When we launched our first campaign, it was really a gamble for us. We had no idea if we would find an audience for our books. If it had failed, we would have moved on and thought nothing more of it. We might have tried to find an English publisher that would license the books from us, but that would have been the end of the experiment. The opposite happened, and now, we have become an English books publisher thanks to it.
The success of the campaign really validated our work and it gave us a huge boost in the market. We now have two distributors, one in the UK and one in the USA that are distributing our books in bookstores. However, Third Editions as a publisher for those territories is still very small, and our position is very fragile. Our marketing channels are tiny, and we are just starting to understand how to commercialize books in these countries.
We are set to publish a few more books on the back of the first campaign, and we will learn from them, but we had so much success with Kickstarter that we feel this is an opportunity for us that we should pursue to the fullest. The visibility it gives us is very precious - and it allows us to carry on with a release schedule that we think is ambitious.
But in the end, we also loved the relationship it created with the readers. We get feedback on and off about the work we do, and having this amount of support around a campaign helps so much with our motivation. And we think that this is now expected from us - many backers are asking us for another campaign. If they want it, who are we to deny it from them when it is also such a boon for us?
Underneath their fancy cover, our books are filled with pages and pages of passionate writing. In addition to an investigation into the games’ development, they offer in-depth analysis covering every aspects of the titles in question: lore, themes, game design, music, and much more. This is Third Editions’ editorial line, embodied by three core concepts, which comprise the framework of every book : Creation, Universe, Decryption.
Which is to say that we explain how, why and when these games were made, what they became, and why that’s important in a pop culture context.
If you wish to understand Bloodborne’s cryptic lore and its profound themes, to know more about Final Fantasy VIII’s aesthetics choices or to appreciate the genius behind Breath of the Wild’s game design, our books are made for you!
Based in Toulouse, France, Third Editions is a publishing house founded in 2015 by Mehdi El Kanafi and Nicolas Courcier. Veterans of the video game industry and fascinated by print media since their childhood, they combined their passions and co-wrote several books on major series, including Zelda: The History of a Legendary Saga, Metal Gear Solid: Hideo Kojima’s Magnum Opus, and The Legend of Final Fantasy VII. Each release is a comprehensive document produced with the utmost care for accuracy and passion for the project. Third Editions has now published 40 books in France, all dedicated to the video game industry and pop culture, and is now localising select titles for the enjoyment of further readers around the world.
Our first Kickstarter was a thrilling success. We originally intended to translate three books from our French-language bestsellers - The Legend of Final Fantasy VII, and the first volumes of both Zelda: The History of a Legendary Saga and Dark Souls: Beyond the Grave. But by meeting our stretch goals, we were able to complete two more translations - Metal Gear Solid. Hideo Kojima’s Magnum Opus and BioShock: From Rapture to Columbia. The amazing enthusiasm from our backers was heartwarming, and the feedback we have been getting so far from the readers is more than positive!
But it’s time to go even further with our international ambitions. We spent last year alongside maintaining a steady flow of new books for Third Editions’ French market, constructing our English website, making a lot of phone calls and actively planning the years to come. Our French catalogue is growing all the time, and we absolutely intend to translate all of our books one day.Of course, it takes a lot of time and money to translate all these books - not to mention researching and writing them in the first place. With your help, we can accelerate the process. So it’s time for round 2!The English versions of The Legend of Final Fantasy VIII, Zelda: The History of a Legendary Saga - Volume 2 and Dark Souls: Beyond the Grave - Volume 2 can become a reality sooner rather than later, and we intend to deliver all three in October, before their online release through our website!
Risks and challenges
This is our second Kickstarter and that in itself means we have some experience. We have delivered all the rewards from the first campaign and we have learned a lot from it. We did a post mortem of our first foray in the fantastic world of crowdfunding and we have made a lot of adjustments on this campaign based on this: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thirdeditions/third-editions-books-your-ultimate-gamer-library/posts/2119233
As we are a book publisher in France, we have a strong grasp of the production chain. The risks lie where we are going in new territories:
- Localisation. We have now done 5 books in English. The process is quite solid and we are always working on improving it.
- International distribution. As we mentioned in the post mortem, we will have two fulfilment centres this time. One in Europe and one in North America. This reduces the delivery delays as well as the costs for many backers.
- International marketing. The marketing channels we have for the publishing of the French books are not very useful to us when it comes to our books in English. We have found partners to distribute in bookstores, but we are a very small player and the task of creating visibility for our products lies on our shoulders. This is clearly one of the reasons we are going back to Kickstarter, as this was such a powerful way for us to reach our readers. We plan on extending the number of partners we are working with, talking to journalists more, and hopefully, our lovely backers will support this endeavour as well.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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