Over the years Thinkers’ Press, inc. has received lots of testimonials for its work: publishing, quick service, answering emails, making win-win deals, and holding events of spectacular quality.
Sometimes it’s as simple as “I had heard about your new product and was sitting on the fence, but when I read Mr. X’s testimonial, that made the difference, and I went for it.”
Here’s what Bob Woodworth said today, from out there in Omaha, NE. “Attached is my personal check for $20 for the first two PDF issues of “Morphy’s Times & Games.” Those testimonials in your last email got me interested. Thank you for all the great service!!”
Thank YOU Mr. Woodworth.
His copies have already been sent to him.
THAT WASN’T ALL!
Earlier in the day I had a phone call from Mr. Chris Colombo in Evans, GA. He told me he was looking for some really good instructional books on chess for himself and his son. He mentioned looking around for these and asking others and he said, “When people I respected kept mentioning Purdy I thought I would look into that guy.” Somehow he correlated what he was looking for with Thinkers’ Press, found my phone number some place and called. He did something that many won’t do, he TOOK action. Like National Inquirer, HE wanted to know!
Almost all my sales for that book (see below) came from selling on Amazon.com
Why Don’t Chess Resellers Sell Thinkers’ Press Books?
Why don’t others sell this book? My first answer is you would have to ask them. When I sent out an announcement last fall announcing a new catalog (wholesale), to over 50 resellers I knew of, NOT one sent an order! This is not unusual, to be honest. Most of these businesses never read their mail (their loss), the only thing that matters to them is their lousy website. Somehow people do find out because they look much harder than the resellers do! When people (potential customers) want something that badly, they will go to the ends of the earth to find it.
My books, basically, are sensational books, Purdy books, off the beaten path books and few of them are cheap. But they are consistently of high-quality. What does that mean?
It means that I spent 10 years as a typographer at typefaces, inc. designing books.
What Did You Do Bob Besides Running the Company?
The format and layout was decided by me. The typefaces used were decided by me. The bookcovers were designed by very qualified people including my son Rob Long, Bill Hannon, Dave Kizer and many others, first rate in their profession and with years of experience. The contract terms were handled by me as well as the distribution.
Because what I did meant so much to me, I even argued with authors and reviewers (some of whom did nothing but criticize anything I did). I notice with one of the critiquers it brought HIS game up! Jealousy is a strange bedfellow.
Some of our books have become legendary in the sales department! And to me, that’s what really matters to myself and our authors.
Do I still get manuscript submissions from potential authors? I certainly do, but in the last couple years I have turned everyone down!! What?
If it isn’t good (according to my standards, which included binding, printing, design) they can submit their work to supposed competitors. Often those books never appear. And the few times they do, the manuscript which is published often doesn’t look like the manuscript which was submitted to me. Some are written by those who think they “know” chess but who really don’t! Your editor (me) is also a student of chess history who has known all the important people in the chess publishing business. Some are good friends.
The Reality of It All
Yes, I have had some resellers tell me my books cost too much. You know what that means, THEIR customer will eventually FIND Thinkers’ Press! I make the sale and don’t have to offer the customer the discounts I offer to resellers. If the book is also printed so that Amazon.com can sell it, then I have a “partner” in the sales business but with Amazon.com I don’t allow them the sales discount that I offer to regular resellers because their terms are too crazy and I have enough paperwork to last me a lifetime without turning to them.
USCF Sales doesn’t buy my books because the guy who runs it is inept and pays his bills so late (really untimely) that I have to genuinely threaten legal action to get paid! Notice I am not talk USCF but their sales department!
So Here’s What Will Happen Customer
In the instance of CJS Purdy’s My Search for Chess Perfection (which Mr. Colombo raved about) there will be a new edition in 2015. I’ve gotten the reproofed copy back from my proofreader in New Zealand, and with the help of one of the original authors, Robert Jamieson (who knew Purdy personally, I will be adding to this 418 page book, perhaps making it 450-500 pages (I haven’t decided yet, but I do have new material from Purdy’s files which he hadn’t published by the time he died in 1979).
It will probably run $49.95 or more and contain additional photographs which have also been unearthed!
It will be an awesome event. It will be the book everyone who is desiring to improve his/her game will want. For some it will mean not having to buy another chess books (ooh, I hate the sound of that!). On the other hand, it will introduce many to other writings of Purdy in other books we have and some only available in PDF such as 1 BOND St. (over 360 pages!) and The Purdy Chronicles. Just recently we published a 1939 book of Purdy’s titled Among These Mates another book which resellers didn’t pick up.
“We” are a one-man crew here these days so all of the people (one) participating in book making (again, one) must get paid (haven’t seen that happen yet). We use those sales to do the next book, that’s the way Purdy did it too. Some of those books now are quite expensive to locate and buy. They (customers) could have bought them for a lot less if they had purchased them originally from Thinkers’ Press but used the excuse of “I didn’t know how to get hold of you!” I’ve been around here for lo these many years (42). Many of the resellers know where I am but somehow I suspect they are not too willing to do any leg work either for you or themselves.
In the Meantime
If you want a list of some of the best Purdy books ever published or “To Be Published” you should write to:
Bob Long, Publisher
Thinkers’ Press, inc.
1524 LeClaire St.
Davenport, IA 52803 USA
I’ll send you one at no charge if you either send me your email address OR your Street address–no charge.
While You Are at It, Send a Testimonial Comparing TPi with up to now who is your current chess source. You might surprise yourself at what you have been missing.