Handbound editions from Hadean Press

Obeah: A Sorcerous Ossuary limited edition

The limited edition of Obeah: A Sorcerous Ossuary by Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold was offered to the subscribers of Cerberus and is now sold out (if you would like to sign up for Cerberus, our announcement-only mailing list, please let us know by sending an email to info@hadeanpress.com — limited editions such as this one are always offered to subscribers first).

The book is bound in black sheepskin with raised bands on the spine, black and gold marbled endpapers, and black endbands. On the front is a copper seal of Anansi. The text was printed on 120gsm cream paper. 112 pages, full colour inside. The book measures 148mm by 95mm and has a black silk ribbon bookmark, to which is tied a red silk bag containing the following Obeah charm: a piece of snakeskin, a hawk feather, Manacá (from a douen tree), silk cotton thorn and silk cotton itself, and galbanum. This edition was limited to 21 numbered copies, of which 19 were offered for sale. The cost was £80.00 plus shipping.

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A note from Erzebet, who makes books:

As these books make their way to their new homes, I’d like to talk about why I produce books in such limited editions.

Dis and I realise there are some concerns in the field regarding extremely limited editions like this one. One is that they tend to be overpriced, said pricing based on rarity rather than quality. Another is that they are a money-making gimmick, due to their overpricing. Yet another concern is about the content, or lack thereof. These are valid concerns and Dis and I share them. People who abuse the market make it more difficult for those of us who rely on the market for our living to earn that living. It’s about trust. We all have our favourite authors and favoured publishers. These are the people who consistently produce books worthy of their price tag, both in content and form. We’ve come to trust that they will deliver something of value. We, as Hadean Press, take the trust our readers place in us very seriously.

My stance in all of this is that I am an artist. Binding more than twenty-eight or so of the same book makes me feel like a production line and when I feel like that, my art suffers. For me, every book is a piece of art. I think of myself as a book artist rather than a binder — it just so happens that part of my art involves traditional forms of binding. Writing and making books is my life’s work and I do my best, when I bind a book, to create an artful object worthy of its cost. I know that offering such small editions for sale means that not everyone who wants a copy of the book will get one. Such is the way of art. I also know that copies will soon show up on Ebay for an outrageous price. This is both flattering and exasperating. If the book was worth that much, I’d have charged that much (and we would have had this house finished by now, no doubt).

Dis and I can’t control the secondary market. All we can do is what we have been doing: create books and sell them at a fair market price. This brings me to the future of Hadean Press: happily, Dis will be handling the trade side of Hadean Press, freeing me up for my art. This means you will see more handbound books, paintings, and who knows what else coming from our small press. Some of what I create will be expensive — I’m looking at a project right now that will cost me nearly two hundred quid to produce. Other pieces will be more reasonably priced. Whatever I create and offer for sale should not be taken as Hadean Press attempting to profiteer our way through the occult revival. My work is, at its core, an act of devotion and its creation is not dependent on whether or not someone buys it.

As always, we thank you for your patronage.