Art Reblitz is wondering about whether to, and how to, reprint/rewrite
Treasures of Mechanical Music. As a collector I would dearly love to
see this reprinted, especially in an expanded format with more tracker
scales and more photos. And I would gladly pay a fair price for it.
I regret to say, however, that I can't see how it would end up being a
money-making effort, and there are few of us who can afford to donate
much more than personal effort to this hobby.
I speak from experience. The Bowers 'Encyclopedia of Automatic Musical
Instruments' was out of print, I think, for over two years. This book
has a much broader appeal than "Treasures" since it covers music boxes,
pianos, organs, etc., admittedly not in the same way.
I figured there would be a strong market for the Encyclopedia, in fact
I had offered to reprint it myself before the Vestal Press was taken
over, just to get it back in print. I purchased 500 copies to help the
reprint effort (and to get the lowest cost I could). To my disappoint-
ment, even though we are selling this great 1000-page oversized
hardback book for $80 postpaid, which I believe is the lowest price
anywhere, we probably have only sold 50 of them in the first six or
eight months of sales.
When you get as specialized as Treasures, it will become a much smaller
market after the initial burst of enthusiasm. I think the only thing
that might work would be a very limited edition, priced very high, to
get the most out of the very limited market.