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Response to LMPjr007 re: PDF-aversion


Compatible Products from Other Publishers

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Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

I'm not fussy either way, but I tend to have a lower spending threshhold on PDF products (generally $7-10 for non-Paizo and $10-12 for Paizo), mostly to mitigate impulse buying.

What I prefer is to have the print/pdf combo option for a number of reasons:
I can hand the book around at the table when a player has a question, or is curious about an idea they want to explore. While I still have my own copy open on my lappy, desktop or e-reader.
Sometimes I want to cross-reference books (when I'm writing adventures), and it's easier to have physical books open while alt+tabbing.
Sometimes I want to have the information available to copy+paste rather than rewriting the information all over again.

Hope that helps.


I have players that have to have books. Usually its the nostalgia of it all. Flipping through a book can be very satisfying. Most of my gaming groups either have or use PDFs however.

On a personal note I mainly use PDFs to DM. I use a laptop while DMing and I usually do most of my prep from my Desktop. However if a product is offered in both forms I get both. I have a collector mentality when it comes to Tabletop. I refuse to buy games that are money sinks like the collector card games or miniature games, but when I can look at my fully stocked Tabletop book shelves I get a giddy feeling.

So I guess I like both if that's a side.

Honestly my entire group has at least bought the core books and we all LOVE the PFSRD. Single most helpful item I use. I wonder if it would be possible to have a One time Subscription to a ONLINE AP. Now that would be a great experiment. Pay the 12 bucks or whatever and get access to a fully searchable website for your AP. Something that would hold the AP, printable maps, links to the mobs, NPC write ups... maybe even random generated loot or monster encounters.

Anyone else think this would be cool?


I buy books at my local game store, they deserve a piece of the cake too ihmo. And atleast my local game store doesn't sell pdf's.
Thus I don't buy pdf's.

An other problem is that I don't have a credit card and I don't have a tablet pc.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Dragonamedrake wrote:

I wonder if it would be possible to have a One time Subscription to a ONLINE AP. Now that would be a great experiment. Pay the 12 bucks or whatever and get access to a fully searchable website for your AP. Something that would hold the AP, printable maps, links to the mobs, NPC write ups... maybe even random generated loot or monster encounters.

Anyone else think this would be cool?

It would be cool, but I can't help thinking that the resources required to mount such a project would mean anything like that would still be some years off for Paizo. Maybe an online resource bank or something similar might be an idea for Pathfinder 2, but let's wait and see what impact (if any) D&D Next has on the revenue stream.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
theneofish wrote:
Dragonamedrake wrote:

I wonder if it would be possible to have a One time Subscription to a ONLINE AP. Now that would be a great experiment. Pay the 12 bucks or whatever and get access to a fully searchable website for your AP. Something that would hold the AP, printable maps, links to the mobs, NPC write ups... maybe even random generated loot or monster encounters.

Anyone else think this would be cool?

It would be cool, but I can't help thinking that the resources required to mount such a project would mean anything like that would still be some years off for Paizo. Maybe an online resource bank or something similar might be an idea for Pathfinder 2, but let's wait and see what impact (if any) D&D Next has on the revenue stream.

Not exactly what you are talking about, but you should check out Adventureaweek.com.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
xorial wrote:


Not exactly what you are talking about, but you should check out Adventureaweek.com.

Does indeed, but as my previous comments make clear, I don't buy pdf only :) Happy to access online / pdf content, but only where it supports something physical.

Sounds ideal for the tablet / laptop folk, however.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
gamer-printer wrote:

While POD is a great way to release printed books one at a time, it isn't very cost effective, compared to standard large volume printing. POD printing costs more per individual print - which makes the cover price higher. While large volume printing is more cost effective, it is only so if you can successfully sell your product in volume. And anyone in the RPG industry knows that large volume sales for anything RPG is not a realistic approach. What is successful for RPG sales is often dismal compared to anything else in print.

While I personally prefer a printed product, especially for use in game, getting such a product into my hands is more difficult and expensive than what someone might normally think.

This actually seems to be exactly the point of POD.

I realize what you said about layout, but once that's done, releasing your product via a POD service doesn't actually cost you anything, does it?

Can't you put your product out there, and those who want to buy it can do so, and those who don't, well, don't?

Are we being told that, by tweaking the layout for POD, a PDF-only publisher is going to lose money?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
theneofish wrote:
xorial wrote:


Not exactly what you are talking about, but you should check out Adventureaweek.com.

Does indeed, but as my previous comments make clear, I don't buy pdf only :) Happy to access online / pdf content, but only where it supports something physical.

Sounds ideal for the tablet / laptop folk, however.

It is, but not because of the PDFs. It is because the adventure is actually designed to be run from the website. The original format is web based & hyperlinked to the d20PFSRD with Hero Lab files for the encounters.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

For those who say they prefer to read a book in bed, or to use a book to run the game; doesn't this depend on whether the book is capable of lying flat?

The hardbacks are OK to have open behind the screen, as are some of the shorter modules, but don't people find the binding on an AP instalment unwieldy, forcing the book shut, unless it's weighted, possibly creasing it?

I find that while I like to have the book to hand, for info that I'm going to reference regularly, like statblocks and maps, I'll print these out (often after a bit of cut'n'paste), so I can have them 'open' simultaneously. And I can write amendments all over them.


Brian E. Harris wrote:

I realize what you said about layout, but once that's done, releasing your product via a POD service doesn't actually cost you anything, does it?

Can't you put your product out there, and those who want to buy it can do so, and those who don't, well, don't?

Are we being told that, by tweaking the layout for POD, a PDF-only publisher is going to lose money?

No, I'm just saying it's extra cost. Rite Publishing released Frozen Wind a free PDF adventure back on Halloween last year with many downloads since. We decided to make it available as a POD printed book at Lightening Source and it took some fairly major changes to the original layout (alteration of the page borders, resizing of some illustrations and reformating tables) - it was from a page layout point of view, a lot of work to finally conform to the printers needs.

I'm not saying if a publisher goes POD he's going to lose money at all. Its just more work and more cost, that's all.

Another problem though is I can't sell that POD printed book at the Paizo store.


gamer-printer wrote:
Brian E. Harris wrote:

I realize what you said about layout, but once that's done, releasing your product via a POD service doesn't actually cost you anything, does it?

Can't you put your product out there, and those who want to buy it can do so, and those who don't, well, don't?

Are we being told that, by tweaking the layout for POD, a PDF-only publisher is going to lose money?

No, I'm just saying it's extra cost. Rite Publishing released Frozen Wind a free PDF adventure back on Halloween last year with many downloads since. We decided to make it available as a POD printed book at Lightening Source and it took some fairly major changes to the original layout (alteration of the page borders, resizing of some illustrations and reformating tables) - it was from a page layout point of view, a lot of work to finally conform to the printers needs.

Well I let you in on a little secret I learned recently about Lightning Source. If you go DIRECTLY to LS and pay the $75 to have them do the POD of your book, you DON"T have to do all the re-layout work.

Let me say it again slowly so you can let this sink in: If you go directly to LS, and NOT use a service like RPGNOW, and pay the $75 to have them do the POD of your book, you DON"T have to do all the re-layout work.

I initially tested this with a book I sent to POD, but going directly with LS does cost me $75 per book title set up. Now while I don't like to pay the $75 for each new title I have to send to them, I do like that I can call my contact at LS directly, he answers my phone calls and questions directly (a sales guys that actually knows printing?, talk about a winning combo) and most importantly FIXES MY ISSUES. Now that means you can't sell PDF & POD combo at RPGNow or DriveThruRPG, but you could sell them at Paizo.com minus their cut or directly at your website where you don't have to split the money with anyone.

How you like them apples?

Quote:

I'm not saying if a publisher goes POD he's going to lose money at all. Its just more work and more cost, that's all.

Another problem though is I can't sell that POD printed book at the Paizo store.

Why not? I do right here.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Incidentally, that's still showing as a preorder - and since I've already got one that's presumably incorrect. Maybe it's the POD-ness which is messing with the system?


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Snorter wrote:

For those who say they prefer to read a book in bed, or to use a book to run the game; doesn't this depend on whether the book is capable of lying flat?

The hardbacks are OK to have open behind the screen, as are some of the shorter modules, but don't people find the binding on an AP instalment unwieldy, forcing the book shut, unless it's weighted, possibly creasing it?

I find the sturdier books better than the flimsy ones, yes. But I still like the paperbacks better than the PDFs.

.
I'm currently reading a bunch of Swords and Wizardry PDFs, but purely because my print copies are a significant way off. Every time I do I'm reminded of how much I dont like it and how much more value there is (to me) in a print copy.

In running a game, I generally have a combination of post-it bookmarks and a pad of paper with scribbled notes.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I buy both PDF and books, but I print the majority of the PDFs I purchase out, and put them in binders, if there is no book option. For running the APs, I print out the module and run it from the print out, I can keep notes, write on it, etc. without ruining my investment into the original AP. I like to use the PDFs when doing research, but love having the printed version on my shelf. I figure if it is good enough to purchase, I will spend a few extra dollars and try to get the hard back version. That is one thing about Kickstarter that I really like, I am able to get hard copies of many of the books. I also really like the extra $s Frog God puts into their binding, but they most likely sell more hard covers than the average 3pp, I don't have any data, just a guess. My wife has an e-reader, I don't know if I will ever go there, still love reading fiction via a paper back or hard back.

I didn't know that the costs associated with the POD, while not high, for a single book, adds up if you do multiple books over a year.

Great thread, I enjoy reading everyone's opinion on this subject, no real right or wrong answer here.

Cheers,

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

LMPjr007 wrote:

Well I let you in on a little secret I learned recently about Lightning Source. If you go DIRECTLY to LS and pay the $75 to have them do the POD of your book, you DON"T have to do all the re-layout work.

Let me say it again slowly so you can let this sink in: If you go directly to LS, and NOT use a service like RPGNOW, and pay the $75 to have them do the POD of your book, you DON"T have to do all the re-layout work.

Seriously, I've used the same PDF for CreateSpace POD printing and Lightning Source printing via RPGNow. And then I take that same PDF, optimize it, and use it for the PDF release.

I'm confused as to needing to relayout at all.

If Lightning Source is the most restrictive (and it sounds like they are), do the original layout with them in mind and save $75...

What do you need to do direct to Lightning Source that's different with the RPGNow POD interface? As I recall when setting it up, the only issue my PDF had was that it wasn't a particular PDF standard, so I re-exported from InDesign in that format and everything was golden.


Jeremy Smith wrote:
Seriously, I've used the same PDF for CreateSpace POD printing and Lightning Source printing via RPGNow. And then I take that same PDF, optimize it, and use it for the PDF release.

I been doing layout now for 20 years and LS set-up requirement are unlike any I have every seen, espcially when I use them thru RPGNow/DriveThruRPG.

Quote:
I'm confused as to needing to relayout at all.

I have heard that from a lot of designers I know.

Quote:
If Lightning Source is the most restrictive (and it sounds like they are), do the original layout with them in mind and save $75...

The only problem with that is it cause problem if you have or are using other POD services like Lulu. Color books in Lulu work exactly the same as there B&W book so you can submit one file for both versions. LS doesn't work that way and you have to submit two different files.

Quote:
What do you need to do direct to Lightning Source that's different with the RPGNow POD interface? As I recall when setting it up, the only issue my PDF had was that it wasn't a particular PDF standard, so I re-exported from InDesign in that format and everything was golden.

I sent the same exact file to LS direct and RPGNow/DriveThruRPG at the same time. The finished LS version was sent to me in about 2 weeks and was 100% correct. The RPGNow/DriveThruRPG took near 6 weeks to get a copy sent to me. Th file had to be resubmitted twice (they said there were issues with the file) and when it can back to me was printed incorrectly and had several issues with transparencies on images. The file that were sent were the SAM FILE for both, so I don't know what RPGNow/DriveThruRPG is doing with my file but I know something isn't right.

Here is something to think about also, RPGNow/DriveThruRPG is taking roughly 50% of the cost of a print book with their percentage and the cost to print, with LS direct I just pay the print cost which can be as low as 20% of the cover cost. Would you rather have 80% when you sell direct OR 50% when you sell there another party?

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

No, keep in mind, I'm going to be working with LS directly for my hardcover. I'd just rather avoid the $75 charge if I can avoid it.

And I do sell directly :P

But I use CreateSpace for my printing, because their costs per unit in B&W are cheaper than Lightning Source.

Since CreateSpace doesn't offer hard cover (well, they do, but it's vanity printing, not a robust option), I'll be using LS for hardcover only.

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