The Forge Archives

General Forge Forums => Publishing => Topic started by: JasonWalters on September 03, 2007, 08:09:26 PM



Title: Can Anyone Wholeheartedly Recommend A POD Printer For me?
Post by: JasonWalters on September 03, 2007, 08:09:26 PM
I would like to be put in contact with a decent POD printer… if there is such a thing! I've got a pretty good idea of who NOT to use… and that unfortunately includes almost every short-run or POD printer I'm currently acquainted with! I'm thinking of a run of 200 to 250 books, color on cover only, 5 1/2" by 8 1/2". I have a friend at another company who is considering a similar run using a more standard RPG book size. Any suggestions? 


Title: Re: Can Anyone Wholeheartedly Recommend A POD Printer For me?
Post by: Eero Tuovinen on September 03, 2007, 08:38:12 PM
I'm not native, but as I understand it, the terminology is solidifying in such a manner that a print run of 200 copies shouldn't be referred to as "POD" in English. POD is when you print literally one book at a time, and do not enjoy bulk discount even for larger runs. Of course, there isn't a very good term for a short run printer. "Digital" printing is commonly used, because the technology of digital printing (as opposed to off-set) is cost-effective in the exact print run bracket of 50-500 copies. Of course, POD printers use essentially the same tech, so the different profit curves are just a matter of organizational kickbacks at that point.

That aside, where are you? Because I could totally recommend you a couple of kickin' digital printers if you want to print in Finland. That'd be non-insane if you want to have the books somewhere in EU, less so if you need them in US. I imagine that the same geographical factors affect US as well: it's better to use a local printer, because that way you can go there in person to check on your project, and you save on postage.

So yeah, I have nothing useful to add, I'm just nit-picking to make for a more useful discussion. Hopefully somebody else can suggest some US printers.


Title: Re: Can Anyone Wholeheartedly Recommend A POD Printer For me?
Post by: iago on September 03, 2007, 09:25:46 PM
My experience is not broad, but I would say that if you're looking for 100-200 copies of something, Lightning Source is very good (but has some set-up costs up-front that you'll have to pay, and is somewhat old-fashioned), and Lulu's bulk order pricing does at least get you some lower prices (and while they aren't quite as competitive in the 200+ copy range as Lightning Source, their website is very easy to use, and their customer service is first-rate; but I don't think they do a "digest size" -- that's what you're talking about -- opting instead for 6x9).


Title: Re: Can Anyone Wholeheartedly Recommend A POD Printer For me?
Post by: Ron Edwards on September 04, 2007, 07:27:59 AM
Hello,

The discussion in POD printer roundup (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=16359.0) will probably help. We've found that this kind of information tends to cycle quickly, so a thread like this needs to appear about once a year. So far, the recommendations in that thread (last November) seem to be working well for people.

Best, Ron


Title: Re: Can Anyone Wholeheartedly Recommend A POD Printer For me?
Post by: Gregor Hutton on September 04, 2007, 09:58:56 AM
The linked thread is from 2005, but I found this thread from November 2006 (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=22216.0).

Even that seems a bit out of date now (given that some people will have experienced the printing pain of GenCon, wherein someone always gets stiffed from somebody).

I can, however, wholeheartedly recommend a short-run printer for you. FidlarDoubleday (http://www.fidlardoubleday.com) were great for me with the latest Best Friends (super quick on the job, efficient and pleasant to deal with across all the contacts I had with them, good print quality and hassle free). They invoiced efficiently too and there was not a single stress point for me in the whole experience.

We have some discussion of all that stuff over on the Collective Endeavour (http://www.collective-endeavour.com/node/403) forums (and a previous thread is here too (http://www.collective-endeavour.com/node/75)).


Title: Re: Can Anyone Wholeheartedly Recommend A POD Printer For me?
Post by: Ron Edwards on September 04, 2007, 12:14:21 PM
Crap! Thanks Gregor.

Best, Ron


Title: Re: Can Anyone Wholeheartedly Recommend A POD Printer For me?
Post by: Paul Czege on September 04, 2007, 01:00:52 PM
Jason,

Earlier this year Thor Hansen print brokered me the nicest run of 150 copies of My Life with Master I've had done since the very first run in 2003.

Paul


Title: Re: Can Anyone Wholeheartedly Recommend A POD Printer For me?
Post by: JasonWalters on September 04, 2007, 01:20:35 PM
Thanks guys! Those were all very good suggestions. Sorry, Eero - I'm about as far away from Finland as it is possible to get without achieving space flight! Still, I'm very excited to hear anyone use the terms "kickin'" and "digital printers" in the same sentence. Over at the GPA mailing list we have been using the terms "kicking" and "digital printers" in a very different context lately.

Paul, could you contact me off list with your email? I would like to get your advise on a couple of things. My email is midianranch@hotmail.com



Title: Re: Can Anyone Wholeheartedly Recommend A POD Printer For me?
Post by: Nathan P. on September 04, 2007, 01:22:37 PM
I can wholeheartedly recommend Publishers Graphics (http://pubgraphics.com/). My rep, Doug Hafter, was extremely friendly and professional, and my books came out great. Doug has been calling me every other month or so (I did my last printing in May) to make sure I'm still happy with their services, and check in about whether I need anything else, which I really appreciate. And the price was very competitive with the other quotes I got.

Hope that helps.


Title: Re: Can Anyone Wholeheartedly Recommend A POD Printer For me?
Post by: JasonWalters on September 04, 2007, 06:28:44 PM
Nathan-

Say, those guys do look pretty good! Thank you.

Jason 


Title: Re: Can Anyone Wholeheartedly Recommend A POD Printer For me?
Post by: Valamir on September 04, 2007, 06:46:43 PM
Publishers Graphics has also done the second printing and Revised edition of Universalis.

Not only were their rates quite reasonable, they had both the proofs and later the books themselves to me well in advance of their estimated time.

I've had zero complaints about the quality of binding and experienced minimal curling.


Title: Re: Can Anyone Wholeheartedly Recommend A POD Printer For me?
Post by: Adam Riemenschneider on September 09, 2007, 01:54:14 PM
I'm also going with Publisher's Graphics. Though I can't speak directly to the work quality level quite yet (I'm literally uploading my first print runs with them this week, though the sample they provided looks solid), the rep I talked with, Sheri Herring, has been incredibly helpful and patient with me, a printing newbie.

Also, their rates were the best I was able to find anywhere.


Title: Re: Can Anyone Wholeheartedly Recommend A POD Printer For me?
Post by: JasonWalters on September 14, 2007, 05:17:51 PM
Thank you all! I am going to share this link with a few industry friends. It should help everyone involved in publishing short runs of RPG books. 


Title: Re: Can Anyone Wholeheartedly Recommend A POD Printer For me?
Post by: Joshua A.C. Newman on September 17, 2007, 08:23:37 AM
Fidlar Doubleday has also been extraordinarily good. Their customer service is second to none. They got me Shock: in time for Gen Con despite a big screw up (there are always screw ups. Give yourself time!) and kept in good communication the whole time.

My rep is Bobbie Rodriguez. She's positive and communicates very well. (800) 248 0888. Tell her I sent you.

My experiences with Publisher's Graphics have also been very positive, but Fidlar Doubleday really stands above the crowd.

(PG printed Shock: 1.0. FD printed 1.1.)