Bindery Campaign Update 6

Days Left: 22

Status: 55.6 percent of goal.

The Iliad: 180/500

The Odyssey: 176/500

The previous update inspired a Homer-related question. But to me, the real hero of The Iliad has always been entirely obvious.

Which Iliad character would you want to be?


Man. You are a weird one. As a Greek I ask this question of northwestern brothers. Almost all answer Achilles. Only The Golden One answered a very Greek answer “Achilles who then turns into Odysseas”. So Hector huh? You sympathise with the Trojans?

Achilles was a whiny little Special Boy bitch who got his best friend killed for nothing, required divine treachery to win his famous duel, and failed to respect even the most valorous. Hector was a man and a true hero, who gave his life for his family and his nation.

“Assuredly to me also are all these things a subject of anxiety, dear wife, but I am exceedingly ashamed of the Trojans and the long-robed Trojan dames, if I, like a dastard, aloof, should avoid the battle: nor does my mind incline me thus, for I have learned to be always brave, and to fight in the foremost among the Trojans, seeking to gain both my father’s great glory and mine own…. Jove, and ye other gods, grant that this my son also may become, even as I am, distinguished amongst the Trojans, so powerful in might, and bravely to rule over Ilium. And may some one hereafter say, returning from the fight, ‘He indeed is much braver than his sire.’ And let him bear away the bloody spoils, having slain the foe, and let his mother rejoice in her soul.”

Homer provides us with an object socio-sexual lesson in The Iliad, as he beautifully demonstrates the difference between the situational Alpha, (who in this case is at heart a supercharged Gamma) and the genuine Alpha. He also shows us the sort of problems that inevitably arise when Gammas achieve power.

Bindery Campaign update 1

36 hours into the Build the Bindery campaign. 27 days left.

Status: 26.5 percent of goal.

The Iliad: 91/500

The Odyssey: 86/500

We will be adding another book at the end of the week, albeit one that we don’t expect most English-speakers to buy. We are also considering how to add an inexpensive level of support for those who can’t afford or don’t collect leather books.

Some backers have asked about the possibility of a stretch goal if the objective is reached. We hadn’t really contemplated one in this virtual context, but if we were to add one, the logical choice would be The Aeneid. But we’re open to suggestions.

Building the bindery

Last night on the Darkstream I announced the Castalia Bindery Book Sale. This is the virtual crowdfund we’re doing to help fund the construction of the book factory that will permit Castalia House to directly produce our own paperback, hardcover, and leatherbound books, although our plan is to initially concentrate 100 percent on the leatherbound books because there is no bindery in Europe or the UK capable of producing them in the quantities we already require for the Castalia Library.

So, as a virtual crowdfunding campaign to build the bindery, we’re now offering special Castalia Bindery editions of both THE ILIAD and THE ODYSSEY by Homer until midnight on August 31. Both books are available in both Library (cowhide) and Libraria (goatskin) editions and will feature original interior artwork as well as the highly-regarded 1898/1900 prose translations by Samuel Butler. Our objective is to sell 500 copies of each book by the end of the campaign. We decided not to do a traditional crowdfund on Indiegogo because we want every penny raised by the sale to go towards purchasing the 20 machines that we require. Some of these machines are extremely expensive; for example, a new automatic gilding machine costs $400,000. Fortunately, we’ve located a number of used machines that will suit our needs, and in some cases we can make do with less expensive semi-automatic machines that are sufficient for the size of our planned print runs.

Running our own bindery will permit Castalia to a) significantly improve the production and delivery times, b) control the shipping to customers, c) increase production capacity, d) improve the quality of the books to match that of the now-defunct Franklin Library, and e) take on a broader range of publishing projects. After a detailed review of the entire operational process and the various options, the publishing team unanimously concluded that building the bindery was the optimal long-term strategy for Castalia and the logical culmination of our decision two years ago to avoid reliance upon Amazon.

This is our most ambitious and complex project yet, and it is one that we believe to be absolutely necessary in light of the various challenges we have faced over the last year. We’ve spent the last three months preparing for it, and checking and rechecking even the smallest details with the assistance of our current publishing partners in order to ensure its success. I’ll be updating the status of the campaign every day here and on SocialGalactic. 

Despite the campaign being all of 10 hours old, we have already reached 5 percent of our goal, with The Iliad at 26/500 and The Odyssey at 24/500.

UPDATE: 12 hours in, we’re at 8 percent of goal. It’s a promising start.

UPDATE: Day 1 report. The first 24 hours concluded at 20 percent of goal. Thanks very much to everyone who backed the campaign!

Junior Classics support


So, we’re ready to start addressing the problems of those backers who have not yet received either a) their hardcover editions of Vols I-III or b) the information required to download their ebook editions of Vols I-III. Please note that it is always important to send us the information we require, such as your current email and physical addresses, and to not block the information conduits that permit us to send the relevant information to you.

For example, two people actually UNSUBCRIBED from the Castalia email list after receiving the information about the three ebook editions. I fully expect to hear from both of them down the road, complaining that they haven’t received information about volumes IV through X, and I will not be even remotely apologetic. How do they think we’re going to send them the information they want if they are actively preventing us from providing it to them. What I strongly suggest doing is to whitelist both library AT castaliahouse DOT com and castaliajuniorclassics AT outlook DOT com in order to maximize your ability to receive the relevant information from us without being interrupted by the various technologies involved.
So, if you are a Junior Classics backer and have not received the email with the download information for the ebooks, please email castaliajuniorclassics AT outlook DOT com and be sure to provide the following four things in this order on different lines:
  • your email address
  • your first name
  • your last name
  • your backing edition (digital, single, first three, hardcover, leather)
If you are a Junior Classics backer of the hardcover editions and have not received one or more of your physical books, please please email castaliajuniorclassics AT outlook DOT com and provide the following information in this order on different lines.
  • your email address
  • your first name
  • your last name
  • your backer ID or Arkhaven order number
  • your current address in the following format: Address, City, State/Province, Zip, Country
If you received your books, but they were damaged or egregiously misprinted, please do the same, along with a picture of the damaged book or books. We need the photo evidence in order to have the printer send replacements. If you have any questions, please send them to castaliajuniorclassics AT outlook DOT com.
And in doing so, please try to not be excessively stupid, or worse, waste everyone’s time with the Smart Boy routine and trying to find a way to somehow be “confused” by these directions so that you can show how smart you are by asking for a “clarification”.
UPDATE: If you downloaded an ebook on the first day and it has a missing section, just download it again. The 001 versions have been replaced with 002.
Q: What if I didn’t “back” the campaign on Indiegogo, but I “bought” the books on Arkhaven? What should I do? I’m so confused! Can you please clarify this for me?
A: You’re still a backer. Shut the fuck up and follow the directions.
Q: What if my book wasn’t “damaged” but I got two volume IIs and no volume I. What should I do? I’m so confused! Can you please clarify this for me?
A: The wrong book counts as a “damaged” book. Shut the fuck up and follow the directions.
Q: You shouldn’t talk to customers like that! Don’t you know that the customer is always right? In my day, we accepted returns for nothing more than a firm handshake and looking the customer straight in the eye.
A: OK Boomer. Unfortunately, you will need to provide proof that you are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before we can read your emails.

Junior Classics vols. I-III

The first three volumes of the JUNIOR CLASSICS 2020 Edition are now available in epub format. They can be purchased at the Arkhaven store, and emails with discount codes have been sent to all the backers to permit them to download the ebooks from the store for free. These are larger files than normal, as the ebook editions contain all of the illustrations featured in the print editions.

Volumes IV, V, and VI are currently nearing completion for both print and ebook editions. 

UPDATE: For the Nth time, this blog is neither tech nor sales support and your inability to manage your email filters is not my concern. All comments concerning “I didn’t get the email” will be spammed on sight. FFS, check your damned Spam and Social folders, and as usual, next week we’ll post instructions for those who still haven’t received the email. I understand that it’s frustrating when you are waiting for something, but one thing that we have regularly observed over the years is that when the process works just fine for 1,000 people and it doesn’t work for a small number, a) the problem is rarely on our side, and b) the solution isn’t. Furthermore, if the problem is that you aren’t receiving emails, how is sending you another email that you probably won’t receive going to resolve anything?

The canceling of literature

Huckleberry Finn has long been the first book that Easton Press sells at a heavy discount to its Book-of-the-Month buyers. But given how Easton is mostly run by young women who have recently graduated from Ivy League universities, I expect it won’t be long before they stop publishing it at all in light of the bad odor in which Mark Twain is now held by the universities:

St. John’s University joins a list of woke universities, schools, and programs willing to reshape its curriculum to coddle students who feel challenged on a mental or emotional level.

During a reading of Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson, Professor Hannah Berliner Fischthal became another casualty in the way of a race-based movement that cost her a profession and livelihood – one built on years of garnering her students’ trust through thoughtful and open conversation.

During a read-through that prompted Berliner Fischthal to use the N-word directly from the text, one student exited the online session and sent an email detailing the emotional distress this cause.

The student’s email stated that the professor’s use of the term was “unnecessary and very painful to hear.” The message became a public ordeal and prompted the university to investigate the action, leading to the professor’s dismissal from St. John’s University.

This is just another reason why it’s not only desirable, but vital, to subscribe to Castalia Library. Regarding which, I have a few things to mention.

First, the first three leatherbound Junior Classics have been sent to the printer. We’ll order the leather this week, so the production is in process. We don’t know how long it will take, as that depends upon the bindery’s schedule. Below is the front endpapers, which will feature the appropriate names and sections of the specific volume. We’re also close to getting the regular volumes 4, 5, and 6 out the door.

Second, we’ll stop taking orders for the leatherbound Junior Classics on Monday at noon, since we have to finalize the number. We’re going to print a few extra interiors since it’s economical for us to do so, so there will probably be an opportunity to acquire a leather set at some point in the future, but this will be your last opportunity for some time.

Third, as I’ve already announced, the Castalia Library and Libraria Castalia editions of Summa Elvetica will NOT be signed. There have already been sufficient delays that Heidi will be shipped first, and it’s just going to take too long to print the special pages, ship them to Europe, ship them back, and have them tipped-in. It was a stupid notion and I’m sorry we won’t be able to deliver on the signed editions. Obviously, if anyone who bought the one-off on that notion wants a refund, we will certainly provide it. And for those who don’t care about the signature, the book is nearly sold out already so you might want to consider grabbing one while you can.

Speaking of sell-outs, beginning with Rhetoric, we’re increasing the number of Library editions to 850. This is because the books are nearly sold out on the basis of the subscriptions alone now. Libraria editions will remain at 100. The current subscription book is Discourses on Livy by Machiavelli.

We are aware that some people received doubles of Plutarch, and others still haven’t received their Divine Comedy – me included. Let us know at library -at- castaliahouse -dot- com in either case; the bindery is actively resolving each case one at a time. They have a new system in place which should prevent these problems in the future and we’ve reserved enough books to make certain that everyone who paid for one will receive one. In the meantime, don’t bother letting me know, as I can’t do anything about it and don’t even have my copy of Dante or Plutarch. 

And finally, the rear endpapers for the leather editions, which will be the same for every volume.

UPDATE:  If you have an issue, send it to the email address above and it will be directed to the responsible party, who will address it. Scores of issues have been successfully resolved this way. If you post it here in the comments, it will be deleted. If you email it to me, it will be deleted. If people want me to write anything at all in the future, then they will have to stop treating me like a call center based in India simply because I am accessible. And to think some people wonder why I absolutely refuse to do book tours, speeches, or any other public appearances….