What books would you buy


Lobotomy Boy
October 13, 2004, 02:07 PM
I've been trying to get the publishing company I work for to publish gun books for almost five years. It looks like I may actually get a chance to develop a gun book program. I'm curious about what types of books people would buy. Are you interested in how-to type books, such as a book of projects for repairing and modifying a 1911, or a book on modifying a Remington 1100 for competetive trap shooting? How about richly illustrated, coffee table-type histories on manufacturers such as Smith and Wesson or Colt? What prices would you be willing to pay for such books? $19.95? $24.95? $40-50?

Thanks in advance.

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October 13, 2004, 02:57 PM
How-to books are cool, especially for shade-tree gunsmiths like me. I don't try anything very extravagant, but learning how to adjust the trigger pull on model 700s and things of that nature I think would sell fairly well.

Lobotomy Boy
October 13, 2004, 03:36 PM
Thanks Duckslayer. The how-to type books would be focused on specific guns, like the 700, 10/22, MKII, Blackhawk, 629, 1911, Glocks, etc. The difference in price would reflect amount of content. A book that sold for $19.95 might have 128 pages and contain 20-30 projects you could do to your Remington 700, and a $34.95 book might have 292 pages and contain 101 projects for your 1911. Each book would have a section on basic maintenance and repair, but would focus on projects to improve the performance of your gun.

As for the history type books, the cheaper books would be little paperbacks, while the more expensive books would be large, coffee table-style books with lots of color photography.

What guns do you think would make good subjects for how-to books?

Black Snowman
October 13, 2004, 04:20 PM
In addition to project books, technique how-to books are nice as well. Shooting stances used in various competitions, etc . . .

A nice primer to things like IDPA, USPSA, and High-Power competitions so someone could go in knowing what to expect would be nice. AFAIK there aren't any "How to start competing in High-Power for Dummies" books out there.

Keep in mind people who work on their own guns are cheap as a rule so keep the books small and spacific if you're going to do the gunsmithing route and make sure there are enough disclaimers to keep the company's insurance costs to a minimum.

A book on getting stareted collection Curio's and Relics would be good. Not everyone who is a fan of ancient hardware is online ;).

October 13, 2004, 04:24 PM
I don't know about how well any of them would do but I know that I most like to read historical-type books on various gun models and companies (particularly WWII).

Lobotomy Boy
October 13, 2004, 04:27 PM
Thanks BS. This is good information. I agree that technique- and activity-oriented books would be good. Around here trap shooting and cowboy-style competitions are popular, so I was thinking about doing books like "Trap Shooting Handbook."

October 13, 2004, 04:29 PM
As for what guns would be good for a how-to book, I would guess guns that are hugely popular, like the Rem 700, Rem 870, Win Model 70, and Ruger 10/22 and Model 77. 1911s obviously, and perhaps Hi-powers and Glocks. All the Smith j, k, etc frames.

Are these guns ones that have been previously written, but not produced in a long time, or are you going to write or have someone else write these as new editions.

October 13, 2004, 04:44 PM
If you do get the opportunity to get some published, make sure you have lots of clear pictures for us visual learners. A lack of clear photos is the one issue I've had with online how to sites.

The historical coffee table style books are a great idea. I wish you much luck

Lobotomy Boy
October 13, 2004, 05:26 PM
These will be all-new books, written by people who are recognized experts in their fields. Our company pays some of the best advances in the business so I should be able to contract quality writers and photographers.

I plan to do all-color photography, which should set our books apart from most of the books now available. I think it's easier to use a photo in an instructional manner if it is a color photo.

October 13, 2004, 05:38 PM
I don't really have interest in reading about equipment--even my manuals bore me and that's just the basic basic operation type of stuff.

I do like reading Jeff Cooper (Gargantuan Gunsite Gossips) and Farnam's quips online though.

Lobotomy Boy
October 14, 2004, 12:23 PM
Most people don't read books about hardware type subjects, Skunkabilly. Fortunately enough people do read to keep us in business. Every once in a while you can have a great-selling book that is a history of a machine--we've sold 70,000 copies of a $50 Corvette book that I contracted, for example--but mostly the history type books languish in the 3,000-5,000 copy category. That is why they usually tend to be expensive. I've had extremely good luck with photographic coffee table books--one $40 chopper book that I brough in has sold almost 70,000 copies in its first year. But for the most part, the bread and butter of this industry are how-to books. A good how-to book can be a solid seller for years, meaning it does well in its first year and sells well as a backlist title in following years.

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