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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 91 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Crazy Question on mini sups  (Read 3423 times)
Valamir
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« on: January 24, 2002, 07:12:25 AM »

Any thought to publishing a compilation of mini-sups in a format to go along with Sorcerer, Sword, and Soul HC?

Don't know what kind of hassle would be involved in maintaining the payout scheme for it, but I (for one) would pretty much automatically buy any such anthology over a PDF.

Pure personal preference here...I just find printouts of PDF's to be messy and an inefficient use of shelf space.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2002, 07:28:26 AM »

Hi Ralph,

People have been wantin' this for a while ... I gotta say, it has a few too many inherent problems for me to consider it (adopts corporate/politico voice momentarily) "at this time."

Problems:
1) Ownership. I'd publish it, and by my rather extreme philosophy, that means that I'd own it to a large extent. All contractual versions of shared or lent ownership mean very little to me. And I don't want to own something I didn't write.

2) Payment. Royalties? Flat fee? Arrggh. That's taxes, that's checks, that's an ongoing huge pain in the ass. And again, it means (no matter how you spin it) that the authors would be working for me, and I won't have that.

The good side is that the timing would be perfect, as retailers will probably be sniffing for new Sorcerer products by GenCon.

I don't know, man. The mini-supplements seem just right to me in their electronic, entry-level form. I'd rather not get all high and mighty into being the book-publishin' Adept Press, and lose contact with the seedy and (as you rightly point out) somewhat inconvenient and printer-y realm of the PDF sale. I kinda like it down there.

Best,
Ron
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jburneko
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Posts: 1351


« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2002, 10:05:09 AM »

Hello,

I too support the printing of mini-supplements, either as anthologies or individually.  The way *I* would do it, is that I would sell them as pdfs and then print them periodically in groups of three and ONLY groups of three.  So, If I had seven mini-supplements, I'd print the first six as two volumes and then wait for two others to be written before doing a third volume.  A bit unfair perhaps to that seventh person but at least it's a system.  Although I admit that, knowing Ron, he wouldn't want to just group them in order recieved, he'd want to group them thematically.  I know I would.

But to respond to Ron's comments directly I have to ask what is meant by 'publish' here.  From where I stand Adept Press ALREADY publishes the mini-suplements.  Think of it this way.  If I were to write a mini-suplement for Sorcerer and then threw it up for sale on MY web-page with no comment or approval from you, you'd be pretty mad, right?

Okay, so inorder for me to make money off of my Sorcerer ideas, I first have to get your approval and not just me asking, 'Hey, can I do this?'  You actually READ the mini-supplement first.  And IF you say it's okay then the only place that I can sell it, is off of your web-page.  I can't even print it *myself*, if I wanted do.  To me, that's the core of publishing.  How much of a 'fee' you charge for this seems to be rather secondary to the core concept.  You happen to provide this publishing service for free.

So, the way I see it, if you were to print the mini-supplements, all you'd be doing is fronting the money for actual publication.  Nothing is mandating that you also take a typical publishing percentage of the profits.  Also most publishers recoup their printings costs FIRST and THEN pay the author from anything left over.  You could recoup the printing cost AS the author profits.

For example, if it costs you ten dollars to print a book and you're selling it at fifteen then you would pocket ten dollars off of every sale and the author would get five.  The key here is this would happen on a per-unit basis as opposed to the more 'traditional' publishing method in which you would pocket all 15 dollars UNTIL you had recoup your entire printing costs.  

This is, of course, places the entire risk of the venture in your hands.  Whether you want to do that or not is entirely up to you.  And what kind of 'legal' hassels would also ensue (taxes and such)  I'm sure you know far better than I.

I think I mainly took objection to your claim that you do not publish the mini-supplements.  You most certainly DO publish the mini-supplements.  You simply do so free of charge.  Now whether you want to carry this generosity over into an arena where it actually starts costing you (substancially) to do so, is up to you.

Jesse
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2002, 11:32:17 AM »

Hi Jesse,

Got a respectful disagreement with you on that one. To me, "publishing" means putting up the money for it. In the case of the mini-supplements, that means paying artists, for instance.

What I do, in my opinion, is restrict venue to my website, which is what I "ask" in exchange for being allowed to publish Sorcerer-related stuff.

Again, this isn't to argue but rather to verbalize my admittedly odd notions of publishing and ownership.

Best,
Ron
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Mario
Member

Posts: 18


« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2002, 12:35:27 PM »

Why not have those who wrote the mini-sups put up the money for the printing costs, etc.  Adept Press would just be an umbrella entity.  Any taxes or such would be taken out first and payed through Adept Press, the rest would be divided up as the writers see fit.  Adept Press would not get any copyright control over the material.  All you would really need to do is fulfill a managerial type position for those who wrote the sups.  They would do all the work to get it published. All you'd need to do is give advice and final approval, as you do now.

Mario
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Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2002, 12:46:30 PM »

I'm not speaking for anyone else but m'self here.

On the record, written in goat's blood, carved in granite, I'd be more than happy to have Ron publish a compilation of Sorcerer stuff containing my mini-supplement (Schism). He puts up the money, he deals with all the printing issues, and I get my name and game in print for free*. Nice deal.

So there ya go, Ron. Credit and copyright of my material is all I ask -- I don' need no steeenkin' royalties.

- Jared

* Naturally, I wouldn't sell as many copies of the Schism PDF, but it'd be a great way to get my name out...and more people would buy a printed compilation of Sorcerer settings than what I would sell on my own in the next five years (considering the game's been out since, oh, June-ish and I've *sold* a few dozen).
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Clinton R. Nixon
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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2002, 01:58:41 PM »

I'll second that. I'd even update Urge if it were going to be put into a compilation.

If you want to eliminate ownership problems - easy. Do the same thing you do for artists, Ron. They still maintain all ownership of their art - you just have the right to publish that art in a Sorcerer book. (You could even buy the right, if that's what you wanted to do.)

And, Jared - you could always write a scenario for Schism and sell that after the book comes out. I could do the same with Urge.
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
J B Bell
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Posts: 267


« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2002, 06:18:33 PM »

I ain't published nothin' yet, but I've looked into alternative publishing modes a good bit.

It seems like Ron has three problems with anthologizing mini-supps (and of course, I will gratefully accept correction if I'm out in left field on this):

1. Tracking royalties is a pain in the arse;
2. It's potentially turning Ron into more of a publisher; and
3. It's also fiscally risky for Ron.

Something I haven't seen mentioned would be something like iUniverse, the publish-on-demand folks.  (NOT to be confused with the extremely nasty iPublish from Adobe, the scum who brought you the first enforcement of the execrable Digitial Millenium Copyright act, not to mention the brutally evil terms of their iPublish contract itself.)  The individual authors who want to anthologize could get their manuscript together and work out agreeable licensing amongst themselves, with as much or as little participation from Ron as desired.  The books would mention Sorcerer, of course (how could they not?  It's the basis!), and the Sorcerer site would remain the distribution point for online sales.

Well, probably something of this sort has been looked at by Ron and discarded, but perhaps this will lead towards other good options.

--TQuid
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"Have mechanics that focus on what the game is about. Then gloss the rest." --Mike Holmes
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