Tobler did it again

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Postby admin » 04 Oct 2006 11:44

Fab wrote:Well, I know that the BNF doesn't allow you to make personal copies of their manuscripts - they're the only ones who can. And in that case, the copyrights you pay are not on the original manuscript, but on the reproductions they provide you throgh their photograp/repro service (and they're the only ones allowed to provide them). I don't know why it is so, as it seriously impairs research IMO - the financial aspect could be part of it, but I also believe there's a slight remain of self-importance in that.


This is the same as British archives, I believe.
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Postby the_last_alive » 04 Oct 2006 12:30

i am interested in this book, the fact that it's a limited edition actually makes it more interesting to me.

Thanks Greg for explaining how come it's a LE.

The main reason this interested me is that it's a gorgeous looking book, and the contents look like the I.33 book they did. By that i mean take your breath away beautiful.
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Postby Greg Mele » 04 Oct 2006 15:43

J Marwood wrote:Thanks for that Greg - very interesting. I wonder why the decision was taken to go for such an expensive printing? For something with the admittedly minor appeal of a WMA book, even from a 'name' like Tobler, I would have thought a cheaper printing, in a more standard format would have been preferable.


Several reasons:

1. It was the stipulation of the library (remember, they see this as an *art* book, not a martial arts book) that it be a facsimile.
2. It is a gorgeous manuscript, and very few people realize how beautiful some of these books are.
3. Besides being a very useful fencing book, this book is full of unusual clothing and armour references, and was meant to appeal to a wider base of readers, and show how the book fits "in context". I know at least three people who are purely buying this for the armour images, for example.

Hope that all makes sense.
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Postby Greg Mele » 04 Oct 2006 16:32

Fab,

Fab wrote:That looked like a rant, eh ? Well, it was not meant to be so :)



I don't think that's a rant, I think it is spot on. There are several sides to this:

1. People, by nature, become territorial of their work. This occurs in two ways - both the person who has logged years of work on a project, and the newcomer who desparately wants to find the "new angle" that suddenly catapults their own work to the forefront, or at least shows how they had a revelation that no one else did. (I think there have been several recent SFI threads that embody both of those positions.)

2. Not all work is equal and we need to acknowledge that. There are some folks who are primary researchers, but not martial artists. Some who are martial artists, good at interpreting other's research. Some who do both. And most - like any martial art - just want to be told how to do it. (If this stuff lives another generation, that last category is who will dominate the community, just as it does AMA and MMA.) I think that all of these folks have value. My only gripe are the folks we see who take a few seminars with one person, a few with someone else, and then start promoting it as their own, original work. These folks are fairly few, but they're out there.

3. In a virtual community, the fast-typing are king. The Internet can empower anyone as an expert, regardless of their actual ability or knowledge, and we also see that in some of the backlash against people from time to time.

Here's a personal example: A few months ago on another forum there was a discussion on Silver's two-handed sword: specifically its dimensions and methods of use. The conversation drew the usual suspects. Although I don't really focus on Silver any more - my work is Fiore and the Bolognese - I *did* sustantial work on this from '92 - '00 and still work with it as a side interest. We didn't all agree - Paul Wagner and I have radically different conclusions on this section, for example, but his conclusions are based on eight or nine years of work with Silver. But one of the contributors, whose name in the last year or so comes up on nearly every board on every Silver thread, kept taking all of us to task, based on his reading of the text. Fair enough. But no matter how anyone tried to explain to him why his ideas didn't seem feasible, he'd point to a "clearly contradictory example in the text". I finally just asked him if he'd tried reconstructing these techniques, what his martial background was, how many different people he trained with, etc. Answer: he's never handled a two-handed sword, has no prior martial arts training and has been doing a little backsword once a week with one friend for the last year and a half. Meanwhile, I got called a bully for "trying to diminish his relevance". Don't get me wrong, he's a nice guy, and he's trying to understand the text. But if he'd had any real time *practicing* the material, the flaws in his conclusions would have been fairly evident. Should his ideas be heard? Of course! Should they have the weight of someone with years of practical work in the material? I think not.

I tend to follow the academic model on this - time doesn't = authority, but time-refined research does set benchmarks in our knowledge. New scholarship then has the burden of proof on it to demonstrate it's validity. Unfortunately, people are people and this tends to just further exacerbate ther territoriality you mention Fab. (Just look at modern academia.) But the alternative is an asylum run by the inmates.

One last, perhaps related point. I think that there is a perception that those who publish are doing this to make money, and are selling tens of thousands of books. If only. The *normal* print run from CB or Greenhills is 1500 - 2500 copies, and with modern business models, they have to try and sell those in the first 12 - 18 months for the book to have reasonably successful. A very successful title - like Guy's book - might sell 5 - 6,000 copies over three to four years. John Clements' "Medieval Swordsmanship" and Mark Rector's "Talhoffer" both cleared 10K, but that is with many years of sales and fairly low price-points. Some very good books that have come out have barely cleared 1000 copies.

With those kind of numbers, the author of a *successful* book may get one or two new Albion swords out of his first year's royalties, and then one each year for the next three or four after that. With Vadi (which still hasn't run its original printing of 2000), the only income that Luca or I derived came from copies I bought and sold myself. Our royalties came to $0.

Author's do usually get some income, and the publisher notably more (but then they take all of the risks), but this just isn't a Dan Brown sort of situation! ;)

I hope this info has been more interesting than it reads!

Cheers,

Greg
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Postby admin » 04 Oct 2006 16:50

Very interesting, Greg :!:
http://www.antique-swords.co.uk/

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Postby Fab » 04 Oct 2006 16:50

Names ! give me names ! ;)

Just to see if I have the same on my list...


Anway, you're spot on too - I much appreciate this convergence ;)

To add to the examples : the first print run of the 2005 Dijon book (available soon - you can already read abstracts on our website just click the link in my sig yeah that's subtle adversiting, isn't it ? ) has been of almost 600 copies - of which 250 were taken to the specialized/maintream booksellers - leaving the rest for us to sell directly, and I still believe 600 was a reasonable number. Anyway, we didn't have the money for more, so that ends the debate :)

What I less agree with, without necessarily blaming anyone, is the way these books (not ours, obviously) are advertized, and even more the way they're welcomed by the 'community' sometimes.

To lead the topic further astray (again) : what I said in the paragraph above holds true mainly for publications in English language. Probably because the 'online WMA community' is mainly Anglo-American, or at least English-speaking. It is surpizing to see how quality books, published in non-English languages, are sometimes overlooked.

Anwyay, I'm looking forward to discuss that (and other things) with you in a few months hopefully :)

Cheers

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Postby Abomination » 04 Oct 2006 17:03

Greg Mele wrote: With Vadi (which still hasn't run its original printing of 2000), the only income that Luca or I derived came from copies I bought and sold myself. Our royalties came to $0.


Cheers,

Greg


Cor! I didn't realise I'd bought a rare book! If we meet I'll buy you a pint in lieu of royalties. :D
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Postby Greg Mele » 04 Oct 2006 22:07

Fab wrote:Names ! give me names ! ;)

Just to see if I have the same on my list...


Oh...it's tempting, so ...tempting! ;)

And now that I know about the Dijon books, you're going to force me to try and use my French-reading skills, which stunk when I took lessons 12 years ago, and must be horrific now. (I usually have to translate to Italian and then go from Italian to English.)


What I less agree with, without necessarily blaming anyone, is the way these books (not ours, obviously) are advertized, and even more the way they're welcomed by the 'community' sometimes.

To lead the topic further astray (again) : what I said in the paragraph above holds true mainly for publications in English language. Probably because the 'online WMA community' is mainly Anglo-American, or at least English-speaking. It is surpizing to see how quality books, published in non-English languages, are sometimes overlooked.


I'm not sure that I agree with the first point here, but I certainly do the second - the mono-lingualism of much of the Anglo-American world is the culprit here, alas. But I think those are larger societal/political problems that are probably beyond our ability to do much about.

And I'll be more than happy to discuss all of that over pints in a few months!

Greg
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Postby Greg Mele » 04 Oct 2006 22:08

Abomination wrote:
Greg Mele wrote: With Vadi (which still hasn't run its original printing of 2000), the only income that Luca or I derived came from copies I bought and sold myself. Our royalties came to $0.


Cheers,

Greg


Cor! I didn't realise I'd bought a rare book! If we meet I'll buy you a pint in lieu of royalties. :D


I'll take you up on that!

Greg
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Re: Tobler did it again

Postby Kim Young » 26 Jan 2007 11:19

Herbert wrote:Christian Tobler did it again - this time on/with Paulus Kal:

http://www.chivalrybookshelf.com/titles/Kal/Kal.htm

Herbert


Does anyone have their copy yet?

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