A Middle English Reader and Vocabulary
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Tolkien Collector's Guide
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Nov 23
2021/11/23 21:34:49 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Stu wrote:


We don't normally list every retailer, make it a front-page banner and link to that post from other sites. This was very different from previous releases. We effectively pushed this product and in doing so crossed a line of objectivity. I totally respect your right to take the site in that direction, but I personally think it lessens the value that TCG adds (or certainly changes what TCG is).

I believe TCG is well respected and that people will absolutely think more highly of a product if links to it are on here. That's how marketing works and why celebrities are used in advertising.

Respectfully, we should remember that the announcement of these editions, particularly the deluxe, elicited widespread attention, both on TCG and elsewhere. Further, the edition size was increased multiple times, and the books, especially the deluxe, were, at least at times, difficult to preorder. I think increased attention on this site for a book with increased demand/anticipation is entirely appropriate.
Nov 23
2021/11/23 23:10:36 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Gloinson wrote:

Stu wrote:


We don't normally list every retailer, make it a front-page banner and link to that post from other sites. This was very different from previous releases. We effectively pushed this product and in doing so crossed a line of objectivity. I totally respect your right to take the site in that direction, but I personally think it lessens the value that TCG adds (or certainly changes what TCG is).

I believe TCG is well respected and that people will absolutely think more highly of a product if links to it are on here. That's how marketing works and why celebrities are used in advertising.

Respectfully, we should remember that the announcement of these editions, particularly the deluxe, elicited widespread attention, both on TCG and elsewhere. Further, the edition size was increased multiple times, and the books, especially the deluxe, were, at least at times, difficult to preorder. I think increased attention on this site for a book with increased demand/anticipation is entirely appropriate.

That's certainly a fair take on it.
Nov 23
2021/11/23 23:54:14 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Gloinson wrote:


Respectfully, we should remember that the announcement of these editions, particularly the deluxe, elicited widespread attention, both on TCG and elsewhere. Further, the edition size was increased multiple times, and the books, especially the deluxe, were, at least at times, difficult to preorder. I think increased attention on this site for a book with increased demand/anticipation is entirely appropriate.

With respect to Stu's point, this seems like the tail wagging the dog. Doesn't mean you're wrong, of course.
Nov 24
2021/11/24 0:53:13 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Urulókë, Stu, Trotter, Khamûl

I certainly didn’t mean to imply that we shouldn’t report on, and discuss, new editions.

Certainly this thread started, just like many others, with a report / rumour about this new edition. People shared what they found, including links, with the best intentions. And most everyone was expecting this to be a lovely book with Tolkien’s original art. No one expected or hoped for this to be a disaster.

But anyway here’s a thought… since this site is trusted by so many casual fans around the world, and many of you here are trusted as being among the few people who are the most knowledgeable about Tolkien’s works, maybe we could have a “Reviews” section, where some of you (not all of us!) objectively review not just the content (because usually there’s isn’t new content to review with these later Tolkien releases anyway) but also the overall product, whenever a new product is released, be it a book, an audio book, or whatever.

Over at TheOneRing.net, many of us staffers left objective reviews of the movies when they were released - and let me tell you, quite a few of us were objectively scathing of The Hobbit films, even though we have good relations with the filmmakers and the folks at Weta.

I think it would help casual fans to hear what the experts here have to objectively say about new Tolkien publishings, especially those that are literally his written words and other works, and not just someone else’s analyses or adaptations and interpretations of them.

Sort of like RottenTomatoes but reviewed only by those who actually have the knowledge to do so - folks here who have a lot of Tolkien books, knowledge of book binding, printing, etc. and can therefore compare and assess for quality and production value.
Nov 24
2021/11/24 2:46:18 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Eorl: "this site is trusted by so many casual fans around the world"....

Yes it is, as a source for collector-related news (including news about forthcoming and recent publications), not as any sort of "endorser" of particular publications, and still less so as any sort of guarantor of quality. I think that importing such a notion is unfounded. I say, the more info the better, including all the info that has been shared here about various defects. (Though we do also have to recognize the self-selective nature of the members of this forum as well: we are as a cohort more likely to both notice and report defects, and of course hardly anyone anywhere thinks or takes the time to report when their copy lacks any flaws.) Yes, there are flaws; yes, I think, the rate is higher than it should be; but there is nonetheless almost certainly an amplification effect at play here.
Nov 24
2021/11/24 8:03:03 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Aelfwine wrote:

Eorl: "this site is trusted by so many casual fans around the world"....

Yes it is, as a source for collector-related news (including news about forthcoming and recent publications), not as any sort of "endorser" of particular publications, and still less so as any sort of guarantor of quality. I think that importing such a notion is unfounded. I say, the more info the better, including all the info that has been shared here about various defects. (Though we do also have to recognize the self-selective nature of the members of this forum as well: we are as a cohort more likely to both notice and report defects, and of course hardly anyone anywhere thinks or takes the time to report when their copy lacks any flaws.) Yes, there are flaws; yes, I think, the rate is higher than it should be; but there is nonetheless almost certainly an amplification effect at play here.

I partly disagree that this place is trusted as just “a source for collector-related news”. If that’s all we’re about, we’re redundant in this age of social media (imo) as most news reported here is either secondhand or speculative based on book listings someone finds online.

To me, it seems we are more than that, since the website name itself suggests a GUIDE. I know that I at least would come here for guidance if I needed it. I have before. And many others do too.

Also, I never said we are (or should be!) endorsers or guarantors of quality. I think you missed the nuance in my suggestion.

Since the opinions of many on here are valued, because those people are looked up to, as being almost experts in Tolkien publishing history, what I was suggesting is that we have the opportunity to differentiate ourselves from other news / discussion forums (Reddit?) / social media (Twitter?) by having a “reviews” area - so we can go beyond being just a forum where everyone posts their subjective opinions (oooh lovely colour or eww horrible colour, for example). And we can do this because there are many here who are completists and have numerous Tolkien books, and can share comparative information and details based on books most others will never have the means or privilege to own.

Therefore our reviews wouldn’t suddenly make us endorsers or guarantors of quality or anything. It would simply mean that people who are knowledgeable have shared factual information about quality. And others could do what they liked with those facts.

For example, it was mentioned that the paper used for the art was not as good as that used for a previous edition in which the art was published. Now that’s information I personally found useful, because for me, the appeal of this edition was mainly Tolkien’s art.

And finally, as for there being an amplification effect about the issues with this edition… the way I see it, a majority of people here received a flawed copy, and the posts reflect exactly that. Most casual buyers probably haven’t tumbled through their copies in as much detail as hardcore fans like us have; and I suspect the amplification isn’t amplified enough since we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg here.

Anyway, I simply spotted an opportunity for us to distinguish ourselves as a community, so I shared my thoughts.
Nov 24
2021/11/24 8:38:00 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I have the "Helm's D" error too
Nov 24
2021/11/24 10:58:52 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
This edition is an important one because of the illustrations thus I think the attention here at the TCG was entirely appropriate.

Regarding reviews: people here write opinions about books all the time, but one of the things I like about this forum is that books are 'reviewed' here in the form of informed discussion. There is an exchange of knowledge and opinion over longer periods of time that I find far superior to a classical review. For me this is a place of knowledge not endorsement.
Nov 24
2021/11/24 11:13:08 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I tend to agree with Stu on this, and extending to Eorl about some kind of review system. I also think the opinions here are more important than some think. As places like GoodReads become just another corporate database people looking for solid opinion about books are turning to alternate places. Reddit plays a bigger part now and a few of us are frequenters there and no doubt have visitors from there. I see from the up/downvote system that the small bunch of us that are active there are trusted and our opinion is counted.

About this book, I do agree with Stu and had felt during the release process that we as a group gave this piblication a little more coverage than we maybe should. I wonder if spreadsheets with latest prices are wise as more and more readers were reporting that their copy was faulty. And as more reports came in, we discussed it here but there was no clear statement about isssues. I wonder if we could have a newsflash on the main page or that visitors can see clearly so that we don't seem to be promoting something that we know is going through serious issues?

I think Eorl suggesting a reviews section could be a great thing, and if we put our minds to it, rather than just having individuals do yet another review, we could have something new in that we do community reviews, so rather than one, everyone gives their opinion about a book and our review 'leader' puts together a fair review that reflects all the aspects of a book release.
Nov 24
2021/11/24 11:54:06 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

onthetrail wrote:

I think Eorl suggesting a reviews section could be a great thing, and if we put our minds to it, rather than just having individuals do yet another review, we could have something new in that we do community reviews, so rather than one, everyone gives their opinion about a book and our review 'leader' puts together a fair review that reflects all the aspects of a book release.

You can already create a thread on the site to review a book and then people can comment on the review. We have not done this in the past but if forum members want to do this then you can. To be clear though a review would not be an endorsement from the site, but the individual opinions of the member posting the review.
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