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Thread: Question regarding Stephen King's thoughts on S/L edition books

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    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement T-Dogz_AK47's Avatar
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    Question Question regarding Stephen King's thoughts on S/L edition books

    Hi everyone,

    I heard rumours that Stephen King is not very keen on having S/L editions of his work published, and particularly disliked the deluxe special edition of Salem's Lot published by Centipede Press.

    I have searched the internet to find out if these rumours are true, but cannot find anything to support or deny this.

    Does anyone out there know if Stephen King really disliked the Centipede Press edition of Salems' Lot, and if so, is it known if he gave specific reasons when voicing his displeasure?

    Any help regarding this would be greatly appreciated.
    "I watched Titanic when I got back home from the hospital, and cried. I knew that my IQ had been damaged."
    - Stephen King

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    I remember an interview with King where he referenced the Centipede Salem's Lot being WAY over-the-top in materials and price. He made a joke about waiting for someone to publish a limited made out of leather from babies.

    Unfortunately, I can't remember where the interview was from. It seems like it took place either around the time he released UR exclusively on Kindle, or when Lisey's Story came out.

    Hopefully that gives you a fresh direction for your internet searching.

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    Jerad at Centipede Press produces beautiful books. I want to buy books by authors I've never heard of just because he makes them look so good.

    If you want to see pricier stuff, check out the Charnel House editions of Dean Koontz's books. I think they usually run $1500 for a Lettered Edition.
    Last edited by Dave1442397; 01-05-2014 at 03:42 PM.

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    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement mhatchett's Avatar
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    Dave
    I think you're 100% right. I think centipede Press does a fantastic job. I also think a lot of SK stuff is overpriced. Just my opinion, so I rarely buy it. But I'm old so I bought the stuff I wanted when it first came out. We all know collecting can be princely.
    Mike

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    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement T-Dogz_AK47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brionen View Post
    I remember an interview with King where he referenced the Centipede Salem's Lot being WAY over-the-top in materials and price. He made a joke about waiting for someone to publish a limited made out of leather from babies.

    Unfortunately, I can't remember where the interview was from. It seems like it took place either around the time he released UR exclusively on Kindle, or when Lisey's Story came out.

    Hopefully that gives you a fresh direction for your internet searching.
    Thanks for this Brionen! I have managed to conduct a more focussed search from the information you gave me and have found a telephone interview with Stephen King that took place in January 2007 regarding his thoughts on limited editions.

    Below is an excerpt from that interview:

    Lilja: Speaking of publishing, it seems less and less of your books have been released in limited editions now. Is that something you have done deliberately?

    Stephen King: They are releasing Secretary of Dreams now and Frank Darabont is really high on the idea of doing a limited edition of The Mist. I don’t like them, I don’t like them. I think they are books for rich people and they’re elitist and the whole idea of limiteds… there’s something wrong with it, you know. The idea that people want a book that they can kind of drool over or masturbate on, I don’t know what it is they want with these things but it’s like they get this book and it’s this beautiful thing and they go like, “Don’t touch it, don’t… oh God it’s worth a thousand dollars, he signed it” and all this and my idea of a book that I like is when someone comes up to me at an autographing and you got this old beat-to-shit copy of The Stand and they say, “I’m sorry it looks this way” and I go like, “I’m not”. It means a lot of people have read it and enjoyed it.

    Lilja: But often they look very good, the limiteds.

    Stephen King: Well, they do but… on the other hand my mother used to say, “Handsome is as handsome does”.

    Lilja: That’s true…

    Stephen King: A thing is better looking when it’s useful and… you know something you just put up on the shelf to just look at it. Isn’t that weird?

    I mean…the worst one in a way and I don’t…this guy is gonna read this and be so bummed. This guy Jared Walters did Salem’s Lot in a limited. He basically fucking wore me down because he would come back every six months or so and say, “Please, please, please, please” and I’m very vulnerable to that if people, I mean, if he’d come to me and said that he wanted to do a Dollar Baby I would say, “Yes” immediately but this guy wants to do this big huge book with this, I don’t know, incredible binding done in some endangered species or something and finally the books come out and people like Frank Darabont and other collectors just loved that book and he wants to do The Shining next and so far I’ve just told him, “No”. Because it’d be another book like Salem’s Lot. It’ll weigh twenty pounds, and people will put it on their shelf and look at it and they won’t actually read it.


    The transcript of the full interview is published on the Lilja's Library website in 3 parts:

    http://www.liljas-library.com/showinterview.php?id=36

    I think Stephen King's comments are a bit confusing, because if he is taking a swing at Jared at Centipede Press for releasing an elaborate and relatively expensive edition of Salem's Lot, which was originally priced at $900 for the roman-numeraled deluxe edition back in 2005; how do publishers like CD and Sub Press now manage to get King to authorize super deluxe lettered editions that retail at $2,500 each?
    Last edited by T-Dogz_AK47; 01-05-2014 at 03:21 PM.
    "I watched Titanic when I got back home from the hospital, and cried. I knew that my IQ had been damaged."
    - Stephen King

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    Senior Member Lobotomized Martin's Avatar
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    It is probably save to say Mr. King's views on Limited editions has changed over the years.

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    Senior Member Receiving Daily Medication subie09lega's Avatar
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    Limiteds have certainly evolved over the years from the days of Firestarter.

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    Senior Member 2nd Rubber Room Confinement Theli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Dogz_AK47 View Post
    Stephen King: The idea that people want a book that they can kind of drool over or masturbate on,
    Oh, Mr. King you know me too well. Seriously though, wasn't Salem's lot one of his firt limited editions other than Firestarter and his collaborations with Bernie Wrightson? Maybe he was just uncomfortable with the idea at the time. The books that are limited are also wide spread novels that anyone can pick up in a trade format, it doesn't really prevent anyone from getting his books. I mean it's sort of is an exclusive club, maybe for snobs or elitist (I don't think of myself that way, but what do I know?), but I sure as hell am not rich. I just choose to spend my extra money on something I like, just like anybody else. I appreciate the different editions too, from the gift, limited and lettered, it's sort of open to a wider range of audience. That may have been a bigger probelm with the CP Salem's Lot it had a really smaller run. Was it 300 unsigned and 100 signed?
    Last edited by Theli; 01-06-2014 at 03:28 AM.

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    Senior Member Ok, I really can't come up with anymore of these stupid things... srboone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Dogz_AK47 View Post
    ...how do publishers like CD and Sub Press now manage to get King to authorize super deluxe lettered editions that retail at $2,500 each?
    Well, CD's editions are readable. I read my gift edition of It. Of course, I 'm not going to read my S/L...
    "I'm a vegan. "

    ---Kirby Bliss Blanton , The Green Inferno (2013)

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    Senior Member Receiving Daily Medication subie09lega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theli View Post
    ....That may have been a bigger probelm with the CP Salem's Lot it had a really smaller run. Was it 300 unsigned and 100 signed?
    From Tomas' site:
    Deluxe Copies: 25
    Signed and Numbered Copies: 380
    Unsigned/Gift edition: 600
    Quick reference:
    - 600 unsigned copies, not numbered
    - 300 limited edition copies numbered 1-300 in black
    - 80 limited edition copies numbered 1-80 in red
    - 15 deluxe leather copies numbered I-XV in black
    - 10 deluxe leather copies numbered I-X in red
    http://skcollector.com/limited/salemslot.html
    Last edited by subie09lega; 01-06-2014 at 03:42 AM.

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    Senior Member 2nd Rubber Room Confinement Theli's Avatar
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    That's actually not that bad for a print run. Did the 600 unsigned really not feature the photos or slipcase? I've been trying to hunt one down, and now I'm thinking: What the hell is the point?

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    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement T-Dogz_AK47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theli View Post
    That's actually not that bad for a print run. Did the 600 unsigned really not feature the photos or slipcase? I've been trying to hunt one down, and now I'm thinking: What the hell is the point?
    It is true that the 600 unsigned copies of Salem's Lot do not feature any interior photographs or the slipcase. It is essentially a standard trade edition of the book, albeit oversized and overpriced.

    The following excerpt taken from Lilja's Library website announced the 600 unsigned copies of Salem's Lot back in 2004:

    Stephen King has given Centipede Press permission to do another 600 UNSIGNED copies of 'SALEM'S LOT, bound in cloth.

    The size of the book is still 9 x 13, and includes all the text from the limited edition, including the deleted scenes. There will not be any interior photographs.

    This edition will ship in early December. The price is $95 + $15 shipping. We are accepting ONLY checks and money orders at this time, no credit cards or PayPal payments. If you live overseas, please contact us before ordering so that we can determine a shipping and payment method. Colorado residents will need to add $3.99 for state sales tax.


    http://www.liljas-library.com/2004/index2.php
    "I watched Titanic when I got back home from the hospital, and cried. I knew that my IQ had been damaged."
    - Stephen King

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    Senior Member 2nd Rubber Room Confinement Theli's Avatar
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    I see, well I didn't realize there were "deleted scenes" either. Anyone know if these extras are available in any other printing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theli View Post
    I see, well I didn't realize there were "deleted scenes" either. Anyone know if these extras are available in any other printing?
    Yes, you can get them in some of the mass market editions, but I couldn't tell you which ones offhand.

    The CP edition of 600 copies does come with a slipcase - just not the exotic leather covered one. I also got a complete set of photos with my copy, courtesy of Betts Books. It's a massive book, and I'd love to pick up one of the signed editions one day.

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    Senior Member Receiving Daily Medication subie09lega's Avatar
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    I believe the deleted material was included in the illustrated edition which also has the same illustrations as the limited editions.
    http://www.stephenking.com/library/n...d_edition.html
    I don't feel the illustrations add much to it. I have a set of them with my copy and my thought was just 'meh'. I supposed it's subjective based on your taste in artwork.
    I wouldn't call the 600 copy edition a trade edition, rather a gift edition as Tomas indicated on his site. True, it's not signed and didn't come with a slipcase but it is a beautiful book; Jerad at CP does an excellent job.
    Overpriced? I guess that it subjective, too, just like any purchase and perceived value.

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    Senior Member Receiving Daily Medication jhanic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theli View Post
    Oh, Mr. King you know me too well. Seriously though, wasn't Salem's lot one of his firt limited editions other than Firestarter and his collaborations with Bernie Wrightson?
    King had limited editions of many books before the Centipede Salem's Lot: Cujo, Danse Macabre, Gunslinger and Christine all came before the limited Cycle of the Werewolf with Wrightson.

    John

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    Senior Member 2nd Rubber Room Confinement Theli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhanic View Post
    King had limited editions of many books before the Centipede Salem's Lot: Cujo, Danse Macabre, Gunslinger and Christine all came before the limited Cycle of the Werewolf with Wrightson.

    John
    Interesting I didn't know about any of those. I wonder what gave him the change of heart toward limited releases.

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    Senior Member Receiving Daily Medication subie09lega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theli View Post
    Interesting I didn't know about any of those. I wonder what gave him the change of heart toward limited releases.
    Look at Tomas' lists for all the limiteds:
    http://skcollector.com/us_limiteds.html
    http://skcollector.com/uk_limiteds.html

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    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement T-Dogz_AK47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by subie09lega View Post
    I have read some bad press on other forums about the limited edition of The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon and having just seen the entry for it on The Collector website, I can see why.

    The publisher Simon & Schuster, originally offered the book at $500 but then kept increasing the price until it finally reached a whopping $1,000 for a 14 page book.

    http://skcollector.com/limited/tomgordon.html

    I would have thought Stephen King would have had more of an issue with this limited edition, instead of attacking Jerad at Centipede Press.
    "I watched Titanic when I got back home from the hospital, and cried. I knew that my IQ had been damaged."
    - Stephen King

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    Senior Member 2nd Rubber Room Confinement Theli's Avatar
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    Yeah that's pretty low. Maybe it's that whole attitude in general that pisses of King. I'm still a little peeved about the CP edition of Salem's Lot. I see absolutely no reason to buy the "gift edition". Cheaper cloth binding, cheaper paper, no photos, no sig, and no slipcase (apparently 200 were made independently of CP). I'll track down the trade copy with the photos and call it a day. Hopefully someone releases a new Salem's Lot, maybe for a 40th anniversary, cause I would still love a premium copy, but I can't afford $600+ for a book, and won't pay $200+ plus for an oversized hard cover.

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