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Re: [BKARTS] Filthy lucre, literary bookworks

For those who have not been following the thread, I am researching how
collectors decide what a bookwark is worth, and if there is a market for
projects that rely principally on very orthodox literary text,
illustrations, layout and typography.

JULES SIEGEL Apdo. 1764, 77501 Cancun Q. Roo Mexico


We had some contact a while back regarding Open Type. Was your article ever

Regarding your current inquiry: Essentially, the book collector does not set
the price. It is the printer/publisher who does this based on what the market
will bear. That market price in turn is determined by what "collectors" are
willing to spend.

Yes, there is a definite and consistent market for very orthodox (and the very
un-orthodox) literary text, illustrations, layout and typography. The very
existence of the internationally-based Fine Press Book Association (fpba.net)
will bear that out.

I think though that you will find that name recognition is the key to sales:
printer/publisher/writer/illustrator/etc rather than the quality of production
values themselves; though "the idea" of quality production values is
important, and is used as the platform to generate sales. In other words, with
the correct combination of name recognition a particular book will outsell and
be more highly prized than another book with very high production values but
missing name factor. I don’t particularly like or cator to this myself, and
have had my difficulties with it, but it is the unfortunate way of the world.

To a large extent, collectors are quite conservative and will not invest in
the unknown. Experimental, traditional, avant-garde, classical, whatever, none
of this matters as long as the name factor (and that kind of well-paved
acceptance niche as to what “orthodox” or as likely, “unorthodox,” have proved
to be) provides a certain security of purchase to the collector.

Gerald Lange
The Bieler Press
Marina del Rey, California

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