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General Forge Forums => Publishing => Topic started by: Andrew Morris on August 11, 2005, 01:46:15 PM



Title: POD printer round up
Post by: Andrew Morris on August 11, 2005, 01:46:15 PM
Well, I've been trying to put together a comprehensive list of POD printers out there, who has used them, and what their experiences have been.

So far, here's all I've found from searching the Forge:

Lulu (http://www.lulu.com) -- Donjon, Fastlane, Empire of Satanis
RapidPOD (http://www.rapidpod.com)
RPGMall (http://www.rpgmall.com) -- The Imp Game
CafePress (http://www.cafepress.com)
Express Media (http://www.expressmedia.com) -- Elfs, My Life with Master, Masters and Minions, NPA
RPI (http://www.rpiprint.com) -- Bulldogs, The Mountain Witch
Berryville Graphics (http://www.opm.com/digital.html) -- Kayfabe
Lightning Source (http://www.lightningsource.com) (website seems to be down) -- Code of Unaris (?)
Booksurge (I don't have the website) -- Kevin and Kell

If you have any information on other POD printers, please post it. Also, if you have first-hand experience with any of these printers, talk about that, whether it was a good or bad experience.


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: Clinton R. Nixon on August 11, 2005, 02:28:53 PM
RPI did the second print run of TSOY. I was very, very happy with them.

RapidPOD is doing TSOY revised. I have the proofs in hand and they're beautiful. Their quality is better than any POD publisher I've used in the past. Their customer service is - well, I found I had to hound them a little, but I was trying to rush a book right before GenCon and they had a printer go down, so take that with a grain of salt.

They're delivering my books to GenCon, so I'll have a more full report after that.


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: timfire on August 11, 2005, 02:48:21 PM
Keith S used lulu for Conspiracy of Shadows. Tony LB used RPI for Capes.

So far I've been very pleased with RPI, they're printing my books. I also ordered a number of cards from Rapid POD, but that's another story altogether. Without getting into it, their customer service is absolutely horrible, and I doubt I will ever use them again in the future. I plan on writing a thread on that in a little bit, after I receive the books from RPI.


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: TonyLB on August 11, 2005, 03:42:21 PM
RPI does, indeed, rock.  I wrote an ode (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=14031.0).  Okay, it's not literally an ode, but I was very pleased.


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: daMoose_Neo on August 11, 2005, 05:38:44 PM
RapidPOD is actually going the Imp Game (for a fraction of the price I may add).
I'll have to second Clinton's cavet about the customer service, but they ARE a dedicated lot. Difficult to get ahold of, but they are working hard for our books. That, I have to appreciate. And must learn to give them ample time on any order.


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: Matt Wilson on August 11, 2005, 05:49:44 PM
I tried to contact RPI multiple times about printing a run of Primetime Adventures and never got a response. I also tried to contact Express Media, as they did the first printing, and they never responded either. So I decided to go with a local printer in Milwaukee, Coakley Tech, where I could drive 15 minutes and look at a proof. It's more per book than Express Media, but they're doing a bang-up job with a blindingly fast turnaround.


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: Addix on August 11, 2005, 06:45:23 PM
Does somebody know, among those listed above or others, about POD printers that are either settled in or that can ship to Europe? I checked RapidPOD for instance, and there's no mention of shipping rates and details...

Also, maybe such a list of POD printers should be kept updated and mayhaps made a sticky...?


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: timfire on August 11, 2005, 07:01:52 PM
Does somebody know, among those listed above or others, about POD printers that are either settled in or that can ship to Europe? I checked RapidPOD for instance, and there's no mention of shipping rates and details...

Printers can't list shipping rates because shipping rates depend on a number of factors:

a) how big (aka heavy) your order is ;
b) How far the order is being shipped ;
c) how fast you want it delivered ;
d) which carrier you want to use.

I'm sure any printer can ship to Europe, but it'll probably cost you an arm and a leg. I bet you would be better off looking for something local.


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: Andrew Morris on August 11, 2005, 08:14:21 PM
Okay, the revised list is:

Lulu (http://www.lulu.com) -- Conspiracy of Shadows, Donjon, Fastlane, Empire of Satanis
RapidPOD (http://www.rapidpod.com) -- The Imp Game, TSoY Revised
RPGMall (http://www.rpgmall.com)
CafePress (http://www.cafepress.com)
Express Media (http://www.expressmedia.com) -- Elfs, My Life with Master, Masters and Minions, NPA
RPI (http://www.rpiprint.com) -- Bulldogs, The Mountain Witch, TSoY (2nd print), Capes
Berryville Graphics (http://www.opm.com/digital.html) -- Kayfabe
Lightning Source (http://www.lightningsource.com) -- Code of Unaris (?)
Booksurge (http://www.booksurge.com) -- Kevin and Kell

While looking up the URL for Booksurge, I came across this horror story (http://www.voracitybeat.com/saucebooksurge.htm).

For a quick (and not entirely accurate) price comparision, here's what the per-print cost for each would be, assuming a softcover, perfect bound, full color cover, B&W interior, 100-page, 6x9 in. book.

Lulu -- $6.53 (shipping not included)
RapidPOD -- $2.00 (5.375x7.875 size; shipping not included)
RPGMall -- $3.58 (4.25x5.5 size; shipping included)
CafePress -- $10.00 (shipping not included)
Express Media -- no prices online
RPI Print -- no prices online
Berryville Graphics -- no prices online
Lightning Source -- no prices online
Booksurge -- $8.44 (shipping not included)


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: Clinton R. Nixon on August 11, 2005, 08:54:30 PM
That's not really an accurate price for RapidPOD - that book at 6" x 9" would be $3. Minor quibble, though. I priced TSOY Revised through them and RPI and their price was 2/3rd of RPI's.

Like I said, I want to reserve final judgment until the books are in hand, but the ink on the proofs - my art is so much more distinctive than it was with RPI that it's barely a comparison. And RPI's was really good.


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: Veritas Games on August 12, 2005, 05:05:51 AM
It is worth noting that Rapid POD charges A LOT for a single copy or proof copy as they like working with minimum orders of 25+ if memory serves.


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: Paul Czege on August 12, 2005, 05:38:16 AM
I tried to contact RPI multiple times about printing a run of Primetime Adventures and never got a response.

Likewise, I contacted RPI about printing Bacchanal, and did not receive a response. I realize their profit on printing 125 copies of a twelve page, saddle-stitched book would be pretty thin. However, the measure of a company is not in how they treat their good customers, but how they treat the least of their customers. They need to respond in a timely fashion to inquiries; and if they're too busy, can't work with the deadline, or can't do the job profitably, they need to decline politely with a small explanation.

In contrast, Express Media has consistently bent over backwards to get things done for me by my deadline. Sometimes they don't respond to my email requests for a status report. And a couple of times they wouldn't commit to a deadline. Both of which can be seriously nervewracking. But they've always hit my deadlines anyway, even when they wouldn't commit.

Paul


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: daMoose_Neo on August 12, 2005, 05:40:40 AM
RapidPOD's orders, at least from when I first talked to Ken, have the minimums in place to try and ensure they're dealing with semi-professional folks, not some fifteen year olds who want to run three copies off of their homebrew. Kind of the same principle behind RPGNow using RPGMall's printing: if you're not willing to invest the money into 10 copies of your game, why should anyone else invest in purchasing it? And even RPGM's rates weren't too bad, to the point it would be only $20-$30 for those 10.
24 copies is the minumum for your initial order, as I understand it reprints can come in any quantity, but thats a minor issue as well. I've got 75 coming off their presses for GenCon alone, and another 150 going to Key20~


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: timfire on August 12, 2005, 06:23:59 AM
I tried to contact RPI multiple times about printing a run of Primetime Adventures and never got a response.

Likewise, I contacted RPI about printing Bacchanal, and did not receive a response.

Huh. Did you (both Matt & Paul) call them or email them? I usually called them, and always got a response, usually in 2 or 3 three rings. I was very pleased by their service. From the quote, to the proof, to the books, they have consistantly gotten the work done earlier than they said they would. Eight business days after I made the order, the books were shipped out (granted I overnighted the proof).


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: Ron Edwards on August 12, 2005, 06:28:49 AM
Hey guys,

Let's keep this thread focused on who they are and what happened, without any posting whatsoever about defending or attacking any company.

Best,
Ron


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: Luke on August 12, 2005, 06:32:27 AM
Hey, the NPA is printed via Lightning Source. They're a big company, and sometimes things get dropped in their crack (pun intended), but their turn around and quality are very good. Also, their website is slowish, but pretty easy to use, especially once you have your account set up. Took me 5 minutes to reorder 100 NPA. I tried to work with RPI and Express Media on the NPA prior to using Lightning Source. RPI, as noted above, has trouble returning calls. And, as a printing industry professional guy myself, I found Express Media to be a walking, talking nightmare. Your experiences may, of course, vary.

-L


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: Paul Czege on August 12, 2005, 06:33:07 AM
Email, choosing the first listed option from this text on their website:

    Do you have a question?
    Please email us or call us toll free @ 1.800.443.1875. Ask for any available sales person. They will be pleased to help you.

Paul


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: xenopulse on August 12, 2005, 07:51:22 AM
As a quick additional piece of info, in order to sign up with Lightning Source, you need ISBNs (this is one of those measures to make sure that you're a serious publisher, I figure). My wife considered publishing a nonfiction book on invasive species and we looked into LS. The advantage is that your product will be listed in all the places that big publisher books get listed (Ingrams, Amazon.com...). They also have a fulfillment service where you send them the addresses of your customers and they print&mail the product to them (or so I understand), for a fee of course.

You can only get to the pricing once you sign up, I gather.


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: philreed on August 13, 2005, 03:58:46 AM
Over the last few months I've had quite a bit of experience with RapidPOD. In that time I've printed:

2 different 32-page 6.25" x 10.25" perfect-bound books with B&W interiors and color covers (inside and outside).
2 different 72-page 8.5" x 11" perfect-bound books with B&W interiors, color cover, and B&W inside cover.
1 72-page hardcover.
1 168-page hardcover.
1 full-color 88-page 6.625" x 10.25" book.

(All numbers above do not represent the number of copies printed.)

What I've learned is:

RapidPod's customer service is probably their weakest area. I've found that calling in is more useful than any other method of communication.

If they're rushed -- or feel rushed -- the books won't be quite right. These days I just try and plan a print window to make sure they are aware of when I need the book well before they receive the files. This has greatly improved quality.

They're getting more work than they can handle. This will likely improve as they get faster with the equipment (and add new equipment) but for now it's best not to assume anything shorter than three weeks from shipping off the files to delivery of the books.



Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: jdagna on August 15, 2005, 09:03:18 AM
I've used Lightning Source for a non-gaming publication and was very happy with their product.  Crucifiction Games' Horror Rules! game was done through Lightning Source for the latest version, and that came out nicely as well.

For the 6x9" 100 page example, Lightning source would charge $2.92 per book sold direct to the publisher.  You'd actually pay even less (I think about $.70 in this case) if distributors like Ingram or Amazon order directly from Lightning Source, but they don't seem to be compatible with game distributors as far as I can tell.

Addix, Lightning Source might be worth looking into.  They have a UK-based branch and that would certainly be better than a US printer for someone in Europe.


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: Andrew Morris on August 15, 2005, 09:10:59 AM
Justin, thanks for the information on Lightning Source. Now, how much would the per/book cost be, if the author was just using them for printing? That is, I want 25 copies of my own book, and that's all I want from them -- no distributing or fulfillment.


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: jdagna on August 15, 2005, 09:21:46 AM
Justin, thanks for the information on Lightning Source. Now, how much would the per/book cost be, if the author was just using them for printing? That is, I want 25 copies of my own book, and that's all I want from them -- no distributing or fulfillment.

The $2.92 price is the one the author pays.  If you order direct, there is a 25-book minimum, and you pay shipping, plus a $1.50 handling fee per order (regardless of order size). 

I said publisher because Lightning Source does require you to have your ISBNs - they really are just a printer, but with the ability to sell direct to distributors on your behalf.  If a distributors orders your books from them, Lightning Source collects the fee for the sale, then deducts just the printing cost of the book (which as I say, is lower than the publisher's price by about $.70 on the example book).  This also saves the shipping, making it an awesome deal for traditional books, but I don't know how much you could take advantage of it with RPG distribution.


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: Andrew Morris on August 15, 2005, 10:41:47 AM
Okay, to bring everything together again:

Lulu (http://www.lulu.com)
-- Conspiracy of Shadows, Donjon, Fastlane, Empire of Satanis
-- No minimum purchase; offers an online storefront
-- Sample price: $6.53 (shipping not included)

RapidPOD (http://www.rapidpod.com)
-- The Imp Game, TSoY Revised
-- Minimum order of 24; offers full-color hardcovers
-- Sample price: $3.00 (shipping not included)

RPGMall (http://www.rpgmall.com)
-- Minimum order of 10; offers sale via RPGMall website
-- Sample price: $3.58 (4.25x5.5 size; shipping included)

CafePress (http://www.cafepress.com)
-- No minimum purchase; offers an online storefront
-- Sample price: $10.00 (shipping not included)

Express Media (http://www.expressmedia.com)
-- Elfs, My Life with Master, Masters and Minions, NPA
-- Sample price: not available online

RPI (http://www.rpiprint.com)
-- Bulldogs, The Mountain Witch, TSoY (2nd print), Capes
-- Reviews were mostly positive to glowing, with a few negative experiences
-- Sample price: not available online

Berryville Graphics (http://www.opm.com/digital.html)
-- Kayfabe
-- Sample price: not available online

Lightning Source (http://www.lightningsource.com)
-- Code of Unaris (?)
-- Minimum order of 25; requires ISBN numbers; offers fulfillment services for a fee
-- Sample price: $2.98 (price provided by Justin Dagna)

Booksurge (http://www.booksurge.com)
-- Kevin and Kell
-- Sample price: $8.44 (shipping not included)
-- horror story (http://www.voracitybeat.com/saucebooksurge.htm)

(Price comparison is for 25 copies of a 6x9, 100-page, perfect bound book with full color cover and B&W interior.)

Anyone know of any books printed by RPGMall or CafePress?


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: M Jason Parent on August 23, 2005, 09:00:20 PM
RPGmall used to use Express Media for printing - with almost no initial markup for themselves.

I have printed nearly a dozen d20 products through Express Media (and print non-RPG books through them regularly)

I only have Express Media's pricing for 8.5 x 11 handy, but the following is for 10 copy orders, price per copy. Price drops immensely for 100 copy orders, for example (I use them for 300-copy runs typically for a non-RPG product, 64 pages, 4 colour pages, at $1.95 per copy)

For a 10-copy run you are looking at $3.70 per copy... again, however, my sizes are off and I'm using a year old price scheme.

I would recommend phoning Express Media for a better quote, they are pretty responsive.

I have also done a lot of printing through LuLu of late, but that has more to do with the zero investment instead of the price. LuLu is overpriced, but easy to use. I've published my 24 hour RPG through LuLu, and about a dozen d20 supplements.


Title: Not really POD, but good for one shots
Post by: Erskin on August 30, 2005, 10:32:51 AM
These guys aren't a POD printer, but they are probably gonna be my new source for printing and delivering playtester copies of stuff, and this seemed like a fair place to mention them.

I just had one of my RPG books I sent to PrintFu.org delivered.

PrintFu took my PDF, printed it (black and white only, but they do use a thicker, water resistant stock for the covers), bound it with comb binding, and mailed it to me for cheaper than I can ususally manage at Kinko's/CopyMax/whatever.

For a 226 page PDF, I upload the file in the morning, and it was ready for UPS pickup by the afternoon. It arrived 4 days later. The print quality is fine. The total cost, ~$10 for the printing and ~$8 for the delivery.

I honestly prefer coil binding to comb when given the choice, and I ususally waste money on a color front cover when I hit the print stores, but all in all, I'm quite pleased and will more likely than not use PrintFu again.

Thought you guys might like to know.


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: Andrew Morris on August 30, 2005, 10:50:26 AM
Well, thanks for the info, Erskin. But...wow...that sounds incredibly expensive.


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: Jared A. Sorensen on August 30, 2005, 10:52:15 AM
Last year I used Express Media to do InSpectres and...well, what's that line about not pissing on someone if they were on fire? The books were terrible. The printing on the spines was completely off on just about every copy (and not even in the same way) and there were balls of glue leaking from the tops and bottoms of every book. The covers were massacred -- some were cropped too high, others too low. Plus, they were late. Plus, they were dicks when I asked them what they were going to do about the screwed up copies -- their guy's answer: "Well, I don't really know...I left early that day." Dumbasses.

RapidPOD's quality is great but terrible customer service. Also, they never sent me some of my books (half a print run of InSpectres...I'm just glad I brought some from home that were going to be sent to the UK).


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: Andrew Morris on August 30, 2005, 12:32:54 PM
Hopefully, this is the final consolidation of information from this thread:

Lulu (http://www.lulu.com)
-- Conspiracy of Shadows, Donjon, Fastlane, Empire of Satanis
-- No minimum purchase; offers an online storefront
-- Sample price: $6.53 (shipping not included)

RapidPOD (http://www.rapidpod.com)
-- The Imp Game, TSoY Revised, Fate Cards from The Mountain Witch
-- Minimum order of 24; offers full-color hardcovers
-- Sample price: $3.00 (shipping not included)
-- Four mixed reviews, one negative. The consensus seems to be that the quality is great, but the customer service is lacking.

RPGMall (http://www.rpgmall.com)
-- Minimum order of 10; offers sale via RPGMall website
-- Sample price: $3.58 (4.25x5.5 size; shipping included)

CafePress (http://www.cafepress.com)
-- No minimum purchase; offers an online storefront
-- Sample price: $10.00 (shipping not included)

Express Media (http://www.expressmedia.com)
-- Elfs, My Life with Master, Masters and Minions, NPA
-- Sample price: not available online
-- One positive review, three negative.

RPI (http://www.rpiprint.com)
-- Bulldogs, The Mountain Witch, TSoY (2nd print), Capes
-- Sample price: not available online
-- Two positive reviews, one negative.

Berryville Graphics (http://www.opm.com/digital.html)
-- Kayfabe
-- Sample price: not available online

Lightning Source (http://www.lightningsource.com)
-- Code of Unaris (?), No Press Anthology
-- Minimum order of 25; requires ISBN numbers; offers fulfillment services for a fee
-- Sample price: $2.98 (price provided by Justin Dagna)
-- One positive review, one mixed.

Booksurge (http://www.booksurge.com)
-- Kevin and Kell
-- Sample price: $8.44 (shipping not included)
-- horror story (http://www.voracitybeat.com/saucebooksurge.htm)

(Price comparison is for 25 copies of a 6x9, 100-page, perfect bound book with full color cover and B&W interior.)


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: Keith Senkowski on August 30, 2005, 12:47:22 PM
Andrew,

Lightning Source does not require ISBN after all.  I just was in contact with their webmeister and he said just to enter XXX for the ISBN number if you don't plan on using their distribution network.

Keith


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: timfire on August 30, 2005, 03:03:28 PM

RapidPOD (http://www.rapidpod.com)
-- The Imp Game, TSoY Revised, Fate Cards from The Mountain Witch
-- Minimum order of 24; offers full-color hardcovers
-- Sample price: $3.00 (shipping not included)
-- Four mixed reviews, one negative. The consensus seems to be that the quality is great, but the customer service is lacking.


You should ask Clinton, Matt Gwinn, and Nate Peterson about their recent GenCon experience with Rapid POD (I forget if there was others).

BTW Rapid POD did NOT print the cards for The Mountain Witch. I had to spend a number of hours at Kinko's making the cards myself after they dropped my order a week before the convention. (Yes, I admit I have a slight grudge against them.)


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: Andrew Morris on August 30, 2005, 03:07:13 PM
Okay, Keith, that's good to know.

Tim....crap....sorry, my mistake.


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: daMoose_Neo on September 01, 2005, 06:52:09 AM
A number of us had a time with RapidPOD for GenCon. I'm in the same camp as Tim. Lets just say I'm taking all my business elsewhere and that Jason Valore of Key20 rocks enormously. Hooked me up with a different printer when RapidPOD dropped the ball on my GenCon order and it didn't look like I could meet the distribution orders in time. About a $500+  sale there, poof, along with future projects. Avalon Innovations, I think Mike Holmes mentioned them earlier, are handling it now. E-mail communication is a bit slow, but it exists, and my contact there, Lance Williams, is working along to get this done.


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: Eric Provost on September 01, 2005, 07:50:59 AM
They dropped your order?  Meaning they weren't going to be able to get it done in time or meaning that they no longer cared to do the job for you at all?

-Eric


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: daMoose_Neo on September 01, 2005, 11:58:35 AM
I recieved 1/2 of my 75 book order, 38 copies, the second day of the show. Interesting thing is I haven't even been billed for the books, nor have I heard any word about the remainder of the shipment...
The events alone for this particular title were sold out and GenCon was to be the first time the title would be available in print, which meant at all my events during Thursday my people had nothing to put in the hands of the players (many of whom wanted the game right then).
From what I've heard from others, RapidPOD overextended itself, taking on too many jobs and making too many promises.


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: Polaris on September 01, 2005, 09:02:24 PM
Does somebody know, among those listed above or others, about POD printers that are either settled in or that can ship to Europe? I checked RapidPOD for instance, and there's no mention of shipping rates and details...

Also, maybe such a list of POD printers should be kept updated and mayhaps made a sticky...?

Booksurge uses printers around the world (including a couple in Europe).  Their main claim to fame has always been their international market accessibility (lower shipping charges by printing anywhere in the world).

They have a system that helps with orders going to the best location... when an order comes in for a book for a customer in Australia, their computer sends the order to their printer in Australia.  If the order comes in from Germany, it goes to their printer on continental Europe (I believe it is in the Netherlands).

William
ComStar
http://www.comstar-media.com
http://www.comstar-games.com


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: Polaris on September 01, 2005, 09:05:00 PM
Okay, the revised list is:

Lulu (http://www.lulu.com) -- Conspiracy of Shadows, Donjon, Fastlane, Empire of Satanis
RapidPOD (http://www.rapidpod.com) -- The Imp Game, TSoY Revised
RPGMall (http://www.rpgmall.com)
CafePress (http://www.cafepress.com)
Express Media (http://www.expressmedia.com) -- Elfs, My Life with Master, Masters and Minions, NPA
RPI (http://www.rpiprint.com) -- Bulldogs, The Mountain Witch, TSoY (2nd print), Capes
Berryville Graphics (http://www.opm.com/digital.html) -- Kayfabe
Lightning Source (http://www.lightningsource.com) -- Code of Unaris (?)
Booksurge (http://www.booksurge.com) -- Kevin and Kell

While looking up the URL for Booksurge, I came across this horror story (http://www.voracitybeat.com/saucebooksurge.htm).

For a quick (and not entirely accurate) price comparision, here's what the per-print cost for each would be, assuming a softcover, perfect bound, full color cover, B&W interior, 100-page, 6x9 in. book.

Lulu -- $6.53 (shipping not included)
RapidPOD -- $2.00 (5.375x7.875 size; shipping not included)
RPGMall -- $3.58 (4.25x5.5 size; shipping included)
CafePress -- $10.00 (shipping not included)
Express Media -- no prices online
RPI Print -- no prices online
Berryville Graphics -- no prices online
Lightning Source -- no prices online
Booksurge -- $8.44 (shipping not included)

Booksurge charges 1.50 for the cover +.02 per page.  A 100 page book would be 3.50 to print.

LSI charges 90 cents for the cover + .013 per page at that trim size.  A 100 page book would be $2.20 to print.

William
ComStar
http://www.comstar-media.com
http://www.comstar-games.com


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: Polaris on September 01, 2005, 09:07:43 PM
Hey guys,

Let's keep this thread focused on who they are and what happened, without any posting whatsoever about defending or attacking any company.

Best,
Ron

Ron,

Sorry... I just noticed your post after correcting about Booksurge.  I hope that was not taken as an attack or defense of anyone... it really was meant for informational purposes.  For what it is worth, we are going to be using Avalon and LSI in the future.

William


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: Ron Edwards on September 04, 2005, 06:36:35 AM
That's OK, William. You stayed within the boundaries. A little self-promotion, maybe, but that's to be expected.

Everyone - let's remember that this thread is about summarizing who the POD printers are. War stories are very important to the Forge as well, especially when a company may be identified as a problem - but those topics should be their own threads.

My moderation in this thread was not "only say nice things," but rather, "let's put war stories in their own threads."

Best,
Ron


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: smokewolf on September 04, 2005, 08:51:56 AM
The Swing: Reality Guide was printed through both Express Media and Lulu. The better of the two was Lulu, but only because of laminated covers, nothing to do with print quality or price.

Also, maybe I have missed it, but does anyone know who will do hardcovers POD, other than RapidPod? Looking to do hardcovers for The Swing 2nd Edition.


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: timfire on September 04, 2005, 10:59:27 AM
Also, maybe I have missed it, but does anyone know who will do hardcovers POD, other than RapidPod?

Off-hand I'm not sure, but this post made me realize something this thread/list of printers is missing---the options these POD services offer. For example, when looking for a printer for my book, I couldn't use Lulu because it didn't offer 5.5 x 8.5. Often finding a printer that offers the options you want is a major consideration.


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: Polaris on September 04, 2005, 11:30:27 AM
The Swing: Reality Guide was printed through both Express Media and Lulu. The better of the two was Lulu, but only because of laminated covers, nothing to do with print quality or price.

Also, maybe I have missed it, but does anyone know who will do hardcovers POD, other than RapidPod? Looking to do hardcovers for The Swing 2nd Edition.

LSI, Booksurge and Avalon all do hardcovers...:)

William
ComStar


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: M Jason Parent on September 05, 2005, 12:48:06 PM
The Swing: Reality Guide was printed through both Express Media and Lulu. The better of the two was Lulu, but only because of laminated covers, nothing to do with print quality or price.

Express Media can also do laminated covers. The no lamination was an old issue from when they started handling RPGmall productions.

I've personally printed through Express Media and through lulu.

Lulu is a bit on the pricey side, and Express Media's a little clumsy when it comes to customer service - but I still use Express Media at least once a year for a 300-unit print run.


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: JakeVanDam on September 12, 2005, 10:33:46 PM
Do any other POD companys list their member's books on retail sites like Lightning Source does? Does anyone have an idea as to how good RPGMail's sales site is for sales and general exposure?

A game I'm working on is nearing the last stages of developement, so it's time to think about what to do with it, and POD may be what I need.


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: smokewolf on September 13, 2005, 04:40:38 PM
RPGNOW has taken over the POD business for RPGMALL. RPGNOW uses LULU and allows for both pdf and print sales through its website. Kind of a one stop shop. James hasn't said anything official about the what RPGMALLs purpose will be (or at least I haven't heard anything). Everything is handled through your RPGNOW account and there is no need for a seperate LULU account (unless you want to do other things with it).


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: Polaris on September 18, 2005, 05:20:09 PM
A number of us had a time with RapidPOD for GenCon. I'm in the same camp as Tim. Lets just say I'm taking all my business elsewhere and that Jason Valore of Key20 rocks enormously. Hooked me up with a different printer when RapidPOD dropped the ball on my GenCon order and it didn't look like I could meet the distribution orders in time. About a $500+  sale there, poof, along with future projects. Avalon Innovations, I think Mike Holmes mentioned them earlier, are handling it now. E-mail communication is a bit slow, but it exists, and my contact there, Lance Williams, is working along to get this done.

While I do not believe his explanation justifies what is happening to some of the customers of RapidPOD, Ken did offer an explanatioin on this thread today:
http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=218333

Polaris


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: Polaris on September 18, 2005, 05:23:05 PM
Do any other POD companys list their member's books on retail sites like Lightning Source does? Does anyone have an idea as to how good RPGMail's sales site is for sales and general exposure?

A game I'm working on is nearing the last stages of developement, so it's time to think about what to do with it, and POD may be what I need.

Booksurge does (especially Amazon, obviously... where their titles are listed as "shipped in 2 days").

William


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: smokewolf on September 19, 2005, 05:18:41 AM
Does anyone know of a POD service that will do GM Screens? Other than RapidPOD (at least they list it on their website).


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: Andrew Morris on September 19, 2005, 05:32:54 AM
Guys, not to sound like a moderator when I don't have that authority, but this thread was intended to serve as a resource for comparing the known POD printers out there, not to discuss specific points about which one has this or that particular service. I was primarily looking to gather a list of POD printers, rough approximation of costs for comparision, and any personal experiences that people had with the printers in question.

So, while Ron or Clinton may well rule that I'm off base here, I think this thread should remain for only its stated purposes (list of POD printers, price comparison, personal experiences), and any other discussions about POD printers and their services should be in their own threads. This thread seems to be losing focus.


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: Ron Edwards on September 19, 2005, 07:17:08 AM
Andrew,

As the starter of the thread, you do have some moderator authority, especially over its content. I support you in your current conclusions and in fact, think we should close this thread now. Sub-topics can be taken to new full threads.

Thanks for keeping an eye on the thread's content and bringing your attention to whether it's serving your originally-proposed goals.

Best,
Ron


Title: Re: POD printer round up
Post by: Bardsandsages on September 22, 2005, 05:35:33 PM
I use Lulu

http://www.lulu.com/bardsandsages

Through their global distribution plan, your book will appear on Amazon and most online retailers, and is placed in the Ingrams catalog.  Lulu has an agreement with LSI to handle printing for the Global distribution.  I have been very happy with Lulu so far.  I have never had a problem with quality, or late shipments (not saying it doesn't happen, but it hasn't been an issue for me).  They provide me with my own storefront that I can promote to customers directly.  Some of us are also attempting to get an advertising co-op going in order to promote our RPGs and promote Lulu as more of a retail outlet.