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Doble Book-by Jim Crank

Posted by George-n 
Doble Book-by Jim Crank
February 27, 2012 01:41PM
I have been informed that this great two volume 650 page book with 400 high detail photos is near completion. Unfortunately the latest 3 promised Doble owner/supporters have not provided the necessary promised funding to complete the last two chapters and to pay the funds owed to the editor to complete this most exhaustive project. I have been blessed with reviewing and reading several of the earlier editions over several years and must say the book is so exciting to read much like a great mystery novel, all the behind the scenes activity of the Doble saga are fascinating in detail. Very hard to put down and not pick it up quickly again as Jim's writing style is so unique and historical; several Doble owners have had a chance to review parts of the book and all are very enthused about it being published and desire buying several copies themselves. Unfortunately the richer of the Doble owners and car enthusiasts are not yet helping with the last bit of funding required to complete the project.
Jim has probably been writing this book for 8 years from his vast collection of data and ownership of Doble Steam Motors that it would be a terrible shame if he threw this nearly completed and exhausting project out due to a lack of $28,000 funds to complete the final edition for printing. The detail and accuracy in this book is of the highest quality and it would be a great loss if Jim were to throw in the towel on it after 90% completion, this priceless story would be lost forever.
If there are any potential supporters that read the SACA thread they should contact Jim Crank, for those multi millionaires out there please consider helping with the completion of this one-of-a-kind tale. Coming up with $28,000 to complete the editing should not be impossible and Jim has put so much time and money into it on his own.
I know this is sort of a rare request to be put on the SACA website to help the effort to complete this two volume book and hope I have not offended anyone by doing so and is within the policies of this SACA thread. The story is incredible!
Re: Doble Book-by Jim Crank
March 03, 2012 12:23PM
I'm in the process of buying a house, so I don't have any real cash available, but I would be glad to pay for a copy up front. If enough of us do that, maybe someone will have the balance needed.

Re: Doble Book-by Jim Crank
March 04, 2012 04:44PM
A good idea, thank you! I will talk it over with Jim, one of the problems could be if onlly half of the needed funds are collected and then the money would have to be returned to each person. This hugh two volume set is not going to be cheap, it could sell for a lot more than most SACA members could afford. Will try and get back to you, thanks so much.
Re: Doble Book-by Jim Crank
March 04, 2012 05:34PM
Alright, look, let's put this to bed right now.
Selling books before they go to press is naive in the extreme. What if it never gets published, then the money would have to be returned, putting a big financial burden on the author. Just not practical.
I also refuse to see it chopped up into bits for some Journal or Newsletter as some have suggested. Either it is done right or not at all and NO the book archive will NOT be donated to some flakey outfit that wants to "preserve" the Doble history. High-grading of this kind of history has already been seen in a major library with the Besler history. The person who "evaluated" the material we know stole a lot of drawings for his own collection. Drawings that I certainly knew and used and now the library does not have any of them nor any record of them.

The CORD book by Griff Borgeson and published by Automobile Quarterly, they pre sold the book at, I think, $225.00 each. The pre-purchasing lasted until the full publishing price was collected. We all signed up ahead of time and just sat and waited. The money was put in escrow and if it did not cover the expenses, then it would have been returned.
The difference between the quoted price to print and publish the Doble book and the suggested selling price produces more than enough profit to reimburse the financing.
The cost as quoted to date is around $165,000.00 total for printing 1200 copies, which is what the best automotive writers have said is the number we should print. Also to do all right at the first, as it costs much more to go back and do it again when prices have even risen further and quality always suffers.
My editor and I need $28K right now for him to finish the last chapters and for us to do more high res photographs, do the final editing and make the finished book ready for press CDs for the publisher to use. And NO WAY will I see it in some cheap paperback form.

The first Doble Book publisher went all mental and then died. End of that one.
The second who was financing the book had a serious business reversal and pulled out by necessity.
The third has the money as change on his dresser, promised to fund the book, then went silent and never did it.

So, if the Stanley book could be done, why not the complete and exhaustive set of boxed books on the most expensive and highly engineered steam car in history?
Either by one of the people who call and e-mail for Doble information all the time, or a group who can easily finance the book.
The Doble family, the business history, the messy legal goings on, the engineering history and the history of the corporation and every one of the cars is worthy of such a history or not. No one else has the archives and data that I have, nor knew the principals. Either it is done right as the subject matter deserves or it will not be done at all.
i might point out right now that really high quality automotive books on rare cars are now selling from $400.00 to near $1,000.00 each.
i sent the finished chapters to George so he can see himself what the book would be. If he wishes, he can comment on them.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/04/2012 06:01PM by Jim Crank.
Re: Doble Book-by Jim Crank
March 04, 2012 07:52PM
I've been watching this discussion for several years now, and honestly can't see how this project could ever be completed. The numbers make it clear. Even after the $28,000 has been raised, which is already proving to be quite difficult, another $165,000 will be required for printing 1200 copies. If we disregard the $28,000 and, for that matter, all other pre-printing costs, and then disregard all the marketing and distribution costs, and finally assume that every single copy sells, that works out to $137.50 per book just to break even. Presumaby the list price would be about double the cost, make it a round $250 for discussion. Now put together all the members of SACA, the Stanley Museum, the Friends of Auburn Heights, the British steam car clubs - probably not even 1200 people. And not all of those would be able to put $250 into a book. Where will the rest of the customers come from?

This is an extraordinary book, absolutely encyclopedic in nature - probably more thorough than any single-marque book that has come before it. It's not a popular coffee-table car book that people will pick up and browse through for pictures. It's a book for dedicated steam people, and after you take out the people dedicated enough to be in a club, where are the others? It would surprise me if there are more than 600 people on earth who are sufficiently dedicated and sufficiently well-funded to even own a steam car of any kind.

I have spent many enjoyable years studying the Walton book. I long to see this magnificent work published, and the information made accessible. It will be disappointing and a grievous loss to history when this knowledge is destroyed. It's just hard to see how this could be shown to be a feasible investment for those who might fund its completion.
Re: Doble Book-by Jim Crank
March 05, 2012 08:17AM
Oh, the thousands of classic car people, the automotive book collectors, people like that who have the huge automotive book libraries attached to their private museums and restoration facilities.
The steam car people are NOT the market, never were, the others are. If one depended on the steam car community to fund anything, nothing would be the result

And yes, because the opportunity and interest were there, it is encyclopedic in nature. Quite similar to the 2.9 Alfa Romeo book by Simon Moore, which now for a first edition commands over $1,300.00 if you can even locate one. Mint and signed being near $2,000.00, so quality car books have a big market out there and always will.

At $300. 00+ per set, we already have people wanting about 700 of them, so there is no concern about selling the book just to the steam community.
Except for Jay Leno, the big collectors avoid steam cars like the plague, they know nothing about them, neither do their staffs and they do not want to know. Yet every single one of them maintains a huge automotive library, often with a paid professional managing it. I know these people quite well.
Re: Doble Book-by Jim Crank
March 05, 2012 08:18PM
Jim. I think you can get the printing done for a lot less. The company I worked for produced large format 8.5 X 11 200 to 500 page books on the higest quality paper for $25 to $65 retail a book on runs of as low as 200 books. These were year books for schools and other groups. That was with them doing the photo scanning, positioning and placement etc. The cost has come down with more print ready pages. They now have direct to press digital printing presses making the cost for short runs less costly.

There were also a lot of small runs being printed, A 90 page cook book for a church group for example. I was told they made a profit AT $2.50 a book. Hard bound books.

The do PDF to press. You can buy the PDF software from Adobe. Adobe Indesign was what we were using when I worked there. If you are willing to do all the page layout work and digitizing of your pictures and drawings the cost could be a lot less. Indesign is no harder to learn then WORD. It can take a WORD file if that is what you have. You will wont to find out what fonts are available and the cost. Some Fonts are free. Some you have to pay to use.

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