locked Re: Southern Railway Prince book reprints - takers??

A&Y Dave in MD

Agree they care, but how to direct that passion?  I’m NOT talking a video game. I respect the generations more than that. But is a printed book the best way to fuel interest?

Sent from Dave Bott's iPhone

On Jun 23, 2022, at 9:05 PM, Kyle Shannon via groups.io <trainsr6900@...> wrote:

 I’m 29 years old and see many my age and some significantly younger passionate about Southern steam. I wouldn’t discount that the younger generations do not care.


On Thursday, June 23, 2022, 8:50 PM, A&Y Dave in MD <dbott@...> wrote:

Agree. What’s needed is something more appealing to a new audience to instill interest in a new generation.

What would get a 30 year old interested in Southern Railway steam?


Sent from Dave Bott's iPhone

On Jun 23, 2022, at 8:37 PM, Bill Schafer <bill4501@...> wrote:

The photo reproduction was not the best in any of the original Prince books, and the reprints were abysmal. They were reprinted by the Indiana University Press, IIRC; the books didn’t do their reputation any favors. 

Considering that the demand for steam books seems to be waning, I’d think twice before reprinting any of the Prince books. If you shop around, you may find a used one reasonably priced. A year or two ago I noticed that the ACL book was missing from my set, so instead of turning the house upside down looking for it, I just ordered another one on-line. I found one on Amazon, being sold by the Danbury Railway Museum for something like $15. It was surplus to their collection and the proceeds went to improving the museum (such as UV protection on all their windows). 


On Jun 21, 2022, at 12:10, Cohen Bob via groups.io <orl96782@...> wrote:

Gordon and all:

The Prince books, all 10 or 11 of them covering the different railroads of the south that he documented are fantastic resources, even today, the SR included.

Maybe forgotten is that in the early 2000's, four of his titles were reprinted, Seaboard Air Line, Atlantic Coast Line, NC&St. L, and the L&N. The quality of the reprinted photos I am told made Prince livid and he forbid any others from being done, and yes, the reprinted photos were poor, but I also suspect that the available originals weren't that good either. At the time, the NC&St. L was THE most expensive one and by far, and seldom seen, maybe even less often actual sales taking place. It was a $350-$400 item.

Post reprinted, they all have settled down to around the $40-$60 plus or minus a little area. The other RR's still retain serious interest for the researcher, those of the N&W, RF&P, A&WP, New Georgia, Southern, and the original Norfolk Southern being the most elusive of the bunch. The N&W and RF&P seem to still garner somewhere in the $75-$100 region regularly, maybe a little more, the NS bringing $150 or so if and when you can find them. The Southern one seems to bring $50 plus or minus a little here and there and is among if not THE most popular of the bunch.

Without getting into copyright issues, should one wish to reprint the SR one, that is the marketplace you'll be competing into. I don't know how many original copies Prince made in his various printings of each of the above RR's but for the more popular titles I think it was plenty for the times. Today, my belief is there are sufficient quantity out there for current demand, my opinion, so into the hornet's nest, does one make the commitment of how many thousands of dollars up front money to sell ??????????????? how many of the reprint?

When the 4 reprinted titles were done nearly 20 years ago, as I recall, they were available at the time for $40 each.

What's the risk/reward ratio for a new reprint albeit one that wasn't done back then, and is there enough pent-up demand for another one? My opinion is probably not as the current supply out there fits most needs for the moment. How long that may continue is anyone's best guess, but my opinion is, likely not worth the investment at this time.

My 2 cents worth.

Bob Cohen

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