Most of chess publishing is long hard work for very little money. A few thousand copies is what a chess book sells and there are many who want a slice of the cake. Retailers need to make a living, so there goes half the money. Outside the chess specialists, there is a requirement for middlemen, who take a third of what is left. Then there are transport, storage, printing, handling, editing, graphics, internet, rent, equipment, employees and not least, authors!
It is not a surprise that it took more than half a decade for us to make a small profit…
If you feel any sympathy for us at all, buy your Quality Chess books through a chess specialist shop. They not only provide you with the service of going to tournaments as well as having a store, they are also the backbone of our industry. Without them, there would be no chess books at all…
One thing we are doing in order to support the chess specialists is to publish hardback versions of our books and only sell them through the specialist network. These high quality books cost approximately €5 more than their inferior paperback cousins. They stay open when you put them on the table and provide a much nicer experience all-round.
The most recent example of this is Boris Gelfand’s Positional Decision Making in Chess, which at this moment in time is only available on Forward Chess and in high quality hardback. Usually this should reduce sales a bit; as many will be waiting for the cheaper version of the book (coming out early 2016 most likely), but it seems not in this case.
We are looking at a reprint within a week or so, which is an excellent change for me to ask if you have noticed any mistakes we should correct for the next version? We have found about 8 very minor things, but as no book is ever perfect (or close to it), I am sure there are more. We will be very interested in hearing your thoughts.
Meanwhile, Boris is doing a good job of promoting the book: http://www.uschess.org/content/view/13166/141/