Lividian Publications is a passion project based on Brian James Freeman’s twenty years of experience overseeing the publication of more than 300 collectible Limited Edition books by some of the biggest New York Times bestselling authors working today. Read more on the About page.
When you preorder directly through Lividian.com and the publication date is more than 90 days away, there is no prepayment required. You can simply place a preorder through the website and we will contact you VIA EMAIL for your payment information later. Please be sure to use a valid email address for your order!
Please Note: We will attempt to email you up to three times for payment, but you are responsible for paying for your preorder in a timely manner. Your preorder only holds your copy up until the publication date, and we cannot be responsible for lost emails or collectors who forget to pay for their order. All unclaimed preorders will be cancelled after publication at our discretion.
When the order is ready to be processed and paid for, you will receive an email with this subject line:
Your Lividian Publications Preorder Is Ready For Payment!
The beginning of the email will look something like this:
This email will include a personalized payment link (see the red arrow above), which you can click on to be taken to the website and pay for your preorder to complete your order. The sooner you complete your order, the higher you should be in the shipping queue.
Unfortunately, we cannot send this invoice early to anyone without sending it early to everyone, so you’ll have to watch for the email. We will also post a note on our News page when this email is been sent.
IMPORTANT: If you’ve moved since you placed your preorder, even if you changed your address on the website, please email Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know your NEW address, so he can confirm that address is what ends up in the shipping software. Thank you!
A few years back, I worked on a big research project involving surveys of a few thousand collectors, plus a detailed study of resale values of certain comparable Limited Editions, and there’s a surprisingly clear line between the point where individual numbers increase collectability and the point where they no longer help.
I cannot get into the specific details because this was paid research I did for a large trade publisher that was looking into the business model (they decided not to enter the field because the margins weren’t to their liking — paying for New York office space is expensive, and they didn’t have direct sales channels which meant either creating them or selling through distributors, which take a 50% cut), but obviously I benefited from the information, too.
One thing the research turned up: specific numbers for books do make collectors more willing to purchase books they don’t necessarily want, so they can “keep” their number, which actually isn’t something I’m particularly interested in as a publisher. I’d rather folks buy the books they really want. If a full set isn’t their thing, I’m okay with that.
So, if the print run falls in the range where it’ll make the book more collectible for the collectors, I’ll definitely do that.
If we end up well into the range where numbering doesn’t reward the collectors long-term, the odds are I won’t for the reason mentioned above and a few others.
To comply with the credit card company’s terms of service, all of this information is provided on a separate, dedicated page here.
Also phrased as: “Dude, that book is selling for 4X as much on eBay, are you an idiot or something!?!?”
Yes, maybe? I guess it depends on who you ask!
Here’s the deal: how retailers price new books has always been a somewhat controversial topic. In theory, a bookseller can take a brand new $50 book and sell it for $5 or $500 if that’s what they want and what the market will accept. They’re not obligated by the publisher to sell for any set price.
I’m making absolutely no judgements here about retailers who decide to price a new and popular book based on the current market rates. I totally get the reasoning involved, and given the low margins in the bookselling business, I understand it 100%. (Why do you think Lividian Publications is extremely generous with dividing up our print runs among booksellers and then actively pointing customers toward those booksellers? I like booksellers! I think they’re important to the small press ecosystem and deserve support.)
My personal decision is this: when it’s a book that I’ve bought as a retailer to offer on the site, I’ll always sell it at retail, even if it’s selling for much higher on the second-hand market. My hope is that a lucky collector will be able to fill a gap in their collection, but I know that some of the copies are getting flipped for “easy” profits. That’s why some people have said I’m an idiot for not just marking up my copies. But you know what? I know which of my customers are buying and flipping the books (I’m in the same groups as them!), and do you know what I see those customers doing with their profits? Buying other books for their collections! So, that money is really only helping other small presses, booksellers, collectors, and sellers, which is fine by me.
Ultimately, it doesn’t hurt me to sell at the retail price. That said, I do tend to restrict these books to “one per person” because there were people buying 5 or 10 copies to flip, which kind of goes against the spirit of what I’m trying to do.
For books from outside the US, the price might be a little different than if you ordered direct because I have to factor in the exchange rate at the time I paid for them and the shipping cost to get them to the US, but there won’t be a purposeful markup to increase the profit margins.
Again, I’m making absolutely no judgement here about how other people do business, but I’ve gotten enough questions that I thought it finally needed to be addressed. I hope this information is helpful.
As of right now, there are three “sets” of ongoing numbers/letters:
Joe Hill Lettered Editions:
Because the Joe Hill books are part of an ongoing set, the Lettered Editions are on their own little island. Collectors who purchased the most recent Joe Hill Lettered Edition from us will be offered the next one when it is ready for preorder.
Matthew Corbett Limited Editions and Lettered Editions:
Because Robert McCammon’s Matthew Corbett series is an ongoing concern, those who purchase The King of Shadows directly from us will be offered the opportunity to purchase the same number or letter of the next Matthew Corbett book we publish. These books are also on their own little island like the Joe Hill books referenced above. (Collectors are responsible for notifying us of any changes to their email address. We cannot be responsible if the advance notification we send you doesn’t reach you.
If you own the Cemetery Dance Publications Limited Edition of Cardinal Black and would like to request a matching number for The King of Shadows, please use this Google form (link will take you off site to a Google form).
If you own the Cardinal Black Lettered Edition and would like to learn more about our Lettered Edition of The King of Shadows when it becomes available for preorder, please use this Google form (link will take you off site to a Google form).
Please Note: Other books by Robert McCammon would not be part of this category. They would instead be in the “Everything Else” category below.
The vast majority of our books are offered to the collectors who purchased the previously announced book (Joe Hill and Matthew Corbett series books excluded). So, collectors who purchased The Chill by Scott Carson will be the first ones offered the next book we announce, with the opportunity to keep their number or letter from The Chill. If a collector decides not to purchase that book, the number or letter will belong to the person who purchases that book, meaning they will be offered the next book.
Transfer of Rights:
We do NOT have a system in place for “transferring rights” to a number or letter. That said, if Robert Smith sells #100 of Book A to John Doe, and John Doe buys Book B from us, he can request copy #100 in the “Other Notes” section during checkout. If Robert Smith doesn’t buy Book B, we’ll assign #100 to John Doe if he made the request. But if Robert Smith does buy Book B, he will get #100. Any deal you made is between you and the other collector, and we cannot be involved in enforcing the terms of that deal.
Please feel free to always include your preferred number/letter in the “Other Notes” section during checkout, so we can take that into account when processing the orders.
One of my goals for Lividian Publications is to publish beautiful collectible books while keeping the retail price as reasonable as possible.
For The Night Country, I produced the Lettered Edition the same way most small presses have for as long as I’ve been in this business. The printer made enough “book blocks” (internal guts) for the Limited Edition and the Lettered Edition, and then finished them accordingly: different bindings, endpapers, signature sheets, etc. But the insides are basically the same.
I’ve never really liked this, but being the guy who has written the spec sheets and gotten the quotes for more than three hundred Limited Edition books over the years, I certainly understand why special editions are usually done this way. Printing totally separate guts is crazy expensive because the print run is so low, and it gets even more expensive if you upgrade to nicer paper and, perhaps, full color printing.
That said, publishing the “regular” Lettered Editions differently is something I’ve really wanted to try, and I see this as a way of pushing the boundaries of what is possible for a beautiful special edition while trying to keep the retail price under control, relatively speaking.
So, for the Lettered Edition of The Chill, I worked with the same boutique printer and hand-binder who made the Lettered Editions of Revival and 20th Century Ghosts to print and bind The Chill Lettered Edition separately from the Limited Edition, just like I do for the Stephen King and Joe Hill books.
The Chill Lettered Edition was printed on the same heavy weight and textured specialty paper as those King and Hill titles, and we upgraded the entire book to full-color printing, including all the interior artwork, which only appears in B&W in the Limited Edition. (Check out the photos on the product page – the artwork is absolutely stunning in full color on this high-end paper stock!)
The final “form” of the Lettered Editions (binding and clamshell case) will be similar to The Night Country, so these will still look good together on the shelf for those of you collecting all of our Lettered Editions, but the production values for the insides of The Chill are vastly improved from The Night Country. A tremendous amount of manual labor went into producing this edition in the hopes of making it more beautiful and special than a “regular” Lettered Edition.
So, the next step in the process is to see if collectors actually like and want what we’ve done, and then we can decide how to proceed in the future.
When you publish a new Limited Edition of a book that already received the “special edition” treatment, are you trying to “top” the previous edition?
When it’s announced that someone is publishing a new Limited Edition of a book that already had a Limited Edition, there are bound to be some strong feelings among collectors. Some people hate it with the fire of a thousand suns. Some people say “the more, the merrier” when it comes to their favorite books or authors. And for some people, it depends on how they felt about the first Limited Edition. Did they like the production values? The artwork? The publisher?
I completely understand where a publisher is coming from when they feel slighted that a book they already published in a fancy edition is now being published by someone else in a different fancy edition. It can feel like someone is saying, “Eh, that wasn’t very good, I’ll do it better.”
That’s why, when it comes to something like our Joe Hill set of matching Limited Editions, I’m trying to make it clear that our goal isn’t to “top” any of the previous editions, many of which I own and love — and some of which could never be “topped,” in my humble opinion. The goal has always been to create a big, beautiful, cohesive set of books that will look awesome on the shelf together.
So, if you ever see someone saying they hope some edition we’re publishing will “top” a previous edition, please know that I’m cringing when I read that. It’s not our objective at all.