Last Call for Subscribers

LAP-Roubo-PressmarkThe opportunity to be listed as a subscriber in the deluxe version of “With All the Precision Possible: Roubo on Furniture” ends at midnight tonight. After midnight, that door is closed.

During the last few weeks we’ve received some pushback about the price for the deluxe edition. It’s $550, which includes domestic shipping (international shipping is extra).

I know this seems a lot for a book on woodworking when birdhouse books can be had for $20. Here is our perspective on the price.

We wanted to offer the book, which represents thousands of hours of work during the last 10 years, in a variety of ways so everyone can benefit from it. You can buy a pdf of the book for $27.50. It has all of the information contained in the other editions of the book. The standard edition of the book is $57, which we think is a bargain for what you get. This standard edition is 472 pages, printed in the United States, the binding is sewn for long-term durability and the paper is bright and thick.

Finally, there is the deluxe edition. We are printing only 1,000 copies of this edition. It is offered in the original 11” x 17” size – same as the original Roubo books from 1774. This deluxe edition is printed to the absolute highest standards using the best materials we could find.

And yes, it’s $550.

For a book collector, that is a laughably low price. Vintage books (and high-end modern editions) that are $550 are at the low end of the spectrum. I gladly paid $2,000 for a vintage copy of Felebien (in French). And I routinely spend $500 to $1,000 for 19th-century books from England on carpentry and joinery for the Lost Art Press reference library.

What John and I sought to do with this book is give you a “period rush” – an inexpensive look at what high-end publishing is like. We both had that rush in 2013 when we received our copies of the first deluxe edition of “Roubo on Marquetry.”

When the truck dropped off the copies at John’s house in Fishers, Ind., we slashed open a box and each pulled out a copy. We each slid it out of the slipcase and then opened it. For the next 30 minutes we gaped at the copies in John’s garage. Honestly, unless you are a book collector, this book is unlike anything you’ve seen.

I know the above sounds like a hard sell. It’s not. We’ve sold only about 30 percent of the press run. So we’re going to have this book on hand for the next few years. If you can’t afford it now, maybe you can afford it after you sell that extra spleen you have hanging around.

But mostly, we’re just happy that we were able to offer this sort of book. Maybe it will take another year for us to break even on the project. That’s OK. But I know that everyone who buys this book will get more than they bargained for – from the authors, the publishers, the designer, the pre-production staff and the printers and binders on the front line.

This is as good as it gets.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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7 Responses to Last Call for Subscribers

  1. Assuming I live another 30 years, as actuaries think I will, it’s about a nickel a day. An easy choice without knowing anything about who will use it after I’m gone. With no kids to pass it down to, I’ll have to find somewhere to donate it.

  2. I think many people see LAP books as merely stacks of paper between covers, and judge the price according to that mistaken view. I try to buy all of the books you folks publish, at least in the standard editions, whether I plan to read them or not. I do that because I see it as an investment in the important research that you do. Without Lost Art Press, treasures from Roubo, Hayward, and others would be all but inaccessible to future woodworkers. Studley fans would still be staring at faded posters wondering if the tool chest even existed anymore. Who the heck is going to study the evolution of workbenches from ancient to modern times, if not you folks? I suppose my point is, we aren’t just trading cash for paper and ink. We’re investing in your ongoing research. I want to make sure I am doing my part to finance the next big project.

    • Thanks Stumpy. We try to harvest and harness information that should be saved for future generations, whether or not the squid apocalypse occurs.

    • hgordon4 says:

      Couldn’t agree more! That’s why I happily bought a standard version and the deluxe edition!
      The work LAP does is invaluable.

  3. Buy the standard edition or buy the fancy edition but if you read this blog and benefit from the wisdom contained therein – buy something. I could never afford all of the things this life has to offer but I like to know there is plenty of incredible knowledge available to me at my price range. I bought the ATC- read it cover to cover 3-4 times. Same with ADB. The PDF’s are more in line with my price points but I buy the book to feel the paper and support the work a few dollars at a time. I’d love to own a book like the deluxe…. maybe next year.

  4. johncashman73 says:

    550 bucks is a lot of money for a book. More than I thought I would ever pay. It’s a huge percentage of my income. An outrageous percentage. But no one held a gun to my head. Just the opposite — I didn’t hesitate. I’ll figure a way to pay for it. Heck, I already bought the standard edition, which just arrived today.

    Everyone who worked on these books has to be a little crazy. No, really — seriously nuts. DSM-5 certified. There are 9 year-olds sewing sneakers in Southeast Asia making a higher hourly wage than these jamokes. And god bless them for doing it. They have my lasting thanks, and a bit of my money. I’m the one who is way ahead on this deal.

    Some day, this will be recognized as a great era for woodworking. Fantastic tools from makers large and small, and wonderful books ranging from birdhouses and pukey ducks to the Deluxe Roubo editions. Just say thanks, buy the book if you can, and smile.

  5. Salko Safic says:

    My sincerest apologies goes out to you Chris, I simply had no idea what effort went into this book. I did expect high quality infact insane quality so I need not mention that part here.

    As for 9 yr old sewing sneakers in Asia they make more money than I do, that’s the price we pay for choosing to work the way we do.

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