On Discounts, Sales and Advertisements

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With the upcoming release of the new volume on joinery of “The Woodworker: The Charles H. Hayward Years,” several customers have asked if we are going to offer a discount on the complete set of books after we publish the final volume in 2017.

The short answer: no. And the explanation: As a rule we don’t discount our books. In fact, the price of our books can only go up in the future. We price our books fairly from the get-go. We don’t jack up the retail price so we can fleece the early adopters (our best customers) and then discount the book later on to snag the cheapskates.

The reason the price can go up in the future is because the price of raw materials and shipping can go up in the future. So the price you see now in our store is the best price now – it will only go up.

So why don’t we accept advertising on our site, which could lower the cost of books for the customers? The truth is we are approached all the time by companies who want to place ads on our site (we have healthy traffic), and we always refuse. Simply put: We don’t believe in advertising. We find it annoying. We find it ethically compromising. And if we’re annoyed by it, why should we annoy our customers with it?

So sorry, no ads.

I apologize for using this bandwidth to explain something we have discussed before. But not every new reader goes back and studies the last nine years of content.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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30 Responses to On Discounts, Sales and Advertisements

  1. RustedTinMan says:

    Mr Schwarz & Company,
    Applause, applause,.. this is why I like your books and your site. Straight forward and no frills. I too was wondering, if a “complete set of books ” was going to be offered in the future, just to purchase as a matched set. (book matched?) — Keep us informed when this might be available. And do not rush your process, I think it works in many ways.

  2. ikustwood says:

    Bravo, bravo! I totally agree with the idea of not screwing the first ones. I saw that on another site: and I was not happy, mostly when in Pounds. Your books are extremely superbe. Keep the good work! Thank you.

  3. ikustwood says:

    I forgot : NO ADDS. These days everything is corrupted : let’s keep everything clean.

  4. Websites without ads load so fast!!! I will close sites with too many ads and take too long for pages to load.

  5. Salko Safic says:

    “cheapskates” You hit the nail on the head with that statement.

  6. Dan Zehner says:

    Well, this is one more reason to stock up on your books as soon as budget allows. You guys have always been a class act putting out quality products. Keep on being a force for awesome and decency!

    • ikustwood says:

      The quality of the books (paper, bindings, etc) is indeed awsome. The fact that it is MADE in USA is also extremely important. I am from Canada : we must encourage the trades around us , around our friends . Putting all our marbles in the damn basket of “high technology ” is a pure Wall Street fantasy.

  7. Chris, what are your thoughts on retail outlets charging more for your books than you do on your online store? I don’t want to throw any of the retailers you work with under the bus but I recently (accidentally) paid $20 over your price for a copy of “By Hand & Eye”.

    I was going to buy the book regardless, but would have came straight to the source had I realized the discrepancy at the time.

  8. jayedcoins says:

    I find people that complain about LAP prices to be missing the full picture.

    First of all, shipping is included in the charge. Shipping a hefty book like this, packed safely to weather the elements, even media mail, is going to cost at least a few bucks.

    Second of all, these books are top of the heap in terms of quality. The LAP books I own often spend time on my workbench, or on the table next to it. They have encountered shavings and sawdust and jojoba oil and wax. Oh, and maybe they have encountered one to several IPAs (look guys, it’s hop harvest season), I cannot confirm or deny it… They’ve also encountered a 1 year old and a 3 year old, as their most stringent test.

    Third of all, I am totally respectful of those that are on a smaller budget. We made the decision to become a single income family when we had our first kid so we’ve pinched more pennies, we don’t save as much as we’d like to and don’t do vacations like we’d like to. My point is that even if you’re a starving student, LAP offers this wonderful blog which has all kinds of amazing FREE information to get you started. Maybe this is too hippie for some folks, but I look at it like this — those of us that can afford a few extra bucks for the nice hardcovers are effectively subsidizing the amazing free content on this blog so that the people that can’t afford it yet can still pursue their education in the craft. That’s a wonderful thing! And of course, it’s not like the free content on the blog is 100% duplication from the books… we’re all still getting a lot of great tips here.

    Fourth, who has ever questioned the helpfulness of the LAP team? How many times have you posted a question about something and had Chris answer on the old forum or in the WP comments? I’m a little over a year or so into my journey of hand tool woodworking. LAP is a big reason I stuck with the interest. I’ve asked a lot of stupid questions on the old forum and such, and Chris, along with the commentators, answered a lot of them with an ostensible smile. 🙂

    Lastly, when you save a little scratch, you can always buy the PDF at a cheaper price than the hardcover. Nope, it isn’t as nice as the book in hand, but $20 for a PDF chock full of incredibly useful content is pretty great! And if you’re that starving college student, print out the sections you need to have right on the bench in the lab at school when nobody’s watching. 😉

  9. kaunfried says:

    I can’t find another store were I can find such quality at such a good price.

  10. I greatly appreciate the fair pricing on things from the get go. I also appreciate no advertising. I have a friend in a different field but he wrote articles for a magazine (actually for many decades he had a coveted last page article). He had many disparaging things to say about product reviews. In one instance, he had to give a bad product review (product now is fine but it wasn’t at the time and it had very serious ramifications). As you might imagine, the company also placed ads in the magazine and threatened to pull the advertising dollars. Ultimately the magazine back him up and ran the article as is. He also hated to write product review. He did write some other product reviews but it was mostly driven by things he had bought in his personal life with his personal money that he happened to really like. He wouldn’t take unsolicited products for review. I like how LAP is so focused on its mission. I’m sure LAP is thriving because of this. Stay pure.

  11. Tobin says:

    ironic, isn’t it, that the healthy, highly targeted traffic that makes you attractive to advertisers is at least partly due to the fact that you don’t take advertisers?

    I love the way you guys do business. We’re all better for it.

  12. Well said and thank you for reminding us of your business practices – I applaud! I generally purchase LAP publications through Lee Valley Tools in Canada, another company with business practices that I appreciate.

  13. drjohn1963 says:

    Adding to the “thanks for doing business the way you do business” list… Thanks.

  14. Clay Silsby says:

    Every book that I have purchased from LAP has exceeded my expectations in terms of quality in manufacture and content. I don’t regret spending on single cent. Thanks for printing fine materials to read and always being fair with your customers. Keep up the fine work.

  15. Stefan Rusek says:

    Hi Chris,

    I’m interested in your thoughts on the ethics in particular of non-woodworking ads on woodworking publications. It seems like the majority of ads in these publications are for machines and tools, which I agree has a bar lowering effect, but I run a small software company and I’m working to disentangle myself from clients who don’t actually make anything real, and part of my plan for 2017 is to try to advertise in woodworking magazines. The idea is that it would allow me to reach out to woodworking business and other like minded business owners and find ways to expand their business or help them out in other ways technologically.

    • Stefan,

      This is opinion, but I think advertising in magazines is generally a poor investment.

      As we are doing with Crucible (and did with LAP), we are spending our time and effort on reaching the customer directly or working with like-minded people on the Internet.

      I’m not saying advertising doesn’t work (if it stopped working it wouldn’t exist), but my head is better suited to alternate ways of getting the job done.

  16. Dumont69 says:

    I’ll add my bit:

    We have a close friend who is quite successful (he is now retired). He spent his life working hard (concrete, so it really is hard work). He also made several smart investments over the last 40 years. Ask him about investing etc and his answer has always been the same “nothing has paid off better than to invest in your own business, period”. So that’s pretty much what he always did and it paid him back in spades. Oh yeah, he always did the right thing too, even if it meant a loss. That pays off in more than spades.

    Treating people right and getting paid for actual production is the way to go. Damn the vaporware of this world.

  17. pommedownunder says:

    Love these sentiments I wish more companies acted in this way and value their product and there customers

  18. Maybe I’m not like other people (no, no, it’s possible…), but the second someone says, “… and thanks to XYZ for the awesome [tool] they sent me,” they lose all credibility with me, at least as far as any recommendation or product review goes.

    It just doesn’t seem like you can ever offer a legitimate unbiased review of something if the maker sent it to you for free so you could review (and keep) it.

    I can’t afford to pick up every book you make, Chris, but I get what I think I need and can afford and happily pay the marked price.

    Cheers,

  19. Just be proud – no need for sorry.

  20. Jeff Hanna says:

    I was wondering if anyone who owns the volumes could comment on whether they thought Hayward’s “Cabinet Making for Beginners” or other books by him are still worth getting (they can fetch a hefty price being out of print). Anyone know if all that information from his books are covered in the volumes by LAP? Could we possibly see these come back in print via LAP at some point?

    I also wondered if Hummel’s “With Hammer in Hand” would come back in print. Chris, that would seem like a really good research project if the people at Winterthur would allow you to work behind the glass of the Dominy Shop (and of course we would all be jealous).

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