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Wither Krause Publications....

I have been looking to update my older PDF files of the Krause catalogs (taken from the CD-ROMs that they sell), so I looked for Krause at the ANA Convention this week. Unbelievably, no one from Krause even bothered to show up! They did ship a few boxes of publications, and someone finally opened them to put on the table, but no representative and no catalogs for sale. A few years ago, that would have been unthinkable. I remember at the Milwaukee ANA Convention they even had a train trip to their HQ or some other such shindig.

The reason I visited them at the show is that every time I go to their website to buy the set of 5 catalogs on CD, they are out of stock (and today, they aren't even listed). Imagine that, people want to buy your products and you have none to sell! How mismanaged is that?

I got to talking with some folks "in the know" at the ANA Convention, and was told that people are leaving the company and only one person is left to oversee all their printed coin/banknote magazines. Yes, the magazine business has been going downhill for years, but their books have been a cash cow forever and I can't imagine them letting them wither on the vine too.

It's a very sad state of affairs for Krause and a mighty fall since they were bought out by a big corporation.

So I think about this: try to imagine a world without a general world coin catalog. Yes, there are specialty catalogs for almost every country, but what comes close to Krause for general world coins? And who has the money and time to find and buy all the specialty catalogs?

I've got this feeling they are close to the end. Death rattle?

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Comments

  • Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The show in PA is expensive. I've heard of several usual ANA attendees who did not go because attending the Dalton, Ga show will make more sense.

  • ElmhurstElmhurst Posts: 766 ✭✭✭

    Maybe the will take the catalogs online with a subscription service. This would be preferable to the paper catalogs as it could be updated throughout the year.

  • Timbuk3Timbuk3 Posts: 11,658 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Oh boy, not good !!! :(

    Timbuk3
  • pruebaspruebas Posts: 4,256 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Today I happened to visit their site and finally, the 5-catalog eBook set is available! The (special) price is $199 (with a $40 discount until Tuesday 11 December).

    What do you folks think? Worth it? (My current editions were purchased on CD in 2011.)

  • AbueloAbuelo Posts: 1,754 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well, I bet you the difference between your books and the new ones is the stuff between 2011 and 18. The updates on previous editions is otherwise non existent. I have seen books that from year to year keep the same errors even typos. I pass for now as the stuff I collect has nothing to do yet with the XXI century.

  • TwoKopeikiTwoKopeiki Posts: 9,499 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Why have the individual catalogues when you can look-up prices through NGC? My understanding was that their info was reflective of the most recent Krause publications.

  • tonedSilvertonedSilver Posts: 153 ✭✭✭

    Now that is some serious stacking! :)

    I wanted to check if anyone else has the same problem I'm experiencing with NGC World Coin Price Guide search? When I enter in a date I don't get any search results, but instead get a blank page with "To search on the NGC Chat Boards, click here" message. When I click on it, it takes me to search the community page.

    This only happens when I try to enter in a date with my search. I know that date field is optional but I was wondering if I need to subscribe to NGC to use the date function with my searches? I'm trying to avoid going through multiple pages of search results to find a specific date I'm looking for.

    Thank you,

  • pruebaspruebas Posts: 4,256 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BillDugan1959 said:
    I am a hardcopy, books person. IMHO, decently well-off persons own books & decently well-off educated persons know what is in those books.

    I normally am too. But I find I use these catalogs in the following places, and having them on my phone (especially ALL of them) is a hell of a lot easier than carrying those dead trees, not to mention more ecological.

    1) At a coin show where I am buying.
    2) At a coin show where I have a table selling world coins.
    3) When I’m at the computer buying on eBay, auction, or from a dealer.

    I partly keep my set of SCWC up to date against the possibility that today's company (F+W) disappears.

    I agree with this.

    The last time I bought all five volumes, it was only $170 postpaid. I just updated three of the five volumes for $102.50 (it was a Black Friday special).

    You can't operate without books or garbage bags!

    Agreed about the books, but I hardly generate any garbage. OK, maybe from discarding all those vinyl flips and ratty 2x2s.

  • TiborTibor Posts: 3,138 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 11, 2018 7:03AM

    @BillDugan1959 said:

    You can't operate without books or garbage bags!

    I would add to your list Toilet Paper. Just saying.

  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,839 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I still use my 1986 Hardbound two volume set of the Krause World Coin catalogs. It covered coins back into the 1700's for many countries. For values I look online anyway. For issues after 1985 ... I really don't care.

    All glory is fleeting.
  • BillDugan1959BillDugan1959 Posts: 3,821 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 11, 2018 7:58AM

    I have both the Standard Catalog hardbound set in green and the hardbound set in red.

    Anymore, they simply look nice and fill space on a bookshelf. They were used back in the day.

    The oldest SCWC volume I have is about 1979. It is full of early India coins, information that got dropped for a while in the 1980s.

    I kinda did the math and those two stacks of coin books cost $950 new. There are two books that I purchased in the 1970s, but most of the books shown in the photo are purchased since 2013.

    The books never really cost me a dime. They help make me money (facilitate good buying decisions) and they save me money (steer me away from bad buying decisions).

    I am essentially a coin collector/accumulator, but when I think about the various coin money angles, my coin books have never cost me a dime.

  • pruebaspruebas Posts: 4,256 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 11, 2018 7:04PM

    Well I broke down and purchased the 5-ebook set for $159. I figured that price was worth it in the scheme of things. My last set lasted 8 years, so about $20/year or $4/year/book.

    Today's the last day of the extra $40 discount if anyone else is interested.

  • BillDugan1959BillDugan1959 Posts: 3,821 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 11, 2018 7:29PM

    @pruebas said:
    Well I broke down and purchased the 5-ebook set for $159. I figured that price was worth it in the scheme of things. My last set lasted 8 years, so about $20/year or $4/year/book.

    Today's the last day of the extra $40 discount if anyone else is interested.

    The promotion for the last several days seems to only cover the five volume Krause "ebook set", and not a physical set of books.

    But perhaps I am wrong or I am missing something. They have indeed offered the physical five volumes recently (Black Friday and the next weekend).

    I am looking for them to update the 19th Century catalog, it has taken rather longer than I expected.

  • pruebaspruebas Posts: 4,256 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BillDugan1959 said:

    @pruebas said:
    Well I broke down and purchased the 5-ebook set for $159. I figured that price was worth it in the scheme of things. My last set lasted 8 years, so about $20/year or $4/year/book.

    Today's the last day of the extra $40 discount if anyone else is interested.

    The promotion for the last several days seems to only cover the five volume Krause "ebook set", and not a physical set of books.

    But perhaps I am wrong or I am missing something. They have indeed offered the physical five volumes recently (Black Friday and the next weekend).

    @BillDugan1959 that is correct. They only had the special for the ebooks (PDF files) not the physical books.

    They do have a special on the 3 world paper money books though. I think it was $127 for the set.

  • ADGADG Posts: 422 ✭✭✭

    Hard copy is nice, but I must access the digital ones a hundred times more. Either way, where would most world coin collectors be without them?

    "The vaccines work,” Trump said, adding that the people who “get very sick and go to the hospital” are unvaccinated.
    “Look, the results of the vaccine are very good, and if you do get it, it’s a very minor form,” Trump continued. “People aren’t dying when they take the vaccine.”
    Do your part, America 💉😷

  • cladkingcladking Posts: 28,201 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have strongly mixed emotions about Krause. The company as a whole is just wonderful for numismatics. Their work has shaped the hobby but especially it has shaped the future of the hobby. I have a lot of admiration for the principles past and present.

    However the world coin catalog has done and is doing irreparable harm to the modern world coin markets. The catalog was great up until 1986 and since it has failed the hobby by the publication of erroneous and misleading pricing information. Nowhere is this more damaging than in the 1945 to 1999 issues.

    Tempus fugit.
  • pruebaspruebas Posts: 4,256 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @cladking said:
    I have strongly mixed emotions about Krause. The company as a whole is just wonderful for numismatics. Their work has shaped the hobby but especially it has shaped the future of the hobby. I have a lot of admiration for the principles past and present.

    However the world coin catalog has done and is doing irreparable harm to the modern world coin markets. The catalog was great up until 1986 and since it has failed the hobby by the publication of erroneous and misleading pricing information. Nowhere is this more damaging than in the 1945 to 1999 issues.

    The company WAS wonderful, until the founders (Chet Krause and Cliff Mishler) retired and sold off. The corporate entity that currently owns it doesn’t invest much keeping it going. I think there is 1 person, maybe 2 people, working on catalog updates. Hard to keep such a big project up to date with so few staff.

    They also used to be a regular sponsor of the ANA Convention. Now, they hardly even attend as I mentioned in my OP.

  • BillDugan1959BillDugan1959 Posts: 3,821 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 14, 2018 12:09PM

    Chet Krause sold/placed his shares in the company in an ESOP (employee stock ownership plan). Mr. Krause was interested in ensuring that the company remained in Iola, generating jobs for locals for a very long time into the future. A CEO/CFO got into the company not too long after the transfer of control from Mr. Krause to the ESOP, and that CEO/CFO saw how he could sell the company to a large corporate conglomerate and line his own pockets. The only good thing about this is that a lot of long-time employees also shared in the major windfall from the sale.

    I am pretty certain that I remember the name of the dubious CEO/CFO, but won't post it to stay on the proper side of forum rules.

    98.5 percent of Modern coins since 1945 have very very very very very exceedingly little value, unlesss they have some precious metal. Krause Catalog is right, and another poster here is totally wrong.

  • ADGADG Posts: 422 ✭✭✭

    Still a great reference for world coin basic information. Current prices - well ---not so much perhaps.

    "The vaccines work,” Trump said, adding that the people who “get very sick and go to the hospital” are unvaccinated.
    “Look, the results of the vaccine are very good, and if you do get it, it’s a very minor form,” Trump continued. “People aren’t dying when they take the vaccine.”
    Do your part, America 💉😷

  • cladkingcladking Posts: 28,201 ✭✭✭✭✭

    >

    98.5 percent of Modern coins since 1945 have very very very very very exceedingly little value, unlesss they have some precious metal.

    Indeed!

    I'd say 99.9%+ of moderns which exist are dreadfully common.

    Rare coins are by definition rare. Numerous moderns are rare (especially in pristine condition) and many more that seem common are only "common" because there is no demand.

    Tempus fugit.
  • BillDugan1959BillDugan1959 Posts: 3,821 ✭✭✭✭✭

    'Rare in this condition' is just another form of fraud, when talking about clad coins.

    Indeed.

  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,839 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @pruebas said:

    @cladking said:
    I have strongly mixed emotions about Krause. The company as a whole is just wonderful for numismatics. Their work has shaped the hobby but especially it has shaped the future of the hobby. I have a lot of admiration for the principles past and present.

    However the world coin catalog has done and is doing irreparable harm to the modern world coin markets. The catalog was great up until 1986 and since it has failed the hobby by the publication of erroneous and misleading pricing information. Nowhere is this more damaging than in the 1945 to 1999 issues.

    The company WAS wonderful, until the founders (Chet Krause and Cliff Mishler) retired and sold off. The corporate entity that currently owns it doesn’t invest much keeping it going. I think there is 1 person, maybe 2 people, working on catalog updates. Hard to keep such a big project up to date with so few staff.

    They also used to be a regular sponsor of the ANA Convention. Now, they hardly even attend as I mentioned in my OP.

    Chet Krause sold the company to the employees via an ESOP during the 1990s. I believe this process was completed in 1997. The idea behind the ESOP was to keep the company in Iola, WI, which is in a very rural mid-Wisconsin location. When the ESOP sold the company in 2002 (I believe) Chet was not pleased but could do nothing about it since he didn't own the company anymore.

    The company brought good money in 2002, probably much more than it would bring today. The company is no longer in Iola, having recently moved its remaining operations to another Wisconsin location. The publishing business is in turmoil today so none of this should be surprising.

    Was it a good move? I wonder what current and past employees think today.

    All glory is fleeting.
  • cladkingcladking Posts: 28,201 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BillDugan1959 said:
    'Rare in this condition' is just another form of fraud, when talking about clad coins.

    Indeed.

    So you're suggesting that just because there are many thousands of worn and cull E German 1950-E 10p and hundreds upon hundreds in XF that those in chBU aren't desirable and those selling them are fraudsters?

    Do you really believe this doesn't apply to clad and many other base metal coins?

    Tempus fugit.
  • pruebaspruebas Posts: 4,256 ✭✭✭✭✭

    In case you haven’t yet heard, F+W Media, the parent company of Krause Publications, declared bankruptcy over the weekend.

  • SwampboySwampboy Posts: 12,861 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @pruebas said:
    In case you haven’t yet heard, F+W Media, the parent company of Krause Publications, declared bankruptcy over the weekend.

    Uh oh

  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,839 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The assets that have any value will be sold and many of the publications will continue under new ownership. For the employees, however, this will be a time of great uncertainty. I wonder how many employees the Krause part of the operation actually has these days? I would suspect it is way down from the past.

    All glory is fleeting.
  • DBSTrader2DBSTrader2 Posts: 3,425 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 18, 2019 1:12PM

    When I was looking to possibly send a Krause to someone in Canada, I saw a lot of DVD "copies" for sale on eBay (and maybe also Amazon?) of recent years' issues of the Krause catalogs for between $5 & $10. Don't know how legit or complete those are, but are they worth it for annual updates vs plunking down almost $200 for a 5-CD set? Of course, I wouldn't want to contribute to any pirates out there. Just curious, as I am more than satisfied with the older hard copy I still reference on occasions (really not into collecting any 21st century Darkside other than keeping current in Canadian folders these days.......).

  • ADGADG Posts: 422 ✭✭✭

    The pdf versions of the Krause catalogs are illegally sold by many. They are also very easily found for free in various "pirate" venues, as are other ebooks. FYI only.

    "The vaccines work,” Trump said, adding that the people who “get very sick and go to the hospital” are unvaccinated.
    “Look, the results of the vaccine are very good, and if you do get it, it’s a very minor form,” Trump continued. “People aren’t dying when they take the vaccine.”
    Do your part, America 💉😷

  • pruebaspruebas Posts: 4,256 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @291fifth said:
    The assets that have any value will be sold and many of the publications will continue under new ownership. For the employees, however, this will be a time of great uncertainty. I wonder how many employees the Krause part of the operation actually has these days? I would suspect it is way down from the past.

    David Harper’s recent retirement was a tip off. But this bankruptcy wasn’t hard to see coming.

  • SwampboySwampboy Posts: 12,861 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I see these two volumes listed on the F & W site and I'm thinking,
    for the record, they are possibly the last editions...
    *


    *
    I'll be looking to update my old collection..
    1601-1700 4th edition
    1701-1800 5th edition
    1801-1900 5th edition
    1901-2000 36th edition
    2001- date 8th edition
    *

  • BillDugan1959BillDugan1959 Posts: 3,821 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Swampboy Thanks for the heads up, those two books had not yet come to my attention!

    The new SCWC 19th Century book is badly wanted here.

  • pruebaspruebas Posts: 4,256 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I doubt KP will disappear. I would expect someone like Whitman to buy the numismatic assets and continue publication of the catalogs (while ceasing publication of the newspapers), assuming a price can be reached.

    Thanks for the heads-up on the new editions.

  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,839 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Pruebas has probably predicted correctly what will happen. The books are specialty publications which still have a market. They will have to deal with the piracy issue if they continue to do online or DVD versions. Perhaps the best solution will be to issue real books only ... no DVDs or online versions.

    I won't be at all surprised if the newspapers/magazine disappear.

    All glory is fleeting.
  • pruebaspruebas Posts: 4,256 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @291fifth said:
    Pruebas has probably predicted correctly what will happen. The books are specialty publications which still have a market. They will have to deal with the piracy issue if they continue to do online or DVD versions. Perhaps the best solution will be to issue real books only ... no DVDs or online versions.

    I won't be at all surprised if the newspapers/magazine disappear.

    It would really bother me if the PDF editions disappeared as I use them on my phone at shows. But if they could find a way to secure them or make a special app (that doesn't need an internet connection), that would also work. Tough road ahead (and I expect prices will be going up)!

  • pendragon1998pendragon1998 Posts: 2,069 ✭✭✭

    Everything these days seems to be switching to the online subscription model.

  • bronco2078bronco2078 Posts: 9,961 ✭✭✭✭✭

    is there any reason for new books? I can make do in a pinch with my 1976 edition , its not like the prices are being actively updated on anything

  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,839 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @bronco2078 said:
    is there any reason for new books? I can make do in a pinch with my 1976 edition , its not like the prices are being actively updated on anything

    This may have been a contributing problem to the publisher's bankruptcy filing. While the numismatic books are only one part of this publisher's business the lack of attention to this product says something about the way the company was being run.

    All glory is fleeting.
  • Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 25, 2019 6:50AM

    @bronco2078 I don't think collector's interested in the coins struck after 1977 would find your copy very helpful. BTW, my ragged, crumbling sports card price guide from 1964 will be used to start a fire in my fireplace this coming winter. :wink:

  • pruebaspruebas Posts: 4,256 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @291fifth said:

    @bronco2078 said:
    is there any reason for new books? I can make do in a pinch with my 1976 edition , its not like the prices are being actively updated on anything

    This may have been a contributing problem to the publisher's bankruptcy filing. While the numismatic books are only one part of this publisher's business the lack of attention to this product says something about the way the company was being run.

    And that was exactly my original point.

    They no longer even attend shows that they used to be premier sponsors to (ie: ANA WFOM, FUN).
    Plus they let the CICF show (which I believe they owned) die.
    You have to go to where your customers are. Sales 101.

    They don't have product to sell (even digital product that costs pennies to produce).
    No product, no revenue. Pretty simple.

    It's pretty obvious that there is no direction at F+W.

    Coin Week and sites like this forum are eating their lunch on the magazine side.
    Bootlegging is eating their lunch on the catalog side.
    And F+W management have no clue how to turn their business around.

  • Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I just received a copy of Numismatic News. Someone is working at FW Media.

  • ZoharZohar Posts: 6,627 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 25, 2019 8:14AM

    https://coinbooks.org/v22/esylum_v22n11a07.html

    Instead of helping, ecommerce may have exacerbated the financial problems of a publisher of popular niche magazines and books that appeal to collectors, crafters, and other enthusiasts. Niche publisher F+W Media filed for Chapter 11 over the weekend after facing financial struggles for years.

    The publisher had turned to ecommerce as a possible savior. But the New York Post reported, "The spectacular flop may serve as a cautionary tale to hard-pressed publishers who try to venture into e-commerce as a way to offset slumping print advertising circulation and revenue."

    Craft industry publication Craft Industry Alliance summed it up as follows: "A combination of declining subscriptions and ad revenue, plus a misguided effort to shift into ecommerce, led to a whole lot of debt."

    Many F+W magazines may be recognizable to EcommerceBytes readers. Collectibles titles include Antique Trader, Bank Note Reporter, Coins, Goldmine, Military Trader, Military Vehicles, Numismatic News, World Coin News, and Sports Collector Digest.

    It also publishes books, calling itself the leading publisher of illustrated non-fiction books in art instruction, crafts, writing, genealogy, antiques and collectibles, woodworking, and the outdoors. "F+W is a major book publisher, producing and marketing hundreds of new book titles annually, and has a backlist of some 2,000 titles.

    Last year, publishing trade publication Folio reported on a house-cleaning effort in January 2018 when the company's board dismissed its CEO, COO, and CTO in one fell swoop.

    It will be interesting to see what becomes of the company and its assets now.

    Interesting indeed. The Comments section is worth reading, with a screed about the former short-term CEO who "made fun of the staff at industry events where he spoke. If he was challenged by anyone on staff he would reply "I built the NY Times website, I know what I'm doing." I guess we know that that turned out.

    Bankruptcy rids the company of its debt. I fear that could include its obligations pay pensions and other benefits to current and former employees. But none of this means the publications can't survive, or even thrive under new owners with a more realistic business model and guidance from people who actually understand the niche areas the publications cover. But that won't be easy at this point, and the numismatic publications could be merged away or shut down completely if new owners can't be found. For the time being at least, the company plans to remain in operation while it liquidates its holdings. -Editor

  • BStrauss3BStrauss3 Posts: 3,015 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Bumping this because - if you are an author owed money - they've posted the amounts they propose to pay you:

    https://document.epiq11.com/document/getdocumentbycode/?docId=3459663&projectCode=FWM&source=DM

    If you don't agree with their numbers, you have a very short window to object.

    -----Burton
    ANA 50 year/Life Member (now "Emeritus")
  • BStrauss3BStrauss3 Posts: 3,015 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The bankruptcy auction for the Books business was canceled on 7 June (Yesterday) because there was just one bidder for the books business, Penguin Random House LLC. Hearing is scheduled for Monday to present the sale order.

    https://document.epiq11.com/document/getdocumentbycode/?docId=3466731&projectCode=FWM&source=DM

    News:
    https://publishingperspectives.com/2019/06/penguin-random-house-wins-bid-to-buy-fw-medias-list/
    https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/industry-deals/article/80380-winner-of-f-w-book-group-auction-to-be-announced-soon.html

    Note that the F+W Books Business line held the Krause catalogs, but the magazines and online communities (e.g. Numismatic News) are part of the F+W Community Business line - the auction for that will happen in a couple of weeks.

    https://document.epiq11.com/document/getdocumentbycode/?docId=3464081&projectCode=FWM&source=DM

    -----Burton
    ANA 50 year/Life Member (now "Emeritus")
  • BillDugan1959BillDugan1959 Posts: 3,821 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BStrauss3 Thanks for the update.

    I'm a bit skeptical about what happens to the SCWC line-up.

  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,839 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The fact that there was just one bidder says something about the state of the book business ... unfortunately.

    All glory is fleeting.
  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,811 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @291fifth said:
    The fact that there was just one bidder says something about the state of the book business ... unfortunately.

    I wonder how much sales these books actually generate per year?

    I’m a electronic book person and have purchased a few of their books in PDF which I like, but so haven’t seen many other publishers follow their lead.

  • BStrauss3BStrauss3 Posts: 3,015 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You could sort of back into a $.

    The news story said how many books were in the backlist they were purchasing.

    Total up the 200 pages of cure amounts in the 1st filing - if you assume they didn't pay authors for the last quarter... Next figure authors get an average % of sales as royalties (many publishing news sites have estimates). A little multiplication gets you into the ballpark, plus minus 50%.

    -----Burton
    ANA 50 year/Life Member (now "Emeritus")
  • WCCWCC Posts: 2,326 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @291fifth said:
    The fact that there was just one bidder says something about the state of the book business ... unfortunately.

    I suspect that many collectors have come to the same conclusion I have, that most coin books aren't worth buying. On occasion, I have checked what is available on Amazon or the ANA's website and there is little if anything I want to buy, And in making this comment, it isn't just because I don't collect the subject matter.

    I have a very limited library. I only buy what is directly related to what I collect, actual references (as opposed to price guides) and auction catalogs. I'll pay for useful (or even interesting) knowledge that isn't available elsewhere for free (such as on this forum) but not otherwise.

    The reason? Every dollar I spend on books is money I could have spent on coins I actually want to buy. I'm not reducing my coin budget to buy some book that has nothing to do with what I want to collect, unless it's actually interesting.

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