FAQ

Published July 31, 2015

Here is a guide to a number of queries regarding the revised, updated and expanded edition of ABBA - The Complete Recording Session. Production of the book has been funded through a crowdfunding campaign, but you can still pre-order your signed copy at abbathecompleterecordingsessions.com. All pre-orders will help make the book the best it could possibly be.


Where can I pre-order this book?

Just go to abbathecompleterecordingsessions.com. You will find all ordering details there.

Can you tell us something about the unheard ABBA music you've unearthed so far, which wasn't covered in the original edition of the book?

I have mainly listened to mix tapes - alternate mixes from ABBA's entire recording career, plus a handful of mixes of songs that were never released. Generally speaking, these mixes reveal a lot about how the band worked, ideas they were trying but that didn't make it to the final mix, bits and pieces of the recordings that were edited out. It has certainly opened my eyes and ears, and my jaw has dropped many, many times. When you read the book I think your jaws will drop too! (And if you haven't read the original edition of the book, you will of course have even more to discover.)

Read more about some of my findings in these blogs:

When do you think the book will be published?

It will be ready to ship March 31, 2017.

Can I get a taste of what the updated version will be like?

Yes indeed. A couple of chapter excerpts are available here. And more details about the contents of the book are available here.

To what extent are Björn and Benny involved in this new edition of the book?

They have okayed my listening to as many mix tapes as I want, which is fantastic. They have also agreed to answer a few follow-up questions for the book. That's all for now, and so far that's all I've asked for.

Why are you self-publishing?

There are several reasons for self-publishing. One is that I want to have full control over the book. What will the book look like? My decision. When is the deadline for submitting the manuscript? My decision. When will it be published? My decision. Quite simply, I want the book to be the best I could possibly make it - that would be my priority rather than having it out "in time for the Christmas market" or whatever other priorities a regular publisher would have (understandable as those priorities may be; this is certainly not a criticism of any of the publishers I've worked with over the years). In other words, I want to make a book for readers who are really interested in learning the secrets behind ABBA's music and their history as a recording act.

Another reason is that self-publishing will also enable me to make the book as nicely produced as I think it deserves to be. A regular publisher would inevitably regard ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions as a special interest title, and that means cutting corners everywhere possible in terms of printing quality, paper quality and everything else connected to the book - including financial compensation to the author. I don't blame them for that - they are running a business - but it would make it very difficult to make the book happen at all. Researching and writing a book like this is incredibly time-consuming, and I have to eat and pay the rent like everybody else.

A third reason is that self-publishing for certain kinds of titles is becoming more and more common in the book world. Self-publishing is the perfect solution for a title like this, which has a relatively small but highly motivated readership. For an ordinary publisher, it would be very difficult to put together a budget that would work for them as well as for me.

Finally, I think there is a certain beauty in self-publishing a book: we're all in this together, essentially, and with the aid of crowdfunding and additional pre-orders we make it happen because we all want it to happen.

The book is more expensive than when I order something like a novel from websites such as Amazon. Why is that?

Without having full insight into, for example, Amazon's business model, as a major retailer they are able to ask for price reductions from publishers, and, I guess, also make advantageous deals in terms of shipping and such. And the publishers, in turn, are able to negotiate advantageous deals with printers, based on all the other business they're giving those printers. None of those options are available in the case of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions, which is a self-published title.

I've chosen to put together a 448-page book, nicely produced in every sense, with illustrations and in full colour throughout, printed at a reputable printer in the UK rather than going for cheaper, less reliable printing options. Most importantly, it's a comparatively small edition as well. All these factors will make the book itself more pricey, since the initial printing costs make a huge dent in the budget. Shipping charges reflect the actual cost of sending a fairly massive book from the UK to mainland Europe and the rest of the world, and that is also expensive. There are no swings and roundabouts here - every part of this book project must carry its own costs.

I am confident, however, that you will find your investment worthwhile - for my part I promise to invest a lot more love, care and passion in this project than you will find in the average book. Sounds like a bargain to me!

I have a bit of cash to spare and I'd like to pre-order more than one copy of the book - after all, it looks like it will become something of a collector's item. Is there a limit to how many copies I can pre-order?

You may pre-order as many copies of the book as you want to.

I'm really interested in more background details about this book project. Where can I find it?

There's an entire section on this site devoted to the book, featuring excerpts from the book, blogs, links, the story of how the original book came to be, and all sorts of stuff. The ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions section is here.

Is there a way of getting regular updates on what's going on with the book?

Yes, there are a number of options.

1.  You may subscribe to the ABBA Blog RSS feed on this site. All updates related to the book are published in the ABBA Blog.

2.  On Facebook there is a page dedicated to the book, where all updates are posted.

3.  There's a Twitter account for the book, which will also inform you of all updates.

I'm interested in the ebook, but will I be able to read it on my device?

In all likelihood, you will. The ebook will be delivered to you in three different formats, and at least one of those formats should work for you. Read more here.

Finally, tell me again why I should pre-order the revised and expanded edition of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions.

1.  The Beatles have had a comprehensive Complete Recording Sessions book since 1988 - that's 27 years at the time of writing. While the original edition of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions accomplished a lot, don't you think it's time ABBA - a band whose popularity is just as great as The Beatles' in many parts of the world - had a volume that at least was a little closer to the standards set by the Beatles book?

2.  Compared to their global popularity, ABBA have, generally speaking, not been served well in terms of quality literature. There are several reasons for that, but one is the paradox that while many people enjoy ABBA's music, only a comparatively small proportion of them are interested in reading a book about the group. As I see it, the only chance of having quality books published about them, focusing on a certain aspect - their music, their live concerts, whatever - is if dedicated ABBA fans join forces to make those quality books happen. So your contribution is essential: every additional pre-order will help me in my endeavours to make this a classy, in-depth volume.

3.  If you've read this far, I am going to assume that you have an above-average interest in ABBA. If so, I ask you, how many books and magazines have you bought over the past decade or so that tell you very little new about ABBA? Wouldn't you rather invest your hard-earned cash in a nicely produced book that actually tells you something you didn't already know about the group? Because that is what the updated, revised and expanded edition of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions will accomplish.

Pre-order your copy at abbathecompleterecordingsessions.com.

Thank you so much in advance - your support matters!

 

ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions (revised and expanded edition). Projected publication date: March 31, 2017. English language. 448 pp. Hardback. CMP Text. ISBN: 978-91-639-2656-3 (or 9789163926563).