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I'm sorry the new size isn't working for you. We felt like increasing the cost and increasing the size go hand-in-hand—people are used to paying a certain amount for mass-market books and a higher amount for the larger print/higher print quality/etc. of trade paperbacks. While I really appreciate that you would have been willing to pay more for the mass-markets—it's the same content, after all!—our prediction was that people would respond poorly to paying significantly more for the exact same novel format, and that the trade paper format would be seen as added value by the majority. As with everything in publishing, it was a gamble, and whatever way we went, it was inevitable that some people would be disappointed.
I continue to hope we made the right decision, in part because I personally love the new, larger-format covers. :) But thanks for your input!
Ross Byers wrote:
The general policy of not advancing the timeline continues to stand, but just as we make the occasional exception for adventures (like Shattered Star being a sort of sequel to Rise of the Runelords), we also make occasional exceptions for the novels.
For Radovan and Jeggare, we wanted to have King of Chaos be tied to Wrath of the Righteous, but of course that means that Lord of Runes then takes place after that AP (or at least after R&J's involvement in it). And to use a Gray Maiden, we needed to make a decision about Curse of the Crimson Throne, and so on.
Basically, in order to let Lord of Runes—the first Tor novel—play with a lot of established toys, we relaxed some guidelines. But on the whole, we still want our novels and APs to work no matter what order you read or play them in, so we're deliberately avoiding locking things down into a timeline whenever possible.
Hope that answers the question!
Thank you! I've been super-buried in work recently, but I'll try to get back to this thread as well soon. :)
Jeremy Corff wrote:
All the time. "Where do they get to go?" is as important a question to me as "Who are my characters?" when I'm in the early stages of planning a book. For better or for worse, a lot of my plots start out as "What story could possibly take them to X, Y, *and* Z?" I'm sort of a glutton in that regard, and fleshing out favorite locations only briefly mentioned in the setting material is the best part of writing tie-in. :)
Oh god. I salute your survival of the beautiful trench warfare that is shared housing. :)
Dave Gross wrote:
If they had been anywhere near 50% ads, they never would have folded.
They never did fold, actually—the license wasn't renewed. The magazines were actually doing better than they had in a long time when WotC took them back in-house.
That said, yeah, 50% ads would have been *decadent*.
All of them. Some things never change. :)
Also, for folks doing the math at home, it's important to remember that back in the Dungeon and Dragon days, we were mostly pretty poor. I taught night classes and frequently ate out of dumpsters during my early Paizo tenure, and not just because it was cool and bohemian (though it kinda was).
Nowadays, ten years later, I pretty much *never* eat out of dumpsters, and instead of 6 roommates in a falling-apart flophouse I have 7 roommates in an actually pretty nice house. MOVING ON UP, BABY!
Not to rain on the nostalgia, but we had ads in Dungeon. LOTS of ads. As many as we could get, really—it's how we subsidized an otherwise atrocious business model (meaning the magazine business model in general). And we'd spend hours trying to figure out how to fit them all in, because some folks would buy the right to be in specific places in the issue.
One of the exciting parts of starting Pathfinder was knowing that we'd never again have to stick an ad page in the middle of an adventure. :P
Cover art is final but text treatment on it is not.
And for folks wondering, this is one of the best novels we've published in the line. And I'm not just saying that because Wes works here—he really busted his ass making this book the best it can be, and it shows. As editor, I'm really proud of it, and can't wait for everyone to get their Ustalav and vampire fix. :)
Jeremy Corff wrote:
Very, very carefully. It's honestly one of the trickiest aspects of a series.
Of course, I get to send my character to the planes, where there's *always* someone more badass than him around the next corner. :)
Ha! Yeah, while I generally don't present new canon on the boards, I will say for certain that the Lashunta are *not* the result of formian-elf interbreeding. :)
1) I'd love to do more on Castrovel, too! Too many books to write, too little time...
2) Pulp! Castrovel is the land of pulp—specifically pulp Venus—and ALMURIC is the book I'd most recommend (available from Planet Stories!), though I'm sure Erik would point you toward a dozen different authors.
3) I've indeed done some work on Occult Adventures! But since I don't want to steal anyone's thunder, I'll only say that you'll be seeing some discussion of how that book ties into Castrovel in a product pretty soon here. :)
Tor is explicitly anti-DRM. I don't know exactly what deals they have worked out with various retailers, but I know that if they can sell a book DRM-free through a channel, they do.
At the moment, it doesn't look like Tor is selling direct, at least as far as the Macmillan website is concerned—I think they prefer to cede that ground to the retailers.
I think that the hardest game element to manage in the novel line—for me and probably most of the folks here—is the magic system. It's hard to have to think through every implication and make sure that, even if it's not in the story, you know why your protagonist doesn't just cast Spell X and solve any given problem.
Probably one of the most pervasive specific issues is that of magical healing and resurrection, as folks have mentioned—it's hard to keep tensions high when there's a perception that anyone can be brought back from the dead for the price of a nice magic item. (There are, of course, plenty of good ways that issue can be skirted, and logistical reasons why being rich in Golarion doesn't make you functionally unkillable, but at the end of the day we're still working within a framework designed to let *players* bring characters back to life while trying to keep everyone else from doing the same thing.)
What formats will the ebooks be available in?
I know that they'll be sold by:
I'm personally not super savvy about ebook formats, so I'm not sure how many of those have proprietary formats. I need to investigate and educate myself before I can answer further. :)
We've said it before, but one thing about expanding the setting in small, bite-sized chunks rather than huge books covering whole continents is that you get to pour all your energy and creativity into really fleshing out a small section of the world. And then you do it again. And again. Over time, the patchwork becomes a whole, and that whole is WAY more interesting and flavorful because you as the author had the chance to recharge, to consider the interactions of previous installments, to see what people liked, etc. That's actually how we started out building Golarion, back when the Inner Sea was mostly just names on a map and brief paragraphs of info supplemented by gazetteers in the back of Pathfinder, and I think it's one of our artistic choices that I'm most proud of. Biting off too much at a time ends up with too little butter spread over too much bread.
So yeah, I'm really excited about this project, and hope that readers feel the same way. :)
If you could write any one story in Pathfinder/Golarion of your choosing, no restraints, no inhibitions, no limitations except those of the setting itself, what would it be?
My next one. I need to get a few projects out of the way first, but then I think it's high time to return to the First World... ;)
Steve Geddes wrote:
1) All of them, multiple times. :)
2) Once upon a time I got to read it all. Now I rarely get to take edit passes on the new setting books—there's just too much material given my other job responsibilities—but the other developers and editors are really good about bringing me those sections that touch on topics near and dear to my heart!
John Kretzer wrote:
1) Shyka. Don't mess with the Eldest. :)
2) That's a decision Erik and I made for the line a long time ago—since we hope to one day have a ton of PF novels in print, we want to make sure that any book a reader picks up is a good entry point. It can also be really hard to get bookstores to stock all the books in a series, leading to a steep decline in readership.
3) Getting to steal toys from some of my favorite creative minds, and also getting to spend some time living in Golarion as a character rather than a top-down architect.
1) Hmm... hadn't really thought about it. I suppose my answer is "probably not naturally, but all things are possible with magic."
2) I think they'd be somewhat open. The hatred of the Lashunta is a relic of past territorial disputes between the two races, not necessarily a generalized xenophobia.
3) See above!
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the style of their hats, but by the content of their character." — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Oh man, this thread! Be still, my heart!
It's always fun to see people pick out your influences, because half the time it's spot on, and half the time it's stuff you've never heard of. :)
As it turns out, while Jacobs is correct that I was hugely influenced by Dan Simmons, the pulps, and Lovecraft for various planets, probably my biggest single influence was our own solar system. While I'm the rankest amateur when it comes to most hard science, I'm really fascinated by different astronomical phenomena and how they might impact life on a given world. So while one might look at Triaxus and think "Super-long winters and summers? Talk about a Game of Thrones rip-off!", the truth is that I actually came up with the long seasons idea by thinking about planets with really eccentric orbits, and I was totally oblivious to the parallels until I was writing the entry and typed something like "Every Triaxian knows that winter is comi—OH G#&~+@N IT!" :P
So, to list some of the broad-strokes influences:
Aballon: Real-world Mercury, and the thought that robots really ought to have their own planet.
Castrovel: A wide variety of takes on pulp Venus, including some of the ones mentioned. The Lashunta were also heavily inspired by Robert E. Howard's Almuric. (Erik Mona, aka The Pulp Master, helped lay down pulp guidelines for both Akiton and Castrovel.)
Akiton: Pulp Mars, by way of Burroughs and Brackett.
Verces: Dune never crossed my mind, though I can see where you'd get that. Actually, I've wanted to write about a tidally locked planet for years—I even wrote part of a novel about one, back before I wrote Death's Heretic, and that world served as the model for Verces.
Diaspora: Dan Simmons, plus our own asteroid belt.
Eox: It just seemed like being undead would make space exploration so much easier. Plus I saw a picture somewhere of a skeleton wearing a space helmet and went "UNDEAD ASTRONAUTS! GENIUS!"
Triaxus: I've actually never read Helliconia, and as noted didn't recognize the GRRM parallels until fairly late in the game—I was just really interested in the evolutionary effects of a highly eccentric orbit. The biggest literary influences for me on this one were Richard Knaak's Dragonrealms series and the Pern novels—the Inner Sea's never really been the right place for dragon riders, so I wanted to make sure they got their own nation somewhere.
Liavara and Bretheda: Just my ideas of what life might be like on a gas world, and all the moons gave me chances to play with fun astronomical phenomena like tidal heating or Europa-style oceans that I couldn't fit in elsewhere.
Apostae: Captured objects and generation ships! There are a million books dealing with both, but lets give the nod to Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama.
Aucturn: Lovecraft, all the time.
Pretty much everything else came from my brain—making up craziness is the best part of this job, after all! Hope that helps shed some light without killing the magic. :)
Ross Byers wrote:
Still workin' on those parts—stay tuned. :)
Ross Byers wrote:
So, serious question, what does the Tor contract mean for the backlog of Pathfinder Journals and Webfiction that has not yet been compiled into ePubs?
The short fiction and journals will continue to be compiled and sold as epubs on paizo.com as normal. We've just been super busy recently, and it's a ways down on Ye Olde To-Do Liste. :P
Hey everybody! Sorry to let this thread languish so long, but I was on vacation.
Regarding Pathfinder Tales ebooks: At least initially, they'll be sold by third parties—pretty much all the major players, now including Kindle! One of the big plusses of this deal is that we can finally, *finally* get the books on Kindle, which folks have been asking for on these threads forever. There will be links on Paizo's product pages that let you buy the ebooks from the vendor of your choice. The MSRP on these is $9.99, though individual sites have the ability to discount and make deals as they wish.
I agree that it's unfortunate that there's not a "subscribe" option under this model. It's certainly something we'd love to have, it's just unclear at this point whether there's a way to do it technologically and contractually when people are buying through the other vendors.
If it's seemed at times that not all the information was available, it's because we've been figuring this thing out as quickly as possible, trying to get everything arranged on very short timelines. Trust me, it's not subterfuge—you're just watching our internal processes work in real-time. :)
Regarding the price increase, and whether this counts as a "money grab"... I'm afraid that's really up to you to decide. What I can tell you is that it's really, really hard to make money on mass-market paperbacks unless you're selling a HUGE amount—the price is simply too low, once you factor in the printing costs and the bookseller's discount. Presuming you pay your authors and artists a decent rate—which we do—you can sell thousands of copies of a book before you get close to breaking even.
When we started Pathfinder Tales, we chose mass market because it seemed like the default, and because it's what we all had such fond memories of—certainly when I was a kid, most of what I owned were mass-market paperbacks. But the market has changed since I was a kid. More and more publishers are moving to trade paperback because you simply can't make money on print unless you're publishing an increasingly small list of Big Names. If we were starting Pathfinder Tales now, there would be no question that we'd go trade paperback.
The changes—the price bumps, the new size, the partnership with Tor, being able to sell on Kindle—are necessary to help the line grow and thrive. We need the books to be a competitive price and sell more copies so that we can do right by our authors, our game, and our partners.
It's important to me to keep the books as cheap as possible. But it's also important to me to get the best authors I can, and to reach as many readers as I can. Sometimes those two conflict. And in the end, as steward of these amazing books that my authors have poured their blood and tears into, I have to opt for whatever is going to get the books out to the most people. This isn't about trading old readers for new, it's about growing beyond what we can do on our own. And while paying more is obviously never going to be folks' preference, I hope that the price increase of at most $30 a year isn't going to break the bank for most readers.
Thanks for understanding!
Aww, thank you! I'm very much looking forward to doing another Salim book under Tor's aegis, I've just been stymied by the fact that it apparently takes me a *really long time* to write a novel. :P
Actually, for a while I was considering holding off releasing The Redemption Engine until things with Tor were finalized, but I figured I'd already made people wait two years for a sequel, and three would just be ridiculous...
Yeah, I love what Gary did with the Aspis Consortium in this one, and how the book's two adventuring parties contrast with each other. Even though one is definitely the "good guy" party, he does an excellent job of humanizing everyone. I particularly like Morvius (the fighter) and his arc... I think he and Valeros would probably be great drinking buddies. :)
The Numerator wrote:
Thank you, Numerator—that's been exactly our thought process throughout all of this. It's always a careful balance between what's best in the short term (for the customer, for the company, for the brand) and the long term, and the six different perspectives rarely line up. But I'm really excited about where this change is already letting me take the line. :)
@John: Font size was definitely a concern for us as well! Pretty much everyone in our editorial pit wears glasses, so readability is more than just a philosophical issue around here. ;)
It's true! I talk about them a bit in the backmatter as well. :)
How did the Army of Exploration reach Amanandar by ship if Amanandar is inland and the entire western coast, bar a few port cities, is blocked by the wall of heaven?
That's a question for Rob, I'm afraid! He's the biggest Taldor fan on staff, and maybe the biggest Tian Xia fan as well, so he gets to make that call. :)