ABBA biographies, musical examinations and pictorial surveys
published July 31, 2015
Here is a guide to a number of queries regarding the revised and expanded edition of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions. Production of the book was funded through a crowdfunding campaign, but you can still order your copy at abbathecompleterecordingsessions.com. All prices include postage and packing - just a few clicks and you're done!
Where can I 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, 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 blog posts:
Can I read a few pages of the book somewhere?
Yes indeed. There are three different book excerpts available; please click on the title to read:
To what extent were Björn and Benny involved in this new edition of the book?
They okayed my listening to as many mix tapes as I wanted, which is fantastic. They also agreed to answer a few follow-up questions for the book. Benny sat down with me for a couple of interviews, while Björn answered some queries via email.
Why did you self-publish?
There were several reasons for self-publishing. One is that I wanted to have full control over the book. What would the book look like? My decision. When was the deadline for submitting the manuscript? My decision. When would it be published? My decision. Quite simply, I wanted the book to be the best I could possibly make it - that was my priority rather than having it out "in time for the Christmas market" or whatever other priorities a regular publisher would have (and these are understandable priorities; this is certainly not a criticism of any of the publishers I've worked with over the years). In other words, I wanted 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 enabled me to make the book as nicely produced as I think it deserved 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 have made 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 have been 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 made it happen because we all wanted 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 were 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 made 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 invested 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'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.
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 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 almost 30 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 order will help me in my endeavours to go on writing in-depth books about ABBA.
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 has accomplished. At least, that's what the critics and the fans feel.
Order your copy at abbathecompleterecordingsessions.com.
Thank you so much in advance - your support matters!
ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions (revised and expanded edition). Published March 31, 2017. English language. 448 pp. Hardback. CMP Text. ISBN: 978-91-639-2656-3 (or 9789163926563). Sold out (but ebook still available).
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