Nicholas “The Chieftain” Moran has posted on his facebook account that his employer WarGaming is planning a World of Tanks reprint edition of the book “Firepower” by R. P. Hunnicutt. This book is long out of print and typically commands several hundred dollars for used copies in good condition. Here is the post:
OK, so we’re suffering from a bit of a dilemma. We’re hoping to release a WoT Edition of a book. Improved on the original a bit, we’ve sent them recent scans of photos from the archives, foreword and some addenda by myself, and so on.
The idea is that we do a single print run, and pass on the economy of scale to you guys. So, the more that are sold, the cheaper it is for everyone. (We also don’t care much about the book profit, so that’s a cost reduction too. The bottom line is that it’ll never be cheaper). Fine in theory. The catch: Usually these low-volume books are made ‘print-on-demand’, which may be a slightly lesser quality, is certainly more expensive in volume, but is decidedly faster.To do this right, highest quality printing, lowest cost, etc, has a long turnaround time from the printer. In theory, if we went by “Announce on Day 1. Close orders Day 30. Tally number of orders. Print that many”, it could take up to three months between when someone clicks “Checkout, take my credit card info” to when the book is shipped. I don’t understand the technology/process, that’s just what the publisher has told me. In effect, it’s a pre-order. For ease, we may go with a fixed price, and then add gold codes of a value to make up the difference.
The alternative is that we take a wild guess as to how many might be sold, order that many in advance, and hope not too many people get disappointed (and that we didn’t wildly over-estimate). Those X many people will get their books pretty much immediately. We have absolutely no idea how big a number “X” should be, we don’t really have a basis for comparison.
So, on the basis that we want to get the most people to benefit for the least cost, the question becomes “Just how patient are you guys? Are you willing to wait several months for this?” My personal opinion is that anyone who’s willing to pay dollars for this particular book is also willing to wait, but you never know, especially when our customers are used to clicking ‘purchase’ and having their goods deposited in their account within a few minutes.
Photo is prototype. Expect the final product to look a little different (Author’s name on spine, etc)