DiskuteraConsensus Press

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aug 31, 2022, 5:17 pm

Please feel free to use this thread for any suggestions for how we could improve the management of the press. Spot a typo on the website? Emails routinely get caught in spam folders? — Let us know.

sep 1, 2022, 1:54 pm

In the welcome email, I believe there was a small typo. It's nothing critical, but I figure I'd mention this in case the email template is saved for future years.

Under the "Proposals" section, paragraph 3, sentence 2 currently reads:

"What constitutes a proposal is entirely up to you, but our guidelines are there is a light guardrail to help nudge us toward success."

I believe the is was meant to be as.

sep 1, 2022, 2:01 pm

>2 Tuna_Melon: Thank you!

sep 3, 2022, 1:30 am

With only 176 members maybe we should have a waiting list for when/if members drop out.

sep 3, 2022, 10:26 am

>4 kdweber: We've received quite a few requests since open membership closed. Per the rules, no further members will be accepted for the first edition. However, the membership should have the opportunity to determine changes to the rules for the second edition. One possibility is to return to open membership at the beginning of each edition. In line with your suggestion, another is to set a fixed number of members and then have a waiting list (such as the Cento Amici del libro).

The advice from our Advisory Board is that Consensus Press will become more infeasible as membership grows, actually, so restricting membership in some way is important at least while the experiment gets on its feet.

sep 3, 2022, 12:09 pm

>5 consensuspress: I’m surprised some interested parties missed the cutoff by 72 hours or less! If it’s not an infeasible number, would it be in the spirit of the press to vote on a retroactive extension for those who just barely missed it?

Although if we’re already nearing that “less feasible” number that makes sense too.

Redigerat: sep 3, 2022, 12:38 pm

>6 NathanOv: One suggestion I might propose for the second edition (if the first is a success!) is that the membership votes to give "Management" (currently Byron, Reed, Adam & Anna, with help from me) the ability to make small ad hoc exceptions to the rules. Exactly as you say, for the sake of keeping things "in the spirit of the press".

sep 4, 2022, 6:20 pm

Would it be easy (or possible) for those that have made proposals to see the other proposals as they are made rather than at the end of the month?

Some members have stated what their proposals will be, however as it appears to be an eclectic mix the longer the timeframe we will have to vote on suggestions the more research we could do to make these votes educated votes.

sep 4, 2022, 10:01 pm

>8 DMulvee: This is a really good idea, and you're right, it's nice to be able to ruminate on them longer. Unfortunately, we don't have a system set up yet that allows for it. The best we have is members voluntarily posting their proposals. Maybe something to be improved on for the second edition?

Redigerat: sep 4, 2022, 11:45 pm

>8 DMulvee:
>9 consensuspress:
I think that if everyone is given until the end of the month, the proposals should be disclosed after September. If members would like to post their proposals here, everyone is welcome to do it. To open all proposals "as they come" might put the proposals that come later at disadvantage - they will not get as much time for consideration.

sep 4, 2022, 11:01 pm

Regarding timetable proposal in the "rolling announcements": I believe that it would not be fair/would be unrealistic to ask members to write a 1000-word extended proposal in one week. Two weeks might be better. There are probably a few very busy people who might be overwhelmed with their regular jobs in October.

sep 4, 2022, 11:42 pm

I am sorry for this "string" of comments, but I also think that it is not practical to expect one to give serious consideration to all 170+ proposals in just one week, as per current proposed timeframe. This means that one has to vote "yes" or "no" on roughly 25 proposals a day. Since I personally would like to consider every proposal fairly and to take time learning about works unfamiliar to me, I do not want to rush through.
Two weeks for the first stage of voting is more realistic for people with full time jobs and family obligations.
My proposed timeline is as follows:
October 1 to 15: Round 1 (up or down voting on proposals)

October 16 to the end of October: Top ten proposals can be expanded by their proposers (max. 1,000 words); they might solicit feedback and suggestions from other members to help them do so.

November, 1st week: Top ten proposals (now potentially expanded) are given comments by the Advisory Board.

November, 2nd week: Round 2 (ranked choice voting)

sep 4, 2022, 11:46 pm

>12 booksforreading:
I agree, one week is too short for both stages one and two.

Redigerat: sep 5, 2022, 4:19 am

>10 booksforreading: I agree that this might favour earlier proposals but if it is limited to just seeing the 10 word proposal (not the 100), hopefully it just allows a little research into the work and wouldn’t provide too much of an advantage. It would promote early submissions (and looking at the timetable that the first round needs to be done after one week in October) I think would make things easier to achieve.

If anyone has a family emergency/medical issue the one week seems far too short to fairly evaluate all proposals, so I think that extending this would be fair.

ETA: I think that next year the submission for the 10 and 100 word proposals should be two weeks (members will have a year to think and start on this) but increase the first round voting (and research of ideas) to three weeks

sep 5, 2022, 12:42 pm

>14 DMulvee: I had wondered at potentially having a list of titles that had been proposed, without the proposal details just for reference and to avoid repeats.

As far as the timelines, I don’t necessarily see a problem with one week for round 1 voting, since I suspect most of us will do it in one long sitting. I do think 2-weeks would be more fair for round 2 long proposals though. I wonder if the advisory board would be able to schedule their review / research for specific days so it’s a shorter window of time and allows more for the longer proposals.

sep 5, 2022, 1:19 pm

>12 booksforreading: "I also think that it is not practical to expect one to give serious consideration to all 170+ proposals in just one week"

Just think of this as fine press Tinder.

My guess is that the swipe left/right will take a couple seconds per proposal, most of the time (I know exactly how I would respond to all of the proposal I have seen so far without needing do any hard thinking or external research).

Also I think it might be useful for everyone to remember that part of the process this time around is to test the system. The system is built for adjustment between releases, so if anything is onerous or clunky we can fix it next time around.

Programmers have a useful concept of premature optimization, famously called "the root of all evil" by the great Donald Knuth. Worth keeping in mind.

sep 5, 2022, 3:50 pm

>16 abysswalker:
This is exactly what I want to avoid: swiping proposals left and right without enough time for consideration.
We can call it experimental year or not, but there might not be another one again if this experiment fails, which it might do if enough members will feel that their proposals were "swept under the rug" due to rushed decisions.
There is nothing to do here with "premature optimization" - just common sense and desire for this deserving experiment to succeed and to have a good first try, with a final product that most of us would enjoy (and would be able to afford).

sep 5, 2022, 4:11 pm

While I do think a short review period will be disadvantageous to more obscure picks, it does make sense for the first round to me. There is a kind of visceral up-or-down reaction to the titles, after which the longer consideration can come in the later rounds. Unless the lion's share of proposal are unknown works, I think the majority here can vote rather quickly on 100+ of them, and then spend time researching those few they don't know.

Redigerat: sep 5, 2022, 4:58 pm

>18 Shadekeep:
Spending only 30 seconds on each proposal is about one-and-half hours commitment of time for the first round. One minute per proposal on average will result in 3 hours.
I know that I will find it extremely difficult to find three hours for this project during any given week in October, and there will probably be others in the same situation.
Of course, I understand that elimination of members who might be too busy for this project is built into the system already: you don't submit - lose membership; don't vote - lose membership, etc.; but don't we want to open this experiment to a wide/broad range of membership and make it possible to succeed by making it fair and possible for all?

Let's assume that you are correct and we each will go through 100+ proposals VERY quickly (I assume that we will still read them): 10 seconds per proposal. Boom, boom, boom... 120 proposals are done in about 15 minutes.
Spend about 5 minutes on average per proposal on the remaining 50 for research and understanding, and here is another 250 minutes!

Redigerat: sep 5, 2022, 10:14 pm

>12 booksforreading: >13 wcarter: >14 DMulvee:
Completely agree, one week's too short. I'd have no problem with it if I were single, but when you have a family with 2 children on top of work/business you don't get a lot of free time very often. And when you do, your priorities are a bit different. When my 2-year-old takes me by the hand and walks me to his bookshelf so I could read for him after his bathtime, I'm not going to say "sorry bud, I need to go through some book proposals". And on top of all that I still need to find time for regular exercise - 2 years of COVID lockdowns and seclusion took a bit of a toll on my health even though I never caught COVID itself, so skipping exercise is not an option.

>16 abysswalker: swipe left/right will take a couple seconds per proposal
>18 Shadekeep: visceral up-or-down reaction to the titles

I don't think that would be fair to other members - if members are writing 100-word proposals, we owe to each other at least giving each other a chance to sell our proposals. Otherwise we could just submit titles.

>18 Shadekeep: I think the majority here can vote rather quickly on 100+ of them, and then spend time researching those few they don't know

Perhaps Philistines like myself will be a minute minority, but judging by the proposals revealed so far I expect the number of works I don't know or not familiar enough to cast a vote without at least a quick research/consideration to number a bit higher than few. Perhaps that's because I'm neither British nor even a native English speaker, but I'm not familiar with either Abbott or Richard Marsh. And I have only a very shallow idea about what Res Gestae Divi Augusti is. I do like the Classics, and I'm leaning towards proposing one myself, but I'm not necessarily interested in every single work written by the Ancients. Is it boring propaganda or an essential read? Or, perhaps, while being a propaganda piece it's interesting specifically as a piece of propaganda showing what image of Augustus was officially presented to the Romans? I definitely need more than a few seconds to consider this one. And we still have well over a hundred proposals unknown!

>19 booksforreading:
Agree, and I fully anticipate to spend more than a minute on quite a few a proposal. One week's too short.

sep 5, 2022, 11:23 pm

>20 elladan0891: "... Is it boring propaganda or an essential read? Or, perhaps, while being a propaganda piece it's interesting specifically as a piece of propaganda showing what image of Augustus was officially presented to the Romans? I definitely need more than a few seconds to consider this one."

Precisely why I think the long proposal should be given over to explaining/justifying the work proposed rather than extensive production details. Save that for round two if it makes it that far. If I am unfamiliar with a particular work and can't determine if it is worthy of the honor of publication, I surely won't give a hoot for design/production details. Tell my why I should vote for your proposal. After we get the list knocked down to the Ten, THEN we can chew on the design aspects of a proposed work.

sep 6, 2022, 7:30 am

>21 Glacierman: Precisely. The longer text should be info about the book itself, not an exacting proposal for its realisation.

For the people who are seeing the commitment to reviewing all the proposals as too much reading, I have to wonder why you are even taking part then. I'm fine with the review period being extended ever how long, but some of the comments here seem to just lean on the mathematics of how much time it's going to take to read them all. No one is forcing you to participate, and it's a simple fact of the process that this many submissions is going to equal a significant outlay of time.

>20 elladan0891: Perhaps Philistines like myself

I'll thank you not to put words in my mouth. If you have a question about what I mean, ask me, don't play at being my interpreter.

sep 6, 2022, 9:27 am

Any organization that starts with a premise that one needs a lot more time for consideration on one's own 100-word proposal than for consideration of potentially hundreds of these by others is in danger of being unfair.
Yes, if I see that the consensus is to favor quickness of decisions rather than study and consideration, I will get out.

sep 6, 2022, 9:28 am

A question about translated works. Assuming one or more translated titles make it to the next round, will there be debate on which translation is being considered? I expect some proposals include a specific translation, whereas others are open to multiple versions. If a translated work is selected as the winner, will it be the original proposed translation (if one is supplied), or will the translation be chosen by vote as well?

sep 6, 2022, 10:20 am

>24 Shadekeep: A very good question. I think the translation is such an essential part of the reading experience, it should be subjected to vote as well.

Redigerat: sep 6, 2022, 11:27 am

This is a good discussion re: the optimal amount of time for each stage. Much to consider.

One thing to note. The rules state: "All members must vote in at least one round; any who don’t will forfeit their membership." So, whatever the timeline, if the first round proves onerous to anybody, they can opt out of it and retain their membership.

sep 6, 2022, 12:02 pm

>24 Shadekeep: >25 SebRinelli: An excellent question. Details included in proposal will be adhered to wherever possible. If a proposal specifies the translation, that translation would be pursued. If a proposal doesn't specify, then the translation would be selected by a separate vote.

sep 6, 2022, 3:16 pm

>12 booksforreading: This is a well-reasoned revision! One week each for Round 1 of voting and proposal expansion may very well be too little time. >16 abysswalker: also makes a great point that it's possible to outsmart ourselves and try to optimize the process without having actually experienced it yet.

If the first edition is a success, there will certainly be an opportunity for the members to propose and adopt revisions to the process for the second edition.

In the meantime, we are trying to determine the best timeline for the first edition. The rules explicitly did not specify a timeline, because we did not know how many members we would have. Perhaps it would be best to simplify things by taking a poll?

sep 6, 2022, 4:46 pm

I would expect to be able to read the long proposal in the first round and make a decision based on that, at the very least. While I have more than enough time available for reviewing proposals, not all do, so the proposal put forth by >12 booksforreading: above would seem a reasonable approach. It has my support.

However, let us remember the old adage, "A camel is a horse designed by a committee." I really don't want to see this project head down that particular road.

sep 6, 2022, 11:59 pm

>29 Glacierman: "However, let us remember the old adage, "A camel is a horse designed by a committee." I really don't want to see this project head down that particular road."

What if the winner of the first edition is Travels in Arabia Deserta?

sep 7, 2022, 1:25 am

>30 ultrarightist: I certainly hope not. I don’t know how many fine editions of Travels in Arabia Deserta exist but the unabridged FS LE and abridged LEC edition is enough for me.

sep 7, 2022, 2:34 am

>30 ultrarightist: He said, tongue planted firmly in his cheek.

sep 16, 2022, 4:10 pm

I received a reminder e-mail today to submit a proposal. I am curious if it was sent to everyone or just to members who did not yet submit their proposals. I submitted mine a few weeks ago and now wondering whether it went through. I don't recall receiving a confirmation e-mail that my proposal was received.

sep 16, 2022, 5:42 pm

>33 vadim_ca: Mass mailing. We all got one.

sep 19, 2022, 12:01 pm

The links from the "Welcome to Consensus Press" email to the Proposals page and the Members Area no longer work for me. Is this a known issue? I get "Invalid link. The page you're looking for doesn't exist."

sep 19, 2022, 3:02 pm

>35 AMindForeverVoyaging: Both worked for me just now. No problem at all.

okt 14, 2022, 12:57 am

When will round two of voting begin?

okt 14, 2022, 2:50 pm

>37 Glacierman: Round two of voting will begin on November 18.

We'll post the full schedule in the "Rolling Announcements" thread shortly.

okt 26, 2022, 3:56 pm

This is not a complaint, but I want to share an observation I can't seem to shake. I am really enjoying the democratic, participatory, and bottom-up process involved in the selection and design of the press' first book. It makes me feel like the membership is really part of the press.
However, I hesitate in describing this process as one that is geared towards achieving consensus. Democratic? Representative? Sure. But, voting on an issue, and going with the most popular opinions, is not necessarily a consensus-building approach. It can actually leave a significant amount of disagreement or dissent. Some of this might depend on how much agreement you think there needs to be for consensus to be achieved (e.g., where does consensus lie between unanimous agreement and 50%+1? I don't know).
I'm not suggesting any changes to the process. And I don't know how to try to create a feasible mechanism or level of engagement by which folks could talk through all of their disagreement to reach a consensus. This is just a thought that's been rattling around in my head (particularly as I procrastinate from grading the stack of midterms staring at me), and now it is in your head.

okt 26, 2022, 4:07 pm

>39 allbummereverything: I expunge the concern by accepting that full consensus is likely impossible with a group of this size, and at best there will be reached a middleground that sates a majority of the members. I'm not sure how you bring someone into the fold if they have a stance so strong on, for example, a typeface or paper stock, that they will walk away if it's used, in spite of the great majority reaching agreement that it's the best compromise. The larger the population, the more likely you are to get drop-off of those holding end-of-spectrum opinions, and you will be left with what most people can agree on, or at least tolerate. It could be argued that this doesn't lead to the best book, but the most middling, which is something this experiment will either ratify or disprove. My own hope is that people here are, by and large, of sufficiently broad tastes as to be able accommodate a range of approaches so that there is enough overlap to pull great choices from the consensus. But again, time alone will tell.

okt 26, 2022, 4:15 pm

>39 allbummereverything: >40 Shadekeep: I think the main decision-making process — the two rounds of voting, first "up or down" and then "ranked choice" — are very much consensus-building. The process votes are pretty small potatoes in comparison. We'll see how the first edition works and then reevaluate. I think a major key going forward (assuming success) will be whether to hire a manager and if so how much decision-making power to give them. But that's not yet pressing.

okt 26, 2022, 4:16 pm

>39 allbummereverything:

You're out-thinking this and making it unnecessarily complicated. What you are describing is a variant of 'paralysis by analysis'. The problem may be the word or term "consensus" but the process itself is not flawed. It is simple and direct. Instead of attempting to find the mythical consensus you are describing and hoping for, I would rather we direct our collective time and energy toward book selection, book design and choices of paper and typography.

Redigerat: okt 26, 2022, 4:19 pm

An unrelated observation which has just now jumped into my head: I don’t know if all members realise (I didn’t really, until 5 mins ago) that now is a kinda crucial period in which each one of us can actually influence the nuts-and-bolts of each one of the nine proposals (which is a different thing from just voting on nine proposals which have been presented to you).

This might well be a moot point, but maybe it’s worth sending an email to the members to point out the very lively and engaged discussions currently taking place on the individual proposal threads?

Edit: nine proposals, not ten.

okt 26, 2022, 4:21 pm

>41 grifgon: Agreed, the process has been consensual so far. I was getting more into the specifics of the book, which may in fact might not need to be as open to consensus as I have been making mine. If the main thrust of consensus here is really down to (1) selecting a group of titles and (2) deciding which of the resulting proposals for those titles is desirable, then that's quite doable. Getting consensus on every part of the design, from typeface to binding, is a whole other ball of paraffin and possibly out of scope for the press's aims.

okt 26, 2022, 4:35 pm

>42 dlphcoracl: I don't think the process is flawed, nor am I suggesting we should change it. As noted, I quite like the process. I am just thinking about the idea of consensus, not advocating for change.

>43 BorisG: on a different note, I do think BorisG makes an important point. It sounds like a good idea to make salient to people how much the proposals are being shaped and moulded in the discussion threads at this point.

okt 26, 2022, 4:49 pm

>43 BorisG: Agreed! (Also, hi Boris.) An all-membership email should have gone out by now announcing the top ten nine, and inviting members to join the discussion here, but there are some background issues with the Consensus Press website and email servicing. Hopefully it will be resolved and an email sent soon.

okt 26, 2022, 5:14 pm

I think that the final barometer of whether consensus is achieved is how many members opt to purchase the final product.

okt 29, 2022, 9:34 pm

Interesting that neither of the Seneca proposals have received updates yet. Hopefully both proposers are doing their homework and preparing to wow us!

okt 31, 2022, 9:30 am

The time will come when diligent research over long periods will bring to light things which now lie hidden
- Seneca

Joking aside, it is curious that the only two proposals not owned up on these boards yet are the two Senecas.

okt 31, 2022, 10:23 am

What is the process if a finalist does not submit an expanded proposal by the deadline?

okt 31, 2022, 11:56 am

>49 elladan0891: I received an email yesterday reminding me to send in my final proposal direct, even though I've been discussing it in the corresponding thread here. Possibly these two are going straight to the source? Kind a shame to miss out on community feedback if so, however.

okt 31, 2022, 5:47 pm

Not sure if this has already been discussed; however, I believe that it would be a great idea to include a price estimate for each extended proposal prior to the second round of voting. Hopefully the advisory committee can assist with this task. Even a high level estimate (e.g., between $500 and $1,000, between $1,000 and $1,500, etc.) would be very helpful. Otherwise, we might end up with a winning book that few members will be willing to purchase.

I keep reading things such as “hand made paper”, “original illustrations”, "leather binding”, etc. All wonderful suggestions; however, the current poll suggests that only 52% have voted “yes” as willing to pay more than $500 and only 14% have voted “yes” as willing to pay more that $1,000. (I appreciated that a number of members have voted as undecided, which is understandable given the diversity of the top nine books. However, maybe consider assuming that the winning book will be your number one choice and then adjust your vote accordingly - just to make the results more relevant.)

okt 31, 2022, 6:08 pm

>52 vadim_ca: Absolutely. This is the plan, per our rules:

The ten proposals with the highest approval percentage will go to a second round. Their proposers will have the opportunity to expand upon the long descriptions (max. 1,000 words) and our Advisory Board will weigh in with a short commentary on each regarding cost estimates, craft methods, a judgement on feasibility, etc.

okt 31, 2022, 6:09 pm

>50 AMindForeverVoyaging: The original, unexpanded proposal will be used in the second round.

okt 31, 2022, 6:10 pm

Meddelande från gruppens administratörTwo out of nine expanded proposals have been submitted.

The deadline is the end of day Friday.

okt 31, 2022, 7:31 pm

>55 consensuspress: Perhaps an administrative notice is in order to remind the other 7 that their proposals have to be formally submitted via email and not merely posted to this discussion forum.

okt 31, 2022, 10:10 pm

>55 consensuspress: I plan to distill down the various points raised in the thread for my proposal and send the final version along mid-week. I want to take on board as many of the good suggestions as I can, but I also realise I need to lock down some stuff I was noncommittal on.

okt 31, 2022, 11:11 pm

>56 ultrarightist: We've all gotten e-mail notices to that effect. Can't see how a post here would make any significant difference.

nov 1, 2022, 1:17 pm

I wonder, will proposers be able to adjust their proposals to keep costs down after getting feedback from the advisory board about costs but before the proposal goes live for ranking by members?

nov 1, 2022, 2:15 pm

>59 abysswalker: No, the expanded proposals will go directly from our Advisory Board to the second ballot.

nov 1, 2022, 2:47 pm

Final proposal sent via email now.

nov 8, 2022, 11:08 am

Is anyone else compulsively checking the forum for news? :) or will we get the second ballot by email before anything moves on the forum?

nov 8, 2022, 11:23 am

>62 BorisG: I was just wondering this morning when the next wave is coming.

nov 8, 2022, 1:35 pm

I think we are all eager to get to the next step!

nov 8, 2022, 1:38 pm

>62 BorisG: Oh no... [sheepishly]

...only like every hour.

I expect a formal email notification would be the form of contact as the use of LibraryThing is not a mandatory requirement for Consensus Press membership.

All that being said...I'll still continue to eagerly check this forum, probably several more times today.

nov 8, 2022, 1:39 pm

I'm not expecting anything until November 18th when Round 2 voting seems to be scheduled to begin. It'd be great to get ballots sooner if the advisory board finishes early, though!

nov 8, 2022, 1:52 pm

The suspense!!!!!

nov 8, 2022, 1:54 pm

>66 NathanOv: Good news and bad news in that regard:

Judging by the discussion so far, the Advisory Board members are really digging into the proposals to give the best possible commentary. They're taking the task of estimating costs especially seriously.

So, the comments should be very high quality, but unlikely to be finished much before the deadline.

😀 😭

nov 8, 2022, 2:00 pm

>67 Glacierman: If you think waiting for the Advisory Board comments is suspenseful, get this:

Because the second ballot is ranked choice, there will be eight tabulations. Ninth place eliminated, and its votes redistributed. Eighth place eliminated, and its votes redistributed. Seventh place eliminated, and its votes redistributed. Etc.

I think the plan is to post the results of each tabulation, one by one as they're calculated...............

Refresh refresh refresh refresh!!!!

nov 8, 2022, 2:14 pm

>68 grifgon: Good to hear! I'd rather they take that time than not. Cost is, I think, ultimately the deciding factor. The book may be brilliant, but if the cost is too high......

nov 8, 2022, 2:30 pm

>69 grifgon: How is the vote redistribution determined at each tabulation?

nov 8, 2022, 2:54 pm

>71 ultrarightist: From the Ranked-Choice Voting Resource Center:

"With ranked-choice voting, voters mark their ballots in order of preference – 1st choice, 2nd choice, 3rd choice, and so on.

All first choices are tallied. If a candidate wins a majority among the first-choice votes, that candidate is the winner.

If not, the candidate with the fewest first-choice votes is eliminated. The second choices from those ballots are then added to the remaining candidates. This process continues until one candidate receives a majority of the final votes."

nov 8, 2022, 4:38 pm

>69 grifgon: I hate to destroy an opportunity for suspense, but there is software that will do all this tabulation instantly at the click of a button...

nov 8, 2022, 5:26 pm

>73 ambyrglow: Awwww, you're no fun!

nov 8, 2022, 5:31 pm

>74 Glacierman: Hey, I'm all in favor of artisanally crafted books, but somewhat less in favor of artisanally crafted arithmetic.

nov 8, 2022, 6:01 pm

>75 ambyrglow: I was gonna say… I could create a macro in excel to do this math in a matter of seconds. Does take away some of the anticipation though.

nov 8, 2022, 6:11 pm

The whole Eurovision concept is built upon a gradual reveal of the winner! (For what it’s worth :p)

nov 8, 2022, 6:18 pm

>73 ambyrglow: >76 Esoterics:

I wasn't saying that the calculation will take long! I think it's just going to be run through a program: it's not like Reed will be up all night with his abacus crunching the numbers by candlelight. 😂 Rather, the tabulations might get posted one... by one... by one... by one...

nov 8, 2022, 7:31 pm

As long as the winner isn't La La Land.

nov 9, 2022, 11:42 am

>62 BorisG: Hah... yes most definitely checking every hour. Enjoy this new (disappointing) unread notification :P

Jokes aside, truly thankful for the time and energy everyone is putting into this process; having something like this to get excited about and look forward to is a real gift.

nov 11, 2022, 1:54 pm

The suspense is killing me.......

nov 11, 2022, 4:54 pm


nov 13, 2022, 8:07 pm

To be honest, I'm not expecting anything until, oh, about Friday at the earliest.

nov 13, 2022, 9:10 pm

>83 Glacierman: As scheduled, the second ballot will go out on Friday, November 18.

nov 14, 2022, 1:58 am

See? Told ya!

nov 14, 2022, 8:06 am

Looking forward to it! Also curious to read how the two Seneca proposals shaped up.

nov 16, 2022, 12:47 pm

Another question in the "I'm sure I heard the answer but can't find it in my brain" category - how long will second round voting be open for? A week?

nov 17, 2022, 8:23 am

PS - Tomorrow's the big day!

nov 17, 2022, 3:40 pm

I'm very excited, but also feel like I'm not ready, haha. I don't know if I can handle hearing all of the many things that are wrong with my meagre proposal in the course of discussions.

nov 17, 2022, 7:38 pm

It’s like the night before Christmas

nov 18, 2022, 9:02 am

What I feared with Canticle, as it is the finalist I'm most interested in reading, but not surprising. I am glad that the other proposals seem to be quite feasible and relatively cost effective.

nov 18, 2022, 10:12 am

Well, as for Sinuhe, as the proposer, I say the endbands can be dispensed with completely, if necessary. They would be a nice touch, but are not critical to my design, especially as the text block isn't going to be a thick one. Same with rounding. A flat back would be acceptable under the circumstances and would not be structurally problematical. So, bear that in mind when voting, please.

nov 18, 2022, 10:28 am

>91 AMindForeverVoyaging: I got my Canticle proposal down to “$1000+”, so that’s something I suppose. I wonder if it’s worth factoring in potential sales on the broader market; my sense is there’s lots of pent up demand for a fine press version, although of course still a risk.

nov 18, 2022, 10:42 am

>93 caszius: Because the Consensus Press rules state that copies will only be available to members, the edition limitation would have an absolute maximum of 126. I think your proposal did a very good job of keeping costs under control for such a big book; but the low cap on the limitation means that the large setup costs are borne heavily by each copy. If the edition size were, say, 300, then I think this proposal would have fallen well below $1,000 per copy, right into the price range you were aiming for. Serious bravo for making Canticle feasible but still enticing!

nov 18, 2022, 11:40 am

>94 grifgon: Thanks! Appreciate the kind words, and continued insight into the process.

nov 18, 2022, 11:50 am

I'm a bit surprised that my proposal was considered highly constrained, as I tried to leave it open-ended for the design of the physical book, including paper and typeface choices. Nearly all of my ideas were intended more as preferences than absolutes, and I would be happy to negotiate on them should the book advance.

Also, I enjoyed finally seeing the two Seneca proposals. One of them I quite like.

Redigerat: nov 18, 2022, 12:00 pm

>96 Shadekeep: I was also surprised by the comments on yours, especially with it getting a feasible and reasonable cost estimate.

I wonder if it was the printers on the board taking issue with the pretty specific layout details? Or perhaps those who weren't active on the forum not realizing how much member (and even board member) feedback was already incorporated into the long proposal?

As a collector rather than creator, I also had similar feelings about the feedback on Merlin. But a common thread through the feedback seems to be that at least a couple board members find design concepts based on the text gimmicky in general and would rather see a pretty straightforward presentation of the chosen text.

nov 18, 2022, 11:59 am

>97 NathanOv: Thanks, and I do realise in hindsight that some of my late suggestions would significantly notch up the price (two-color inking throughout, illustrating each island, each chapter its own page). I think if I was to revise it one more time, I would select special islands who get illustrated and have a dedicated verso page, whereas others might be printing in standard running format. I almost made such a revision at the end of the submission period but didn't really think it through until the clock had run out.

Redigerat: nov 18, 2022, 1:30 pm

>97 NathanOv: I think this is generally true

a common thread through the feedback seems to be that at least a couple board members find design concepts based on the text gimmicky in general and would rather see a pretty straightforward presentation of the chosen text.

though I think it isn't quite right to say they'd prefer a "straightforward" presentation. A design concept which obviously mirrors the text is fairly straightforward. Rather, the board seemed to hesitate on design concepts which "spectacularized" a text and preferred restraint.

As far as I'm concerned (and I didn't contribute to the board comments, just summarized) I think there's a great place for both. I love editions which are heavy-handed in their approach to a text – say, for example, Foolscap's Mandeville , an acknowledged masterpiece – but I also love editions which subtly innovate or defy expectations, like Greenboathouse's Marcus Aurelius which blends east and west so well. Shadekeep: I think your proposal isn't shy about presenting the text with aplomb. Further, it utilizes the shortness of the text to be a little lavish elsewhere. Overall, I think it's a great proposal.

nov 18, 2022, 5:07 pm

>99 grifgon: That makes good sense. The board's feedback is incredibly valuable for voting, and I think there's a nice balance between technical input on execution / costs / feasibility and expert opinions on design and what would be in good taste. I was just a little surprised by some of the design opinions!

nov 19, 2022, 11:57 am

The 2nd round ballot does not work for me. I am using a MacBook. It displays only 8 columns, and thus I cannot complete the form. Is anyone else having this problem?

nov 19, 2022, 12:17 pm

>101 ultrarightist: it looks the same to me (also on a MacBook). All the info is there though; it is just that the horizontal scroll bar is hidden (in an iframe or something like that).

If you use the track pad to horizontally scroll, I suspect you will be able to see all the columns.

nov 19, 2022, 12:22 pm

>102 abysswalker: That worked. Thank you very much.

Redigerat: nov 24, 2022, 9:24 pm

I am so glad that we have had extra time for voting! ...finally was able to look at some of the posts here and to read/vote on proposals.
I suggest that in the future advisory board's comments are posted under the proposals, not above them. It would be best (at least for me) to read the proposals before reading evaluations of these by the board.
In response to other comments on other threads, I agree with many members that it is best not to change the rules now until the project is completed. And I agree that after this project some things might need to be re-evaluated.
Congratulations again to all the finalists! Very interesting and deserving proposals.

nov 25, 2022, 11:20 pm

>104 booksforreading: I also like the idea of having the board comments after the proposal.

Another suggestion: A summary of each edition on the final screen. I found myself going back and forth through the proposals to recall details while I ranked my choices. Which on mobile was especially cumbersome.

nov 28, 2022, 8:51 am

I’ve just now received a reminder to submit my second round ballot, even though I did so last week.

Is it a general email going out to everybody? Or should I reach out to the administrators to check my ballot has been received?

nov 28, 2022, 9:01 am

>106 BorisG: I got the same message!

nov 28, 2022, 9:04 am

>106 BorisG: The Management can confirm, but from my understanding, so long as you received a Google Forms confirmation email after submitting your ballot, you should be good to go. Everyone should be receiving this auto-populated reminder if it's similar to what happened in the first round.

>1 consensuspress: On that note about the reminder email though, can you please confirm the exact date/time that votes must be in. The recent email claims that:
"Only five days remain to submit your ballot in our second round of voting!"
I received the email this morning (November 28, 2022) so that would mean that ballots are due December 2, 2022 according to this?
Day 1: Nov 28
Day 2: Nov 29
Day 3: Nov 30
Day 4: Dec 1
Day 5: Dec 2

However, the members area of the Consensus Press website states:

"All members must vote in at least one round. Deadline: 1 December 2022."

Hopefully nobody is leaving this until the eve that the voting ends anyhow, but for clarity, it would be good to confirm the official end date if possible.

I recall that at least some of the proposers (I'm looking at you >98 Shadekeep:) said to have gone close to the wire for submitting so perhaps some people will be cutting it close for voting too.

nov 28, 2022, 3:26 pm

>108 Tuna_Melon: The deadline is 1 December 2022 at whatever time is local to the member.

I think four versus five days may be due to differences in time zones and Squarespace's "optimized sending," whereby they send the email at what they perceive to be the best time for the recipient.

The email was sent to the full membership. We have no ability to email only members who have not yet submitted their ballots.

nov 29, 2022, 11:20 am

I'm really pushed for time at the moment, half a dozen books need my full time focus and so I just have not had the time to properly consider the press's options. Nor do I have the time to read through the forum for at least another two weeks, to find an answer, by which time votes have to be submitted. I love the quick perusal I have given to the submissions, but can anyone answer who is actually designing the book? As I'm acutely aware of the reading experience and know that the design is the unspoken part that often will make a book shine, or just be.

nov 29, 2022, 12:51 pm

>110 marceloanciano: The designer will be hired alongside the other craftspeople after a proposal has been elected.

nov 29, 2022, 12:52 pm

dec 2, 2022, 10:52 am

One suggestion to the management team with regards to submitting initial proposals: is it possible to add word count limitations to the submission forms? The first round had multiple submissions that went over the 100-word limit. I feel it's particularly unfair in the first round where the limitation is very tight - for those who play by the rules. I spent time trimming down my proposal to exactly 100 words, and I'm sure many others did too. But some went over, with at least two submissions having the word count exceeding the limit by more than a two-fold. One of them, at over 250 words, made it to round two.

dec 2, 2022, 12:20 pm

>113 elladan0891: We tried to impose a hard word count limit in the form, but couldn't find a way to do it. Several members wrote in asking for the over-limit proposals to be disqualified. Per our rules, "We’ll err on the side of under-regulating the process rather than over-regulating it," so while we didn't disqualify the proposals, several members chose to vote against the over-limit proposals to enforce the limit.

dec 2, 2022, 12:45 pm

>114 consensuspress: I complained (bitterly!) at the time, but this is a cop out of an answer. The members should follow the rules. The word count is part of the rules. In future years this should be enforced

dec 2, 2022, 1:04 pm

>115 DMulvee: I don't think it's a cop out: the rules on the Consensus Press website explicitly state that management will take as light an approach as possible, leaving things largely up to the members. Any member could have proposed a vote to disqualify the 100+ word proposals, or could have urged fellow-members to vote against such proposals for skirting the guidelines.

It's also worth staying that "Management" doesn't really have clear decision-making powers here. This is very much a libertarian experiment. I'm not sure we want a system where Reed or Adam or whoever is manning the Consensus Press email account that day can disqualify proposals or ballots or what have you. Or, maybe we do! Definitely something to be worked out if CP makes it to a second edition.

dec 2, 2022, 1:12 pm

>115 DMulvee: If the purpose of the press is to operate on consensus, it seems odd to stringently enforce rules that were never reached by consensus. If people were truly offended by overlong proposals, presumably they would not have voted for them.

dec 2, 2022, 1:14 pm

A small thought re the above – I’m not sure the length of the proposal had a strong effect on the votes in the first round; were there really titles that we had no interest in, yet which we would have voted for, had we read another 100-150 words about them? I don’t know for sure, just wondering.

Which is of course not related at all to the question of whether or not the 100-word rule should be enforced.

dec 2, 2022, 1:16 pm

Yeah, I think exceeding the word count is bad etiquette on the raised eyebrow and disapproving mutter level, not on the permanent blackball level. I would leave it to self-censor, and trust the membership to deal with it in the process.

dec 2, 2022, 1:19 pm

For the avoidance of doubt I suggested that those that exceeded 100 words should only have 100 words submitted to the membership - not that they should be excluded

Redigerat: dec 2, 2022, 1:23 pm

>119 Didici: If anything, I would just ask management to use the first 100 words only and have the only consequence for breaking the word count be an incomplete proposal.

If Consensus Press continues with a second edition though, it would be great to have a submission form for ideas / suggestions to be distributed and put to a vote ahead of the next round of proposals.

dec 2, 2022, 1:36 pm

>118 BorisG:
Then what's the point of proposal write-ups? Just let people throw in titles.

If we have proposals and they are limited in length (and they should be limited in the first round at least), then we should enforce the limits.

Is it really a coincidence that our first book will be the one with the longest initial proposal at over 2.6 times the word limit? Are we certain Flowers for Algernon would have made it to the top 9 if oracle had to cut down the initial proposal by almost two thirds? We'll never know.

I think it's too late to do anything about it right now, but I strongly suggest we do something so it will not happen again. I refuse to waste my time trying to play by the rules if the rules are really "optional", wink-wink. I'll buy Flowers this time, but if the rules are not enforced in the future, I'll quit.

dec 2, 2022, 1:38 pm

>120 DMulvee: >121 NathanOv:
I agree, I think management should run each proposal through a word count, and simply cut off exceeding proposals at 100 words before releasing proposals to the membership.

dec 2, 2022, 1:43 pm

>122 elladan0891: You are right that we’ll never know, but I would wager that Flowers would have made it to the top 10 with a shorter proposal too.

Having said that… I like the idea of only the first 100 words being presented to the members for voting (if we decide to keep the 100-word rule) – knowing this would probably do wonders for keeping the proposals at that word limit!

dec 2, 2022, 1:51 pm

I would support the idea of simply cutting off overly long proposals at exactly 100 words.

dec 2, 2022, 1:57 pm

I also think a cutoff is the right thing to do, but if it can't be done automatically via the form, then we'd be asking Management to do it manually. Not a ton of work, but still, I think it'd be best to minimize what we ask from our all-volunteer team. That said, there has been some discussion of hiring a manager for the second edition, in which case I think this sort of thing would be eminently reasonable.

dec 2, 2022, 2:05 pm

>126 grifgon: I’d be happy to volunteer to truncate all proposals to the word limit to save the volunteers the time

Redigerat: dec 2, 2022, 2:46 pm

Mea culpa!!

I was totally unaware of the 100-word limit on the initial proposal and no one from the Consensus Press board notified me, requesting that I pare it down. Rather than don sackcloth and ashes, I propose the following:

If 'Flowers for Algernon' is the CP winner AND the appropriate copyright rights are obtained, I will forego the winner's free copy and purchase my copy with the other CP members. Hopefully, the content rather than the length of the proposal was responsible for the favorable response.

dec 2, 2022, 5:06 pm

>128 dlphcoracl:
Congratulations on your win and your deserving proposal!
I wonder, if your proposal does go though with the copyright and you generously purchase your own copy No. 1, if the free copy could go to Glacierman - the author of the runner up proposal. He mentioned somewhere that if his proposal does not win he would not be able to purchase the first Consensus Press edition.

dec 2, 2022, 6:47 pm

>129 booksforreading:

That is a sterling idea. However, I will leave that up to the Consensus Press Board but it certainly has my blessing.

dec 2, 2022, 7:24 pm

>128 dlphcoracl:; >129 booksforreading: Aww, you guys . . . .

I would very much, however, like to thank everyone who voted for Sinuhe. Your support warms the cockles of my heart, truly.

dec 2, 2022, 8:12 pm

>130 dlphcoracl: I also think >129 booksforreading:'s idea is a lovely idea and gentlemanly to boot.

(Though I realized nobody asked) my opinion on the matter is that you (dlphcoracl) should in no way feel guilted or obligated to pay for your own copy. As per the Consensus Press rules, as victor, yours is gratis.

Even though there has been chatter from some members voicing displeasure with an exceeded word count in Round 1, I feel it actually sours our process if dlphcoracl as the victor feels even a tinge of guilt. Irrespective of whether or not anybody overlooked the word count "requirement" in Round 1, as mentioned by others (eg. >116 grifgon:), nobody was upset enough at the time to request that consequences from such a deviation be put to a vote.

Like some other members, I worked hard to cut my proposal down to a maximum of 100 words, but I'm in no way bitter towards anyone who ended up with more than 100 words. I just thought it a fun exercise. I was actually more miffed at the Round 1 proposals that weren't really proposals at all -- some people's input amounted to something not much more than "I like BLANK genre of books." (not an actual quote)

Anyhow, clearly many people appreciated the insights in the Oracle's proposals (both in Round 1 and Round 2) otherwise it would not have received so many votes. In Round 1, like some members, I know that I put heavy weight on the title of a proposal, but for titles I could see myself wanting to read, the other aspect I considered was, "Do I think the person behind this proposal is showing competence in being able to go through the process that will be required for Round 2?" Essentially like what >118 BorisG: mentioned, I also don't think an extra bit of length in Round 1 added that much sway for or against any proposal. I also believe that if the Oracle had put in a 100 word proposal in Round 1, it would've been just as convincing.

--- --- ---

Getting back to the point of the topic, I'll reiterate that I don't feel like the victor (for this year or any year) should feel bad. Nobody cheated here. The whole point of our Press is that we're essentially self-regulating.

If dlphcoracl wants to purchase a copy of the book, I'd suggest the following mentality:
(1) The Oracle's copy is gratis as it should be.

(2) As an incredibly gentlemanly gesture, dlphcoracl certainly could purchase a copy for Glacierman, our runner up, as a gift. dlphcoracl: I believe that should be your sole decision without pressure from any other members. I do not think that it needs to go to any sort of vote.

(3) Every member who wants to continue with the Press should come to terms that we had a successful process and elected a book. (To echo some other members, bravo to us to have achieved what we did so far in our fragile experiment. If we want to make changes in future years, then that's an encore bravo to us for trying to improve our process over time!)
--- --- ---

Again, this is just me poking my nose in where nobody asked for my opinion, but I guess that's kind of what we do here anyhow. Thanks for patiently reading my thoughts.

Redigerat: dec 3, 2022, 4:01 am

>132 Tuna_Melon: I voted yes in round 1 for ‘Algernon’ and ranked it second in round 2, so view it as a worthy winner.

Your point that no one was “upset” enough at the time is unfair. I was one of the people testing the initial votes, and I sent my strong feelings at the time.

I think that this years process worked well in many ways, my one big gripe is that the word counts weren’t adhered to (and Algernon wasn’t the only one to go over). However next year this is a change that should be made, or the word count should not be specified.

dec 2, 2022, 9:01 pm

I'm starting to think this process isn't for me. It's the knowing what could have been that makes it difficult. It's like voting in elections or choosing a restaurant as a group - even if I'm happy enough with what I get, it's tainted by the missed opportunities. But that's a flaw in me, not the system.

dec 2, 2022, 11:52 pm

>134 Shadekeep: Well, the difference is that you can skip the group meal and go to a restaurant you really love. But, at least personally, I can't just go ahead and publish nice editions of books I really want, so I'll take 'happy enough' :)

dec 2, 2022, 11:59 pm

>128 dlphcoracl: Although I'm the one who brought up the issue, I think it's way too late for any punishment - let alone monetary - even if self-inflicted. I'm not that bloodthirsty, I just want to prevent this from happening in the future. Btw, Algernon was my third choice and I'm looking forward to this project taking off. Congratulations!

dec 3, 2022, 12:29 am

>136 elladan0891:

Frankly, I wouldn't mind at all if the free copy goes to the runner-up proposal (Glacierman). First and foremost, the overriding goal of the Consensus Press should be to please all CP members and put a wonderful private press book in everyone's hands.

dec 3, 2022, 1:26 am

>137 dlphcoracl: well done on the winning proposal! I'm very much looking forward to receiving a copy. I think it would be a shame for you to pay for your copy and I would personally be happy to pay a little more in order to have both winner and runner up receive a free copy.

Well done to ALL of the other proposals as well. A lot of work has gone into this and I can honestly say that there are no books I wouldn't have wanted. This is only the first edition and I am looking forward to much success for the press and a wide variety of books in the coming years.

Congrats again, it is all very exciting

dec 3, 2022, 9:39 am

>135 elladan0891: Well, the difference is that you can skip the group meal and go to a restaurant you really love.

Yah, but that means not taking part in the consensus. Which is basically where I was heading with this. It might not be the right kind of setup for me.

One other thing I would put on the table for the next round is that the comments from the board on the final proposals would have been useful to have in advance. There are a lot of compromises I would have happily made in my own proposal based on those comments, and as a result mine was flagged as too specific and costly when in reality there are plenty of changes I would have been fine with.

dec 3, 2022, 11:47 am

>139 Shadekeep: "the comments from the board on the final proposals would have been useful to have in advance"

While I agree that from the perspective of the submitter this would be nice, practically speaking doing so would be high cost in terms of utilizing expertise. As someone who has had similar feelings regularly in the process of submitting academic papers for peer review, the problem is that expecting low-latency back and forth with reviewers requires a lot of time and direct engagement on their part. In the academic review system (which admittedly has lots of unrelated problems), it is incumbent upon the submitter to craft the best submission prior to feedback, potential rejection, and invitation for revision. While the system here does not map perfectly one to one, the problem of expertise resource allocation is almost identical.

(This is also why, generally speaking, professionals such as doctors guard their attention strictly, and, for example, one can't just instant message a doctor any time one feels like it, lacking some personal connection.)

If the board wanted to be more generous with their time, I could imagine something like a two phase comment procedure, where there is a soft deadline after which some initial feedback could be provided prior to the formal comments used for second stage voting, but that would add one more step to the process and obviously would require more work on their part.

dec 3, 2022, 11:52 am

>140 abysswalker: Understandable, and I don't want to impinge on the board more than necessary. Hopefully since this is the first time the experiment is being run, participants will now have a clearer idea of how to frame proposals in future. I know I have a better understanding now.

dec 3, 2022, 12:26 pm

>139 Shadekeep: >140 abysswalker: >141 Shadekeep: I am surprised by the clear impact the board comments had. For example, the Canticles were the top picks coming out of round one, and the bottom picks after being deemed risky by the board in round two. I don't think that knowing this would have changed the commentary, but it wasn't anticipated. That said, Algernon received as much pushback as any – the paper choice, format, and typeface were all criticized, and a note was made about the uncertainty of copyright. Rather than multiple rounds of back and forth – which I don't really see as being feasible – I could imagine a general guide being useful for proposers. "THE BASICS OF FINE PRESSWORK, AND WHERE THE COSTS ARE HIDDEN." For example, shadekeep, I imagine that your suggestion that the chapter numbering being in the secondary color was not something you cared profoundly about or even put much thought into. The effect of it, however, is to effectively double the printing costs. Or, as a general observation, most proposals suggested a format size completely divorced from the paper wanted. A book's format is, of course, entirety dependent on the paper used (unless we want to waste a bunch of it). I think a 500-word guide would have gone a long way in giving proposers the Craft 101 they needed to make sure their proposals were indeed what they wanted them to be.

dec 3, 2022, 12:45 pm

>142 grifgon: I was surprised at the strength of the boards comments. I was expecting a note on the feasibility of obtaining copyright, a cost estimate and little else.

Redigerat: dec 3, 2022, 12:52 pm

>143 DMulvee: It's also interesting to me that the comments were mostly unanimous, but the personal preferences were all over the map. I think that, generally, the board favorite was Bashō. My personal top three was 1. Sinuhe, 2. Máel Dúin, 3. Letters from a Stoic. Though, of course, I'm excited about Algernon. I've never read it — so the CP edition will be my first reading.

dec 3, 2022, 1:23 pm

First, congrats to the winner! It's a great proposal. Second, I'm thoroughly impressed by how smoothly this all went... for such a novel idea, the number of people involved, and this being the first pass -- the people who planned this all out did an amazing job.

FWIW though, figured I'd pass on some thoughts for how we approach the second edition having learned from the first...

1. If there's a word limit on proposals; truncate to meet that word limit. I'm not suggesting this mattered AT ALL for this year's winner, but it just seems like such a silly/easy and unambiguous rule to enforce.

2. Board commentary should probably go at the end of the proposal; the most important thing should be the hard work members put into to their proposal, so just wanna maximize those being read

3. We can decide that we WANT the board to have outsized influence on voting, but assuming we do NOT want this, then I'd suggest: Board commentary prob needs to be framed as objectively as possible; and read less like an endorsement. Proposals deemed to be "gimmicky" felt like the board putting their finger a bit too much on the scale. Or in some cases the board seemed to proactively suggest refinements and then deem the proposal "feasible"; whereas in others no adjustments by the board were made and the proposal was left as "risky" due to a given feature. As much as possible, pricing estimates should follow a similar format/range -- if I recall, some read like "less than $800" while others were noted as "$500+".

All of that is easier said than done! And like I said, I'm truly impressed by how well executed this entire experiment has been; way better than I could have imagined -- and the winner is a perfect first edition. But, just throwing my feedback in there for refinement as we go to hopefully continually get even better.

Redigerat: dec 3, 2022, 2:03 pm

>145 caszius: Great comments all. Complete agreement on #1 and #2 and the general sentiment. I'd only push back on #3 a bit (and since I didn't contribute to the board's comments, but summarized, I think I'm at least a little objective here):

While I think keeping board comments completely objective ( i.e. only on cost and feasibility) is fine, it strikes me as a missed opportunity. On the board we have several celebrated bookmakers. If book designers with decades of experience, who have won major book design awards aplenty, think that proposed book's design is X (be it "gimmicky" or "over-the-top" or "tasteful" or "meek"), why not let the members know it? Ultimately, its up to the members whether to listen to the Advisory Board or not.

I think the price estimates were exactly what they needed to be. "Less than $800" versus "$500+" isn't an arbitrary distinction. The proposal which was "less than $800" contained no elements which could cause runaway expense. At most, it would be $800, and could be done for less. On the other hand, the "$500+" proposal contained uncertain elements which could have gone into the stratosphere. The book could have been done at its most economical at around $500, but also could have been done lavishly at $5,000. The variable format of price estimates are entirely due to the variability of the proposals.

dec 3, 2022, 2:04 pm

>142 grifgon: my personal hypothesis is that round one voting reflected close to pure interest in the content of the title and round two voting is mostly explained by cost estimates (with lower price being more popular).

dec 3, 2022, 2:50 pm

>146 grifgon: Yeah makes sense on price, just given how important a dimension (that appears to have been), figure it’s worth stress testing a little. Having not had to do any of the calculus myself, totally possible that the outputs were as accurate and well formatted as could be!

I’m still torn on the “expert commentary” part though. I agree it’s an amazing opportunity (I’d personally love to learn from such pros), but worry it goes against the *purpose* of CP being a democratic/concensus system. Almost feels like at the 11th hour a few Michelin restaurant reviewers show up and start awarding stars… and then poll the crowd for where they want to eat. I don’t blame the crowd for immediately filing into the Michelin restaurant, but that means they weren’t _really_ the ones making the decision.

(Ooof that metaphor might have gone off the rails, hopefully not too absurd)

dec 3, 2022, 2:54 pm

>142 grifgon: Yes, the two-color ink was just considered as a nice enhancement, and I certainly didn't factor in the cost of two-pass printing. In general I was surprised that the board comments on my proposal seemed to indicate it was rigidly defined and costly, when I would have been willing to be highly flexible on much of it. Other proposals I felt had more specific details yet weren't called out on that. Not I think my proposal would have won regardless of how I pitched it, since it only got into the running by dint of other titles being disqualified.

dec 3, 2022, 3:05 pm

I hope this is ok, but I would be interested in knowing what the majority view is.

Rösta: Would you want a reduction in the amount of input from the board next year?

Nuvarande ställning: Ja 1, Nej 31, Tvekar 1

dec 3, 2022, 4:09 pm

I think giving each second round proposer a week to add a short comment responding the advisory board's points would be useful (before the second round of voting). Just to clarify points raised and confirm whether any changes proposed would be acceptable or highlighting areas they would be open to a vote on by the membership etc. (but not allowing them to edit the content of their proposal, to avoid a protracted iterative process). Particularly as I ended up voting for some books assuming that some of the advisory comments would be reflected in some way (in some cases it had a material impact on my rank).

However, I also think we will get some useful context once we have gone through the full process of the first edition, and see how rigid the second round proposal is actually followed in practice, and how naturally it is able to evolve to best suit the membership (and in particular avoid significant spend on less appreciated features).

dec 3, 2022, 6:13 pm

I personally welcome input from the advisory committee, as they possess the experience and expertise to notice little details that may have a major impact on not only the cost, but the practicality of a proposal.

For example, specifying a page size in inches/cm is very restrictive and may not be possible to due the size of the sheet of the paper specified. It would be better to say octavo (8vo), quarto, etc. That can be done easily regardless of the sheet size, as it refers to the number of times the sheet is folded, not a specific size in inches/centimeters.

There are other niggling details that may have a major impact on feasibility of a project. I specified hand sewn end bands because that would be a marvelous effect. HOWEVER, I failed to think that through, as it was brought to my attention that such a requirement would severely limit the number of binderies capable of that fine touch and at the same time, jump the cost up considerably. So, ultimately, I indicated I was flexible on that and would be willing to go with quality machine-made bands.

The advisory committee is there to advise us. Let's use them to the max for that purpose.

dec 3, 2022, 8:22 pm

Interesting process. I didn't get to participate on discussions as much as I had hoped, but have appreciated everyone's efforts in the proposals and the comments on this board. It seems clear to me that the voting was driven primarily by cost:

1. Flowers For Algernon ($300 – $600)
2. The Tale of Sinuhe ($300 – $600)
3. The Narrow Road to the Deep North ($500 – SKY)
4. The Life of Merlin ($500 – $1000)
5. Letters from a Stoic $300 – $600)
6: The Voyage of Máel Dúin's Boat ($400 – $800)
7. On the Shortness of Life ($500 – $1000)
8. A Canticle for Leibowitz (>$1,000)
9. A Canticle for Leibowitz (>$2,000)

I was open to spend a lot of money for something that I *really* wanted, but if something was just a passing interest I tended to rate it higher if it was cheaper. Makes me think an interesting approach for future years would be to have the option to propose multiple variants of a given work. Say, something like a less than $500 version paired with a more than $500 option. A member could purchase either, similar to the model Arion uses?

dec 3, 2022, 8:42 pm

>153 jsavoy: Though I chose The Tale of Sinuhe as my first choice, I paid no attention to cost in my voting.

dec 4, 2022, 12:15 am

I think that grifgon was heading the right way in an earlier post about how the vote grouping might have shaken out. Looking back at the first round votes, we had a somewhat even split between what I would term traditional (or well-known) and eclectic (or obscure) choices (plus some Seneca, which could be bucketed either way). To wit:

A Canticle for Leibowitz*
Bashō - The Narrow Road to the Deep North
A Flower for Algernon
The Remains of the Day
On the Shortness of Life
The Tale of Sinuhe
The Name of the Rose
Letters From a Stoic
The Life of Merlin
The Voyage of Máel Dúin's Boat

Then three of the five traditional titles were dropped before the second round due to copyright issues, and one* of the two remaining was basically disqualified by costs. So folks who were inclined to vote traditional were left with one pick, while the eclectic voters were split over several. Not saying that voting occurred in such binary terms, but rather that there could have been a contributory trend regarding preferences.

* This one title was actually two proposals, but both were flagged as expensive, and one version was labeled by the board as practically undoable.

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