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General Forge Forums => Publishing => Topic started by: Nathan P. on September 22, 2005, 08:37:36 AM



Title: CDs as placeholders...
Post by: Nathan P. on September 22, 2005, 08:37:36 AM
So it looks like I'm not going to be getting my hard copies of Timestream in time for Southern Exposure - live and learn. So here's my plan. Anyone who buys the book is going to get access to the PDFs, and I was planning to offer the PDFs on CD at the Con, as opposed to (or in conjunction with) emailing them the download info. I also want to make burned CDs available anyway. I've stocked up on printable labels, CD cases that can stick to things (like the ones in the back of programming manuals for code example and stuff) and cardstock. I'm going to put together little CD packages of either a CD case stuck to a printed piece of cardstock, or a folded cardstock booklet with the CD in it.

At the Con, I'll be offering those as the PDF option, and also give one to anyone who pays for a physical copy, which I will ship to them (probably at no cost to themselves) once I get them in. People who (essentially) pre-pay for a hard copy will get a little reminder note on their CD, and ill keep a list with name, address, email, etc.

Has anyone done this kind of distribution? Anything I'm overlooking or overassuming? Also, does anyone have a sense of whether it would be more effective to be up-front (I didn't get them in on time, but I'll ship it when I get them) or a little more dissembling (In print soon! Pay now and avoid shipping charges!)? Thankies much.


Title: Re: CDs as placeholders...
Post by: Josh Roby on September 22, 2005, 08:57:06 AM
Make a little two-part form that the customer fills out with their name, mailing address, and phone/email.  Number them, with the number appearing on both sides.  They fill it out, and tear off the half with the information, and hand that to you.  Their half has information about when to expect their copy and how to contact you if it doesn't arrive on time.  Keep the slips you collect, compile them into a spreadsheet list after you're back from con, and use that as your list of people to mail to.  That way if (and when) there are any hiccups, both you and the customer have a receipt with a tracking number that you can both reference.


Title: Re: CDs as placeholders...
Post by: Paul Czege on September 22, 2005, 09:52:03 AM
Nathan,

Brad of Eos Press was doing almost exactly this for Weapons of the Gods at GenCon. His mistake was not having a print copy of the game for prospective customers to look through. Do what it takes to have at least an ashcan print copy. Maybe Lulu Press can do one quickly enough for you. Or use Kinkos if necessary.

Paul


Title: Re: CDs as placeholders...
Post by: Shreyas Sampat on September 22, 2005, 10:48:48 AM
To elaborate on what Paul said about Brad, he was very upfront about not actually having hardcopies.


Title: Re: CDs as placeholders...
Post by: Paul Czege on September 22, 2005, 02:12:21 PM
To elaborate on what Paul said about Brad, he was very upfront about not actually having hardcopies.

He was, absolutely. And I sympathize entirely with his situation. But a bad photocopy held together with a binder clip is better than no copy at all. And I'd be utterly stunned if post-GenCon Brad were to voice the opposite opinion.

Nathan, have as good a physical copy of the game as you can. People need to look at the character sheet, to look at the layout of the book, to read some representative samples of text (of their own choosing). The need to get a feel for the game as a designed object. Kinkos can make a tape bound copy of your game from your electronic files while you wait. It might cost you $50. But there's no excuse for not having one. It betrays an utter disconnect from the mindset of your prospective customer. You can sell to fanboys without one. But not to normal people.

Paul


Title: Re: CDs as placeholders...
Post by: ukgpublishing on September 22, 2005, 02:40:37 PM
I'd add that you might want to look at DVD cases rather than the envelope style cases. We sell a large number of pdf products on DVD and with a nicely printed cover, they look like 'almost books'.

You can pick them up for around $15 for a hundred.

John Milner
http://www.ukg-publishing.co.uk/


Title: Re: CDs as placeholders...
Post by: Nathan P. on September 23, 2005, 09:55:33 AM
Joshua - good idea. Yoink!

Paul & Shreyas - definitely. I will have my proof copy of the book, which shouldn't be too far off. Thanks for the advice.

John - ooh, also a nice idea. I don't think I would be able to get them in time, and I have the materials at hand for what I'm planning, but I'll keep it in mind for the future. Thanks.


Title: Re: CDs as placeholders...
Post by: Graham W on September 23, 2005, 10:36:56 AM
Nathan,

I know it sounds trivial, but before going to the convention, give one of the CDs to a friend and make sure they can read it.

As a computer programmer, I've been stuck at a convention with CDs that were badly duplicated and unusable; as an actor, I've been given DVDs by other actors that just didn't play.

Graham


Title: Re: CDs as placeholders...
Post by: Paul Czege on September 23, 2005, 12:05:21 PM
An excellent recommendation from Graham. Have your friend with a good antivirus program scan one for viruses too.

Paul