This is the first update regarding our first crowdfunded book project, Ships of Pearl by F. W. Boreham. If you haven’t yet, head to the Kickstarter page to see how you can get a copy of F. W. Boreham’s rarest book.
Why F. W. Boreham?
F. W. Boreham has been endorsed by Charles Spurgeon, Billy Graham and Ravi Zacharias, but his classic books have fallen out of print, and some of them are impossible to obtain.
Why Ships of Pearl?
Ships of Pearl is not only extremely rare, but it is undoubtedly one of Boreham’s best works. Like The Passing of John Broadbanks, it came at a time when Boreham believed he was nearing the end of his writing career; his work had been perfected, polished, and seasoned with the salt of age.
At the moment, Ships of Pearl is F. W. Boreham’s rarest book—rarer than The Whisper of God or The Blue Flame, which Pioneer Library has already put back into print. Ships of Pearl is not currently in print, and you won’t see it for under $100 on Amazon, Abebooks, eBay, B&N, Alibris—you name it. At time of publication, the only copy for sale online costs $851.90 plus shipping. I believe that this is because someone using tailored software bought the last few copies on the Internet, and is waiting for someone foolish and desperate to make them a cool grand.
What will it look like?
We have prepared a new edition of this classic book, completely re-typeset to match as closely as possible the flavor of the original. We’ve also added 126 footnotes giving Scripture references, sources for quotations, and, occasionally, notes on the author’s dialect.
The new edition will be printed on 60-weight natural paper, which is opaque and easy on the eyes. The hardcover will have a cranberry linen cover with a custom gold foil stamp of the title and the author’s signature, as well as a tough 100-weight dust jacket.
We have gone with Gorham Printing, a short-run printer in Centralia, Washington. (Yes, we know! Boreham and Gorham!) Using a short-run printer means that we have to choose how many copies to order up front. Since out-of-print books are often forgotten to start with, we could not justify investing thousands of dollars without first knowing how many serious Boreham fans are out there.
All the books we have printed thus far have been softcover books, perfect-bound, and print-on-demand. This is a great option for affordability; however, the quality of the binding does not compare with that of a book from a print run. This means they don’t last as long. There is also no customizability with the big, outsourced print operations. Gorham allows us a litany of design options, and when we email them a question, we get a response from a human being, usually within a day.
We decided that Kickstarter was the best way to fund this project for two reasons: First, it is currently the most popular way to crowdsource funding for a business venture. Second, Kickstarter provides accountability. If the project doesn’t make, Kickstarter returns all pledges. And if a project doesn’t follow their guidelines, they can hold the designer responsible.
The thirty-day timeline is also important. We don’t have any warehouse or office space to deal with continual sales. Kickstarter enables us to have a short, focused period to sell these books, and then get back to our day jobs.
What about Amazon?
As much as it is humanly possible at this time, we are breaking up with Amazon. There are basically two reasons for this.
The first reason is erratic management. Because of its size, there is no redress for problems with the Amazon process. I have had multiple F. W. Boreham projects rejected by Amazon for unfounded reasons, but there is no appeal process to get my new books in print. In August 2017, they accepted The Drums of Dawn for Kindle publication, but rejected it for print publication. They did something similar for The Ivory Spires and When the Swans Fly High,. This effectively halted our new Boreham publications, and I have never received any explanation.
The second reason is justice. Amazon has been roundly criticized for employee abuse and monopolizing practices. When ebooks hit the global market, Amazon took a seven-figure hit in its prices, just so that they could crush their only viable competitor, Barnes and Noble. They also bought out their only online competitor, Abebooks. Brick-and-mortar bookstores throughout North America are closing their doors because of Amazon’s ruthless business practices.
How do I get on board?
Go to our Kickstarter page to see how you can contribute to making this book a reality. If our project succeeds, you will get a brand new, hardback copy of Ships of Pearl for only $40, and you can order both print and digital for $50.