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witchofglass  witchofglass is offline
Join Date: 27 Jan 2016
Location: Washington, US
Posts: 55

There's definitely a difference in the sheer amount of effort involved. IMO, big books are nice, but the images on the cards should stand on their own and be interpretable without a big book to give you all the details. (Or, indeed, even a LWB; not all people do intuitive readings but plenty of people do and so ignore even the LWB entirely. I'm about half intuitive and that's why I don't like extremely abstract decks like, say, the Orbifold.)

And, to be blunt... Lots of artists can't write. Writing is every bit as much of a skill as art is, but people think it's easy so they just produce an inferior product. And most Big Books don't give you a sample of the writing, only the visuals of the cards. As an amateur editor, I just can't help but turn up my nose at the quality of a lot of writing. There's not as much problem in LWBs because they're basically a list of keywords, but even some of the professionally published Tarot Big Books I own make me twitch.

(Incidentally, if anyone is working on a Big Book and wants an editor, drop me a line. Or even a LWB.)

As far as making a book to go with a deck... It's something I'd consider but not high on my priorities, unless I was doing a particularly nonstandard deck. If the deck is close to a standard (RWS usually, but also Thoth), then there's not as much need for explanation and a LWB is fine. But if there's big deviations (beyond suit associations), then I think a bigger book is kind of required?

As for oracle decks, again it depends on how straightforward the images are and how much you want it to be intuitive. The Earthbound Oracle is intended as an intuitive deck and it seems like it would work just fine without a big book. Lots of other decks have text on the cards (which I don't personally like but it doesn't seem to make a lot of difference to other people). It all depends on the purpose and also how in-depth you want to get, I think?
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