People are unaware of the forces that lie at the edges of their visions. There are creatures and entities that are threats to the human race. However, an organization exists that is dedicated to driving back these forces and protecting people. One group over at Para-Books seeks to chronicle these monsters and recently I caught up with Alex and asked a few questions about their upcoming project.
TR: Please introduce yourself.
A: I’m Alex, nice to meet you! As a project manager, I’m responsible for communication with partners, manufacturers, artists, bloggers, backers and basically anyone who’s interested in our project.
TR: Tell us a bit about Para-Books.
A: Paranormal Activity Books is a publishing company that was founded just recently in the US. But that doesn’t mean we lack experience! Actually, 3/4 of our teammates have been working in the industry for many years, especially our director Michael who almost single-handedly founded one of the biggest comic book publishing companies in Russia (Komilfo PH). So we know how to make cool and high-quality books!
A: Well, basically, there are three volumes containing some articles from scpwiki.com and complemented with professional illustrations. But there’s more to it. We decided to stylize the books as research journals – add blood stains, handwritten notes, polaroids, authentic design and layout based on real reports and documents. The whole aesthetics of the Foundation hinges on the concept of realism, and we want our books to feel as real as possible. For newcomers this will be a great starting point, and for long-time fans it is an opportunity to have a piece of their favorite universe on their shelves. A beautifully designed and carefully printed piece!
TR: For those that don’t know tell us a little about SCP Foundation.
A: The SCP Foundation is a fictional secret organisation trying its best to keep the world safe and ignorant about numerous anomalies, supernatural entities, phenomena and other unnerving stuff that is going on around us. Like Men in Black, but make it cooler and darker. However, this explanation is too bland and off the point. Most importantly, the SCP Foundation is a unique web-project created by many people from all around the world. It is a community of incredibly talented people: writers, artists, bloggers, YouTubers, game developers, translators as well as people who are just there to share their emotions, opinions and ideas. At first, it was most known for some deadly monsters (like the Plague Doctor, Shy Guy or Hard To Destroy Reptile) but gradually, article by article and tale by tale, the lore grew and became something more than that. Right now there are so many interesting concepts, deep connections, great worldbuilding, references and well-written stories… Please go check it out if you still haven’t: http://www.scpwiki.com/
A: Well, besides the illustrations and authentic design I mentioned earlier, it is the quality of the books! Sure, there were similar projects (the SCP Foundation Handbook by Dr. Peter James Defort, for example), but I doubt someone has ever put THAT much effort into the publishing process before. We spared no money and chose the best possible options with our Canadian printing partner. Best leather-imitating material for the covers, the thickest paper, the richest handmade slipcases with scratch-proof lamination and embossing. We even hired a team to develop an app and animate the dust jackets for the limited crowdfunding edition!
TR: What are the different rewards that you have on the various tiers?
A: Ohh, I love the topic! It is a common practice to reward backers with different bonuses here in Russia, but I’ve noticed that very few crowdfunding campaigns do that in other countries. We have a system of stretch goal rewards: when the campaign gathers a certain sum ($50.000, for example), a free piece of merch is added to each backer’s order. So, by the end of the campaign people will get not just the book(s) but also a holographic iron-on patch, a sticker pack, an employee badge with a branded lanyard, an A3 poster, a pack of lab photos (which is a set of realistic illustrations printed on high-quality photo paper)… I bet we will also unlock a set of badges with SCP object classes by the moment this interview is out! And we have plenty of time to reach other goals, too. We create the designs for all bonuses on our own, so you won’t find them anywhere else!
TB: How much would it be for a complete set of these books?
A: It’s $160 for the regular-edition set (normal dust jackets, no slipcase) and $230 for the limited-edition set (animated dust jackets, exclusive slipcase) + shipping fee ($15 for the US and $25 worldwide). Rather expensive, but, as you probably understand by now, the production is costly as well.
TR: Alright I am sold. Where can I get a set of these books?
A: Simply go to https://igg.me/at/scp-artbooks to pre-order a set of books.
Since this project has proven pretty successful (and by “successful” I mean we covered at least some part of the production expenses and haven’t gone completely bankrupt as we thought we would), we will probably publish more books in the future! We have plans for an illustrated book with SCP tales, and also it would be cool to make another set of art books covering more recent SCPs from series 4, 5 and 6 (in these books there are mostly SCPs from the first three series). People seem to like our merch, so we will continue making it too (I mean toys, plushies, patches, badges, prints and other stuff). I’d like to particularly specify that we purchase rights for every image we use, and artists are well aware of how we use their illustrations + we also put proper credits. Artists’ rights and prosperity are important to us!
We would also like to make some SCP-unrelated projects. In particular, we would like to localize and publish books by Russian and European authors. There are so many talented people and great stories here that deserve to be acknowledged!
TR: Will you release your next project on Indiegogo or on Kickstarter?
A: We enjoy working with Indiegogo for now and we have already built some kind of community there. I think we will continue to launch projects on that platform.
A: This IS our dream project 😀 It was (and still is) a very bold startup, plain “all-or-nothing” that will either allow us to found a proper publishing house in the US or completely destroy our aspirations. Luckily, we move towards the first scenario.
TR: Anything else you’d like to add?
A: I hope this interview will bring many more people not just to our books, but to the SCP Foundation community in general! Million thanks to Comix Asylum for this opportunity, and my sincere gratitude and respect to those who got to the end of it 🙂
And there you have it folks so if you are interested in learning more about this project head over to https://igg.me/at/scp-artbooks and get ready to learn more about the creatures that are in the SCP.