$500 Books? What The Hell? Is This Still Going On?

$500 on Ebay! Really, Still?

The other day a new WoodyBoater reached out to me asking for advice about starting a restoration on his Capri. Any resourses out there. I suggested the local ACBS group, the Boat Buzz, and Don Dannbergs books.

Starting at $125 on Amazon

Is email back had me confused. Dons book is expensive. i thought, Buddy you are about to really be shocked. A 20 buck book is expensive. So I clicked around and OH SHIP! $220 for one of Dons books on amazon. USED! What the hell? And some further digging found the Chris Craft book still on ebay at 500 bucks. AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

So AGAIN as a public service to all. You can get that same Chris Craft book for $50-ish at the The Maritime Museum

New Book, reprint. $50 Everywhere

YIKES, and $4 on Kindle.

Now regarding Don’s book. 4 bucks on Kindle. Sure its electronic. But its the information that’s important. And if you have to have the book, so you can write in it and so on. maybe some readers will volunteer to sell their books at a fair reasonable price. For the record, I have planned on sending our new reader my book for free. Because information should be shared. If I can find it? I know its someplace? I know it will be in the last place I look. So why not start there.

33 replies
  1. DarthTrader
    DarthTrader says:

    Your simple unselfish act of sharing information speaks volumes about you, WoodyBoater and the culture you are promoting. Sharing is what creates new friends and lifelong opportunities. Hoarding and price gouging only widen the divide.

    Ask a fair price and share the material. What good does it do to sit on a rare article only to have it thrown in a dumpster by your heirs when they clean up your estate?

  2. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    I was hoping Danenberg’s books (book in complete edition form) would end up back in print and that he would actually get royalties for it. With today’s technology and the layout already done, a short production run shouldn’t be that expensive and should sell reasonably profitablely at $40-$50 a copy. I don’t get why that hasn’t happened given the asking prices on Amazon.

  3. Jim Staib
    Jim Staib says:

    Don’s books are a wealth of information. Some libraries can get them. The Essential Guide works great for me and people in the business. If most people knew there was only one page of information on their boat it would get shared more.

  4. John Bailey
    John Bailey says:

    As a service and for a tab at WoodyBoater, maybe you can create a lending library for people with the book to share

  5. alex
    alex says:

    I wanted to buy a 1/2″ chuck key from a supplier I use on Ebay. He wanted £987 for it. I asked if it was a mistake. He told me he had none in stock but used the price to keep the advert live until he did have more in stock.
    No one buys them at that price?

  6. Gene Porter
    Gene Porter says:

    It is worth noting that, for the price of membership, ACBS members get free access to dozens of excellent “How To Do Everything From Planking to Varnishing” on line videos.

  7. Old Salt
    Old Salt says:

    If the Essential Guide is selling for $500.00 on Ebay, I wonder what my first edition signed copy by Jerry Conrad is worth? Maybe I can sell it so I can afford a new bottom job on my Chris Craft!

    • Carl Garmhaus
      Carl Garmhaus says:

      Funny you mention that. I also have a first edition, signed copy. Guess I’ll have to leave it to some one special in my will. Damn thing will be worth a fortune by then.

  8. steve bunda
    steve bunda says:

    Classic Boating magazines have lots of information and many of Don’s articles are similar in information as covered in his books.

  9. John F Rothert
    John F Rothert says:

    I too have a first edition Guide that Jerry signed for me….there is a true saga behind him and those great books…glad it is in reprint. I have a total run of WoodenBoat Mag….and wanted to locate my issue 94…of now hundreds, only to find…or NOT find..that issue….guess I will keep digging…it is here in the shop somewhere…good article on Blanchard boat Co. in that one.

    John in Va.

  10. Fred
    Fred says:

    Shame less commercialism here. Just tryin to help a boater out. I no longer have my CC, but still have a small wood boat
    These have been sitting in my file cabinet for years. I agree that when I’m dust, these would most likely be tossed so I’m offering them to anyone who can use them for $100 shipped anywhere in the US. Pm me if interested. Thanks

  11. don danenberg
    don danenberg says:

    I’m sorry about what happened to my books, the publisher refuses to release the rights back to me as long as they can still sell the digital version, which costs them nothing to ‘print’.
    I lost my shirt on those books anyway, over 20,000 sold, and MBI took 92% of the profit off the top. I got $1.10 per book royalty, less than it cost to write and photograph. I should have had a lawyer, rather than trust my ability to understand their fine print?

    I intend to write more books, now that I have finally retired from running the shop, but this may take a year or two? I have also been advised of a new way to publish them. I have new publishing software and have purchased a license for ‘Danenberg Publishing’ and Ten (10) ISBN numbers for the books.
    Once I write them, I can send the digital info to a POD (Print On Demand) printer and they can print them (so I’m told) in any quantity I ask for (larger quantity – lower price ea.) so they no longer have to be 5,000 copies per printing, and I do NOT have that kind of money anyway.
    I wrote my first book in 1996 and for 5-years Classic Boating magazine split the chapters up into magazine articles, starting in Mar-’97. In 2000, MBI wrote and said ‘we can make a book of these’, I said ‘Ya think so?”.
    Anyway, what I’m hoping for is the same format of glossy-page (enough to wipe 5200 and other products from), SHOP book, for hopefully near the same $29.95 range?

    As for the 2018 Port Huron International show, I was there with two 19-ft barrelbacks, my last two projects before retiring to write books. The 1939 (38) #48510 “Pure Grain” won Platinum for ‘Best Runabout Preserved’ and the 1942 #48908 “Bad Behaviors” won Platinum for “Best Runabout Restored”. How’s that for going out with a bang?

    As far of price of the existing books (Not in MY pocket)?
    A guy called me and said “You’ve GOT to hear this.., I found your first book on eBay and the guy asked $1,700 !! When I asked WHY, he said ‘Because they are out of print….. and Danenberg is DEAD” !!”

    Oh yeah?

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      Wow, What a way to find out that you had died. That must have been a bit of a shocker. Sounds like you aren’t letting the bad news slow you down which is great to hear!

    • thomas d
      thomas d says:

      after 15 years i still us it. I’m sure a signed, low number first edition is worth a pre-war barrel back by now.

  12. Tommyholm
    Tommyholm says:

    The Water Wonderland ACBS Foundation recycles boat books into the hands of newly interested. Unfortunately not enough old cats donate. Danenberg’s and Conrad’s books are highly convented. The new Essential Guide has poorly reproduced pictures, unfortunately, but if you want nice color pics then get a co. Catalog. Danenberg’s book is a copyright issue regarding reprints. Btw most boat books sell for around $15, you happen to mention two of the rare ones. Donate today to Water Wonderland, we place the rare ones in local MI libraries.

  13. Mark
    Mark says:

    So wait there was a show in Port Huron, they gave out awards and after Danenberg got his he died ?

    I missed a lot of stuff.

  14. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    This is later but in looking over the comments, I see where one I sent this morning didn’t make it:…So to repeat….I have copies of Wooden Boat magazine from Issue # 1 to about 175 and also a complete set of Nautical Quarterly, I intended to give to the Sunnyland chapter for their library…Problem, they never built a club house and hence have no library….So they are available…the bigger challenge is the cost of shipping the “free” books & magazines. Lrt me know if interested.

  15. Jack Weibel
    Jack Weibel says:

    I have an extensive collection of Classic Boating and Wooden Boat magazines. I’ll compile a complete list and offer it to who ever is interested.

Comments are closed.