Professional bluffers will now have an up-to-date armoury of skills with the rebranded, repackaged Bluffer’s Guides, 22 of which will be released this year.
The list will include reissues of classics including the Bluffer’s Guide to Bond, Skiing, Wine and Sex (all of which came out this month), and some brand new guides exploring dogs, beer, chocolate and cars.
The relaunch comes after Compass DSA took over print sales of the guides from Oval Books. The new-look jackets are accompanied by a new website (bluffers.com), which features short Bluffer’s Guides and comment and analysis on the week’s news, as well as a free app to enhance brand awareness.
The full list of 22 titles for 2013 includes Cricket, Golf and Surfing (April); Hiking, Poetry and Cycling (May); Jazz, Beer and Your Own Business (June); Insider Hollywood, Management and Dogs (July); Opera, Rock Music and Football (August); and Quantum Universe, Cars and Chocolate (September).
New Bluffer’s Guides publisher Thomas Drewry said: “The Bluffer’s Guides has always been a beloved series that has fostered an overwhelming sense of community, so it seems a shame to let that fizzle out, especially in our age of smartphones and tablets and impossibly sophisticated technology when we’re all expected to be instant experts on everything.”
Drewry announced that the guides will also be published for the first time digitally: “It’s part of the excitement of the relaunch to see them as e-books. We’ll only make available the books that have been rewritten because otherwise they’re obsolete. The tone of voice between a book that was written in the mid-1980s and something that’s written for consumption in 2013 is radically different—the world has changed, and it’s very much a case of only releasing content that we are absolutely certain is current and that we feel completely aligned with.”
There are now 88 Bluffer’s Guides titles—Peter Wolfe published the first series in 1966—and Drewry said they will all be republished “in time . . . naturally some of the historic titles take precedent over others. We wanted a fresh design so that there could be no mistake that the new guides are part of the relaunched and up-to-date series, so there would be no confusion. There’s nothing less convincing than a bluff whose expertise stops short in 2001, so the redesigned guides have been a bit of labour of love, but we are now completely in love with them.”
The new jackets, designed by James Shannon, are “very much art deco-inspired, but also very current”. The Bluffer’s Guides are priced £6.99 for print and £4.99 for e-book.