Thursday, August 26, 2010

Freemasons For Dummies: Customized Books from Wiley Publishing

I am passing along information from my publisher that Masons might find of interest.

As I travel the country speaking at lodges and Grand Lodges, Dan Brown’s novel, The Lost Symbol, is having a positive effect on Masonic membership growth. Brown’s book is a 509-page love letter to the fraternity, and many Americans are learning about Freemasonry for the first time because of it. The hardback version of the book sold 1 million copies in the first day, and 2.5 million in the first week. So far, it has sold 6.5 million in the U.S. alone. Bear in mind that paperbacks sell better than hardbacks. The paperback release of The Lost Symbol will be on October 19th, 2010, with an initial release of 4 million copies. It will undoubtedly be accompanied by History, Discovery and National Geographic Channel reruns of Masonic documentaries and tie-in programs. October would be an outstanding time for your lodges and Grand Lodge to hold open houses or other public events.

For the past five years, Freemasons For Dummies has been the best-selling guide to the Masonic fraternity in the world. Wiley Publishing now has a unique program that may be of interest to your Grand Lodge. They are able to print special versions of the book, free of extra charges, featuring a customized cover, along with custom information on the inside covers. A special version of Freemasons For Dummies with your Grand Lodge information in it would make a perfect promotion.

What this means is that your Grand Lodge or research lodge can have its own special edition of the book for your members. The seal or other artwork specific to your Grand Lodge could be featured on the outside, and a message from the Grand Master, Grand Lodge Education Committee, Lodge of Research or other official group could be printed on the inside covers. The book is a popular one for non-Masons, and your members could be encouraged to pass it to friends or family who might have an interest in the fraternity—the cover could include the Grand Lodge contact information, internet address, phone numbers, etc. It is also popular as a gift given by many lodges to new Masons. The inside cover might include a custom plate in which to inscribe the members’ name and lodge, and degree dates. Both Wiley and I are willing to work with you on design, artwork and content.

There is one caveat: No changes can be made to the text of the book itself, so if there is something in the book that is not correct for your jurisdiction, it can’t be changed. Only the inside and outside covers can be altered.

The retail price of Freemasons For Dummies is $19.99, but you can save between 50%-75% off the cover price, depending on the quantity. The minimum order for a custom version is 500 books, at 50% off, with additional price breaks at 1,000, 2,500 and 5,000 copies.

In addition, Wiley offers an Internet alternative that can be done more economically. A shorter, downloadable version of the book has been created, called Freemason Symbols and Ceremonies For Dummies, and is available on Amazon.com for the Kindle electronic book reader, smartphone, or computer. A customized version of the e-book could be made available for your Grand Lodge—again, with custom cover art and a message from you on page 1, and it can be linked from your Grand Lodge website. In this case, for $2 per download, Wiley would handle the fulfillment of the electronic order, collect the name, address and email of the person, and provide it as a new member lead back to you.

If you have any interest in these ideas, please do not hesitate to contact me directly, or Lisa Coleman, director of New Market and Brand Development for Wiley Publishing in Indianapolis at 317-572-3205, or at lcoleman@wiley.com

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