Limited print runs of exclusive editions with special add-ons are a great way for publishers and promoters to generate buzz for their books and make extra money. Art of Rush, Hugh Syme’s retrospective of 40 years of work with the iconic Canadian rock band, was no different. We worked with Hugh and Patrick McLoughlin of Showtech Merchandising to create a limited run of 300 books, autographed by the three band members and protected by a beautiful slip case, to retail for $999 USD. All 300 sold out within the first 30 minutes. Here’s how we managed to make 300 more using paper that would’ve been wasted.
Sign your life away
The band members were couriered 300 vellum pages featuring Rush’s Starman symbol so they could sign them before binding. Before the last page was signed, one of the band members realized their autographs were signed on the wrong side of the page—which meant Starman was facing right instead of left. New vellum pages were printed, rushed to the band, signed (right-side up) and bound.
Digital white makes things right
Battlefield’s president, Jerry Theoret, thought it seemed like a waste to discard the 300 original pages with the first set of signatures, so he started experimenting with Battlefield’s digital printer, which prints white ink. Strategic and successive applications of white ink modified the Starman symbol so it looked like he was facing the correct direction. Now Showtech can offer 300 more limited edition books (this time in a special wooden box). Considering the demand for the first set, they’re sure to be popular. Perhaps they’ll be like stamps—even more valuable given the story of Starman and the signatures.