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Thread: Books and articles published on Iranian Arms and Armor

  1. #1
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    Books and articles published on Iranian Arms and Armor

    As many of you know, I have been writing a book on Iranian Arms and Armour from bronze age to the end of th 19 century. This book will contain a comprehensive research on bronze weapons, crucible steel, welded steel and also the development of arms and armor in Iran. Over 60 percent of sources (more than 300 up to now) are Persian sources (historical and cultural background, icons, symbols, art, weapons, etc. Many of them are still unknown in the West). The pictures include the arms and armor in Iranian museums. AS you know I was granted the kind permission of Iranian Cultural Heritage Foundation to handle, measure, weigh and photograph all the pieces. I already finished three museums with the help of one team this summer. I will continue next year. Iranian Cultural Heritage is ready to help me to publish the book in Farsi. Since I have been writing the book in English and I believe that this book is better served to be published in English, I contacted a German publisher. They are very interested, however, they want to know whether there is a market for this book, which will of course be more than 1000 pages. I told them that besides Iranian market, there is a market in Europe and North America. I thought that it would be a good idea to post this here. Please post here whether you would be interested in buying this book. But the buyers or a big number of them will speak the last word. So please let me know whether you would be interested in buying such a book.

    Regards

    Manoucher

  2. #2
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    Well, sure, I'd be interested. What's a book like this going to cost?

  3. #3
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    I'd be interested akhi! Also, I'd like to know about the estimated cost of this book
    "If metal can be polished to a mirror-like finish,
    What polishing might the Mirror of the Heart require"

    Rumi

  4. #4
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    Thank you. Surely it will not be cheap. I have no idea. It will include colored pics of arms and armor which have been unknown in any publications.

    Regards

    Manoucher

  5. #5
    I will be one of the first to buy it.

    Jeff

  6. #6
    Manoucher,

    Maybe you should ask the publisher to give you a rough estimate about the price pr copy, and remember that a book on more than 1000 pages will not be cheap in postage.
    However it sounds as an interesting project you have finished.

    Regards

    Jens
    The weapons are literally tapestries of culture.
    Jim McDougall

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by Jens Nordlunde
    Manoucher,

    Maybe you should ask the publisher to give you a rough estimate about the price pr copy, and remember that a book on more than 1000 pages will not be cheap in postage.
    However it sounds as an interesting project you have finished.

    Regards

    Jens
    Jens,

    I will get a price estimation in the next days. The theory part is almost finished. I still have a hell of a work, putting the rest of the inventory of the museums in the context and they could again direct my research into other way. I am very positive. Today I was watching the pics of shamshirs I have taken pics of, they are so beautiful, that they really bring tears to my eyes. Such an art and such wonderful pieces. You have a good point regarding postage. I have totally fogotton that point. Thanks.

    Jeff

    Thank you for your support.

    Regards

    Manoucher

  8. #8
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    Manoucher:
    I'm indeed interested in buying it, but I fail to see that the number of responses gathered here is going to have any impact in the editor's concerns...

    It's a scientific book on arms & armour research, a topic that traditionally has a quite faithful and hardcore amount of followers. Just take a look at the prices fetched by the out-of-print "classics" (Try for example to get Elgood's "Islamic arms and armour", or Cato's "Moro Swords" and see how much people is ready to pay).

    If the research is sound, and I'm sure it will, it is going to sell. Of course, not as the hottest Dan Brown novel, but it will. And with enough nice picter, one can even go away with a so-so research

    Maybe a pre-order with a discount could help in making a more realistic appraisal on the number of exemplars to be printed ?

    In any event, good luck.
    Marc
    "Living and trying to learn"

  9. #9
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    Marc

    The research is sound. I referenced everything and there is cross-referencing regarding every point. New classification of swords and wootz ( is included in my research. Additionally, the book deals with the influence of Iranian culture in pre- and after Islamic era. Plus all the influences of the Mongols, Arabs, etc. I have spent a lot on the books, unfortunately, as you know they are not cheap. I just bought a recently published book on Shahname manuscripts in Iranian museums by an Iranian scholar who resides in Germany. The book is already out of print! Marvellous one, miniatures you have never seen. None of them was published before proving my assumption that highly curved shamshirs existed before Shah Abbas Safavid as can be testified by Iranian shamshirs from Timurid era. THis is only one point. PLus I found huge amount of information on Iranian warrior traditions which will be a topic as well. Research is sound and is also monitored by Iranian specialists. Believe me or not I think checking on this site will give me an idea about the market. Small as it is here, it is a market. The investment costs are huge, really huge for a book in this dimension.

    Regards

    Manoucher

  10. #10
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    I have to add that publishing it in Farsi is also an option as it will be done surely by Cultural Heritage.

    Regards

    MAnoucher

  11. #11
    I would be interested in buying this book too; if the price ends up reasonbly you will find a lot of researchers and reference libraries will buy it. Any idea what the print run needs to be to sell at that price?

    Please keep us updated as you progress. From what I have heard, compiling the manuscript is only half the struggle, the other half is publishing and selling it (especially if it is out of your own pocket).

  12. #12
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    Buying the book

    I also would be interested in buying your book. Any idea when the printing will take place? Keep us posted on the progress.

  13. #13
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    Peter and Dennis,

    As it seems many publishing houses in Germany ask for my own participation. The initial investment is huge. It is like buying a good flat or a house. I cannot do it myself. Going too much into such a debt is too risky for me. I will look for investors. Iranian Cultural Heritage is rightly of the opinion that they would be many buyers in Iran, if this is the case, then I have no other way to publish it in Farsi since they would finance the project. In this case, the international community can at least enjoy the wonderful pictures. It is a pity, since many Persian sources are included as well. Let's see what will happen. I still have a way to go to finish other museums.

    Regards

    Manoucher

  14. #14

    Book production

    Hi Manoucher,

    Expensive books are often printed in cooperation between two or more publishers to lower the price.
    Would it be possible, do you think, that the Cultural Heritage in Iran would print the book in Farsi, and print extra sheets without the text, only with the illustrations? These sheets can be sold to a publisher who can print the English text on the sheets with the illustrations. A production like that would lower the costs considerably, and as the two languages are so much different, none of the two productions would ‘take’ costumers from one another. A production like this is often made, as it enables books, which would never be published, to be sold in several languages for a reasonable price.

    Regards

    Jens
    The weapons are literally tapestries of culture.
    Jim McDougall

  15. #15
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    Re: Book production

    Originally posted by Jens Nordlunde
    Hi Manoucher,

    Expensive books are often printed in cooperation between two or more publishers to lower the price.
    Would it be possible, do you think, that the Cultural Heritage in Iran would print the book in Farsi, and print extra sheets without the text, only with the illustrations? These sheets can be sold to a publisher who can print the English text on the sheets with the illustrations. A production like that would lower the costs considerably, and as the two languages are so much different, none of the two productions would ‘take’ costumers from one another. A production like this is often made, as it enables books, which would never be published, to be sold in several languages for a reasonable price.

    Regards

    Jens
    Hi Jens,

    Thank you for your input. I will take your advise and discuss it with the Cultural Heritage Foundation. A publisher told me yesterday that it will be cheaper to publish all the picture as a catalogue at the end. I think that would be an idea, but this will disrupt the flow of text since I refer very often to the pictures as a point of comparison. Additionally, I have many drawings as well. Is it true that it would be cheaper like this?


    BTW I have not analyzed the Indian inventory in Iranian arms and armor since I concentrate on Persian ones, but Jens they have such wonderful Indian arms and armor. I am so happy that all those pieces are at public display so everyone can enjoy.

    Regards

    Manoucher

  16. #16
    Hi Manusher,

    It is true what the publisher says, but I doubt very much that collectors would love the idea, and I agree very much with you, that the text and illustrations should be together. That is why I think a coorporation between two or more publishers would be the best.

    Regards

    Jens

    PS. Come to think of it, do you, when reading Farsi, start reading, from what we would consider, the back? If yes, the co printing won’t work for obvious reasons. One more thing, a book of 1000 pages or more, printed on coated paper, will be very heavy – such a book should be in two volumes – or more, or the spine will not hold.
    Last edited by Jens Nordlunde; 12-31-2004 at 05:23 AM.
    The weapons are literally tapestries of culture.
    Jim McDougall

  17. #17
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    if this is the case, then I have no other way to publish it in Farsi since they would finance the project. In this case, the international community can at least enjoy the wonderful pictures
    Manoucher,

    Have you considered publishing the English version of your book on a CD? You could use an HTML or a PDF format.

    Pros:
    you can even do it by yourself - I’m sure your book already exists in digital form on your computer, so turning it in HTML or PDF should be easy
    the “burning cost” for a CD is almost nothing, same for the shipping costs
    the possibility to search the CD with a desktop search engine, like Google.

    Cons:
    a CD can easily be pirated
    a CD cannot substitute a good book
    and, of course, it requires a computer to read it

    But, at the worst, it’s a possibility… AND you could also sell your CD in English TOGETHER with the Farsi printed version, with or without the pictures.
    Best wishes,

    Filberto
    P.S. If you find my idea good, I think I’m entitled to a free copy of your CD-book

  18. #18
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    Originally posted by Marc G.
    Manoucher:
    I'm indeed interested in buying it, but I fail to see that the number of responses gathered here is going to have any impact in the editor's concerns...

    It's a scientific book on arms & armour research, a topic that traditionally has a quite faithful and hardcore amount of followers. Just take a look at the prices fetched by the out-of-print "classics" (Try for example to get Elgood's "Islamic arms and armour", or Cato's "Moro Swords" and see how much people is ready to pay).

    If the research is sound, and I'm sure it will, it is going to sell. Of course, not as the hottest Dan Brown novel, but it will. And with enough nice picter, one can even go away with a so-so research

    Maybe a pre-order with a discount could help in making a more realistic appraisal on the number of exemplars to be printed ?

    In any event, good luck.

    I too will buy the work, and agree with Marc, those who will buy will buy, who can. And a unique subject.
    Steve

  19. #19
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    Originally posted by Jens Nordlunde
    Hi Manusher,


    PS. Come to think of it, do you, when reading Farsi, start reading, from what we would consider, the back? If yes, the co printing won’t work for obvious reasons. One more thing, a book of 1000 pages or more, printed on coated paper, will be very heavy – such a book should be in two volumes – or more, or the spine will not hold.
    Hi Jens,

    Yes we read from the right to the left. That is correct so it will not work. Two volumes is a good idea. THanks for your input.

    Regards

    Manoucher

  20. #20
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    Feb 2002
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    Originally posted by Filiberto Boncompagni
    Manoucher,

    Have you considered publishing the English version of your book on a CD? You could use an HTML or a PDF format.

    Pros:
    you can even do it by yourself - I’m sure your book already exists in digital form on your computer, so turning it in HTML or PDF should be easy
    the “burning cost” for a CD is almost nothing, same for the shipping costs
    the possibility to search the CD with a desktop search engine, like Google.

    Cons:
    a CD can easily be pirated
    a CD cannot substitute a good book
    and, of course, it requires a computer to read it

    But, at the worst, it’s a possibility… AND you could also sell your CD in English TOGETHER with the Farsi printed version, with or without the pictures.
    Best wishes,

    Filberto
    P.S. If you find my idea good, I think I’m entitled to a free copy of your CD-book
    Filberto,

    Thanks for your input. Making a CD will be cheaper. you are correct,. but the problem of piracy is a serious one in this case. If I decide for a CD you will get one .

    Regards

    Manoucher

  21. #21
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    Originally posted by Steve Hick
    I too will buy the work, and agree with Marc, those who will buy will buy, who can. And a unique subject.
    Steve
    Steve I have written one chapter on Iranian martial art and heritage. I am sure you will like it.

    Regards

    Manoucher

  22. #22
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    Manoucher,
    I suggest contacting James Allan and Brian Gilmour or Robert Elgood about such publishing concerns.

    Several volumes are a good idea as a 1,000 page book would split its binding.

    The pictures and drawings could be one of the volumes and the text split into two or three........having another volume for the pictures allows one to reference the text and picture at the same time. The only down side is that over time the texts will get lost and you will see people searching for them by volume (like the Wallace Collection auction catalogs and such).

    From a blacksmith point of view one-to-one ratio photos are very nice and any notes on balance point (simply place the blade on a plastic triangle prism), width, thickness (often not stated) etc are very nice to see.

    I would like to see this in English, but it is better to have it published in any language then not at all.

    Ric
    Richard Furrer
    Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
    http://doorcountyforgeworks.com/

  23. #23
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    Originally posted by Richard Furrer
    Manoucher,
    I suggest contacting James Allan and Brian Gilmour or Robert Elgood about such publishing concerns.

    Several volumes are a good idea as a 1,000 page book would split its binding.

    The pictures and drawings could be one of the volumes and the text split into two or three........having another volume for the pictures allows one to reference the text and picture at the same time. The only down side is that over time the texts will get lost and you will see people searching for them by volume (like the Wallace Collection auction catalogs and such).

    From a blacksmith point of view one-to-one ratio photos are very nice and any notes on balance point (simply place the blade on a plastic triangle prism), width, thickness (often not stated) etc are very nice to see.

    I would like to see this in English, but it is better to have it published in any language then not at all.

    Ric
    Richard

    I have a very high respect for Professor James Allan, I might contact him after checking with the Cultural Heritage Foundation. I have still to analyze couple pf museums but the theoretical framework is there. For your information all pieces are measure accordingly. This is an example for the measurements for each sword:

    Total length:
    Length of the blade:
    Length of the handle:
    Width of the hand-guard:
    Width of the blade at the base:
    Width of the blade in the middle:
    The blade tapers to a sharp point yes/ no
    If no: Raised back-edge Yes/no
    If yes: width of the back edged and length of the back edge
    First curvature:
    Second curvature:
    POB:
    COP:
    Weight without scabbard:
    Weight with scabbard:

    Regards

    MAnoucher

  24. #24
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    Richard

    As you see all pieces are meticulously measured. It took me and my team a long time doing this. THe reason is clear I had to convince Cultural Heritage for this measure. I surely had smiths and martial artists in my mind as well when I was doing this. From collector point of view who is interested in the beauty of steel and decoration methods, I think these points are less releveant. Since I try to target all groups, I added so much information as I could to my investigation and research.

    Regards

    Manoucher

  25. #25
    Congratulations on a book - 1000 pages must be one hell of a work.
    I would be really glad to buy it !

    However I have no idea how to make in the USA (where I live).

    P.S. Would you please autograph it for me ?

    Sincerely yours,

    K.Rivkin

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