Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Started by Sean P. Fannon, November 29, 2005, 02:25:34 PM
QuoteCan you explain, if at all, how this changes the relationship to retailers or distributors? From the retailer side, there's no real incentive to try to stock POD games, and from the consumer side, there's no reason to pay extra for those games when they could be ordered via Lulu, RPGNow, etc. I don't see how any of the current traditional distributors have something extra to contribute in either side.As far as I can tell, this isn't any change from what is currently served by the market.
QuoteOne issue you don't discuss here is the cost of POD printing. You acknowledge that POD costs are high, but don't really answer how to solve that issue. Presumably, if the Distributor does POD printing in-house, or partners with a POD service, it would cut the cost some. But I'm not sure if it will cut it enough.
QuoteAnother issue to consider is what type of POD printing you're talking about. I'm sure you're aware of the difference between "true" POD (books are printed one by one when ordered) and "short-run" POD (books are ordered in batches of 100-500 or so). "True" POD is really expensive. That's possible when selling direct. So what if printing costs 30-40% of the cover? That still leaves 60-70%. But in the 3-tier system, when the publisher only keeps 40%, that's a killer. Even if you can get the cost down to 20%, that's not leaving a whole lot for the publisher.
QuoteI believe you can get the cost of "short-run" books within a manageable percentage, but short-run books have most of the disadvantages as traditional printing. You still have to front money (though not as much), which means you have to worry whether the book will sell or not. You have also to worry about warehousing (though again, not as much).
QuoteOn one hand, you attest that customers overwhelming want books. I agree. But the above passage seems to fingerpoint at PDFs for cutting retailers and distributors out of a major revenue stream. It doesn't gel. Either customers are primarily buying books and PDFs are a minor side gig for the rpg publishing industry, or PDFs are the wave of the future. If PDF technology is adopted by the consumer, I don't think that printing is an issue. People who want PDFs will want them for their virtues not their flaws.
QuoteBut all this also dances around the idea of this downward spiral you mention. How is a POD production model controlled by distribution -- who many of us see as the choking vine in the industry -- going to reinvigorate the process of buying and selling rpgs? How is introducing more product into an already saturated industry going to help get kids to stores to play and buy games? I dunno man. This model seems like you're centralizing production and distribution which has historically proven to be bad.
QuoteI think Luke asked a very good, very tough question and I too am very interested how this model you have proposed going to get more people to sit down and play. The current model, which you are just tweaking a bit, isn't putting more butts in the seats. How is shuffling the deck of responsibility in the three tier system going to get more people to buy product, play that shit, and come back for more?
QuoteI say nuke the whole fucking three tier system as it stands right now cause it ain't help'n nobody. Instead we should be looking at how to harness the success of conventions and learn how to export that to the smaller scale, much in the way those crazy fuckers in NYC do it. But that is a whole 'nother topic and I should have kept my mouth shut and started a new thread.
QuoteRemoving the burden of special-ordering every single title directly from the publisher makes ordering indie RPGs much easier on the retailer.
QuoteThe biggest problem I see with this idea is that it's just... an idea. The mechanisms to carry it out aren't in place. I mean sure it would be nice if there was a someone who would serve the function of a distributor (or even a fulfillment house), with in-house POD (if they were any good at it, unlike the RapidPOD fiasco). But I have a hard time picturing anyone here jumping into that sort of thing. And there's not much we can do about it if there's no one ready to step up and carry it out. (And, yeah, RPGnow is experimenting with something sort of like that, but it's looking like it'll proceed at a snail's pace if it works out at all)
Quote from: MatrixGamer on December 01, 2005, 09:29:40 AMOn the surface the model looks fine... My question is this. Isn't this something that should be presented to a printers/POD forum rather than here?... In your role in GAMA you are fishing for interest without the model existing.
QuoteSpeaking as a printer and a book binder, I can see this model working but it will take a special person to run it.
QuoteI think there's a segment of the buying public -a significant segment - that would be much happier buying real books. I think their purchasing is chilled because they don't like spending the time and effort to "make" the books themselves. What PDFs they do buy, however, represent sales lost for retailers. Furthermore, there is another segment that is all about the PDF market, and it's for certain that they are sales lost to retailers.
QuoteExcept that I am not proposing centralization. If anything, I am proposing diversification.
QuotePeople who buy PDFs do not represent a loss of sales for the retailer. I submit that PDF-purchasers are extremely unlikely to buy the same book in a brick and mortar store. If they were never going to buy it in the first place, there's no "lost sales."
Quote from: Sean P. Fannon on December 01, 2005, 12:46:21 AMDifferent kettle of fish, though tangentially getting high-quality, trend-altering games like the ones created by this crew into stores should have some impact on that.This is but one card in the hand, sir. I'm not going all in, yet, either. I am still working on the flop, if you will...
Quote from: abzu on December 01, 2005, 11:23:46 AMI appreciate your noble intentions. Many of us hear have noble intentions as well. But I hope that wasn't a hint for us to back off! You posted your model for a reason...
QuotePersonally, I think GAMA would be far better served by conducting some hardcore market research in the roleplaying game community. Market research it could publish. Market research we all could use to better expand the reach of our products and art.
QuoteI say this because I know instinctively that segment I quoted is wrong.People who want to buy printed matter will primarily buy books... People who buy PDFs do not represent a loss of sales for the retailer. I submit that PDF-purchasers are extremely unlikely to buy the same book in a brick and mortar store. If they were never going to buy it in the first place, there's no "lost sales."
QuoteI totally disagree. The only time I buy pdfs is when a book is not available locally.
QuoteThere are niches within the market. Retailers serve a very different purpose than PDF vendors. Part of the PDF buying experience involves sitting at home, browsing and purchasing at leisure. A retailer can't provide that experience.
QuoteAnd maybe all large-run printing will die soon. Maybe someday we will just push a button and the machine will spit out the book. But that seems to utterly undermine both retail and distribution. Hastening that end doesn't seem like the best idea.
QuoteQuoteExcept that I am not proposing centralization. If anything, I am proposing diversification. I think I don't understand. Aren't you proposing making the distributors into POD houses and distributors?
QuoteI propose that GAMA encourage retailers to offer services that give them a true competitive edge stands to sell more books and bring more gamers to the table... This is the direction I'd love to see GAMA move in: research and programs that will help publishers, retailers, distributors and ultimately gamers.
Quote from: Bob Goat on December 01, 2005, 12:44:30 PMWhat does this even mean? Cryptic bullshit don't fly here man. You say what ya fucking mean and mean what you fucking say.
Quote from: Sean P. Fannon on December 01, 2005, 12:57:45 PMRetailer-as-event-space is a huge initiative with me, and I am also working on that.