Jul 5, 2016

Making The Old New Again. And Doing it the Right Way.

Over the years, I’ve bought a lot of books on Ebay. Primarily, these are books on art, history and architecture, and many are old, out-of-print editions. Some are relatively rare and hard to find.
Yuck! #1

Occasionally, due to high cost or rarity, I’m unable to obtain a particular book; a good example of this might be Old Cottages, Farm Houses and other Half Timbered Buildings in Shropshire, Herfordshire and Cheshire, by E.A. Ould, originally published by Batsford in 1904. Original editions are almost impossible to find. A digital copy is available via Google Books as well.
 Which brings me to the third option, a new, POD copy available from one of many “public domain” specialist printers. This also brings me to the point of this post.

I have only come across a few physical copies of these types of books, and each one has been severely wanting in terms of quality and design. A post on The Long Gallery, regarding the example of Alan Jackson's The Half-Timber House: Its Origin, Design, Modern Plan, and Construction sets this matter out clearly; the new version was produced from a very poor copy of the original, to the extent that the illustrations were almost useless as a complement to the text. Thankfully, I have been able to obtain an original edition of the book, and the quality problems are plain to see.
Uggh! #2

I suspect this issue is quite common among the majority of “public domain” publishers who apparently do a quick “rip-and-scan” of an old book (or a print/digital copy of an old book) and then make it available to buyers at a vastly inflated (and often outrageous) price. Often, these types of books include poorly-reproduced illustrations, sloppy or illegible text, crooked page scans and photographs obscured with a distracting moirĂ© pattern. Many of these examples are simply shameful, and could be immediately dispatched to the garbage can.

Sadly, for buyers in search of a particular book, there may be no other option. Until now.

Suffice to say that why I do make use of digital books, I generally prefer printed books—especially since I like to add them to my library shelves. As a result, we have taken on a new effort, which is to uncover older works that are deserving of good treatment and re-publish them in all-new editions, with a serious approach to quality and design.

When I say all-new editions, I mean that the text has been run through OCR and proofed, the book has been laid out with an all-new design (deemed to be complementary to the original) and that the images have been carefully re-scanned and photo-retouched in order to make the quality as good as possible. This also includes an attractive, new cover. The result is almost a new book, and one which represents some significant time and effort to produce. And yet—I feel we can sell such a book at a price which is still lower than the noxious “rip and scan” versions one finds today.
 Really? #3

In doing this, we seek to create an edition that we would be proud to have on our own library shelf, with a quality design that actually relates to the book’s material. If you’ve seen these modern re-prints on Ebay or on Amazon with their generic cover designs (often featuring images that bear no relation to the subject matter) you know exactly what I mean.(see the illustrated cover examples)

In some cases, we may also include supplementary material or commentary that provides modern insight, or which puts the historical material in clearer context. Likewise, illustrations that provide visual explanation may be added where appropriate, or where it may complement a book full of pure text.

Our initial efforts along these lines have included some smaller works; two books in a series on brewing beer, and an arts series that so far includes two brief works by William Morris. In addition, our edition of Stories of Ohio, by well-known American author William Dean Howells is another example of how we are interpreting these classic works for new generations. You can see these in our current lineup.

As we move forward in this particular effort, we are determined to build a significant niche featuring overlooked architectural titles. We are nearing completion soon on a work involving house building utilizing traditional earth-built methods, which we believe will have significant interest for those adherents of sustainable construction techniques.

Stay tuned.

Dec 31, 2015

We Publish Games, Too: Mind Your Manors, a Collectible Country House Card Game

We have just published this collectible card game for The Long Gallery, featuring a custom 54-card deck including 52 full-color cards depicting some of England's most distinctive houses and manors.

Printed by The Gamecrafter, a US company that specializes in custom, print-on-demand games, the cards are high-quality, printed to the same specifications as most playing cards or popular gaming decks you would find in any hobby or retail store.

As for the game itself, it is a simple, turn-based game, where the object is to be the first to collect one or more suits of a particular color; the play is somewhat similar to old games like In Castle Land or Happy Family – and you may wish to develop your own rules.

Aug 19, 2015

Novel News: Updated Print Edition of The Steadfast Available

We've been planning to update the print version of The Steadfast ever since we created a new front cover for the ebook version a couple of years ago. Using that as a cue, we re-formatted the new cover (added spine and back cover) and updated the front material, including a new ISBN number for the 2015 edition. We selected a matte finish for this edition, which we think turned out pretty well in the two sample proof copies we ordered. The book is available now on Createspace and will be available in a few days on Amazon. Just $15.95.

ISBN-10: 1515260488
ISBN-13: 978-1515260486

List Price: $15.95
7" x 10" (17.78 x 25.4 cm)
Black & White on White paper
390 pages


Jul 1, 2015

Two New Classic Books on Beer & Ale Brewing

With the explosion of interest in the brewing, marketing and consumption of Craft Beer over the last decade or more, there has also been an increased interest in brewing history. Small scale brewers have delved deeply into the past, reviving the age-old traditions of farm house brewing, small-batch experimentation and a more organic approach to beer and ale creation.

As a result, in cooperation with the International Beer News website, we have just produced two new books to kick off their History of Brewing Series.

Aug 29, 2014

New William Morris Titles for Design & Art

With two titles completed and a possible third on the way, the TLG Design Library has gotten off to a good start with a couple of William Morris books that are perfect for a quick reference or even for use as a study guide for a learning course. Hopes and Fears for Art and The Art and Craft of Printing are available now through Amazon.com and CreateSpace at very reasonable pricing.

Of course, there are other examples of these public-domain books available, but as publisher we take special pride in the care devoted to the design of these two books, which we believe reflect the design principles of its subject, William Morris. From the cover art to the interior layout, we have taken special care to produce works that are appropriate to the subject.

Jul 2, 2014

First Title in New Western Reserve History Library

As part of the planned Western Reserve History Library, Stories of Ohio is a brand new, completely re-designed edition of William Dean Howell's classic work, first published in 1897. It provides a lively and accessible view of Ohio history, from the pre-historic Mound Builders through the end of the 19th Century.

This is the first of a series of historical books to be renewed and preserved for today's readers...newly re-typeset, with enhanced illustrations and improved layout that are a great example of the bookmaker's art.

Jan 3, 2014

The Steadfast - Now available as an Ebook

In addition to the print version available through Amazon/CreatSpace, we have also produced an ebook version of The Steadfast, which is set up in PDF format.

The novel surrounds the adventures of a talented English country house architect, who must use all his wits and talent to wind his way through a dangerous maze of murderous anarchists, spies and arms merchants at the end of the 19th century.

Due to the design of the book and the graphic illustrations which appear throughout the novel, the PDF format was selected as the best way to showcase the work. The ebook is currently available via download from Lulu.