The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 18, Number 40, October 4, 2015, Article 19


Author Gary Beals submitted this important question for E-Sylum readers, many of whom have been in his shoes as authors as well: How do we evaluate the press run of a new book on numismatics? -Editor

Your advice is needed:
How do we evaluate the press run of a new book on numismatics?

First of all, I have read the sad tale of the NBS member who published far too many of his arcane work and now lives with a pallet or two of books in his garage. Caution prevails.

  • The book is the only Spanish-English / English-Spanish numismatic dictionary available.
  • I sold 1000 copies of its small, Spanish-English only predecessor in 1966 from California.
  • The plan has been to print 1000 books for Europe and 1000 for the USA and the Americas.
  • I can produce either 1,000 or 2,000 serial numbered copies. The price to print 1,000 books here in Spain is $2700. The price for 2000 is $4300. Shipping to the USA about $500 at this point.
  • The book is a 17 cm x 24 cm format, 208 pages with ample black & white photos throughout.
  • The book will have a sewn spine, plastic coated heavy paper cover in full color with fold-out wings. Price: $25
  • Publication timetable: Completion of my research/writing will be in November this year.
  • I will be happy covering my costs during the first year and distribute the remainder in the coming decade.

The purpose and scope of my research/writing is to provide the numismatic world with a new Spanish-English dictionary of our field’s terminology to bring Spanish–speaking and English-speaking collectors and scholars closer together and more conversant in the two languages.

The quality of the book is extremely important to me, and I believe examination of digital copies of a few pages in draft form will allow you to see that this is a serious undertaking with a broad base of appeal to devoted numismatists.

I have a degree in journalism and I am a professional writer as well as an experienced numismatist. I have lived in Spain for more than 15 years in two different centuries.


  • How many book buyers are out there for this item?
  • At $25 a copy is most of the price resistance avoided?
  • How many books buyers are there on Hispanic related numismatics?
  • What are some benchmark numbers: Number of Red Books sold?
  • The nations to the south have had an economic revolution — how many collectors are there?
  • How many numismatic book dealers would buy 10 books at 50% off retail?
  • Major coin auction companies are each selling hundreds of millions of dollars worth of coins each year — so what is the market for books about these items?

History: This is the second numismatic work I have produced. The first, printed in 1966, was Numismatic Terms of Spain and Spanish America, a dictionary going only from Spanish into English. It sold out its 1000 copies over a few years. I wrote it at the age of 21 just after graduating from college. Now, nearly 50 years on I want to create a bi-lingual dictionary that brings a vast array of information together for this century.

It may be that someone in the know could say “Great book idea — but 1000 copies would be the max.” If that is the case I accept that advice and the printing and shipping costs would be less.

Thank you very much for your advice, experiences and opinions!
Gary Beals
Member NBS, ANA.

Here is some general information from the wings of the book cover: The adventure of coins — And making new friends from distant lands Spanish-speaking and English-speaking collectors have a lot to share with each other. This book is a tool to make the numismatic learning curve more fun and a richer experience. This is a jumping off point into deeper corners of the coin collecting world.

Spanish-speaking collectors could be baffled by such English words as bucks, slabs, crack-outs, brockages, hubs, banknote pinholes, cuds, junk silver, basining, non-circulating legal tender, Sacagewea, smackeroos, chops, bits, whizzing, trussels, tressures, treasures and artificial toning.

English speaking collectors might wonder about Spanish terms like media leche, patacones, pachucos & pacificos & pasta, patolcuachtlis. menudo, mereauz, perra gorda, marias & marinos ochavos & onzas & óbolos & novenos and vellon, both rico and pobre.

What say you, readers? What is your advice in this case? -Editor

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Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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