Spectral chapbooks: the options

A week ago, I ruminated on the dilemma I face as a result of the chapbooks that Spectral publishes taking off in a way I hadn’t expected ( which is a good thing!). The problem I face is simply stated: given that I sell out of each chapbook fairly quickly, should I up the print run or should I keep it as it is? I asked for feedback from readers and other interested parties, and I did indeed get quite a bit, all of which was useful. My thanks to all those who took the time to do so.

My options are these:

1) To keep the numbers limited to 100 – as was pointed out, there is something quite nice about that number and, certainly from my point of view, it’s a comfortable number of copies for me to sell. Plus, I have to consider the authors themselves – slaving away over a hot pen signing all 100 signature sheets!! This was a popular option when it came to feedback.

2) Increasing the print run slightly, to something like 125. Which means more money coming in, for future projects perhaps, but concomitantly lessens the ‘exclusivity’ factor of the chapbooks themselves. Somehow I’m not all that keen on pursuing this one.

3) Keep the physical signed and numbered copies to 100, but release an e-book version roughly a month later, with perhaps an added extra to make it worthwhile (or perhaps, the added extra printed in the physical copy instead, as that is, in essence, premium content). This is the option I particularly favour, as it allows people to ‘collect’ the chapbooks if they wish to do so whilst ensuring that others, who just want to read the story for instance, can also do that. Of course, this means that it won’t be signed or numbered, ie be unlimited. The e-book version might have some other distinguishing characteristic to mark it out with. Of course, I would have to discuss it with the authors in question as to whether they would be willing to go down this route.

4) A variant of #3 would be to go the audiobook route – release the physical chapbook and then follow it at some point with an audio version, perhaps read by the author him/herself. The one factor that could mitigate against this option is simply cost – recording audiobooks is expensive and Spectral doesn’t possess those kind of resources just yet. However, having said that, it’s something I would definitely like to keep in mind as a future possibility.

So those are the current ideas floating about – as with last week, I would very much appreciate any feedback as to what readers and others think of them, and whether there are still other options I haven’t considered. You can either leave a comment here, or on Facebook, or send directly to me at spectralpress[AT]gmail[DOT]com. Whichever way you choose to communicate, I would be very pleased to hear from you!!

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