Every year, for almost a 33rd of a century, Marianne has commissioned me to write three flash winter tales for a chapbook that Dragonstairs Press sends to its particular friends at Solsticetide. Then, a year later, those few chapbooks remaining are put on sale to the general public.
Yesterday, Midwinter Elves: Three Brief Midwinter Tales, the second Solstice chapbook, went on sale. It was published in an edition of one hundred hand-stitched, signed, and numbered copies, of which thirty are still available. And it costs only five dollars.
The three stories are "Cookie Elves," "Adam's Third Wife," and "Meryons."
There are also a limited number left of the first chapbook, It Came Upon a Midnight: Three Brief Midwinter Tales. Also five dollars apiece.
The three stories are "Snowflake People," "Mrs. Claus," and "Manger Animals."
Either or both are perfect for that obsessive bibliophile on your Christmas list.
And that's the end of the commercial. You can find the Dragonstairs Press website here.
And why, you ask, are these collectible limited edition works so cheap?
When Marianne started making limited edition, lovingly crafted chapbooks, I asked a friend who knew the economics of small presses how much she should charge for them. "Fifty dollars apiece!" he said cheerfully. "Anything less and the real collectors won't take it seriously."
I told this to Marianne and she was horrified.
"I believe in the Beanie Babies theory of collectibles," she said. "Price them cheap enough for an impulse buy. Let them go out of print. And whoever bought them first can reap the profits."
"You can make a lot more money the other way."
"I don't care," she said.