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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 159 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Distributor Questions  (Read 9973 times)

Posts: 236

« Reply #30 on: September 23, 2004, 12:24:57 PM »


I wouldn't say I'm working with too few options, so much as pushing one that I see too little use of and that I believe has more potential than most people give it.

I think POD services like lulu.com are "God's gift" to smaller game publishers (and bigger publishers to a lesser extent*). Now anyone can put a book into print (real hard-copy hold-it-in-your-hands print) with zero risk (or at least no more risk than PDF). I maintain that with such services available, it is folly to offer any game product of substantial size (obviously print doesn't make a lot of sense for the 8-page supplements & throw-away adventures which are so well suited to PDF). If you have a PDF, with only a minimal amount of additional effort, you can also have a print book. I find it odd that anyone would choose not to.

*As far as older products going to PDF when they go out of print, I don't see why they should ever have to go out of print. If all of those products were made available as POD rather than just PDF, then customers could purchase hard copies of the books forever without costing the publisher any substantial on-going production costs at all. It would provide a broader service to the customers, without additional expense to the publisher, and might well result in additional sales of the product over just offering PDF.

But you make a very good point about different options being effective for different stages (and combinations of different options being possible).

I would still recommend POD printing for any final-release product, though not necessarily for a pre-final edition. The ability to make changes on the fly and let people download updated PDFs as the game evolves to a final form is handy. It also lets you get feedback on the inevitable mistakes that can creep in, minimizing the errata necessary after printing.

I'm actually using this method myself.

Right now I have a preliminary (and setting light) playtest edition available for free (in PDF),which I plan to use for getting feedback and building interest in the game (I haven't promoted it heavily yet as I want to get some decent playtime under my own belt first before I push it too hard). I used lulu.com to get a personal copy of the playtest edition for my own use, but I think the game is too preliminary at this point to be charging other people for a POD copy.

After it is complete and tested, and I'm ready to go to the final version, I want to offer both PDF and POD print as a combination product. So when someone buys the print book, they get the PDF for free as an immediate download. This will give them the instant gratification of getting something right at purchase and will allow them to take advantage of the benefits of PDF (printing portions for reference, etc) along with their printed copy.

So I agree, combinations can be good. Actually I think outside of my personal crusade for POD, we're pretty much in agreement on all your other points.

Calvin W. Camp

Mad Elf Enterprises
- Freelance Art & Small Press Publishing
-Check out my clip art collections!-
Edward Kann

Posts: 3

« Reply #31 on: September 25, 2004, 01:29:08 AM »

Hi Guys,

I might as well pull up a chair to this conversation and say hello.

My own project is StoryART Games.  www.storyartgames.com

We are just about to come up on our last month of our six month ramp up for our first .pdf book lines to be released and mid-September is on my calendar as the start date for fact finding about print.  Print runs, distribution and consolidators.

I too had the experience of being told by a highly respected consolidator that they were absolutely not interested in anything RPG related because of low sales.  That was a little bit disappointing.  But then I just kept chugging down the street to another few shops and received some pretty positive support.

I am pretty much the newbie guy on the block in all this so I am reading everything I can and talking to everyone I can about how to make first the .pdf business and then later in 2005 the print business work.

The good news (for me) is that I have a solid two year run ahead of me with StoryART.  I have a nice budget, investor capital I haven't touched, a good / sizeable income from the first business I started about six years ago that is doing well, etc...  So while I'm not Donald Trump by any stretch of the imagination I'm not between the same rock and a hard place as most guys starting out.  I have a 20 year career, retirement and my own first business under my belt at this point in life so I figure I've paid my early dues.

Anyway I would very much appreciate some feedback on the website I have up and on our downloads we've posted for our up and coming products.  They are free in the downloads section.

I think we've got a pretty groovy run ahead of us but I've found that it's always a good idea to pull up a chair at the bar with the salty old guys that have been on the mean streets for a while and listen to what they have to say about it.

Anyway this has been one of the better threads I've seen posted anywhere online.  Just wanted to introduce myself and say that its really nice to read over all of your comments.  They have been very interesting.

Edward Kann
StoryART Games
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