Eyes on the ‘prise

I have a tendency to get fixated on my projects du jour, sometimes focusing on them to the exclusion of just about everything else, but the next book is eating my brain with unusual vigor. I did practically nothing all weekend but assemble layouts and edit text and fix up graphics, and the more I get laid out the happier I am with the results. Seriously, this book is going to be great. I should do this stuff for a living, or something.

Anyway, the previous layout wasn’t indicative of an issue consisting of nothing but tiny blurbs of text; the bulk of the book is likely to be normal articles. Like the one below:

The goal here is to delve into important NES-related topics while touching briefly on as many other titles and items as possible. I don’t know if this will be the greatest book ever made about the NES — presumably it won’t be — but it will still be pretty danged good. But I will shut up about it now, because talk is cheap and does you no good whatsoever.

18 thoughts on “Eyes on the ‘prise

  1. The layouts for these keep getting better and better. It’s almost like you’re improving.

  2. I could be in the minority here, and it might be too late since you’ve been toiling over this for days now… but I prefer the old “byline at the start” rather than Year 1 v2’s “byline at the end” format. I find I keep flipping to the end as I start to learn who wrote the article.

  3. Yeah, this one’s shaping up to look real nice. Quite possibly the very heights attainable without switching to Fancy Shmancy Media Mogul Mode.

    By the way, what ARE those things on the corners of Zelda doors supposed to be? Recessed lighting sconces?

  4. I presume this WILL be the best book ever on the NES, but the only other ones I’ve read were either by Jeff Rovin or F.X. Nine. Really though, are there awesome NES history books that aren’t all dry industry-speak?

  5. How is it legal to sell a magazine with hundreds of unlicensed images from third parties? I love the content, I’m not trying to start shit, I’m just wondering what the legal grounds are. It is one of those “we just do it and hope nobody notices” kind of things?

  6. I suspect it would fall under fair use. If it does not impact the ability of the copyright holder to sell the game, and used for critique or comparison to other games, then it’s probably not a problem. However, I’m not exactly a legal guru, so anyone else got some feedback?

  7. Fair use definitely counts for a lot here — this is a critical work, not a derivative work or one created for the sake of entertainment, giving this a level of protection not afforded to something like a strategy guide. A screenshot serves the same effective function as a text excerpt in a book review. I’m also very cautious about using official art and logos, sticking to promotional images and box arts. I also include a page of copyright notices in each book. There’s definitely a fine line here, but I’ve studied enough media law to feel confident that we aren’t stepping over it.

    Plus, given the minuscule size of this project, no one really cares. If we were selling thousands of copies of each book, there might be some issues. But at this scale, we are a tiny speck.

  8. Yeah, Jeremy pretty much covers it there, but if you’ve ever seen the legalese for “fair use” printed out, you’ll notice the “excerpts for the purpose of review” is usually one of the specifically enumerated uses. A few still shots from a long-form moving work are usually accepted to fit that definition.

  9. Looks like $20 paperback, $42 hardcover. More expensive than usual (even though we won’t be making a penny more profit from them), but also a LOT more content-packed. I am considering trimming the small, single-page write-ups from the paperback to bring the price back down to $15, but I don’t want people to get the impression I am trying to rip them off or force them to buy the hardcover to get the “whole” book.

  10. So, it looks like we’re getting one fat NES retrospective book rather than two slightly slimmer volumes?

  11. Two volumes was never a possibility! I think you were the only one who even mentioned such a thing. Publishing as one volume means the total price is $20 paperback/$42 hardcover as opposed to $30 paperback/$72 hardcover for two volumes. It’s the same amount of content either way, and I’m trying to deliver the best value possible, here.

  12. Damn, if I was going to delude myself into thinking that a 2-volume NES retrospective was a possibility, I should’ve dreamt bigger: both volumes reprinted at Christmas in a single book shaped like Nester’s head.

    Man, now I’m gonna be bummed if the cover of this NES book doesn’t look like a NES Control Deck ™, too.

  13. I’d certainly vote for $20 complete over $15 trimmed, and I expect I’m not alone. Especially once you factor in shipping and so forth, $5 isn’t that big an advantage. This volume has so much content, I think it’s somewhat shifted from the “magazine” realm into “reference book”, which sounds much more reasonable at $20.

  14. Just to voice my little vote, if there is a poll….. I would prefer a $20 full version because I will be buying the full no matter what, and would rather pay $20
    Thanks either way

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