas Carol as the next title though it has been done many times before. Fast becoming a huge fan of Gary Gianni's work.

jan 30, 2022, 12:06 pm

>492 Praveenna_Nagaratnam: it has 18 illustrations which is a lot more than usual these days. But Night Circus has 21 - big reason why I got that title.

jan 30, 2022, 12:09 pm

>492 Praveenna_Nagaratnam: Wow. I take back any skepticism I displayed about the choice.

Redigerat: jan 30, 2022, 12:40 pm

>493 punkzip: They are very different, Night Circus has 380 pages, Christmas Carol has half of that, so will feel like a very richly illustrated book.

Redigerat: jan 30, 2022, 1:05 pm

>495 marceloanciano: After seeing the artwork and the number of illustrations for Christmas Carol I will be purchasing the title. I hope that the marbled boards on the numbered (if that is what will be done) will be suitable to the book. I did purchase the numbered Dorian Gray, which I think offers a high degree of materials quality and craftsmanship for the price. If could offer some hopefully constructive feedback, despite my purchase I was not a fan of the marbling pattern on the Dorian boards, particularly the white dots which seem to me a bit discordant with the underlying pattern. This is of course my subjective sentiment, but I have seen others here express similar sentiments. I'm looking forward to receiving Dorian Gray and purchasing future Lyra's Classics/Press publications.

Redigerat: jan 30, 2022, 1:32 pm

>496 punkzip: Maybe in keeping with some of the themes of the book the corruption of the otherwise pretty marbling by the introduction of the dots was a hidden commentary on beauty/imperfection etc haha

Redigerat: jan 30, 2022, 1:56 pm

>497 antinous_in_london: I could believe that!

Whether the dots are loved or not, they are definitely an intentional design decision. They would have been added as the final step over the existing combed design. Would be really curious to know why they chose to do this.

jan 30, 2022, 2:21 pm

>491 punkzip: Agreed. I love that Rich did his best to find a middle ground. I think anyone who wants a copy of Lyra's Classics will be able to purchase if they log in on time. As for Lyra's press, it will I guess all depend on the popularity of the title

jan 30, 2022, 2:47 pm

I love the posted Gianni illustration of Christmas Carol. I hope the font size of the Lyra's edition is larger than the Hand & Eye's edition, and the typography more 'spacious.' While I love the Hand & Eye edition, the typography feels cramped to me.

jan 30, 2022, 2:55 pm

>500 ultrarightist: 11.5 Bembo Book at the mo, feels pretty 'airy' to me, Hand and Eye CC were small books, I don't have a copy and perhaps I'm getting it mixed up with Hyde. Lyra's is quite large, well same size as Dorian.

jan 30, 2022, 3:09 pm

>501 marceloanciano: Yes, H&E CC is a small book. Thanks for the information - that is helpful.

jan 30, 2022, 4:56 pm

Would it be okay to start a new thread for A Christmas Carol? It is kinda early, but might make sense to have it there, as this thread will eventually fade as the new book becomes more current.

jan 30, 2022, 8:21 pm

>489 Levin40: Really great point! The notion of books selling out "instantly" and that that defines success are absolutely being driven by a number of factors, including that some people are using said books purely as an investment. Mind you, I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with that. People have always used art as an investment, and we can all agree fine press books are art.

So books have always been popular investments for hundreds of years, but a rather recent inductee into high-priced collecting is video games. Turns out that one company, called "Wata Games" are basically creating a bubble and trying to raise the prices of collectible video games to frenzy - here is an interesting video by an investigative journalist, titled "Exposing FRAUD And DECEPTION In The Retro Video Game Market"

jan 31, 2022, 6:33 am

I'm very surprised by the availability of the Numbered Edition, which is still available as of this writing. Based on the ~100 entries for the 6 Lettered Editions, I thought that demand would be very high for the cheaper version.

>503 What_What: I think a different thread would be warranted.

Redigerat: jan 31, 2022, 7:56 am

>505 XC: Given that 2 out of 6 of the initial lottery winners did not follow through, I suspect that a percentage of the ~100 lottery entrants were not serious buyers. I'd be quite surprised if there were ~100 buyers (in addition to the 20 who previously bought it) who actually would pull the trigger on a 2250 GBP edition of Dorian Gray.

jan 31, 2022, 12:10 pm

Apparently 16 copies of the numbered edition are left. As has been noted, I think Rich should be proud, clearly this was a huge success :)

Redigerat: jan 31, 2022, 1:07 pm

>506 punkzip: You seem to have some strange agenda against this particular edition?

Even if 20-30 of the ~100 lottery entrants were not serious buyers, that still puts the overall number of people who wanted the lettered edition in the range of 100 (70-80 lottery + 20 rights holders). Your initial estimate of 30-40 in the lottery was miles off either way. Clearly there is a lot more interest in a fine press edition of a much beloved public domain book than you predicted.

What’s the point of this continued random speculation on how many were serious or not?

Redigerat: jan 31, 2022, 1:51 pm

>508 GhostOfKasparHauser: I take it this is not the Suntup Fans FB page where there is a chorus of unmitigated praise and hype and suggestions otherwise would be drowned out. Why would I have an agenda against a publication that I've said I've purchased despite not liking the title that much, and even more of a stretch, have also purchased 2 editions of said book? I like the Lyra's Dorian enough to buy it even if I don't like the book that much and am already buying another edition as well. When I get both the AB and Lyra's editions, I will post a comparative review - with pics - to show that I have indeed purchased it.

Setting rational expectations, in the face of hype (e.g., multiple predictions on FB and here of very rapid sellouts) is a good thing for publishers. If you go back in this thread, there was indeed a debate over how quickly this would sell out with most arguing for a very rapid sellout. For one thing, it does not make it seem - wrongly - that there is a lack of interest in publications that do not sell out quickly or that publications that do not disappear like vapor are somehow less desirable. I take this to be a deleterious attitude, particularly in the fine press world. This attitude does indeed exist - for example I saw a comment on FB from someone who had checked the Lyra's site 6 hours after the release, saw copies were still available, and concluded that not many people must want it.

I speculated on the number of serious buyers in response to an inquiry wondering why if there were so many people willing to buy a 2250 GBP, version, why demand for a much less expensive 550 GBP version was not very high (thus resulting in a very quick sellout). Its a hypothesis, and just that. If anyone else has a better hypothesis, let's hear it.

Redigerat: jan 31, 2022, 2:02 pm

>509 punkzip: Hypothesis? Well, the fact of the matter is 100 people signed up for the lottery. So I’d imagine the vast majority of them were interested in purchasing the lettered edition. Suggestions to the contrary are just idle speculation. Even if one takes that down by 33%, that’s still 67 serious lottery entrants. Not 30-40.

This isn’t about praise for or criticism of the work. That’s fine. Quite a few people on LT have criticized aspects of it.

It’s more so this desire to keep repeating the same random speculation about interest in the edition over and over again. What’s the point?

Anyways, I’ll leave it at that. To each their own. :)

Redigerat: jan 31, 2022, 2:33 pm

>510 GhostOfKasparHauser: I think it's also worth keeping in mind that there were 176 numbered copies available at public pre-order (and only 40 copies of those were left after the first few hours of sale) - that means there were more than enough for every one who entered the lottery but was unsuccessful to have purchased a numbered copy if they wanted (with copies left over for people like me who ordered the numbered without entering the lettered lottery).

Some lottery entrants could also have purchased a numbered copy during the rights-holders sale, because they had the rights for, and wanted, the numbered edition, but may also have been interested in buying the lettered too, or in trying to acquire rights for future lettereds, or in switching from numbered to lettered rights for future titles. Which would mean a smaller pool of lottery entrants may then have been participating in the public numbered sale.

I'm not saying that everyone who entered the lottery did actually go on to order the numbered, but there's certainly no evidence that the majority of people who entered the lottery didnt then order the numbered.

And even if there was, I'm not sure what it would prove? Perhaps there were people who were enamoured enough with the Lettered binding for it to be worth the cost to them, but didn't care so much for the Numbered binding, even at a lower price? £550 is still a fair whack for something that might not tick all your boxes. Perhaps some lottery entrants would have preferred to put the money towards a different lettered/deluxe edition after they didn't win the Lyra's lottery?

Or there could be any number of reasons personal to individual collectors - only Rich will know how much crossover there was between buyers/lottery entrants, so I don't see what making possibly inaccurate assumptions tells us.

jan 31, 2022, 3:18 pm

>508 GhostOfKasparHauser: Seriously. Why would anyone care if Lyra didn't sell out immediately (or any other publisher)? This conversation is starting to get really weird.

jan 31, 2022, 3:28 pm

Looks like Lyra did a great job of realizing their goals and made good informed choices for number of copies and price points. The book has sold well and anyone who wanted a numbered copy was able to purchase one. Win - Win!

jan 31, 2022, 3:37 pm

>511 agitationalporcelain: Agree with everything you said. After the first day 160/176 were sold. Seems like a smashing success. Who knows what the make up of buyers is, or what exact levels of interest in each edition were.

As Kdweber said, it found that sweet spot of selling very well, but at the same time not having people miss out because they didn’t purchase in the first minutes of it being available. That’s a big win for everyone.

jan 31, 2022, 3:47 pm

>512 Undergroundman: Agreed. I don’t get it. So I shall leave it be.

jan 31, 2022, 3:50 pm

>513 kdweber: >514 GhostOfKasparHauser: Absolutely - it feels overall like a very smooth, low-pressure release, with no one at a disadvantage due to time zones, etc. I'm really glad it's worked so well for Rich, as I recall the website issues around the Stardust release which I think caused a bit of disappointment and anguish.

feb 1, 2022, 7:57 am

>515 GhostOfKasparHauser: I find this line of thinking on FB as well. It’s a capitalist mentality apparently prevalent in the United States of America. Everything a commodity and every decision marred by ‘monetary value’. I think you have to grow up in such thinking to end up like that. I find it off putting.

feb 1, 2022, 8:29 am

>517 NLNils: Ha! Ya those greedy Americans whereas Europeans are so enlightened!

Anyway, does anyone know if/when the rights will be released for the numbered edition?

feb 1, 2022, 8:34 am

>518 Joshbooks1: Believe that rights emails started going out at lunchtime today (UK time)

Redigerat: feb 1, 2022, 9:40 am

>518 Joshbooks1: I just received an email saying that I have rights. I hope everyone else here gets them.

I think that rights to the Classics series will primarily be a convenience (don't have to worry if you are working, otherwise busy or traveling on the release date). Even if one were interested in matching numbers, it looks like Rich will try to match your number even if you don't have rights and given that there will always be at least 100 public copies going forward, everyone who logs on at the start time should always be able to get a copy.

Redigerat: nov 19, 2022, 5:13 pm

Det här meddelandet har tagits bort av dess författare.

feb 1, 2022, 8:55 am

>521 supercell: I did too and very happy about it!

feb 1, 2022, 9:54 am

Congrats to the lucky ones who have received that all important email from Rich regards rights!
I too received an email, hoping I would but with these things you just never know.
Good luck to anyone else who wants rights.

feb 8, 2022, 7:45 am

And it’s now out of print!

Redigerat: feb 8, 2022, 9:16 am

>524 What_What: I saw it was available earlier this morning so it just sold out today. Hopefully all future Classics releases will be available for a week or more - or at least several days - after release, making rights a non-issue (as Rich will try to match your number even if you don't have rights, assuming you care about matching numbers).

apr 10, 2022, 4:12 pm

Well, it's April. Anyone have any guesses as to when we might hear news of shipping?

Redigerat: nov 19, 2022, 5:14 pm

Det här meddelandet har tagits bort av dess författare.

apr 10, 2022, 5:24 pm

Great books come to those that wait ;)

apr 11, 2022, 4:09 am

>526 L.Bloom: >527 supercell: If you look at Arete's FB page there is a photo, dated 8 April, of a stack of leather cases for The Case of Death and Honey waiting for foil blocking. So there is still some way to go with that one and I'd say May is realistic. Not sure how much Rich works in parallel on multiple projects (the actual mass bindings I mean, not just the prototypes), but surely there will be a significant knock-on impact on Dorian, and I'd be surprised if we see it before (mid to late?) Q3. But anyway, in my collecting years I don't think I've ever seen a worthwhile fine press project that didn't experience a healthy delay. Call it the price of world-class craftsmanship :-) These things can't be rushed.

If I recall correctly, even after The Case of Death and Honey and Dorian, this year Rich was supposed to be working on his own first Lyra's Press title, the next Lyra's Classics book (A Christmas Carol) and Arete's World of Fire and Frozen Hell. Perhaps others too. I'd be amazed if we see all these this year, but let's remain optimistic. These are all amongst the editions I'm most looking forward to from the fine press world. I hope we don't have to wait until Christmas 2023 for A Christmas Carol at least.

apr 11, 2022, 11:40 am

>529 Levin40: Yeah, we do have a substantial delay on books, Rich does like to do the blocking and bindings himself, (he feels they are 'his' books, I keep on saying to him that he needs to delegate and oversee, but no) and everything has been stalled for one reason or another. Still hoping that we can get Death and Honey out by the end of the month, although Ludlow Bookbinder's, and Rich also, have been hit by covid pretty badly, which put yet another spanner in the timelines. Dorian is being prepared so ready go full steam ahead straight after. And Words of Fire is almost ready to be bound and has a simpler production, Lyra Press' next book and Christmas Carol will have to be done in a timely fashion as we really, really, intend to get Christmas Carol in people's hands for xmas. The issues we are having with the later half of the years books is cost and availability of paper and materials, but as Levin said, fine materials and craft takes time. Frozen Hell is a monumental production, from the stitching to the elaborate leather work, but I really want to get that out as soon as possible, this year sometime.

apr 11, 2022, 12:19 pm

>530 marceloanciano: Thanks for the update! Will the Lyra's Press title be announced in the near future?

apr 11, 2022, 12:23 pm

>531 punkzip: Very soon, I hope, we're just confirming the designs and details. Rich wants to feel happy with his bindings before announcing.

apr 11, 2022, 2:36 pm

>530 marceloanciano: Thanks for the update. I fully support Rich's attitude: I'd rather know that the master craftsman has worked on my books, even if it means some delay. I also appreciate not having too many books each year from a financial standpoint :-). I'm very much looking forward to each and every one of these titles and eager to hear more details about Frozen Hell and the Lyra's Press title reveal.

Redigerat: apr 13, 2022, 11:12 am

Just got an email update from Lyra's and the marbled paper on the numbered Dorian has been changed - for the better I think. There were some negative comments on the previous marbled paper here (myself included). While the white dots are still there the color tone has been darkened. IMO this fits the leather binding much better as I felt the previous brighter colors, in combination with the white dots, had a "garish" appearance which clashed with the otherwise somber leather binding.

Also, the Lyra's Press book will likely be announced next week!

apr 13, 2022, 11:18 am

>534 punkzip: I was among the negative commenters, too, and I agree with your assessment of the change. I wish the white dots had been removed altogether, but it definitely looks better.

Redigerat: nov 19, 2022, 5:16 pm

Det här meddelandet har tagits bort av dess författare.

sep 2, 2022, 12:49 pm

>536 supercell: Great news!

The Picture of Dorian Gray should be shipping pretty soon according to Rich, and future books will be put up for order much closer to delivery.

sep 2, 2022, 1:00 pm

How can Dorian Gray be nominated if it has not even been released?

sep 2, 2022, 1:09 pm

>538 punkzip: I imagine they submitted an early review copy, much like the academy gets early screenings of movies. But that's just a guess.

sep 3, 2022, 6:49 am

>536 supercell: Thanks! Yeah, we're pleased with the nominations! Sad too about the numbered edition of Death and Honey, we should have offered them into some other categories in retrospect.

okt 8, 2022, 2:55 pm

Received an incoming delivery notice from "Ludlow Bookbinders." In the absence of any other communication I have to assume it's Lyra's Dorian. Exciting!

Redigerat: nov 19, 2022, 5:14 pm

Det här meddelandet har tagits bort av dess författare.

okt 9, 2022, 12:52 am

>541 L.Bloom: +1 I was trying to discern which of many incoming books this would be. Thank you for listing the most likely candidate.

okt 9, 2022, 12:59 am

Received my copy of Dorian today (California, USA), beautifully done.

okt 9, 2022, 5:30 am

>542 supercell:

I imagine that it's not 'just' about refunding the double purchases (mine was refunded quickly), but about getting the website to a point where this doesn't happen again. I imagine that might be a bit more tricky.

As much as I appreciate sellers offering Paypal, they seem to cause problems more frequently than credit cards. I've given up on using them for Folio Society since it's simply impossible to get through a payment successfully there (at least for me), now there was this thing with Lyra's (credit card worked without any glitches for me, Paypal didn't), and another publisher had to refund and then arrange for different payment last year because Paypal refused to hand over the money, which was needed to actually finance the new edition.

okt 11, 2022, 7:06 pm

Holy moly... looking at Lyra's Dorian you would think you traveled back in time to the golden age of bookmaking! It's simply phenomenal.

If you missed out on a copy I saw two for sale on eBay. It looks like at least one copy is being sold for retail cost - disclaimer I have no connection nor know anything about the sellers. I do know that this is a truly special book.

okt 11, 2022, 8:26 pm

>546 astropi: I ordered but haven’t received yet. How does it compare to Stardust?

okt 11, 2022, 8:56 pm

>546 astropi: Did you purchase the lettered or numbered edition?

Redigerat: okt 11, 2022, 9:14 pm

>547 punkzip: Same fabulous quality. Dimensions are almost identical, so they can sit right next to each other if you so please! Dorian appropriately has a more "traditional" look - half-bound in leather with marbled boards. It has 10 gorgeous illustrations by Gregory Manchess. Modus operandi is similar to Stardust - all illustrations are tipped-in with tissue guards. Gilded edges. Slipcase is very high-quality. I will also add that in Stardust the slipcase is raised and I prefer the flat slipcase for Dorian. In short prepare to be as happy as a bibliophile can be :)

>548 ultrarightist: haha... oh, I wish I could afford the lettered which is certainly beautiful, but I'm happy to say the numbered is stunning.

okt 12, 2022, 5:58 am

My copy of the numbered Dorian arrived yesterday. Like others have expressed, I'm just blown away by the craftsmanship! The packaging was also top notch. Really looking forward to spending more time with it over the next days...

okt 14, 2022, 1:26 am

Just saw an unboxing, and the marbled boards appear to be different from the initial images. The only reason I didn't order it was because I thought we were getting those boards. Disappointing.

okt 14, 2022, 9:30 am

>551 Undergroundman: There was a slight modification in the tone of the colours used, but it didn’t appear materially different from the original, at least to me, even though it was an improvement. I’m sorry that it’s changed the appeal so much for you.

okt 14, 2022, 12:07 pm

>552 What_What: Yeah, just didn't think the original design matched well with the leather.

okt 14, 2022, 4:38 pm

Received my numbered copy today. The craftsmanship here is astonishing. Even my wife (who cares about my book collection about as much as I care about her shoe collection) was amazed by it. As a Folio Society customer, I feel like I underpaid for this book...

okt 14, 2022, 5:33 pm

>554 L.Bloom: Ha! isn't it indeed insane what prices Folio now charges for their limited editions? I also received a numbered copy and the book is absolutely beautiful. It's pretty much equivalent in price as a US customer than Turn of the Screw LE which I probably wouldn't purchase if it was $300.

okt 14, 2022, 5:52 pm

>554 L.Bloom: I agree about the quality of the numbered Dorian - which I received today as well - but if I had to identify one flaw (from my perspective), it would be that the letterpress printing is a bit too light.

Redigerat: okt 16, 2022, 8:01 pm

>556 punkzip: Agreed. But is the printing too light, or did they go with gray ink instead of black? I think it is the latter, which means that the issue is with the typographic choice of ink color rather than the pressmanship.

okt 16, 2022, 6:05 pm

Everyone has their preference. Like punkzip I prefer a harder "bite" in my letterpress. That said, I can't say that Dorian is anything short of a masterpiece

>551 Undergroundman: Yeah, that is most unfortunate. You can find a few copies on the second-hand market for decently close to retail. That is your best bet if you're interested, otherwise I suspect that the price will appreciate and once copies sell for these "decent prices" prices will sharply increase.

okt 16, 2022, 11:24 pm

>558 astropi: Someone here was kind of enough to offer me their copy, but I passed because FOMO has substantially died down for me when it comes to books. Thank you for the suggesting though.

okt 18, 2022, 8:38 am

The ink definitely leans on the light side, and reminds me a bit of Arion's Don Quixote, which according to Arion Press "was a conscious style choice of the lead printer at the time." So, I guess it was a style choice for Dorian Gray as well.

However, I guess printing the same paragraph twice on p.126 was not a conscious choice... but then again, that’s part of the charm with handmade books... 😊

okt 18, 2022, 9:04 am

>560 Dr.Fiddy: Yeah, proof read three times and still it was*t happens I guess, but it is really annoying. Three times!

okt 18, 2022, 9:16 am

>560 Dr.Fiddy: "The ink definitely leans on the light side, and reminds me a bit of Arion's Don Quixote, which according to Arion Press "was a conscious style choice of the lead printer at the time." So, I guess it was a style choice for Dorian Gray as well."

Arion's DQ (a book that I own) was the comparison that came to mind for me immediately as well. I'd be curious though as to whether or not it was a conscious style choice for Dorian. If you are going to use a fairly heavy mouldmade paper (150 gsm Zerkall) why such a light impression?

okt 18, 2022, 11:44 am

>561 marceloanciano: I know 😄 I can totally relate to the proofreading. It has happened to me multiple times... Really enjoying the book and would just like to reiterate how fantastic I think it is in all respects!

okt 18, 2022, 12:26 pm

Thanks >563 Dr.Fiddy: , still really annoying, glad you like the book though!

okt 18, 2022, 12:58 pm

>562 punkzip: The wide variety of comments on the printing has me curious! Hopefully mine will be here in the next few days so I can form my own opinion.

Curious to see if it is truly just light ink, which I enjoy in some cases, or light ink plus a light bite which tends to be counter to my personal preferences.

okt 18, 2022, 4:41 pm

>560 Dr.Fiddy: I read that last night too :)
I do wonder how many typos there are in a typical book? I heard that it's roughly one typo per every few pages, so perhaps one typo per 1000 words or so? I do admit, adding an extra paragraph is not a typo I have ever seen before, but as noted it's far more charming than annoying.

Redigerat: okt 18, 2022, 4:51 pm

>566 astropi: An interesting comparison on "typos" is Pegana Press and Clinker Press. Both publish relatively short works with their own typesetting and printing, Pegana being entirely handset with Clinker using a variety of methods.

I've come across exactly one minor typo (prophecy instead of prophesy) from Pegana press across nearly a dozen editions, and it was accompanied by an erratum sheet, while Clinker Press's overall excellent works are riddled with errors to the extent they joke about it in some of their colophons.

All that to say an average might not be particularly accurate, with many publishers going to great lengths to make sure they are entirely error free, while others invest their time and energy in other aspects of the production.

okt 18, 2022, 5:26 pm

Seeing as I can barely post more than twenty words here without having to edit out a typo later, I salute anyone who gets the majority of a hand-pressed book right.

okt 18, 2022, 7:42 pm

If we (collectively) routinely find typos subtle and egregious while reading these books for content, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect presses to do a bit better when proofreading with intent, so to speak. I didn’t buy Dorian Gray, but I would not find a repeated paragraph charming.
(Clinker Press is charming for many reasons, but their proofreading is simply nonexistent — possibly literally so, if my small sampling of their output is any guide.)

okt 19, 2022, 8:12 am

Perhaps it’s a not a direct comparison, but I did proofreading for music scores several times, and we were often still finding typos after the 4th or 5th round of proofreading by two different people. I don’t know how to explain it: you simply don’t see a typo until you do (at which point you can’t ‘unsee’ it).

I think I won’t mind a double paragraph that much, but I’m more disheartened to hear about the gray-looking ink. Whether a choice by the printer or not, I’d much prefer crisp black text blocks. My copy is waiting for me in the UK at the moment, it’ll be a while till I see it.

okt 19, 2022, 6:55 pm

>570 BorisG: I don't think you'll be disappointed. I didn't notice the ink color until it was mentioned here. It's a subtle difference in my opinion, but I no longer have youthful eyes and I've never been a detail oriented person.

If you're familiar with a piece of music, I can definitely see how a typo would get by. I suspect a composer or someone familiar with it would see it the way the wrote it or had heard it unless they were paying extremely close attention. I suspect the same with the written word. If you've read a story multiple times, your mind fills in the blanks if you skip a word here or there.

Redigerat: okt 19, 2022, 8:15 pm

There is a pictorial review of Lyra's Dorian Grey at

okt 21, 2022, 12:26 am

Again, Lyra's edition is simply a masterpiece of the book as art! Can't recommend it highly enough.
That said, I was a bit surprised to learn that Oscar Wilde is antisemitic. That, caught me off-guard. I realize of course that we have very different sensibilities compared to Victorian England, but nevertheless I was not expecting such bigotry from Wilde of all people. I had never heard of Oscar Wilde as being antisemitic, and in fact there is not one mention of this on his wikipedia page. Nevertheless, anyone reading Dorian can see it's as plain as day. For instance, from Chapter 4:

A hideous Jew, in the most amazing waistcoat I ever beheld in my life, was standing at the entrance, smoking a vile cigar. He had greasy ringlets, and an enormous diamond blazed in the centre of a soiled shirt. "Have a box, my Lord?" he said, when he saw me, and he took off his hat with an air of gorgeous servility. There was something about him, Harry, that amused me. He was such a monster.

Apparently some editions of Dorian removed the antisemitism by basically removing the word "Jew" from the bigoted passages - personally I'm very glad it was left in the original form in Lyra's edition - I want books that are not censored. I'm just disappointed no one has really discussed Wilde in this light before, or at any rate, I should say I had not heard about this.

okt 21, 2022, 1:06 am

>573 astropi: The unsympathetic character Dorian is antisemitic. Perhaps Wilde is pointing out another flaw of the protagonist as well as Victorian society as a whole?

Redigerat: okt 21, 2022, 6:41 am

>573 astropi: The quote from the book is the first person account from one of the characters. Does writing a racist character automatically mean the author is racist? Is Wilde also a murderer?

Maybe it’s not on his Wikipedia page because there’s nothing to find.

Are you trolling?

okt 21, 2022, 2:12 pm

>574 kdweber: I was also wondering if perhaps the antisemitism was meant to be a character trait of Dorian. Apparently this has been researched by scholars, for example -
It's an interesting article. Antisemitism was (sadly still is) very wide-spread across Europe and readily accepted at the time. The article talks about varying degrees of antisemitism, and notes that Wilde had "sporadic" bursts of antisemitism. The author also notes that Wilde had Jewish friends, and was widely accepted and admired by many Jews. Regardless, as I earlier noted he was nevertheless antisemitic to an extent, and more interestingly it's just not mentioned in most places such as wikipedia.

okt 21, 2022, 4:34 pm

>573 astropi: I've given up on needing to like the artists/entertainers whose work I enjoy. There are so many film stars, authors, and musicians who are absolutely terrible human beings.

okt 21, 2022, 4:47 pm

>577 L.Bloom: I think that's fair. Personally, I couldn't stomach reading/supporting someone that is truly a "terrible human" - for instance I refuse to read Dahl because he was a nasty piece. That said, there are various authors and entertainers I like that by today's sensibilities wouldn't pass muster. However, I would have liked to know that about Wilde and again, I was surprised when I read the aforementioned in Dorian and more surprised that this is not mentioned on wiki - it's almost as if some people just decided to sweep it under the rug and hope no one notices.

Redigerat: okt 21, 2022, 5:27 pm

>578 astropi: I think there are some important nuances that get missed when you call Wilde, as a person, an antisemite rather than viewing it as some problematic (yes, antisemitic) choices he made in his writing.

The antisemitism of his time was vicious and widespread, and while he was no champion of Jewish community he would've likely been considered on the pro-semitic side, despite the ignorant and insensitive tropes he should've known better than to engage in.

okt 21, 2022, 6:27 pm

There’s plenty of that stuff around. I was shocked to discover, while reading The Silverado Squatters, that RL Stevenson trafficked in ridiculous anitisemitic cliches. Still love his fiction, but definitely put me off my feed for his personal narratives.

okt 21, 2022, 6:50 pm

As for authors who put antisemitic speech in the mouths of unsympathetic characters — I count that as a credit to the writer, for holding up a mirror to his contemporary audience (and maybe to himself as well).

jan 19, 2:28 am

No extra love for Lyra's and Areté at the BBDPA gala last night, I am afraid. Perhaps 2023 will finally be the year...

A good night for the Folio Society, though: A Song of Ice and Fire won the Brand/Series Identity award, The Divine Comedy took the Fine Binding & Limited Edition category, Philip K. Dick: Selected Short Stories won the Literature title, and the Scholardly, Academic and Reference Books award went to the Origins of Totalitarianism. After last year's disappointment (1/11), a solid four out of seven really must be ointment in their wounds (in fact, the FS have never won more than three categories - and that includes the overall victory - a year before).

jan 19, 9:29 am

>582 supercell: I don't understand the criteria used for inclusion in or evaluation of the literature category. There are 3 FS non-LE books (Kafka on the Shore, PKD and Godot) competing against both the numbered AND lettered Dorian Gray. Not sure why these books should even be competing against each other - what qualities are they being judged on? Do you (or anyone else) know any more?

jan 19, 3:14 pm

>583 punkzip: Very strange indeed. I am a big fan of FS and have an extensive collection (including 11 LEs) but not of of them approaches the quality level or aesthetic excellence of my Lyra's Dorian.

jan 19, 4:16 pm

>584 L.Bloom: I have both Kafka on the Shore and Dorian (numbered) and arguably Kafka is the better book on the aesthetic level if you ignore materials. Kafka is one of the very best FS book IMO just on the basis of overall aesthetics. I don't think the category is related to quality of the materials or construction as FS apparently didn't enter their much more expensive LEs in this category (not clear why not, or perhaps they were entered and weren't nominated?).

jan 19, 11:14 pm

583-585: I cannot say anything for sure. However, while the high-end "Fine Binding & Limited Edition" category is defined as

"Entries in this category should be a binding of excellent standard of craftmanship, alongside concept and design innovation. This category showcases the skills and fine detail applied to the bookbinders art. Limited Edition is defined as a book with a print run of less than 1000 copies.",

and, similarly, the xenophobic "Best British Book" category is defined as:

"Exemplifying the highest standards of book design, production and printing, this category is open only to books that are published, printed, designed and bound in Great Britain and should serve as a celebration of the British Print Industry."

"Literature", on the other hand, is described more broadly in terms of the subject matter:

"Fiction, poetry, biography and letters - both hardback and paperback."

So, the first two appear to put more emphasis on the materials and craftmanship, whereas literature (and other similar categories) seems to focus more on the overall design (typesetting, cover art, slipcase and illustrations). Just guesswork, though.

Lyra's and Areté have been trying to push the one eligible book they published last year (admittedly, in multiple formats), whereas the Folio Society releases dozens of books each year. The entries are not free (the first category costs £45 and each additional category is £30), so they likely just try to find the one category that is the best fit for each title. The Folio Society have been dominating the Literature category, in particular (they have won it six times since 2012!), but select few of the titles they submit each year actually do make the shortlist.

jan 20, 3:59 am

>586 supercell: I don't know why you characterise the Best British Book award as xenophobic. The British Book Design & Production Awards are organised by the British Printing Industries Federation so it is hardly surprising they want to celebrate the work of their members.

jan 20, 10:44 am

To a certain mindset, any ethnophilia of one's own ethnos is ipso facto xenophobic.

jan 20, 2:00 pm

587: That was all a bit tongue-in-cheek.

However, it needs to be said that Britain definitely has turned inwards, there is no doubt about that. A vast majority of my eBay purchases used to come from the UK. I first noticed a shift in British sellers' attitudes in 2015 - and toward the height of the brexit, there were so many unpleasant encounters that I completely stopped buying from them for a couple of years. I also binned my plans to do the Coast to Coast Walk in 2019 simply because I did not feel welcome in Britain (we started a four-year "Senda Pirenaica" (GR11) project, instead, hoping that sentiments would cool down a bit by the time we had finished it). I mostly buy from the USA and continental Europe these days, and only (try to) deal with British ebayers unless there are no alternatives.