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New year, better paper

A few years ago we were made aware that some of our books had problems with the binding. Before this, we had heard about maybe 10 books out of hundred thousand, which is not enough for being worried. Now people told us it was ten out of the hundred books they had bought from us. A 100-fold increase in the problem! From 0.01% – a bad luck, please get a replacement from your vendor and they will get one from us – situation, to a “holy cow!”, this is actually a problem!

So, we decided to go for the sturdier sown binding. It is more expensive and our printer advised against it, finding it overkill, although happy to take our money of course. We have not heard of any problems since then.

Going into 2018 we decided to make another change and go from 80 gram paper to 90 gram paper. The 80 gram paper we were using would no longer be produced and we looked at the options, deciding to go for the higher quality materials. There are some pros and cons to this decision, but so far we are going to stick with it. The con is about packing. We will be able to put less books our boxes and thus have to pay a bit more for shipping. It is also more expensive. On the other hand the books feel and look better. Even if big. We would like your feedback on this when you get access to the new books. The first will be Avrukh 2A and Thinking Inside the Box paperback, both out on Wednesday, January 17th.

 

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  1. Tom Tidom
    January 13th, 2018 at 08:33 | #1

    I only buy hardcover books from you and there is no doubt that the production quality of your books is the highest I have seen in recent years among chess book publishers. And the pricing always seemed reasonable and fair to me too, again compared to other publishers.

    A better paper quality is of course welcome but I hope the books do not get much more voluminous since some of them are already quite heavy, not only in content ;-).

  2. Jacob Aagaard
    January 13th, 2018 at 09:36 | #2

    They will not be more than 1/8th heavier, but their size will increase with maybe 20%. Same number of pages, just a bit more air in there someway.

    I should say that we have not increased our core price since we started in 2004. This will probably not continue, but at the moment we are focusing on finishing books…

  3. January 13th, 2018 at 11:35 | #3

    Better quality not a problem!

  4. Tom Tidom
    January 13th, 2018 at 13:12 | #4

    Jacob Aagaard :
    They will not be more than 1/8th heavier, but their size will increase with maybe 20%. Same number of pages, just a bit more air in there someway.
    I should say that we have not increased our core price since we started in 2004. This will probably not continue, but at the moment we are focusing on finishing books…

    As long as you do not produce books in the 700+ pages range any more this is not a problem. But I fear “Playing 1.e4 – Sicilian & French” might become a monster of a book.

    And I´m certainly okay with a small increase of your core price after 14 years…

  5. Jacob Aagaard
    January 13th, 2018 at 15:22 | #5

    @Tom Tidom
    Maybe 700++?

  6. Tom Tidom
    January 13th, 2018 at 16:35 | #6

    Sigh! I will buy it anyway 🙂

  7. Paul H
    January 13th, 2018 at 18:44 | #7

    Is this Claire in the photo, who was always very efficient whenever I needed to contact her?

  8. Ray
    January 14th, 2018 at 07:43 | #8

    I fully agree – a price increase is perfectly reasonable anyway after such a long period of stable prices. Some of your competitors are asking the same price for a paperback as QC for a hardcover! And with lesser quality authors as well…

  9. Leon Trotsky
    January 14th, 2018 at 09:17 | #9

    Thinking Inside the Box and GM2B both arrived to Glasgow already? 😀

  10. Jacob Aagaard
    January 14th, 2018 at 16:10 | #10

    @Leon Trotsky
    Box has arrived, 2A will arrive tomorrow.

  11. Jacob Aagaard
    January 14th, 2018 at 16:10 | #11

    @Paul H
    No, this is our part timer, Kallia.

  12. KevHun
    January 14th, 2018 at 19:40 | #12

    Jacob,

    As much as I hate paying money for anything, I’d rather pay for a good quality book which, like a good tool, will last for quite a while.

    Its a good investment.

  13. Doug Eckert
    January 14th, 2018 at 19:46 | #13

    After the binding issue, I started buying all hardcover books. I inadvertently purchased Playing 1 d4 d5 in paper back. The binding in that book is superb. It is a 1000% improvement. I still like the hard back and will buy most in that format. But that book convinced me that future paper back books would be fine. I purchased Sharp Endgames in paperback as it does not appear to be available in hard back. What a fantastic book. The binding quality is great, the content is great. We all want QC to keep providing great material. Please pass your cost increases along. Please make sure you charge enough for postage for those of us that order from the U.S.

  14. Leon Trotsky
    January 14th, 2018 at 22:46 | #14

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Is the new paper still silky smoothe like the previous one, despite being slightly larger

  15. Jacob Aagaard
    January 15th, 2018 at 12:50 | #15

    @Leon Trotsky
    I think most people will like it better.

  16. Jacob Aagaard
    January 15th, 2018 at 12:52 | #16

    @Doug Eckert
    Donations are accepted gratefully!

  17. Fer
    January 16th, 2018 at 10:20 | #17

    You killed me!, I have all GMP books but TITB, that will have different size! :O

  18. Jacob Aagaard
    January 16th, 2018 at 16:08 | #18

    @Fer
    Buy all six in hardback. But quickly, before we reprint the hardback!

  19. Fer
    January 16th, 2018 at 22:07 | #19

    Jacob Aagaard :
    @Fer
    Buy all six in hardback. But quickly, before we reprint the hardback!

    I will do it…, When I win the lottery, but at the moment I going to move them to a higher shelves.

  20. Alexander
    January 17th, 2018 at 18:01 | #20

    I am also all for improving the (already splendid) quality, even at a small increase in price. I love the format of your hardcover books, so please don’t trade that in for thicker paper. Adding thicker paper on top of what you already have is of course only seen as a plus, perhaps with the only exception that my bookshelf will run out of space 16.667% faster

  21. Jacob Aagaard
    January 17th, 2018 at 22:55 | #21

    @Alexander
    We are going 90 gram on everything. It will make the books a bit heavier and bulkier, but we think the trade-off is justified overall.

  22. Paul H
    January 18th, 2018 at 00:09 | #22

    No obvious place to put this, but though someone might find interesting so here is as good a place as any. Very interesting story on Fischer today on the Chessbase website – 10th anniversary of his death. Contains the following section, where the author (Gardar Sverrisson) talks about a chess session with Fischer
    “In place of this depressing Colle System he now wanted to show me a position in the Queen’s Indian Defense that had come up in a game Smyslov had played in the 1947 Soviet Championships. That game was to be found in Romanovsky’s magnificent textbook.”

    Looking at my copy of “Soviet Middlegame Technique” it would seem Fischer was looking at the game on p11 Klaman-Smyslov, which has a Queens Indian type structure, but is not strictly that opening. Obviously this being 2007 this was not the QC edition he used!

  23. Doug Eckert
    January 19th, 2018 at 06:39 | #23

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Just received GR2A. The new paper is like one of those classic books. (I am not suggesting that QC go to leather bound. Just a compliment.) I have handwritten notes all over my other opening books, even QC. I am afraid to write on this one. Don’t want to mess up perfection.

    Question, with the new binding for the paper back books. If some of the older paper backs are reprinted will they have the new binding? My current specific interest is the older Lund books? Sharp Endgames has been a page turner. Is that something that would be clear from the ordering process? For example, it could just state reprinted in 2018.

    BTW, I also looked at the postage on GMR2. I will work out the donation at some point in the not too distant future. Its not really a donation, it is doing the right thing.

  24. Jacob Aagaard
    January 19th, 2018 at 08:27 | #24

    @Doug Eckert
    The donation is primarily a good sense of humour and the understanding that we do what we can. You are already there.

    Yes, reprints would be on the new paper. I shall not go into the technical aspects of the publishing business, but there are no viable alternatives to that.

  25. Thomas
    January 20th, 2018 at 12:40 | #25

    Just got my copy of GM2A hardcover. Superb! Paper, binding, great!

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