Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Schuyler Canterbury KJV 2016 update

Schuyler is preparing for what could be landmark year for them, and Bible publishing as whole.

The Quentel NKJV is just about due to drop. This is yet another entry in acclaimed Quentel line. One wonders, barring the addition of a new set of translations to the rotation, if Schuyler will continue expanding the Quentel series or if we are getting close to its completion. In any event, the Quentel series proved Schuyler was ready to take its place in the list of premium Bible publishers (Bibles that are built to last, as opposed to falling apart in five years).

The watershed moment, however, might come in August/September 2016 time frame when the Canterbury KJV is completed.

reddropcap
http://evangelicalbible.com/bibles/schuyler/canterbury-kjv/

The previews have been something to behold. The red drop caps are a classy touch - we haven't seen this practiced regularly since perhaps the early 1900s, and this was largely in liturgical books, not Bibles. It adds to the aesthetic experience of the Bible as a sacred book.

The Canterbury KJV will largely be double column. Schuyler has opted to present Psalms in a single column format,

psalmsexample
http://evangelicalbible.com/bibles/schuyler/canterbury-kjv/


I cannot commend this decision enough - this is excellent move on Schuyler's part! Anyone who regularly uses the psalms for prayer or liturgy/worship can attest that a single column format has distinct advantages over the traditional two columns. It assists with providing both visual clarity to the page and actually lets the reader take each psalm in as a poetic work, as opposed to a compressed text. 

If you want a better idea of what these formatting decisions will look like in the context of reading an actual book in the Bible, you can find a PDF sample of Isaiah online. This gives us a fairly accurate preview into what it will be like when encountering all of these features in context.

Formatting decisions being noted, perhaps the most important feature of the Canterbury KJV will be the decision to publish a hardcover edition in addition to the premium leather. Premium Bibles can be cost prohibitive and limit a publisher to a particular market. Schuyler is actively working with Jongbloed in the Netherlands (the premium printer for Schuyler, Cambridge and others) to produce a sewn hardcover edition. The hardcover edition will be printed and bound in the Netherlands and feature gilt page edges. The target price range is around $50.00 USD. 

The significance of a hardcover edition cannot be underestimated. Schuyler has built its base on the premium Bible market. The decision to expand into hardcover is indicative of the broader interest Schuyler has garnered and is a move that could very well position them as the Bible publisher of choice. Schuyler's craftsmanship will have greater diffusion with this step, and I suspect it will put pressure on a number of publishers to "up their game".

Occasionally, I will receive emails inquiring into my enthusiasm for Schuyler. The reason is relatively simple - Schuyler does excellent work. We are living in a time that can only be thought of as the dark ages of book publishing. Things are so bleak that even premium publishers of some reputation have experimented with various cost cutting measures as the sacrifice of quality. I won't name any names, but certain readers will know to whom I refer. Schuyler has resolutely gone against industry trends and shines a light in otherwise black landscape. 

Schuyler intends the Canterbury KJV to be a game changer. Thus far, all of the indicators point in that direction. If everything comes together, this will be a very hard volume to top.

12 comments:

  1. It's gorgeous but I think for aesthetic reasons they should leave out the superscripted lowercase letters with cross references, the division of words into syllables and accent marks.

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  2. " I think for aesthetic reasons they should leave out the superscripted lowercase letters with cross references, the division of words into syllables and accent marks"

    I second this. The self-pronunciation seems unnecessary.

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    1. Perhaps there is a possibility of a reader's edition. They would have a difficult time to keep up with the demand as they will with this KJV qentel version.

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  3. Do we know the size of the goatskin editions?

    I'm hoping for a "handy" size. The print looks beautiful.

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    1. I suspect we're looking at either 8.5x6 or 9x6, which seems to be Schuyler's "sweet spot" so far as dimensions go. Pre-orders should begin in the July/August time frame - we should have more specs then.

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  4. Thank you. I look forward to this release.

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    1. This just in from Schuyler:

      "The page size will be 9-1/8" x 6-1/8", but the textblock thickness has yet to be determined. Likely 33 or 34 mm. "

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  5. That's fairly large.

    I'll likely want leather over boards and the goatskin.

    For my family the church uses ESV but the value of learning the kjv language is important. It's almost like a second language but the pausing done at certain words means greater effort and concentration. I even read the 1560 facsimile and wished it had a premium leather cover rather than the "genuine" leather.

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    1. The KJV is a literary treasure in the English language. While one can certainly note some flaws in the translation, the same can be said for any other translation out there. Schuyler typically does a fantastic job - it will be nice to have an alternative to the Cambridge editions.

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    2. I agree, V. It is also a marvelous way to learn God's Word as it requires naturally pause to consider some of the specific wording, increasing concentration. In this manner, it is 'doubly enriching' for young readers.

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  6. This may have been covered already but...

    do we know the paper size (gsm)?

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    1. Hello Peter - sorry for the late reply. The paper is 36 gsm - I believe Schuyler has settled on this as the best balance between opacity and overall thickness of the book block.

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