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Author Topic: The Price to Pay for Occult Texts  (Read 1671 times)

dionysiandame

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The Price to Pay for Occult Texts
« on: September 05, 2013, 02:59:08 pm »
Lately I've been practicing a lot more magic than I generally do in my religious practice. Diving deeper into subjects like evocation has taken me to some pretty interesting places. Forums dedicated to the occult and websites from niche publishers offering goat-skin tomes for $150 and up or a regular hard back for $50+.

Now I get that hand binding any book is not only time consuming but worth every penny spent, but I notice that some of these books' prices are simply out of control. No ifs, ands, or buts by the time a text is $200+ American it better do my first evocation free and bring me a whiskey sour while it's at it.

Just yesterday some dude was peddling a piece of black cloth with a "demonic tongue" circle for close to $200! Pardon my Ebonics but who the fuck would buy that?

I'm sure some of you have come across this too.

What do you think? Are some of the prices charged for texts ridiculous? How much would you be willing to spend on a grimoire?

I think what annoys me the most is the artificial scarcity. If you know over 1500 people are going to want to buy your book, why print only 200? Especially when it's just a regular ol' hardcover? :stop:

Somebody needs to help me understand or say "You're right DD!"

Either one works really. :D:
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RandallS

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Re: The Price to Pay for Occult Texts
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2013, 03:50:07 pm »
Quote from: dionysiandame;120936
Now I get that hand binding any book is not only time consuming but worth every penny spent, but I notice that some of these books' prices are simply out of control. No ifs, ands, or buts by the time a text is $200+ American it better do my first evocation free and bring me a whiskey sour while it's at it.

It'd have to to that and more before they'd get $200 out of me. I guess I'm not "consumerist" enough to care about fancy bindings. The text in a format that isn't going to fall apart is all I need.  Covered in goatskin or even library binding is something I have no interest in paying for. At least not on spec, if a book I buy turns out to be something I really use a lot (and in a way that is hard on the book), I'd have no problem replacing it with a better bound copy -- or having the book rebound (as I did with my copy of Mastering Witchcraft).

Quote
What do you think? Are some of the prices charged for texts ridiculous? How much would you be willing to spend on a grimoire?

Many grimoires are public domain -- and I would not pay a premium for them. A good number are available free in PDF format.
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GlamSphinx

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Re: The Price to Pay for Occult Texts
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2013, 05:32:16 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;120941

Many grimoires are public domain -- and I would not pay a premium for them. A good number are available free in PDF format.

 
Agreed! Public domain texts (sites like http://www.sacred-texts.com/  http://www.gutenberg.org/and http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/) have plenty to offer in terms of Pagan/occult books. Second hand books are another good option.

These specialist-bound books sound a little on the ridiculous side to me!

Schuyler

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Re: The Price to Pay for Occult Texts
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2013, 06:29:42 pm »
Quote from: dionysiandame;120936

What do you think? Are some of the prices charged for texts ridiculous?


Not just for grimoires, but pagan books in general. I do see the same, rather obnoxious pricing quite frequently. However, I don't quite care about fancy binding the way I used to. When it comes to my book collection, being the book hoarder that I am, I do go for quantity rather than quality, of the binding (which is rather contrary to what I live by in every other aspect of my life...).  

As Randall already mentioned, sacred-texts.com is brilliant. As for used books, I have found almost every book (used) that I have ever needed/wanted on AbeBooks.

Aranel

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Re: The Price to Pay for Occult Texts
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2013, 06:51:27 pm »
Quote from: dionysiandame;120936
What do you think? Are some of the prices charged for texts ridiculous? How much would you be willing to spend on a grimoire?


Not about books (sorry!) but something I found out last week that I still can't believe.
I paid £40 for a new one of these 4 years ago.
2 and a half grand? 2 and a half grand? Do they really think people will pay that?!
If somebody does pay for it, then I am sitting pretty. (My copy is in good condition and I got it autographed so yeah. )

Anyway, as for books, the prices for some are ridiculous. There's a book that I really want to get but as it's been out of print for quite a while copies are now over £100 even if the condition is dreadful. I don't get why the publishers won't do another printing of it.
It annoys me. Whenever I'm in a second-hand bookshop I have a search for it in the vain hope there is a copy and the bookshop haven't realised how much it's actually worth.
As for how much I would spend on a book (I don't buy grimoires (yet!)), then up to £50 depending on how much I wanted it and if I definitely can't get it cheaper elsewhere and also if I know it will still be available at that price 3 months later so I can budget for it.
If it's just a find in a second-hand shop and I need to get it then and there then 30 quid is the absolute maximum depending on the state of my bank account.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 06:53:57 pm by Aranel »

sailor

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Re: The Price to Pay for Occult Texts
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2013, 08:20:13 pm »
Quote from: Aranel;120965


Anyway, as for books, the prices for some are ridiculous. There's a book that I really want to get but as it's been out of print for quite a while copies are now over £100 even if the condition is dreadful. I don't get why the publishers won't do another printing of it.

 
The copyright holder, not the publisher might be at fault - they want to much, especially if upfront or assured royalties compared to the expected number of sales at a given price. That's part of the nice price point for e-books - for reprints you only have to pay for the typesetting, not for thousands of physical copies.  Much cheaper and e-copies store cheaply so you can afford to amortize the cost over a few years if you can afford the upfront cost at all .

Jenett

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Re: The Price to Pay for Occult Texts
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2013, 10:01:46 pm »
Quote from: sailor;120977
The copyright holder, not the publisher might be at fault - they want to much, especially if upfront or assured royalties compared to the expected number of sales at a given price.

 
Actually, even more than that, it might be an orphan work (it's not clear who holds the copyrights), that person does not respond to requests, or the copyright may have devolved to an heir who Mightily Disapproves of the topic and is refusing permission to reprint.

(I know of cases where the last has happened in other fields, and I'd suspect it might be even more statistically common, per capita author, in esoteric ones.)
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Valentine

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Re: The Price to Pay for Occult Texts
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2013, 11:24:19 pm »
Quote from: dionysiandame;120936
Lately I've been practicing a lot more magic than I generally do in my religious practice. Diving deeper into subjects like evocation has taken me to some pretty interesting places. Forums dedicated to the occult and websites from niche publishers offering goat-skin tomes for $150 and up or a regular hard back for $50+.

Now I get that hand binding any book is not only time consuming but worth every penny spent, but I notice that some of these books' prices are simply out of control. No ifs, ands, or buts by the time a text is $200+ American it better do my first evocation free and bring me a whiskey sour while it's at it.

Just yesterday some dude was peddling a piece of black cloth with a "demonic tongue" circle for close to $200! Pardon my Ebonics but who the fuck would buy that?

I'm sure some of you have come across this too.

What do you think? Are some of the prices charged for texts ridiculous? How much would you be willing to spend on a grimoire?

I think what annoys me the most is the artificial scarcity. If you know over 1500 people are going to want to buy your book, why print only 200? Especially when it's just a regular ol' hardcover? :stop:

Somebody needs to help me understand or say "You're right DD!"

Either one works really. :D:

 
It's a feature, not a bug.  Part of the appeal of texts like these is the notion that they're rare, hard to find, full of secrets other people won't have access to.  Creating an artificial scarcity helps people feel they're special, to be one of the few who has this secret, forbidden knowledge that not just anyone could get.  Making it prohibitively expensive--so, only for people with a lot of resources, or who put a lot of effort into saving up--adds to the mystique.
 
While these are schools of magic that are workable for a lot of people, it's helpful to remember they were invented by elitists, who valued being elite, not democratizing this knowledge.  Scarcity and expense were things they bragged about when they were able to find this or that rare book.  It makes sense that the people printing them today would try to evoke that same atmosphere when making a sale.

It doesn't help you, I'm afraid.
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Fireof9

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Re: The Price to Pay for Occult Texts
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2013, 12:20:07 am »
Quote from: dionysiandame;120936
Lately I've been practicing a lot more magic than I generally do in my religious practice. Diving deeper into subjects like evocation has taken me to some pretty interesting places. Forums dedicated to the occult and websites from niche publishers offering goat-skin tomes for $150 and up or a regular hard back for $50+.

Now I get that hand binding any book is not only time consuming but worth every penny spent, but I notice that some of these books' prices are simply out of control. No ifs, ands, or buts by the time a text is $200+ American it better do my first evocation free and bring me a whiskey sour while it's at it.

Just yesterday some dude was peddling a piece of black cloth with a "demonic tongue" circle for close to $200! Pardon my Ebonics but who the fuck would buy that?

I'm sure some of you have come across this too.

What do you think? Are some of the prices charged for texts ridiculous? How much would you be willing to spend on a grimoire?

I think what annoys me the most is the artificial scarcity. If you know over 1500 people are going to want to buy your book, why print only 200? Especially when it's just a regular ol' hardcover? :stop:

Somebody needs to help me understand or say "You're right DD!"

Either one works really. :D:

 
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Sulischild

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Re: The Price to Pay for Occult Texts
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2013, 04:30:37 am »
Quote from: Fireof9;120999
"You're right DD!"

 
Yep, that.

I think part of it too is just that the publishers/authors/whoever knows there is a large enough pool of suckers who'll drop $200 on a book for it to be worth doing.

Uni textbooks were the same - they were just the same materials and dimensions as a $12 paperback, and probably came from the very same factory, but because we student suckers needed that damn book for our courses, they could charge $75 because what were we going to do about it?

Also, as has already been mentioned, public domain databases are fantastic.  I ain't paying for squit until I'm sure it (or something like it) can't be had free with a little effort.  There'll always be someone willing to drop a tonne on something bound in unicorn hide with thread spun from the rainbow, but that someone's just not me.

Riothamus12

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Re: The Price to Pay for Occult Texts
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2013, 11:24:34 am »
Quote from: dionysiandame;120936
Lately I've been practicing a lot more magic than I generally do in my religious practice. Diving deeper into subjects like evocation has taken me to some pretty interesting places. Forums dedicated to the occult and websites from niche publishers offering goat-skin tomes for $150 and up or a regular hard back for $50+.

Now I get that hand binding any book is not only time consuming but worth every penny spent, but I notice that some of these books' prices are simply out of control. No ifs, ands, or buts by the time a text is $200+ American it better do my first evocation free and bring me a whiskey sour while it's at it.

Just yesterday some dude was peddling a piece of black cloth with a "demonic tongue" circle for close to $200! Pardon my Ebonics but who the fuck would buy that?

I'm sure some of you have come across this too.

What do you think? Are some of the prices charged for texts ridiculous? How much would you be willing to spend on a grimoire?

I think what annoys me the most is the artificial scarcity. If you know over 1500 people are going to want to buy your book, why print only 200? Especially when it's just a regular ol' hardcover? :stop:

Somebody needs to help me understand or say "You're right DD!"

Either one works really. :D:

 
"You're right DD." Amen, hallelujah, and peanut better. What's really annoying is when you know said book is STILL IN PRINT and they're hiking up the price.
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Nyktipolos

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Re: The Price to Pay for Occult Texts
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2013, 11:31:47 am »
Quote from: Valentine;120996
It's a feature, not a bug.  Part of the appeal of texts like these is the notion that they're rare, hard to find, full of secrets other people won't have access to.  Creating an artificial scarcity helps people feel they're special, to be one of the few who has this secret, forbidden knowledge that not just anyone could get.  Making it prohibitively expensive--so, only for people with a lot of resources, or who put a lot of effort into saving up--adds to the mystique.
 
While these are schools of magic that are workable for a lot of people, it's helpful to remember they were invented by elitists, who valued being elite, not democratizing this knowledge.  Scarcity and expense were things they bragged about when they were able to find this or that rare book.  It makes sense that the people printing them today would try to evoke that same atmosphere when making a sale.

It doesn't help you, I'm afraid.

 
This is why I'm glad Scarlet Imprint has been going in the opposite direction lately. Most of their books now (or at least the ones getting released in the last couple of years) are now available in cheap paperback and e-pub formats.

Although I'm still a sucker for limited edition stuff, but a prudish one. I generally stalk eBay and other websites for the more expensive versions at cheaper prices (usually around where they were sold initially without inflation).
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dionysiandame

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Re: The Price to Pay for Occult Texts
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2013, 12:48:35 pm »
Quote from: Valentine;120996
It's a feature, not a bug.  Part of the appeal of texts like these is the notion that they're rare, hard to find, full of secrets other people won't have access to.  Creating an artificial scarcity helps people feel they're special, to be one of the few who has this secret, forbidden knowledge that not just anyone could get.  Making it prohibitively expensive--so, only for people with a lot of resources, or who put a lot of effort into saving up--adds to the mystique.
 
While these are schools of magic that are workable for a lot of people, it's helpful to remember they were invented by elitists, who valued being elite, not democratizing this knowledge.  Scarcity and expense were things they bragged about when they were able to find this or that rare book.  It makes sense that the people printing them today would try to evoke that same atmosphere when making a sale.

It doesn't help you, I'm afraid.



No it doesn't. Especially when you realize that you're essentially paying for someone's magical diary. I know they hold power, but a diary, is a diary, is a diary, IMO.
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Re: The Price to Pay for Occult Texts
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2013, 03:05:45 pm »
Quote from: dionysiandame;121051
No it doesn't. Especially when you realize that you're essentially paying for someone's magical diary. I know they hold power, but a diary, is a diary, is a diary, IMO.

 
My diary is worth fifty hojillion dollars.  For purple pen with hearts dotting the i's, an additional bajillion.
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Fireof9

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Re: The Price to Pay for Occult Texts
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2013, 09:39:48 pm »
Quote from: Valentine;121064
My diary is worth fifty hojillion dollars.  For purple pen with hearts dotting the i's, an additional bajillion.

 
Thats just crazy! 1 hojillion is such an amazing amount that it doesn't even show up on Google.

Now I am dying to know what is in that diary!
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