Tolkien Collector's Guide
Super-Deluxe Sigurd & Gudrun
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By Stu

Super-Deluxe Sigurd & Gudrun

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Hello All,

I was just wondering what people think about the Deluxe signed version of S&G being slated as 500 copies, as per CoH? I had hoped that HC would have learned some lessons from the signed CoH and gone with a more sensible 250 copies.

I must admit, other than to maybe order a single copy up front to get a low number, I can't see myself ordering two upfront as with CoH (and then a further one at 30% discount later on), knowing that as a non-ME book it is possibly even more likely to be a difficult-to-shift volume (and therefore be discounted).

Sounds like it's going to be GBP250 rather than GBP350, but that's still a tidy sum in the current environment. I'm not sure that so many people will be prepared to commit early for multiple copies, so this could be a bit of a sales dud...

Stu


Re: Super-Deluxe Sigurd & Gudrun

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I think this book appeals to a smaller market than the Super-Deluxe COH. So to sell 500 copies without heavy discounting could well be impossible for Harper Collins.

The fact that they have a track record now of offering large discounts on the online store, means that people like me who would have bought two copies, will buy one when it comes out and wait for the discount for the second copy, but if it was limited to 250 copies I would buy two at full price.

I hope they remember to ask the artist or Christopher Tolkien to number the copies this time as well.


By Stu

Re: Super-Deluxe Sigurd & Gudrun

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>The fact that they have a track record now of offering large discounts on the online store, means that people like me who would have bought two copies, will buy one when it comes out and wait for the discount for the second copy, but if it was limited to 250 copies I would buy two at full price.


That was exactly my thinking. I just don't see this book as being particularly popular, and perhaps it isn't the best vehicle for a super-deluxe version. The fact that it is verse coupled with being non-ME related will make it a disappointing read for many. Add to that the fact that a lot of people felt that CoH was not great and will probably not jump at another Tolkien volume in the same way as they did for that one.

Stu


Re: Super-Deluxe Sigurd & Gudrun

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Personally, I'm quite looking forward to this release; primarily in terms of content.

In terms of price; if HarperCollins think they can shift 500 copies, at (say) £350 (even if it's over a few years), then that will probably be what they'll plumb for. CoH, with all the discounting has shifted. But it hardly does HarperCollins any good (as David Brawn alluded to) to flood the market with Super Deluxe signed Tolkien titles.

I think a run of 250, with the £350 tag would work for HarperCollins. Collectors would obviously prefer a 250 run with a £250 price tag. CoH with discount (30%) was available at £245; & this was even more favourable for US buyers -so I think £250 would be fair, considering the non-ME nature of the subject.

We'll see...

BH
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You drive a hard bargain – you can have it for £10 all-in – one consolation (for you) is that you do not have to hear the cries of my children, for bread...


Re: Super-Deluxe Sigurd & Gudrun

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No matter what price tag this book ends up with, I will probably buy just a single copy for myself when they go on deep enough discount and not bother with extra copies. The signature from Christopher will be the main draw to Tolkien collectors, and there are plenty of those available for a few hundred dollars right now. I can see this book still selling on the secondary market for a few hundred dollars (probably below list) for at least 10-20 years - this is assuming they stick to the 500 copies. If they want this to generate some hype, they would have to limit it to 100 copies like the original signed deluxe Silmarillion, or perhaps even 50 copies.

I'm still ticked over the bad website operations, dropping prices, "limited" editions that are indistinguishable from trade editions, and selling wholesale to some and not others. Why pay full retail now?
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By Stu

Re: Super-Deluxe Sigurd & Gudrun

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I totally agree with you (Rowns). To be honest, I don't think I will even bother with buying a copy up front to get an early number. If they do release 500 copies, there is no way on earth that they will sell them without a very deep discount, so why throw money upfront at HC needlessly? Makes more sense to wait a year and get 30-40% off.

The only reason why CoH has sold (perhaps) two-thirds or so of the print-run is that we - as a small group of collectors - have purchased multiple copies in the crazy belief that some powerful marketplace for them (that clearly doesn't exist at present) will spring into existence and give us a huge return. We actually only have ourselves to blame, really. Who do we think is ever going to buy this huge reserve of second copies off us?

If HC do release this as 500 copy edition, I personally see taking a stand on this book (by not purchasing it) as sending a message to HC that they need to treat their core customer base rather better than they have thus far.

Stu


Re: Super-Deluxe Sigurd & Gudrun

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I seem to remember an article somewhere with David Brawn, where he was asked why HarperCollins had not issued a Deluxe (not Super-Deluxe) edition of Unfinished Tales. They did not think there was a big enough market for the book.

In the case of the new book, I agree with Stu in that people bought multiple copies of COH as investments, which turned out to be very poor investments because of the discounting that they did.

Collectors and dealers are not going to do the same thing with this new book, people will be very wary about buying multiple copies, or even single copies at full price.

If Unfinished Tales is not right for a Deluxe edition (I disagree and think it is) then this is not the right title for a Super-Deluxe Edition, they should have just done a Trade and Deluxe.


By garm

Re: Super-Deluxe Sigurd & Gudrun

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"The only reason why CoH has sold (perhaps) two-thirds or so of the print-run is that we - as a small group of collectors - have purchased multiple copies in the crazy belief that some powerful marketplace for them (that clearly doesn't exist at present) will spring into existence and give us a huge return. We actually only have ourselves to blame, really. Who do we think is ever going to buy this huge reserve of second copies off us?

If HC do release this as 500 copy edition, I personally see taking a stand on this book (by not purchasing it) as sending a message to HC that they need to treat their core customer base rather better than they have thus far."


- you suppose that HC want to sell multiple copies of their books to folk who wait until they can get a heavily discounted price, and then sell on for a huge return? This is HC's core customer base?

In my early days of collecting, I bought books simply because I wanted them. Later, I tried buying to sell later on, but it never worked for me. Now, I don't trouble myself with resale values. I buy the books because I want to collect them.
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Re: Super-Deluxe Sigurd & Gudrun

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In my early days of collecting, I bought books simply because I wanted them. Later, I tried buying to sell later on, but it never worked for me. Now, I don't trouble myself with resale values. I buy the books because I want to collect them.

But when do you buy, when they discount by 10%, 20%, 30%, 40% ....... 80% because the book does not sell? The number of the book only matters if you are interested in resale value. I'd be very happy to have a book for my collection, not resale, at an enormous discount.


By Stu

Re: Super-Deluxe Sigurd & Gudrun

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(Garm) wrote "you suppose that HC want to sell multiple copies of their books to folk who wait until they can get a heavily discounted price, and then sell on for a huge return? This is HC's core customer base?"

No, they want to sell multiple copies up-front *undiscounted* to people who think they can sell on for a huge return. This absolutely was their core customer base for the SD CoH, and HC exploited this by raising the price of CoH at the last minute (to GBP 350) and then they went through the 10%, 20%, 30% discount phase once the customers at that price had dried up. More recently, they appear to have sold a large number to a reseller for discounted sale.

This all makes sense from a perspective of HC making money from that one book, but not in the long term, because the fan base is very small.

However, I don't believe that customer behaviour will be the same for the new book. I think the sensible ones among us might just buy a single copy of the book at a sensible price because we want a copy for ourselves. In this case, buying later on at a discount makes the best sense.

Stu



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