So.... anything?

DiscussãoCentipede Press

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So.... anything?

1astropi
Out 10, 2020, 8:08 pm

Anyone?
It's been quiet. I will say that pretty much any book I've recently been interested in seems to sell out before I can even say "oh, I want one"... I wonder if CP has just become "too popular" and many people are purchasing to sell later? Or perhaps Jerad is not printing enough copies. I'm thinking in particular of the Ramsey Campbell Weird Tales collection which as soon as I found out, was sold out. By the way, if anyone has a copy for sale/trade please let me know!

2icanmix
Out 10, 2020, 8:23 pm

I have recently stumbled across the Centipede Press site & was interested in picking up some of the earlier books, now obviously out of print - The Drive-In & Conjure Wife in particular. Can anyone help in recommending if there is a retailer that specialises in having a large selection of secondhand CP books for sale, or have these titles for sale themselves? Please do let me know!

3astropi
Out 10, 2020, 9:45 pm

>2 icanmix: "if there is a retailer that specialises in having a large selection of secondhand CP books for sale"
Nope, just have to keep looking.

4treereader
Out 11, 2020, 12:23 pm

I’m usually quite content to settle for any better-then-trade version of a book that I can find, so EP, FS, LEC, FL, CP and the like all suffice. Centipede has made it difficult for me to buy from them lately. First, I already have nice copies of all of their recent high interest releases (Dune, Haunting of Hill House, etc...). Second, their pricing is venturing into the range of unaffordability that Arion Press commands. I can afford to buy $600+ books but I’m just not getting $600+ of enjoyment out of them, especially when I compare them to other things I can spend that money on. When Centipede offers interesting titles that I don’t have, especially when they’re titles the other publishers are unlikely to release, and they price them at non-super-premium prices, I do buy from them.

With that being said, I commend Jerad and company for finding a sweet spot of niche marketing, where pricing, volumes, customer interest, etc. are apparently in good sync. When all of your crazy priced titles sell out in hours or days, you’re doing something right. When your regular priced higher-volume titles are still rare finds priced more than your own release price, you’re doing something right. Perhaps Jerad does need to print more copies of things, but that would take away from the romance of scarcity his books currently enjoy.

5astropi
Out 11, 2020, 5:17 pm

>4 treereader: "Perhaps Jerad does need to print more copies of things, but that would take away from the romance of scarcity his books currently enjoy."

You know, I think that's a fake romance. Most publishers want to sell as many copies as they can. With such a niche market, if Jerad makes 1000 copies of a book, that book is likely to stay in his inventory for a long time so he loses money and can't afford that. If he makes 10 copies, they sell out instantly and he could have made much more money by selling more copies, so he has to find the right amount to maximize profits. It's also possible he may not have the rights to make 2x copies, so he can only make x. I think most publishers want to sell as many as they can, except for perhaps Suntup which in my opinion seems to enjoy in purposely making scarcity short and seeing all the commotion over their books - and for the record, CP > Suntup, again in my opinion :)

6treereader
Out 11, 2020, 8:09 pm

>5 astropi:

I don’t doubt for a minute that Jerad would sell more copies of every title he makes if he could. The limitations he faces are probably varied and inconsistent. For instance, he’s talked about enlisting his kids in packing books for shipment before, so staffing probably doesn’t scale well with volume targets. The romance of scarcity that I’m observing is that, nearly everything Centipede produces eventually sells out and commands a greater price than release in the secondary market; I don’t think Jerad could make that happen intentionally if he tried.

7kdweber
Out 11, 2020, 9:17 pm

>5 astropi: "except for perhaps Suntup which in my opinion seems to enjoy in purposely making scarcity short"

Suntup has said that they're planning on increasing the numbered limitation from 250 to 350.

8Levin40
Editado: Out 12, 2020, 3:45 am

>4 treereader: Second, their pricing is venturing into the range of unaffordability that Arion Press commands.

Not sure that's entirely fair. They seem quite fairly consistent with their closest competitors (e.g. Suntup and Folio) to me. Yes, CP's priciest items are in the $500-$600 range, but most of their titles sell for far less and there are some great bargins to be had. For instance, I thought their lovely edition of The Woman in Black from a few years ago, selling for only $95, was incredible value. I've been buying from CP for several years and in my opinion Jerad tries to price things fairly and doesn't milk customers as much as he could.

cf Suntup, for which $600 now seems to normal price of a numbered edition, plus they're making extra from their lettered and artist gift editions.

cf Folio: Dune LE sold for $695 for a minor revamp of their standard edition and a limitation of 500. Not sure what the CP's limitation will be for Dune, but generally Jerad has to cover his expenses with 300 or fewer. A few weeks ago he stated that Dune would be in the $450-$500 range for a product now revealed to be far more ambitious than the FS version. Wonder whether he'll rethink that having watched FS Dune fly off the shelves for much more. I hope not!

9SolerSystem
Out 12, 2020, 5:22 am

Centipede's higher priced books tend to be the more popular titles in their respective genres- Dune, Something Wicked this Way Comes, The Haunting of Hill House, etc. These books are given an even more lavish treatment befitting their place in the horror/fantasy/sf canon, and their prices reflect that. On the other hand, books that lack that sort of notoriety are much lower priced- the Falling Angel boxed set over the summer, the Peter Watts books, even the Masters of the Weird Tale series. In yesterdays newsletter Jerad mentioned 2 new John Blackburn books next weekend- I'm not sure the price, but his previous Blackburn books have been $45 each.

10treereader
Out 12, 2020, 7:47 am

>8 Levin40:

Yes, I was only referring to those more expensive titles as being Arion-like in unaffordability. And really, anyone’s $600 book will be an unlikely purchase for me - I enjoy reading but that cost starts getting in the way of that enjoyment.

11jeremyjm
Out 12, 2020, 5:55 pm

I think current events have helped drive up interest in books, as well as dollars for buying them. I’m spending a lot more on books at the moment - largely funded by the dollars freed up by not eating out, attending events or going on vacation. I don’t think this market will last forever though.

On an unrelated note - someone snagged a F&G of the Millipede Frankenstein off eBay today - sadly it wasn’t me, despite trying.

Some of the upcoming titles I’m really excited about - ‘At the Mountains of Madness’ (including some Brom art apparently!) and Then Club Dumas’ in particular.

12Levin40
Out 13, 2020, 8:17 am

>10 treereader: True, my point was just that CP are no more 'Arion-like' than anyone else, and their top tier products are the exception rather than the rule. Whether to spend that much on a book, from anyone, is another question. Most of the world would think it's crazy, true, but then I would think it's crazy to eat out at Michelin restaurants, stay in 5-star resorts, spend thousands on clothes etc etc. And besides, spending money on these books is hardly throwing it down the drain, providing one looks after them and keeps the kids away :-)

>11 jeremyjm: ‘At the Mountains of Madness’ (including some Brom art apparently!) and Then Club Dumas’ in particular.
Absolutely! And The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, probably my favourite Murakami. I'm guessing they're all years away though.

13bookcrazygirl
Nov 7, 2020, 11:38 pm

Sent you a PM.

14HowardEriksonWolfe
Nov 9, 2020, 8:23 am

Anyone have thoughts to share on some of the recent releases? I was super excited for Nifft the Lean and to have some Brom artwork for Elric 5. Thought MotWT Ramsey Campbell was gorgeous. Sounds like we will see Something Wicked any week now.

15booksforreading
Nov 9, 2020, 11:16 am

>14 HowardEriksonWolfe:
I think that Campbell edition is beautiful - quite impressive! Elric 5 is also nice; I like the illustrations, and I can't wait for Something Wicked to arrive! It looks like a very special edition of this work.
Actually, this year it seems to me that I am very excited about almost every book that Centipede Press produces - this seems to be a great year for the press.

16HowardEriksonWolfe
Nov 9, 2020, 5:43 pm

Agreed. I’ve been very happy with everything this year. Not to suggest that it’s much different any other year.

17astropi
Nov 9, 2020, 6:58 pm

>15 booksforreading: that's sadly one I missed, although I have and had quite a few (nearly all) of the Master's of Weird Tale at one time.
I will say that I know Lovecraft and Poe today go for big bucks, but I will say, the quality is NOT as good as the current editions. Same with Kuttner - Kuttner's works are wonderful, but that particular edition had problems - so in my opinion there are better CP editions to spend your money on, unless you're aiming for a complete Master's set. Also, it's easy to find high-quality Lovecraft and Poe volumes. However, many of the other editions such as Jacobi, are just amazing and you really can't find a collection of his work anywhere else! My personal favorite... don't know, but probably the Wagner or Machen. Everything about those two is just spot-on!

18jeremyjm
Dez 24, 2020, 3:42 pm

>14 HowardEriksonWolfe: I picked up a copy of Nifft on a lark, not being a particular fan of swords & sorcery fantasy. Almost through it and have been enjoying it quite a bit, been a fun escape. The illustrations with occasional bleed are definitely evocative. Based on the number '1' on the spine, I wonder if Centipede is going to do 'The Mines of Behemoth' and 'The A'rak' in the future?

19HowardEriksonWolfe
Dez 25, 2020, 10:12 pm

I believe I’ve seen Jerad mention in the past that there will be more volumes for Nifft in the future, which is awesome!

20snail
Dez 30, 2020, 1:33 am

>18 jeremyjm: Likewise. I didn't think Nifft would be my sort of thing but kept reading things about the stories and finally bought the unsigned edition and loved it. I may need to seek out a signed edition afterall.

21abysswalker
Dez 30, 2020, 12:07 pm

>20 snail: Nifft is more or less a love letter to Cugel/Vance, so if you enjoyed those stories you will probably enjoy Nifft as well.

22SolerSystem
Dez 30, 2020, 2:25 pm

>21 abysswalker: which is another series Jerad plans on doing. Can't wait for that one!

23snail
Jan 7, 2021, 8:14 am

>21 abysswalker: Ta, not read Vance though he is on my list to read at least in part due to his connection to Terry Dowling.

24bookstopshere
Jan 7, 2021, 12:37 pm

>23 snail: ach! Remedy that oversight ASAP - Vance is well worth reading

25abysswalker
Jan 7, 2021, 1:47 pm

>23 snail: in addition to being one of the great imaginative writers of the 20th century, Vance is also a marvelous prose stylist in his top work.

I especially recommend Eyes of the Overworld and Morreion, of the dying earth stories. The pre-Arthurian Lyonesse trilogy is also good for something that feels more like medieval genre fantasy (though Lyonesse is still rather weird if you think about it).

26snail
Jan 8, 2021, 4:39 pm

>25 abysswalker: Thanks, dying earth was where I was thinking of starting.