I also wanted your thoughts on something I am kicking around. I have done a lot of reading up on publishing as an endeavor and I wanted your professional take on such things. It might also provide another way for smaller presses to try some different things and increase revenue (for example, experiments with "vooks").
It seems with the fragmentation with the entertainment dollar, with the change in the publishing industry (including the repurposing of content in various formats -various e-book formats, sales to academic bundlers, open access, creative commons licensing, "vooks," etc.) that repurposing these things might be a cool thing to experiment with. I think we authors can't sit back and expect others to do the work for us. We have to take the initiative and examine all the permutations of the e-world. This can only increase our visibility and hopefully our grocery money.
At the same time, I think there is always a backlash to such things, and so there has also been a quiet market of high-value collectible books-- books bound in embossed leathers, in slip cases, with high quality paper and traditional type-setting, fine art reproduction, and sometimes each numbered and with original art (sketches, monoprints, etc.) included in the slip-cover/book.
Now I don't really think every book would be suitable for the collector treatment necessarily, but I am currently doing a book on my tribe's mythology and I am thinking about going that route for that project. Perhaps even two versions, one inexpensive paperbound version, and one collector's version that is more of an artwork. I am thinking about finding a way to increase the chance one of my books might be around 500 years from now, to preserve our tribal legacy in a particular form that might last a few hundred years. Unlike with some tribes, our oral tradition is almost nil, although I am trying to address that too, learning more of the language and becoming a traditional storyteller. Making a high-value quality item is one way.
Anyways, I guess the main things I wanted your thoughts on are:
I want to try some things not only as a writer but also as an artist. What do you think about the collectible new fine books market? Have you come across very much? Have you created a fine collectible book yourself? I have seen a few examples-- a friend of mine bound some of his books on New Mexico trappers in goatskin and a slipcase and they sold out --the same book in paperback for $15 sold for over $70 and sold out in a couple of months. There were only 25 of these done if I recall correctly. There are numerous new "art" occult books which sell for hundreds of dollars in limited editions. "Harry Potter" author Rowling did an interesting experiment on "art editions" as well with her original "Beedle the Bard" project: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/?ie=UTF8&docId=1000179911
Any thoughts? Have you done one of these yourself?