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TheVgaTv

The Atari 2600 Encyclopedia Volumes 1-6 Are Now Available!

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Links to everything and new page layout samples are at the bottom of the post.

 

After many lengthy delays, the Atari 2600 Encyclopedia project is complete.  It has been a long journey, but in this post I will go into detail about what happened, why there has been a design change, and will be monitoring the post to answer any additional questions that come up.  I want to be open and honest about everything, so please feel free to ask whatever you like.

 

First things first however, which is an apology.  Due to a variety of factors that I will get into in a moment, I had to completely redesign the project from the ground up to make it look like my Sega Master System Encyclopedia.  For those of you who purchased the original Volume 1, all I can do is offer a heartfelt apology and a detailed explanation as to why the change was made.  I completely understand if the abandonment of the previous design puts you off from supporting this version.  Frankly I would be upset too, but I assure you this wasn’t a decision that was made lightly.

 

As many of you know, there were significant printing issues with the first design.  To put it mildly, the printer that I have to use simply couldn’t handle the complexity of the layout.  There were issues such as the design printing off-center which cut words off, print banding that would leave blank stripes on the pages, color fading, etc.  As a result of this the reviews on the book were overwhelmingly negative, which not only resulted in fewer sales but caused a lot of returns as well.  To give you an idea of what this did to sales, my SMS book has gotten regular purchases five years after being released, while the 2600 book flatlined about 3 months in.

 

To this day I have barely broken even on Volume 1, and with the flatlined sales and printer issues I would have been hard pressed to come close to breaking even if I had proceeded with the current design.  Since I didn’t have several thousand dollars I could freely burn, I was left with two options.  I could either scrap the entire project, or redesign it like the SMS book since the printing issues weren’t present there.  After much consideration, I decided to start from scratch.

 

Some of you may be wondering why I’m going with this particular printer if they have the issues that they do.  The short answer is, out of necessity.  With a project this size (nearly 1,700 full color pages) having a batch printed independently would have cost way more than what I have.  On top of that I don’t have the infrastructure in place to handle orders and shipping on my own.  As a result, I have to go with a print on demand company, which limited me to two choices.  The company I went with was the more cost effective option, and really the only one where the books would be affordable (going with the other company would have added $15-$20 a book, and be available in paperback only).  They also have printers on most continents, making it available to international audiences as well.

 

About the decision to go with 6 volumes instead of 4.  The main reason this was done was so that the digital versions will match up with the print versions, and so that I can have them available in my online store so that they’ll never go out of stock.  Amazon has a tendency to put print on demand books on “back order” saying it can take 3-4 months for it to ship.  Being able to have it on my own storefront would eliminate that problem.  However, the site I’m using (which is tied to my printer) has file size and page count restrictions, so I have to keep everything under 300 pages.  In addition to always having it in stock, I’ll be able to offer the digital version at a lower cost.

 

So now let’s talk about the books themselves.  Just about every single game gets a 4 page writeup, with each having scans of the box cover, manual, catalog entries and cartridge, as well as numerous gameplay screenshots.  The books come in at roughly 280 pages per volume and will run $35 for a paperback and $45 for the hardback.  The digital version will be $7.99 in PDF form on my site.

 

Speaking of the digital versions, I will be giving away a digital version of Volume 1 for free.  Click this link and you can download it.

 

https://dl.bookfunnel.com/dv4zn8j2i9

 

The only other thing I’d like to add is that going forward I won’t be releasing any more video game book series unless it is 100% complete.  No more of this waiting for books 2-3-4-etc.  It’s all or nothing from here on out.

 

If you have any additional questions please feel free to ask them below.    And I hope you all enjoy the series!

 

Link to books on my store

 

https://aerbook.com/store/The_VGA

 

Links to Amazon (Please note that there is currently an error on the Amazon site where the old reviews are showing up on the new version.  They tell me it’s going to be a week or two before this is fixed)

 

Vol 1   www.amazon.com/Atari-2600-Encyclopedia-1/dp/1945294248

Vol 2   www.amazon.com/Atari-2600-Encyclopedia-2/dp/1945294256

Vol 3  www.amazon.com/Atari-2600-Encyclopedia-3/dp/1945294264

Vol 4  www.amazon.com/Atari-2600-Encyclopedia-4/dp/1945294272

Vol 5  www.amazon.com/Atari-2600-Encyclopedia-5/dp/1945294280

Vol 6  www.amazon.com/Atari-2600-Encyclopedia-6/dp/1945294299

Activision Decathlon pg 1.jpg

Activision Decathlon pg 2.jpg

Activision Decathlon pg 3.jpg

Activision Decathlon pg 4.jpg

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IMO $210 without shipping costs for the complete series (in paperback) is a lot of money.

Do you have a list of all the games that are reviewed?

8)

 

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47 minutes ago, Rom Hunter said:

IMO $210 without shipping costs for the complete series (in paperback) is a lot of money.

Do you have a list of all the games that are reviewed?

8)

 

 

It is every original USA release, so something like 415 games?  I don't have the exact count on this computer.  

 

Also if you order through Amazon the books qualify for free shipping.

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I have the original volume 1.  Is that the same book as shown in your volume 1 link?  How do volumes 2-6 look in comparison?  Do they use the same format so that it looks like a true continuation of the series?

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1 minute ago, atarifan88 said:

I have the original volume 1.  Is that the same book as shown in your volume 1 link?  How do volumes 2-6 look in comparison?  Do they use the same format so that it looks like a true continuation of the series?

 

I go into more detail above, but due to massive printing errors I was forced to do a complete redesign of the project.  Every volume now looks like the sample above, which is identical to my Sega Master System Encyclopedia.

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Are there any exchanges being done for those who own the previous version of volume 1?  I would hate to have to purchase that again...

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15 minutes ago, atarifan88 said:

Are there any exchanges being done for those who own the previous version of volume 1?  I would hate to have to purchase that again...

 

Unfortunately not.  As I mentioned above, this project has been costly financially and I simply don't have the funds to be able to do that.  I honestly wish that I could, but it's simply not possible.

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13 minutes ago, wongojack said:

For volume 1, it looks like the bad Amazon reviews are still listed from the first printing

 

Thanks for the heads up. Yeah I've been chatting with Amazon about it and think I have the issue resolved but they said it might be a couple of weeks before they are removed from the new version. 

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Wow, what an awesome surprise!  I was wondering about these, will definitely be completing the set.

 

Also, was unaware of your SMS book - will order direct from your site since Amazon states it's OOS.

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1 minute ago, Special Teams said:

Wow, what an awesome surprise!  I was wondering about these, will definitely be completing the set.

 

Also, was unaware of your SMS book - will order direct from your site since Amazon states it's OOS.

Thank you so much!

I really do appreciate it!  I didn't want to even hint about it until I had everything done and in hand. 

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20 hours ago, atarifan88 said:

Are there any exchanges being done for those who own the previous version of volume 1?  I would hate to have to purchase that again...

 

Sell the original volume 1 and re-invest the money into the new set:

https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?cm_sp=SearchFwi-_-SRP-_-Results&kn=encyclopedia&sortby=17&tn=atari

Prices range from $50 to $102. :roll:

 

 

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5 hours ago, Starwander said:

So these books only cover official US releases by Atari and not by third party companies, mail in exclusives etc?

 

Every USA release during the initial run.  Including 3rd party and mail in exclusives.  So all the Activision, Coleco etc games are there, as well as things like Red Sea Crossing and Chase the Chuckwagon

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I was surprised to see this thread as I had wondered what happened with the book series.  Looks like it was a major undertaking to remake these.  I have the original Volume 1.  I'll have a look at these and decide whether to get them digitally or printed.  It's cool to see the project completed. 

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24 minutes ago, TrekMD said:

I was surprised to see this thread as I had wondered what happened with the book series.  Looks like it was a major undertaking to remake these.  I have the original Volume 1.  I'll have a look at these and decide whether to get them digitally or printed.  It's cool to see the project completed. 

 

Yeah it was quite the undertaking to do these.  It kills me that I couldn't do it the way it was originally intended, but I figured having a finished project was better than no project at all.  Now I have to figure out what system to work on next!

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2 minutes ago, TheVgaTv said:

 

Yeah it was quite the undertaking to do these.  It kills me that I couldn't do it the way it was originally intended, but I figured having a finished project was better than no project at all.  Now I have to figure out what system to work on next!

TG-16/PC Engine/Supergrafx would be nice. Especially in light of the new mini systems coming next year.   :)

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3 minutes ago, save2600 said:

TG-16/PC Engine/Supergrafx would be nice. Especially in light of the new mini systems coming next year.   :)

 

Funny you mention that as it's one of the ones on my potentials list.  After staring at Atari 2600 games for way, way too many hours I'm really leaning towards doing a 16-Bit system for the next one.  I really want to do the Genesis, but figure I should probably do a stepping stone before tackling 700 some odd games.....

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Too many restrictions / compromises, so I'm out. This type of thing has been a Holy Grail for me, all these long decades. It would indescribably wonderful to have all this information in a beautiful, finely printed hardcover compendium. It would be a highlight of my library. But, not 6 volumes, with crazy restrictions (300 pages ??!!). I'd settle for 2 hardcover volumes, 8 1/2 x 11 format, 800 pages per book, glossy acid-free paper, high quality 40 or 50 GPM stock. I will never pay ~350 for these six volumes, with all those compromises. Sorry, and I truly do wish you the best. I can see how you've been forced, financially into this current situation, bittersweet it is.

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22 hours ago, TheVgaTv said:

 

Funny you mention that as it's one of the ones on my potentials list.  After staring at Atari 2600 games for way, way too many hours I'm really leaning towards doing a 16-Bit system for the next one.  I really want to do the Genesis, but figure I should probably do a stepping stone before tackling 700 some odd games.....

Go with Intellivision.  It was the first 16-bit system and with the release of the Amico next year, there will be a lot of people with renewed interest in the system.  Plus, I don't think anyone has attempted to do books covering the games of the Intellivision.  Food for thought...

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5 hours ago, zyzzle said:

Too many restrictions / compromises, so I'm out. This type of thing has been a Holy Grail for me, all these long decades. It would indescribably wonderful to have all this information in a beautiful, finely printed hardcover compendium. It would be a highlight of my library. But, not 6 volumes, with crazy restrictions (300 pages ??!!). I'd settle for 2 hardcover volumes, 8 1/2 x 11 format, 800 pages per book, glossy acid-free paper, high quality 40 or 50 GPM stock. I will never pay ~350 for these six volumes, with all those compromises. Sorry, and I truly do wish you the best. I can see how you've been forced, financially into this current situation, bittersweet it is.

 

I appreciate the well wishes and I totally understand.  I had to try and balance a lot of things, one of which was cost to the buyers, which is one of the reasons I went the way that I did.  I wish I had the budget to do a book like you described, but it would have been in the hundreds of dollars per volume so it just wasn't possible.  

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Hi, I was one of the ones that really liked your youtube videos covering the Atari 2600 games.  Will you be continuing those at some point or are they dead in the water?  I understand one person can only do so much... Thanks,

 

Glenn

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12 hours ago, Gray Defender said:

Hi, I was one of the ones that really liked your youtube videos covering the Atari 2600 games.  Will you be continuing those at some point or are they dead in the water?  I understand one person can only do so much... Thanks,

 

Glenn

 

It's on my wish list to tackle this year, but admittedly it's behind another video game book project and a few zombie novels for my series that I've been writing on and off over the last couple of years.  

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Would you be able to provide a direct download link for the free vol. 1? Thanks in advance

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