Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Rich Fireman (as have others in the past) asked about Lasker #6, referencing Lasker & His Contemporaries. Is it going to be released? I don't know, and if so, when.

I have the material in some folders, stuff most of you have never seen even still. I am no longer in the "labor of love" business. LOL = what one does when starting out and we don't know any better. What do I mean?

I had a passion for Lasker (and still do) but it takes a long time to sell 750 - 1,000 copies of something like that. Compromises and deals are made, copies are wholesaled and given away for review. Working on the magazine itself really makes a dent in my time line--I could be working on something else that would pay those everyday bills. Patrons are a thing of the past (not my past, but way in the past!) It's a shame, but life is like that. I could do pre-solds, which I have done but then some will start asking, "When will it be out?" (Ans.: when I get enough pre-solds.)

Amateurs take a quick read and say "1,000 x $20 = $20,000." That's myopic (they always pick the higher numbers too) and not even close to true. The impatient are the bane of every business person because they know so little (and not too amazingly, never have done anything like this themselves). If I got the full tilt I would consider it. But then the new price would be $30-40 and the problem starts all over again. (Some are amazingly quick to point to dollar figures of the old days, but somehow forget that their own pay has doubled or tripled since those very days.)

Lasker #5 won an award, I think the Fred Cramer Award... a green marbled obelisk type of thing and a couple hundred bucks (Thanks Fred). I shared the money with John Hilbert who helped me edit a number of articles for that issue.

The designer of the cover, Ken Prestley (Austin, TX), is staying at my house this week. I am going to get pictures of him and create an article for the next issue of Chess EXTRAS. A good designer can make a huge difference in sales when the product goes on is in a store. I have promised a couple articles about two guys who have designed for me in the past, and may expand it to three, one for each of the next three issues of CE.

My house is quiet for overnight guests: no cats or barking dogs, no crying babies or kids running around (mine are all grown up), no blaring TV (I don't even have one--how else did you think I could keep pushing out this mass of chess information?), no cranked up music (ever ride in someone else's car?), no others in the house screaming to use the bathroom or shower... so it's a good place to relax (as others have told me).

Thus, while Ken goes to visit some other people overnight in Iowa City, I will finish up the first half of the secret (in terms of content) Purdy project... though not as grand of a secret as Apple's unveiling of a "tablet" later today.

The problem with the "brain" at Thinkers' Press, inc. is having too many ideas and the time needed to determine which ones will be commercial. I am hoping the Purdy project will be the first one for 2010.

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