Although the First Edition black and white and second Vitruvian Edition sepia-toned Spirit Keeper’s Tarot decks are now out of print (forever, as they were both limited edition decks), for those interested, you can download a 30-card version of a black and white Vitruvian. These are the Majors only, with only The Initiate card as Key 0, plus the 4 Aces and the 4 Archangels (tarot Kings).
For what is a rough average cost of buying a tarot or oracle deck, you will get a comprehensive course pack, including a 245-page handbook and a fully customizable deck creator’s journal that will help you every step of the way through designing, printing, marketing, and selling your own tarot or oracle deck. You’ll be getting industry trade secrets that I haven’t seen shared anywhere else.
The objective of this course is not to tell you what to do. The objective is to first ask, what do you want to do and what is your plan? Okay, now that we’ve established that, let me share with you my insights on how you can make sure you achieve what you want to do, you can sell that idea and people will want to buy it, and how to fine-tune that plan of yours so you ensure your success.
Is there a formula for success? Yes, yes there is.
And step by step, variable by variable, I will take you through that formula. Run your own fact pattern into that formula and you will produce the best possible outcome for yourself. I’m going to share with you how you can maximize the marketability of your creative project.
No matter what your deck project is, we’ll nudge it farther along to bring you more marketing power, more sales, more visibility, and to make your project the best version it can possibly be.
Redesigning the box for my deck has been so much harder than designing the first edition’s box, because I love my first edition box design. I love the symbolism, I love the energy of it, how it very much feels specific to a particular historic period, and I love how it complemented the black and white deck itself (first edition). Being so attached to it means parting with it has been the hardest part.
Specs wise, the new box will be the same as the first edition box– a top and bottom lid format, absolute matte finish, and really sturdy quality. Anyone who has the first edition might be able to attest to how freakin’ amazing these boxes are. If you’re curious, to get this quality for your tarot box, the stock is 1200 gsm. Compare that to the stock for the tarot cards themselves, which is 350 gsm.
It’s been back to the drawing board for me on account of a few cards from Spirit Keeper’s Tarot. As a rare books and art collector myself, I have some sense of considerations for what retains value of limited edition decks, and I wanted to honor those who supported me in the first edition black and white run by doing everything in my control to assure that your acquisition of the SKT first edition deck was a worthwhile investment. =)
I see SKT #2 as a sibling of SKT #1. It’s the same deck the same way siblings share the same DNA, but there are distinct physical and personality differences between #1 and #2. At least that is my hope for what you’ll be able to perceive between the two editions.
First, let’s just talk about the drawings. I’ll share with you which cards I’ve scrapped entirely, went back to a blank drawing board, and did an entirely new illustration.
As those of you who have been following these blog posts for the last half a year will have figured out by now, I’m trying to document the journey of creating and self-publishing a tarot deck, commenting on all aspects of that journey for future aspiring deck creators to reap insights from.
This post will be part comments and part photo essay. Through it, I hope to take you behind the scenes of a self-published deck creator’s process. I hope to take you on the ride of a newly printed tarot deck from what it goes through at my home before it leaves our front doorsteps to arrive at yours.
Meanwhile, I hope to initiate aspiring deck creators into the less-than-glamorous aspects of this undertaking and to begin to convey to you just how much work is involved when you commit to self-publishing your deck.
These are candid shots I’m taking with my camera phone in hopes of sharing with you, as-is, what I see through my eyes. And if you still think the lifestyle of a deck creator is glamorous, then you have a very different definition of that word than I do.
Just a quick (well, if you consider 20 minutes “quick”) video giving some updates on the tarot deck and personal commentary. It’s been frenetic and I have miles to go before I sleep, but I wanted to address some of what’s gone on during the process of self-publishing and selling this deck, and also try to answer some questions, like, will there be a second print run, or second edition?
Second print run of the deck as you’ve been seeing it? No.
A second edition? Yes, but not until 2019 is well under way. That’s because the second edition will undergo a redesign and be cast with a different energetic imprint. Also, I want to complete everything that needs to be completed for the first print run and give myself some time to learn whatever lessons need to be learned from the first print run.
These arrived yesterday evening… on my birthday. I’ll get going on snapping more high-resolution, professional marketing shots of the cards soon enough.
The white ding you see in the top left corner of the box in the bottom center photo above does concern me, but if that’s the worst of it, then count me happy. I also think when you opt to go with such a solid-black matte finish, white dings like that are bound to happen.
As for the cards themselves, I’m quite happy. The cardstock is 350 gsm. That’s thicker than mass market standards, so you’re getting higher quality, but not as thick as 400 gsm (getting into the realm of oracle deck stock) where you can’t do the riffle shuffle. It was important to me that the cards are in fact functional in the hands of a real life tarot reader, but ultimately, you’re the judge of whether I succeeded at that. =)
There’s a little white booklet (literally titled “little white booklet”…ha…) that doesn’t have a whole lot in terms of meaty content, but I think will do the job in terms of orienting someone on the premise of the deck, assuming they haven’t been following my progress notes and therefore don’t already know. There was no way I could have fit any of the Book of Maps card by card, symbol by symbol content into this LWB so I didn’t even bother trying.
Okay, now for those who are actually interested in getting their hands on this deck, here’s the plan so far.
No, you did not miss the boat on some pre-order launch that came and went. It hasn’t happened yet. I don’t like to point and shoot without information, so that’s why I didn’t do an early bird pre-order offer.
Also, instead of following Business and Marketing 101 rules, I’m just going to tell you the plans as they come to me, so we’re always on the same page together, even if it means maybe later down the line we might have to also backtrack together. So just bear that in mind.
While I’m waiting on production of the first print run, I want to share some of my reflections on my design process and the personal experience of creating and illustrating this deck.
Plus, everyone keeps asking me about it. Admittedly I thought I covered this ground, but guess not, given how often I get asked the same question. So let’s talk about my design process. How was Spirit Keeper’s Tarot created, or at least the technical side of things?
In the above photograph you’ll find my tools of trade. I sketch with a mechanical pencil using HB graphite lead (for those who do pencil drawings, this can matter, since most of us have that whole metal tray set of graphite pencils at different softness and hardness levels….), erase frequently, then go in with a superfine tip black pen. I always have straight edges, a protractor, and compass on hand, because that’s how I manage those lines, or angles, or circles you see in the card illustrations.