22 July, 2007

Urgent Help Needed - Book Pricing

Rip from my book

The book is about ready to go, although the customer service at MyPublisher is telling me to wait while they figure out why I had a mis-print on the spine of the "proof". I'm going to push it forward anyway, since there have been so many changes to the book, it will "send" as a new book with a new file name, anyway.

I need your help,. dear readers, on pricing. Maybe a few of you will wind up buying a copy, too. Here's your chance to "open source" solve the pricing issues I have.

The "wholesale" to me is going to be significant, even with the standard discounts that MyPub offers, and with grouped shipping. I had originally had a retail in mind of @ $49 for the 8.75" x 11.25" linen hardcover. The catch comes when I realize that it will be competing in the broader book market, but it only has 29 pages. It features 35 images, 32 of which are in color, and essays about my art process. Prints of my Colorist American Landscapes are offered nowhere else. And, at that price, I will be earning in the single digits. Call it cheap advertising!

I looked up Wolf Kahn (my sage) on Amazon, and his (much longer) hard bounds are retailed at @ $45, but of course they are older now and get discounts to about $30. My venue, though, will be the art fair and not the bookstore or Amazon. I think I'm going to be OK with the mid forties price, especially with the perceived demand that comes with standing in front of the artist in his booth and in the presence of an installation of originals. The package has "whollop", to coin a phrase.

In the fully steamed department, I see Amazon sellers trying to unload their Wolf Kahn opening catalogs for greater than $100! Don't get me wrong, it's a free market, and it is perfectly legal. But please! Those are ( I know in a commercial setting) given free as a token for attending the gallery during his shows. Is no one polite, anymore? Well, I'll get off of my soap box, now, especially since my English is deteriorating...

Your opinions on my price? Could it be a little more? Or, is $45 too much and they will just languish, in your opinion?

BTW, the text in the rip above is new for the book, and I share it here:

"The fact that one usually begins with drawing is already academic. We start with color," Mark Rothko.

The great Abstract Expressionist, Mark Rothko, has taught us a great deal about color. Don't begin with a subject at all, but rather a color composition. He found it imperative to kill the subject completely, but my approach is to devalue it by repetition.

I have been influenced by the idea that, instead of using a three hue palette such as red, blue and yellow, an artist may arbitrarily choose to function using a two color base. Say, red and blue.

Here's an analogy to help you understand my two-color theory. When I was heavily into mountain climbing, we approached ski-waxing theory by simple numbers. There was the three wax system: Red, Blue and Violet, perhaps - each color was for a different snow temperature. Some wanted five waxes for the ever-changing Cascade Mountain's temperature conditions. I wound up devolving to a two-wax system: Red and Blue Extra. Similarly, the artist may wish to see two halves of the color wheel, and think of the blue side of yellow and the red side of yellow. This is as opposed to seeing three "rote" and separate hues, and instead viewing something like a continuum. The advantages may be that the artist will focus more on the split of each hue, and get a better use of every color (even yellow!).

By the same token, consider a two color system where we have a red-influenced blue and a red-starved blue.

In my current series of blue-centric works, I am discovering the freedom of the one-color composition! How much can I learn about the enduring color blue? What is the importance of line to the one-color work? The same question may be asked of form. The pastel: "Blue Wandering" is in many ways a break through for me. I have added more cobalts, and found new avenues to drive abstract shapes down. The "exploding" violet trunk would never have worked in a multi-colored palette.

Am I traveling two roads at once-a monochromatic one and a limited color-theory one? Perhaps that's what artistic license was invented for.


Anonymous said...

Hmm...I would think $45 is a bit much but I myself have alot of financial things going on so purhaps others could help you more then I. A HUGE book that I have on VAN GOGH is $75 but a smaller book on Modern Art is $14.95 The Van Gogh one is about VAN GOGH. Not saying that your work isn't wonderful. It takes time for that though. I think? Please let me know what price you do settle on. If it is not tooo expensive I may be able to pay for one. We shall see... :) *HUGS*

Casey Klahn said...

BTW, I will be also publishing a paperbound of the same book. It will be much closer to the $20, or hopefully under that.
It will be 5.75" x 7.75", if I remember right. I'll need to make sure the images aren't dwarfed in there, so I need to pay strict attention when I format it.
Hey, I'm working on the van Gogh part, but the ears will have to stay...

Anonymous said...

LOLOLOLOLOL! Casey... I think that your brilliant beyond words! My oppinion isn't the only one that matters though.If it did matter that much, you'd be a star by now. That's for sure! I want you to know that.I think you that it is wise of you to keep your ear. :)

Gesa said...

Hi again! Been thinking about this one... Art books in the UK easily cost more than (and often a lot more than) £30, esp. if nicely done - If it's for a direct sale appraoch, $45 or even a bit more, may actually work fine: as a collection of good quality prints of an artist you like. I would find that more appealing that just a series of prints (e.g. of Imagekind, if they were available). Part of the question is also the print run, e.g. whether you'll have too high costs up front in case much of the run doesn't sell?

Casey Klahn said...

Thanks, Gesa. I did run 10 for starters and may find them at home tonight.
My art fairs are plenty well trafficed to make the sales, but I have to make sure the market price sounds fair. The one proof copy is a knock-out.

Abstract Expressionism, Art Criticism, Artists, Colorist Art, Drawing, History, Impressionism, Modern Art, Painting, Pastel, Post Impressionism