News: Paizo is partnering with Tor for Pathfinder Tales Novels!


Tales

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James Sutter wrote:
2) At the moment, we're not sure whether we'll continue to be able to give out free electronic copies with physical copy subscriptions—it's possible that people may have to buy one or the other. On the plus side, we *will* be offering a big 30% discount to make sure that the books remain roughly the same price folks are used to.

If the included digital copy goes away, I would be very sad. I don't think I'd be sad enough to stop my subscription, but I would be sad. I tend to read the digital and physical copy concurrently. During lunch, I'll read the book on my iPad. At night before bed, I pull out the physical copy and read it by red filtered flashlight (so as not to bother my sleeping wife).

I'll continue to follow this, and I know Paizo will do a great job keeping us informed of what decisions they make and why. It's one of the things you do well as a company! :)


Bob Hopp wrote:
TimD wrote:

Sad (and surprised Paizo would go with Tor).

-TimD

TimD, would you care to expand on why you linked that particular blog post? I'm sure you were trying to make a point, but I don't get it.

Sure.

Paizo is a co-sponser of GenCon, and has been for at least two years (the oldest reference I've found is to 2013, but it may be longer).
Given Tor's published opinion, I found it odd that Paizo would enter into a business agreement with them. I'd rather not derail the thread more than that, but if you're interested, here is a far more extensive conversation regarding the linked article and the response from one author (who is also a minority and a gamer) to it.

Managing Editor

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Just to shed some light on the decision, there are two main reasons Paizo partnered with Tor:

1) It's the largest science fiction and fantasy imprint in the world, publishing iconic SF&F books ranging from Wheel of Time to Ender's Game.

2) Tor and Paizo already had several personal friendships tying them together. (For instance, I'm pretty sure that our senior sales guy Pierce Watters and Tom Doherty, Tor's founder, have been friends for longer than I've been alive...)

Those two things combined made us a perfect fit, and I'm super excited to have been a part of making it happen!

As far as the Tor.com article goes, while I don't want to get into an in-depth discussion of that particular essay, I want to make a couple of general points:

1) Tor.com is an online magazine owned by the company, not a blog or company editorial, and the author of that essay was a freelancer, not Tor staff. They run lots of different articles from authors with different viewpoints.

2) Regardless of how people feel about that particular article, gaming culture *does* have a race problem. It's something Paizo staff have been saying for a long time, and is one of the reasons why we try to make our iconics and other key characters diverse in terms of ethnicity (and gender, and sexuality, and body type, and...). Again, I don't want to get into the specifics of that article's points or approach--they're his words, not mine--but the fact that Tor.com would publish something about the issue of race in gaming (which is really just a subset of race in science fiction and fantasy) is yet another reason for us to respect them.

In my mind, our industry is getting more inclusive, but it still has a long way to go. So as much as it may hurt sometimes to have someone tell me "You're not doing enough!", I try to remember that anger is usually a symptom of hurt, and that trying to make our hobby more inclusive isn't an attack on it—it's an attempt to help it grow and flourish. Because when more people feel welcome in this space, everyone wins.

Just my two cents.


Thanks for sharing, James.

I think that Paizo is doing the right things for the right reasons and in the right ways - I wish I could say the same thing about Tor (or at least whomever it is there that makes their website decisions, especially in their moderation choices).


I hope this means we can get paper books in shops in the UK. The current ones seem totally unavailable, and shipping from Paizo is prohibitive.

Mind you, the increased size and cost puts me off anyway so perhaps I'll buy a Kindle.

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber

If I'm not mistaken, Tor generally tends to put out all their ebooks DRM free. I hope this is the case!

Will Pathfinder Tales novels still be available DRM-free? Will they be available in epub format?

I will be very sad if the option to get DRM-free ebooks goes away. As a matter of principle, I avoid buying ebooks that are encumbered by DRM. (Not sure I've ever done it, but I have purchased quite a number of ebooks, including every Pathfinder Tales novel but the one I got as swag at PaizoCon 2013.)

Sovereign Court

Count me as one who would end the subscription if the included electronic copy ends. I'll probably just switch to picking up the odd ebook at amazon every now and then.


I want to clarify my above statement. If the included digital copy for subscribers goes away, I won't cancel my subscription.

I WILL have to evaluate whether to start picking up the digital copies on the side, but I won't be cancelling over it.

Managing Editor

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The new ebooks from Tor will indeed be DRM-free!

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber

Cool... what formats will they be available in?


Will we have the option to decide if we want our subscription to switch to digital or hard copy?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Mudfoot wrote:
I hope this means we can get paper books in shops in the UK. The current ones seem totally unavailable, and shipping from Paizo is prohibitive.

Any retailer who buys from one of our distributors should be able to buy *any* Paizo product that's still in print from that same distributor. If you are not finding what you are looking for, please give your retailer a gentle prod to order it from their distributor.

Managing Editor

Lord Zeb wrote:

Will we have the option to decide if we want our subscription to switch to digital or hard copy?

Still figuring those parts out. :P

Managing Editor

rknop wrote:
Cool... what formats will they be available in?

I'm not aware of any major formats they *won't* be in—Tor distributes through Kindle, Nook, iTunes, etc...

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber

OK. I'm kinda hoping epub books will still be available, as that seems to be the closest thing to a "Lingua Franca" for ebooks.

(That, and PDF for stuff where the layout really matters. Both are openly defined and non-proprietary formats.)


Elf_NFB wrote:
Count me as one who would end the subscription if the included electronic copy ends.

I would also, probably end my tales subscription if the inclusion of a digital copy ceases, it will largely depend on how much i will be called to pay for the tale in June when compared to how much i pay now for tales (taking into account the better quality of paper of course).

PS. I am not asking for the kindle version of the digital book, an epub or even a simple pdf is enough for me.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

So far, from an existing customer's POV, I'm seeing a lot of downsides, for no compensating upsides.

1) Dealing with Tor, who didn't bother reply to my email when I was trying to find out where an international customer could actually buy their ebooks. Admittedly they've made their books a lot more available to international customers since then, but I've still got a sour taste in my mouth.

2) New book size which doesn't match the previous ones, or even fit on the same shelf.

3) The possibility of losing the digital portion of my subscription, for no change in price.

OK, the first point is purely personal, and is regarding another company's poor service which isn't Paizo's fault, the second is also more a personal peeve rather than anything actually damaging to me, but losing the ebook from the physical subscription would be a real cut to service for the same money.

I dunno whether I'd cancel over it from the information we've been given at this point, but I have to admit I wouldn't be a happy customer either.


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I heard that Erik Mona, through his superior negotiating skills, has gotten TOR to also bring back Planet Stories! Erik and Pierce will retain control over the series while TOR will bring greater distribution and deeper pockets for negotiating with authors, publishers retaining rights, and literary estates.

Maybe creating and spreading a rumor will make it happen.


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Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

That's funny, I heard the exact same thing.

Hmm...maybe we can do an auxiliary one about how Tor's involvement means they can afford China Mièville now?

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Alas, Planet Stories is not a part of this deal, and remains in cryosleep for its long journey between stars.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

What was planet stories? Was it golarion-related?


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

It was Paizo's dipping toe-dipping in the fiction market - publishing novels and novellas from classic sci-fi writers. Sadly, it did apparently didn't do well enough to remain out of cryo.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Geez, Steve, you didn't subscribe to Planet Stories? I thought you got two of everything Paizo produced just on principle. ;)

(Template and Who Fears the Devil? were the best, IMO.)

Scarab Sages

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Erik Mona wrote:
Alas, Planet Stories is not a part of this deal, and remains in cryosleep for its long journey between stars.

Boo! Hiss!


I have to say that I am super excited to have Pathfinder Tales available in Kindle format soon. To appease my hubby, I have had to reduce the volume of paper books I bring into the house (as I typically am VERY reluctant to part with them later), so I try very hard not to buy paper books (no, I'm not perfect, especially when the used book store offers a $10 bag sale. 25 cents a paperback? I'm in!)

Taking the existing e-format and trying to convert it so I can read it on my Kindle is a daunting task I've not felt up to trying, and the one time I looked, I couldn't find a clear how-to guide. That's too much work, especially compared to Kindle's one-click and I've got it in my hot little hands format.

I am relatively new (been playing it for ~2 years) to Pathfinder (but not RPGs), so there is a huge backlog of books I'd like to read and I would love to see the older books available for Kindle. You can be sure I'll be buying the new ones for Kindle as they become available.

As another plus, I can probably interest my teenage son in reading the Kindle editions, where I have had little success getting him to read the paperbacks I have managed to borrow from friends. Kids love their gadgets.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Joana wrote:

Geez, Steve, you didn't subscribe to Planet Stories? I thought you got two of everything Paizo produced just on principle. ;)

(Template and Who Fears the Devil? were the best, IMO.)

Who Fears the Devil? was great! I'm going to have to disagree about Template: Robots Have No Tails was much better.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Joana wrote:

Geez, Steve, you didn't subscribe to Planet Stories? I thought you got two of everything Paizo produced just on principle. ;)

(Template and Who Fears the Devil? were the best, IMO.)

I'm generally a little slow on the uptake - somehow I missed that subscription. :(

Thanks for the recommendations, though. I'll have a look and see what's still in stock.


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I really hope Paizo will continue to sell the EPUB on their site despite this announcement. I own a normal ebook reader, and it has always been simple to just copy the books on my device.

I’ve looked around to try to find some website that sells DRM-free EPUB from Tor and I can’t find a single one.


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I don't like the trade size paperbacks. I have never found them to be in anyway better than the mass market paperbacks. The larger size and larger price are reasons NOT to buy them. Most trade paperbacks and hardcovers I bought were second hand copies. The new hardcover I bought was from Baen because it came with a cd that had a couple dozen free books by the same author and others.
I like the subscription because I get the e-book and the physical book. The larger trade size will mean that the book cost will go up and my international shipping costs will increase significantly. If I no longer get the e-book as well then I have no reason to spend more to get less.


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Awesome partnership, congratulations!!!

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber

I also am really really hoping that EPUB is still available. As best I can tell, it's the most transportable ebook format. It also works well with the reader I like to use on my device, and is what I've used to read all the Pathfinder Tales up to now (with one exception, where I had a physical copy).

Sovereign Court

Steve Geddes wrote:
What was planet stories? Was it golarion-related?

I met Mr Mona the year Pathfinder BETA rules came out at GenCon. I asked him what he would recommend in the Planet Stories. I don't remember what he told me.... but since I got the entire run, I figure he succeeded in selling me on the line. I've since been trying to find MORE of that old fiction. Anyone have a copy of Year of the Angry Rabbit I can buy... reasonably priced? :)


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As a subscriber, I'm fine with the switch. Getting both physical and digital copies has been FABULOUS in the past, but truthfully I'm surprised that deal has remained as long as it has (which to me shows Paizo's loyalty to their fans). Where else do you get both types for the price of one? Music, Bluray, B&N, Amazon... All of them make you buy both formats separately, or perhaps bundle both together for 30-60% more than the price of physical alone. But here, I have dozens of essentially free ePubs, for which I am thankful.

But people are correct: for the current subscriber, this isn't a better deal than what we've had. But this deal with Tor isn't about the current subscribers. It's about getting the Pathfinder brand to thousands of Fantasy fans worldwide, many of whom don't even know Golarion exists (err... sort of exists?). This can only strengthen Paizo's support base, which will ensure that we continue to get many more years' worth of awesome, high quality fiction in this world we've all come to love!

How many of us were introduced to TTRPGs through the old Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, Dark Sun, or Ravenloft novels? That was my original inlet (here's to you Fizban!), and I see this deal as positioning Pathfinder Tales as potentially being bigger than the D&D brands of the 80s and 90s. That would be fabulous for our game and the future of our fiction line.

So in the short term, "what's in it for me" sense, the deal isn't great for us. But if having to choose only one format for my subscription means that I can have conversations with random strangers about Radovan & Jeggare, Salim, Rodrick & Hrym, and Torius Vin, simply because I'm wearing a Pathfinder tee shirt (which, oddly enough, happened to me today), then that is very good news for all of us!


@The Numerator: I agree with everything you say except for the 'for the current subscriber, this isn't a better deal than what we've had.'

For me getting a trade size paperbacks at the same price as a mass market paperbacks is definitely a better deal for me at least. As I have found I like them better. Also the larger print means I can get friends to read PF novels who did not before due to issues with small print.

As for the free pdf with the subscription...I get major eye strain issue when I read something on a computer screen for long periods of time. Also I thought it was still up in the air about the free pdf...

I know this is about me specifically and I am probably in a minority. But I think for some this is a better deal.

Executive Editor

The Numerator wrote:

As a subscriber, I'm fine with the switch. Getting both physical and digital copies has been FABULOUS in the past, but truthfully I'm surprised that deal has remained as long as it has (which to me shows Paizo's loyalty to their fans). Where else do you get both types for the price of one? Music, Bluray, B&N, Amazon... All of them make you buy both formats separately, or perhaps bundle both together for 30-60% more than the price of physical alone. But here, I have dozens of essentially free ePubs, for which I am thankful.

But people are correct: for the current subscriber, this isn't a better deal than what we've had. But this deal with Tor isn't about the current subscribers. It's about getting the Pathfinder brand to thousands of Fantasy fans worldwide, many of whom don't even know Golarion exists (err... sort of exists?). This can only strengthen Paizo's support base, which will ensure that we continue to get many more years' worth of awesome, high quality fiction in this world we've all come to love!

How many of us were introduced to TTRPGs through the old Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, Dark Sun, or Ravenloft novels? That was my original inlet (here's to you Fizban!), and I see this deal as positioning Pathfinder Tales as potentially being bigger than the D&D brands of the 80s and 90s. That would be fabulous for our game and the future of our fiction line.

So in the short term, "what's in it for me" sense, the deal isn't great for us. But if having to choose only one format for my subscription means that I can have conversations with random strangers about Radovan & Jeggare, Salim, Rodrick & Hrym, and Torius Vin, simply because I'm wearing a Pathfinder tee shirt (which, oddly enough, happened to me today), then that is very good news for all of us!

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. ;)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Numerator - I realize this is good news for the line. I don't feel betrayed or anything. Paizo absolutely should make the right choice for its business. I'll still be able to read all of these (awesome) books.

But since I started subscribing to Tales, for me at least, it has shifted from 'buying a print book and getting a free ePub' to 'buying an early-release ePub and getting a free print book to go on my shelf.'

I carry my tablet every day. It doesn't get wavy when in the next pocket from my used gym clothes. I can seamlessly switch from one book to another if I finish one (instead of starting to carry a second book when I get near the end of the first.) I can even read on my phone if I've left my tablet behind.

Often, I've finished the ePub by the time the physical copy reaches my house - it's a trophy more than a book.

So if I'm no longer getting a free ePub with a print book (or a free print book with an ePub), I'm going to have to choose the electronic book. (Do note, even two years ago, I never thought I would say something like that.)

So I can't help feeling a little disappointed that I'm going to have to cancel my subscription, and wait till retail release dates to buy my eBooks, possibly from another vendor entirely (instead of directly from Paizo.)


All for more Cunningham!


James Sutter wrote:
@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. ;)

*pushes up a pair of glasses* Tell me about it.

Also has there been any development of the status of the free pdf w/ subscription?


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
John Kretzer wrote:
Also has there been any development of the status of the free pdf w/ subscription?

From here:

James Sutter wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:

Has there been any news on the subject of Pathfinder Tales Subscriber eBooks with the Tor licensing stuff?

I'm anxious about the future of my subscription.

My understanding is that the print subscriptions will no longer include a free ebook. Sorry. :\


That's funny Ross, I had the exact same experience!

Before subscribing to the Tales line, I was an outspoken critic of eBooks... I believed (and still do to some extent) that print is important to maintain, and it is up to us bookworms to vote with our dollars in order to ensure publishers have a market. I had an SFBC subscription for years, with the intent that eventually I'd just auto-buy at lease one book each month (but found I rarely had the interest in many of the books to justify the expanse). Once I found the Tales line (thanks Itchy!), I found the venue I was hoping for in the SFBC.

Initially the ePubs were just a novelty, and I really just wanted the hard copy to read. I had an iPad I would use to GM, but rarely read the fiction out of it. Then I went on a cruise, and decided to try out the ePubs in lieu of packing (and probably destroying) my brand new books. That week, I skimmed Inner Sea Gods, the NPC Codex, Ultimate Campaign, and 3 Tales Novels in one week (and thanks to that thread about Calibre, I even had the web fiction that tied into each of the Novels). I haven't looked back!

Since then, like you my hard copies are now mostly shelf decorations, and if I needed to choose a format would 100% go ePub. I love the flexibility of switching between prepping an AP, reviewing a new Rule book, or diving into a Novel without needing to worry about which book I am slowly destroying when I'm out and about. Also, my CRB is thankful, as I'm not sure its spine could take much more travel!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

There hasn't been an official announcement yet (the Subscription product page still says

Quote:
More information on how this change will affect subscribers will be available soon!

, but it has said that for two months.

One possibility is that the issue isn't quite settled yet, so there is a glimmer of hope.

The other, possibly more likely, is that we will not see an official announcement until after Forge of Ashes ships to subscribers, because it is potentially confusing and bad for business to say that free ePubs are going away when there are still future books that would get free ePubs.


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Makes sense...

That said, Mr Sutter, I would have a great interest in seeing if Paizo could work out a digital subscription for the line. Work and kids make it very hard to keep up with all the publications, and I use the subscription in lieu of research (i.e. I know a new book is out when it arrives in the mail). In addition, I love having all of my Pathfinder downloads in one place.

I wouldn't want to know about how all the monies work in the new deal, but I typically like buying my Pathfinder loot directly from Paizo. I could get many of the books cheaper on Amazon, but I don't mind paying a little extra knowing that I'm helping to support the company, and that Paizo is not having to share a part with a large retailer. I'd imagine that would be the same if you still sell the ePubs of the new Tales. Do you have any idea when you may know if an ePub subscription would be possible?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Ross Byers wrote:
I carry my tablet every day. It doesn't get wavy when in the next pocket from my used gym clothes.

I can solve that last problem for you—get an iPhone 6!


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@The Numerator

Well i understand how it might work for you but there are some people like me that the new deal is considerable worse than the current one.
I wouldn't benefit at all from the increased market because not a lot of people read book in english and even less of them read fantasy novels and even less read from an electronic format, so i wouldn't get what you are describing about meeting people who knew about the novels and could talk about them with them.
I also contend with the size of the books and the quality of the paper as it is now but i can understand the need for better quality paper (and font size!!!) and i would be happy to pay a little more for the increased quality (and the slightly increased shipping that comes with it).
I can understand why Paizo wants to increase the market of the novels, i also understand how that might increase the market for the game as well, it just doesn't sit very well with me that i (the current customer of both the novels and the game) have to pay for that.
But as it seems now i would be paying more (considerable more if it turns out that the 15% discount from AP subscription won't apply anymore) for something i didn't want/need and getting considerable less (no epub version of the book). As it is now i will seriously consider dropping my subscription and only buying the novels that really want to buy (mostly the Sutter and Dave Gross ones) from wherever it's cheaper to do so in whatever format i can afford at the time.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
I carry my tablet every day. It doesn't get wavy when in the next pocket from my used gym clothes.
I can solve that last problem for you—get an iPhone 6!

Only the 6 plus has the bendable feature, although strangely enough, mine still refuses to. (Then again, the Otterbox I put it in, might have something to do with it, but I had it for months before I got the case.)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Vic Wertz wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
I carry my tablet every day. It doesn't get wavy when in the next pocket from my used gym clothes.
I can solve that last problem for you—get an iPhone 6!

Step 1: Make a phone large enough it must be put in back, rather than front, pockets

Step 2: Act surprised when people sit on their phones

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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It's official, the ePub subscription benefit will be ending as of Lord of Runes.

I still hope that digital copies will be available from Paizo, instead of needing to visit the iBookstore. I'm also interested in knowing what the price point of digital versions of the books will be going forward.


The description that shows them as mass-market books says they come out every 3 months. Those cost me w/ a sub $8.50.

The description for them as TPB's says they come out every other month. Those would cost me w/ my sub $12.00.

That's a big increase in the budget for the year. I could maybe justify the big increase in price if they still came out quarterly, but I think not for 6x/year.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

They've been coming out every other month for some time. Also, the subscription discount is now 30% (instead of 15% from your pathfinder Advantage), so they're $10.50, not $12.

Edit: Or at least I thought they were 6/year...There are 28 of them including the announced ones, which come up to 5 years (Prince of Wolves was GenCon 2010)..so that's been nearly 6 a year.


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Lord of Runes is showing on Amazon as a $10.05 preorder, to be released on June 2.

Effectively, not including international shipping, the price for getting a similar amount of product to the old subscription just doubled, with at least a few weeks extra delay before the digital version is available compared to previously.

I'm finding it very hard to see any positives at all from an existing customer's viewpoint.

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