Our Non Traditional Christmas Songs

 

After  doing a quick survey, here are the nontraditional holiday songs making the rounds at War Goat Press this year. So, in no particular order…

Dropkick Murphys “The Season’s Upon Us”

 

The Pogues “Fairytale of New York”

 

James Brown “Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto”

 

Twisted Sister “Oh Come All Ye Faithful”

 

The Selecter “Skank Til Christmas”

 

And here is last year’s list.

 

 

 

 

 

An Apple a Day Keeps the Bibliophiles Away

Apple thinks people will pay $300.00 for book filled with pictures of its products. Sadly. They are probably right.

Given that some people drop hundreds of dollars on an iPhone each time a new version is released, there are likely apple fans who will spend $300.00 on what amounts to a 300 page picture book which features pictures of  Apple products from the past 20 years or so. Oh, but wait. The book is printed on some kind of  gloriously glossy, silver-edged, super premium German paper. The book is sold in two sizes, 10×13 ($199.00) and 13×16 ($299.00), both bound in luxurious white linen.

Yep, linen, that stuff which is a bit more sturdy than cheesecloth but not quite as comfortable as old jeans. Hell, if you are going to make something larger than the Pope’s bible, at least bind it in gold, or even Corinthian leather.

pope-francis
Cover design NOT by Apple

 

Some of you older folks probably heard Ricardo Montalban’s voice when reading “Corinthian leather.” And now some of you probably just imagined William Shatner shouting, “Khaaaaaaan!”

richcorinthianleather

 

Will anyone at War Goat Press spend $300.00 for a book not even bound in material as nice as a crappy Time-Life book series from the 70’s? Nope. Especially if it is not going to teach us things like John Wesley Hardin once shot a man just for snoring. As an aside, Amazon has the complete 26 volume set of Time-Life’s Old West for just over one hundred dollars.

Three hundred dollars for a book got us thinking about how much it would cost us to produce such a book and how much profit there is. So…

Let’s go to the numbers!

For this little numbers experiment we were lazy and used only one popular offset printer, PrintNinja, for pricing. PrintNinja does not offer custom hardcover materials, but we are lucky to have a reasonably-priced book binder in our area that will recover a book in a variety of materials, including genuine leather.

The basics:
~Pages: 300
~Paper: Glossy (105#)
~Size:    13×16
~Binding: Hard Bound
~Offset order: 1000 copies

   $37.32   Per book for 1000
+ $50.00   Per book to rebind all 1000 in linen
$87.32   Total per book

Yay, Profit!

Hmm, roughly $87 cost for a book with a list price of $300. Yeah, we could handle $213 in profit per book. We’d only have to sell 175 of 1000 to break even. Of course, we are not Apple and would be laughed at for expecting people to pay $300 for a book.

Yes, there are cases to be made that the book is a work of art and blah, blah, whatever. It is still a 300.00 picture book no matter how heavy the paper is or how thick the backing boards are. But, like iPhones, there will be people who purchase it for no reason other than it is an Apple product. There is nothing wrong with that. We sometimes purchase things and support crowd funding projects just because goats are involved.

Life: Just an Excuse to be Lazy

We are such freaking slackers! So slack that enough Viagra to  give a rhino a terminal case of priapism would not even stiffen our resolve.

Why are we slack? We are blaming that thing called real life. No, not the MTV reality show about a bunch of 20 somethings living in a house together. Oh, wait, that was called The Real World.  You know what, same thing.  Real life in the real world has a bad habit of diverting people from what they want to do. Because we blame real life for putting us behind schedule with just about all of our planned projects, we decided to MadLib a few generic real life excuses and see what happened.

 

MadLib Time!

Let’s MadLib some real world excuses and see what happens. Just fill in the blanks with what is indicated.

Madlib
A few examples:

  • I would  learn a second language  if  my day job   did not take up so much time.
  • I would  finish the next round of copy editing   if   taking the dog to the vet  did not take up so much time.
  • I would  sleep peacefully  if  trying to avoid ethnic cleansing  did not take up so much time.

 

Yeah. It turns out that real life is a mostly a convenient first world excuse for not doing something. Humans need air, water and food to live. Since no one at War Goat Press is suffocating, dehydrating, or starving, placing the blame on real life for falling behind on our projects is a half-ass excuse.

And we are not half asses. We are whole asses. You’d probably not find near as many whole asses in one place as in the goat pen.

Realizing that we cannot use real life as an excuse, we suppose it is time to get back to work. Right after we finish watching a few YouTube videos.

Checking In

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Been a bit hectic at War Goat Press. That thing most people call Real Life keeps intruding, but we have managed to make progress on a few projects. We are concentrating on our version of  Metropolis by Thea von Harbou and have secured an artist to produce some promotional posters for the finished work. As for the cover art, we are reviewing the work of several artists and should have a decision on who will be producing the artwork for the cover. We are also considering illustrations to accompany each of the chapters but as of right now our art budget is getting a bit tight.  Editing is pretty much done. However, we are not 100% satisfied since we are still finding minor issues. We have finished our third in house editing pass of  the work and are preparing the manuscript for third party editing. We may be a tiny indie publisher, but we want what we produce to look and read as professional as possible.

Go Away, Real World

The real world has a bad habit of getting in the way of, and ruining, well, just about  everything fun.

It is no secret that when starting out, most tiny-ass publishers are funded primarily by the day jobs of those starting the tiny-ass publishing company, and it tends to remain that way for the life of the company. True, some blogs, webzines, comics, or whatever else people like reading, get popular and can sustain themselves. But once they get large enough to sustain themselves without the infusion of day job money, do they become too cumbersome and no longer fun?

Recently, a popular site, SF Signal, announced they had decided to shut down after nearly 13 years. Why? Not because of money, but because, “As the blog has grown, so has its demands for our attention. That is time we would rather spend with our families.”

So, it would seem on the surface that SF Signal became too cumbersome for the folks running it. Unfortunate, since the site has won several Hugo Awards.

Any type of publishing takes time and effort. The larger the reach of the blog, webzine, comic, or whatever, the more time gets put in to it to keep content fresh and to keep people interested. Hell, we put minimal effort into this blog and there is minimal interest. It is not because we do not enjoy it, but because the dreaded day job required to help keep things moving takes up so much time. Plus, there are things like growing the social media presence (cheap advertising) and actually producing books that takes up time.

We are a tiny-ass company still in the kiddie pool, and we are having fun splashing around. Maybe one day we will get to play in the big pool. When we do, we sure hope it is as fun as the kiddie pool.

Editing the Classics

 

Is it better to edit the classics for modern readers, or leave them as they are?

To edit or not to edit, that is the question. That seems to always be the first question when considering publishing a classic work, especially one that has entered into public domain. In truth, there will always be some sort of editing that has to take place. The real question is how much, and what manner editing.

Continue reading “Editing the Classics”