Graveyard book(s) musings

MJMedwick asks:

[[“At this point I’ve not found an interested publisher (and don’t want to go the monograph route), so I might self publish as a PDF, look at other licensees, etc. I’m curious what my readership (all 6 of you) think about such a book.”]]

I can’t speak authoritatively for the commercial viability of the book if it is going to be geared specifically to the CoC community. Certainly there will be interested rpg enthusiasts out there — myself included — but I don’t know if you will recoup your investment of time and capital if that’s important to you. On the other hand, there ARE presses interested in just this “local interest” sort of thing (I can think of Rutgers University’s books on New Jersey history, for example) that might be able to market it to a more generalized audience if you’re willing to go that route. The fact that you’re doing the research, fieldwork and taking photographs might go some way towards engaging a small press that specializes in local history.

If it is to be principally a labor of love rather than a commercial venture, I’d say go ahead with it. I, for one, would be a customer.

I guess I should clarify.  I’m working on two parallel projects, one a visitor’s guide to graveyards (at the present time limited to Worcester County, Mass), the other an RPG project covering graveyards (and funeral practices, gravestones, etc.) focused on Lovecraft Country.  The later would literally be a monograph, tightly focused on a single topic in depth, but I would rather hold onto some control of the book rather than sell it to Chaosium for $250.  I’m not sure how I’d like to proceed with this project, but I figured I could float a trial balloon here.

The other book, the non-RPG one, would hopefully be of interest to local historians.  Someone published a similar book for Cape Cod and the Islands in the early 1980s; hopefully a similar project would be of some interest.

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4 comments on “Graveyard book(s) musings

  1. committed hero says:

    You could always consider or Fundable for a ransomed project, or Kickstarter for something on a larger scale. Dennis Detwiller had success using the former for several recent Delta Green adventures.

  2. RAFIV says:

    Have you considered submitting the a portion or all of your historical work to the Association for Graveyard Studies, the Colonial Society of Massachusetts or other smaller historical societies for publication in a journal or proceeding? Even if that fails, their submission department they may be able to connect you to local publishers who may be willing to take a gamble. Also, the Boston Athenaeum reference and publications staff as well as the folks at Lower Cape Publishing and Applewood Books people may prove useful resources.

    As for the Lovecraft project, self-publishing as an e-pub and with requests for a small fee or donation may be the way to go. As for licensing, I have no idea, but I am sure you know one or two people from YSDC who can steer you in the right direction.

    • RAFIV says:

      Sorry for typos.

    • I’ve not really considered who to publish with yet for the Graveyard project, but yes, the Association for Graveyard studies is a good place to start.

      I’ll probably go the self-publication route, unless I find a good match. Miskatonic River Press are the go-to folks for Lovecraft Country, but they have a large body of books in the pipeline, so I’d rather see it sooner than they might publish it. Glad to see there is some interest.

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