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


Tales

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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

That's good.

It's still a price rise, but not huge (it's also a bigger book). At least the people who were subscribed still have a somewhat similar option (albeit more convoluted and not automatic).

Sovereign Court

Elf_NFB wrote:

I'm not angry. I'm not screaming. But I did cancel my subscription. At this point, I would prefer the ebook to the physical copy. Paying a bit more to get the physical copy AND the digital was fine by me. Since that isn't an option... ah well...

I will get the ebooks and pick and choose the physical copies for my "collection." of course, the first book IS a Dave Gross Jeggare book. And because it is, I find out this....

I ordered the physical copy at Amazon for $11.24 (25% off the cover or $3.75 cheaper). Then I returned later to check something (the spelling of "Jeggare") and guess what I see? Rather than going to the page for the physical copy, I went to the ebook page. And since I've purchased the dead-tree edition, I can now order the digital copy for $2.99 under something called "Book Match."

In other words, the physical and the digital versions for roughly the price of the physical copy alone.

That I have to look into.

I hate to buy from Amazon over Paizo but paizo limits my choices so Ihave to go where I can save.


And Paizo has stated more than once that, although they like customers to buy from here (because Paizo gets a bigger cut that way), they encourage folks to buy their products wherever it is most convenient for the customer.

I have not cancelled my sub yet, but I also may take a look at that "Book Match" option on Amazon.

I have a question for anyone who has looked into the other digital book providers. Paizo was providing an ePub and a PDF of the books. Is the PDF available from any of the ebook sellers or is it only ePub/Mobi/[insert proprietary format here]? I was just starting to get into reading them as pdf's instead of as ePubs. If I can only get ePub going forward, then I'll survive.

Dark Archive Contributor

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I didn't realize the book match was such a deep discount. I might start taking advantage of that when I buy audiobooks. The one I'm listening to now has many names I wish I could see spelled.

Maybe Audible will still let me have the discount since it remembers my purchases. To the Batcafe!*

* That was a typo, but then I fell a little bit in love with it.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Dave Gross wrote:

To the Batcafe!*

* That was a typo, but then I fell a little bit in love with it.

Batman needs his espresso.


I'm the Batrista.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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?

Executive Editor

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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!

Executive Editor

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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

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

James Sutter wrote:
I agree that it's unfortunate that there's not a "subscribe" option under this model.

There isn't a subscribe, but Amazon allows preorders for Kindle, as does Apple on the iBookstore. Preordering a bunch of books when they're announced isn't as easy as subscribing, but it is easier than remembering 'It's May 27, I need to buy Lord of Runes today.'

(I preordered Lord of Runes and Liar's Island this way today. I'll be getting Forge of Ashes via Paizo so I can use Pathfinder Advantage, but I was surprised to see it doesn't come up in iBookstore searches yet, so it isn't preorderable.)


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Thanks for the information, James. I particularly enjoyed the phrase "an increasingly small list". :)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Will Tor be able to make the Paizo-published Tales novels available on Kindle? What about the Journals and Webfiction?

I don't own a Kindle, but it would be nice for that segment of the market to have the same availability as the iBookstore.

Executive Editor

Ross Byers wrote:

Will Tor be able to make the Paizo-published Tales novels available on Kindle? What about the Journals and Webfiction?

I don't own a Kindle, but it would be nice for that segment of the market to have the same availability as the iBookstore.

Still workin' on those parts—stay tuned. :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
James Sutter wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:

Will Tor be able to make the Paizo-published Tales novels available on Kindle? What about the Journals and Webfiction?

I don't own a Kindle, but it would be nice for that segment of the market to have the same availability as the iBookstore.

Still workin' on those parts—stay tuned. :)

I'm sure you don't need me to ask this, but please send an update out to us (and/or post it here) once you get all the fiddly details about what digital formats are available and where they are available.

I prefer the non-DRM ePub format myself, though I was just starting to try out the pdf format.

And thank you for working to be as tranparent as possible as things develop.

Grand Lodge

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Not sure if Paizo can have any say in this or not, but it would be great if the Kindle editions could have Lending and X-Ray turned on. Lending because ... well its lending. X-Ray is kinda like a wiki for just the book that lets people put character information and track how many times certain characters come up and other things and works like having an "in world" glossary so you just have to highlight something (say a Deity's name) and it'll give you some info about them.

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber

What formats will the ebooks be available in?

Executive Editor

rknop wrote:
What formats will the ebooks be available in?

I know that they'll be sold by:

Kindle
iBooks
B&N Nook
eBooks.com
Google Play
Kobo

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. :)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

James Sutter wrote:
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. :)

iBooks is an ePub, typically wrapped in Apple's FairPlay encryption. Kindle is proprietary (but is basically a slight variant on an ePub).

I'm 90% certain Nook and Google Play are ePubs, but I have no idea what encryption they might use.

No idea for the others.

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber

Hmm, OK. I believe I remember James saying that the books would not have DRM. I think that some of those stores won't let you sell them unless they do have DRM.

I'm really hoping we're still going to be able to get DRM-free epubs. If it's not possible to get DRM-free something that I can convert into a usable epub, it'll be the end of buying Pathfinder Tales for me. (I really try to avoid supporting DRM-encumbered stuff with money.)

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber

ebooks.com: "Please note that none of the ebooks we sell are DRM free, regardless of format." Won't be buying anything there. Kudos to them for at least being up-front about it, which I can't say about some other ebook stores.

Pretty sure Kindle all comes DRM encumbered.

B&N doesn't have a direct answer to the question that I can find, but they do have an FAQ basically talking about how great DRM is... including this flat-out lie: "DRM means that when you buy a NOOK Book from your NOOK or from BN.com, you own that copy forever, unless you delete it from your online digital library. You can read it, but others cannot read it." DRM doesn't do that, account management server side does that. I am able to download things from lots of other places where I've purchased digital stuff that doesn't have DRM. Sigh. So sad to see so much disinformation out there.

I don't know if iBooks sells anything DRM-free, but Apple certainly does have DRM on most of their stuff. (A google search gives you lots of ways to remove the DRM... but that's not the point. I don't want to pay for DRM in the first place.)

It looks like on Google Play it's the publisher's choice as to whether the books will have DRM or not. So, that may be a place I might be able to buy them... depending on whether or not the books really are in fact DRM free.

It's not clear with Kobo. Some web searching indicates that perhaps some Kobo books don't have DRM, but also Kobo is really not clear about it.

Color me not terribly optimistic. It's been great up to now that Pathfinder Tales books were available unambiguously DRM-free. If that changes, or it it's not even clear that we're going to be able to get that, then this is a huge step backwards.

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber

OK, I found the statement-- James said that the ebooks from Tor would be DRM free.

James, is there a reason Tor is not on the list of places you just gave that will be selling the ebooks? Was it just an omission, or has something changed?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Kobo sells the epub format. DRM is dependent on the publisher's choice. They use Adobe Digital Editions when DRM is being used.

Kindle doesn't necessarily have DRM encumbered downloads, or at least books from Baen and Tor are advertised on the Kindle store as being without DRM at the publisher's request.

Executive Editor

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.


Is there a place to find out how much more shipping it would be to add a monthly pathfinder tales subscription to a pathfinder AP? I know Paizo ships things together to help with cost, but I don't really understand the system. I also hadn't considered how much shipping would be before and now that has me worried.

Another concern, for me, after reading this thread; I had been considering a PT subscription for a while, and the discount makes it suddenly worth it if shipping isn't as much of a problem (like the amazon users have said). Paying 15 dollars for a tales book is a hefty sum, however, especially when I am really... turned off by the idea of so much of my money potentially going to support some of those big name authors who, in 20 years of writing, have never even included a female character that's neither a caster/support or a love interest, much less glbt characters (aside from the quintessential evil bisexual lesbian villain), or dudes that admit to experiencing emotion. I don't know, I guess I could just cancel and reup a subscription to skip certain volumes, but giving new authors a shot means committing to the subscription.

Otherwise, 15 bucks is a loooot of money to toss at some pretty light reading material with characters I might not get closure with for years (or ever). I'm sorry, I'm not denigrating the PT stuff that's out there - it really does appeal to me quite a bit and I think a lot of it is very much worth the price tag and I understand the limits of the system - but I'm really apprehensive of being pretty dissatisfied because of the price tag alone when at a different price I wouldn't be.


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Just gonna point out that of the books I own that's published by Tor; Elizabeth Bear has a lesbian protagonist who does a bunch of melee fighting and is helped by a scooby-gang including a (probably) lesbian Indian-American, a transgendered person, Bass Reeves, and a native American scout; Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel novels are mainly set in a country where bisexuality seems to be the norm; Paul Cornell has a black gay police officer as one of his main POVs; and while Robert Jordan doesn't have much in the way of queer characters (it's worth remembering that he started Wheel of Time in the 80:s), he's certainly got plenty of women who knows how to kick butt in the literal sense.

Pretty sure there's the odd woman or girl who can handle a blade in George RR Martin's books too. ;)


In fact, Tor is currently starring as the SJW villain in the current dust-up over the Hugo Awards. Precisely because they've supposedly been winning awards for lousy books just because of Politically Correct diversity.

I'm not sure which big name authors you're thinking of, and I wouldn't be in the least surprised to find some at Tor, but Tor really does have a good rep.

Paizo Employee Developer

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It's also worth noting that the creative content of the novels is still being handled by Paizo. So if you've liked the level of diversity and representation of women and queer characters in past Pathfinder Tales novels, expect that to remain. While Tor is publishing the books and handling their distribution, Paizo is still developing the content within them.

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ross Byers wrote:


I'm 90% certain Nook and Google Play are ePubs, but I have no idea what encryption they might use.

Google Play uses Adobe Digital Editions for DRM.

Grand Lodge

Ross Byers wrote:
James Sutter wrote:
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. :)

iBooks is an ePub, typically wrapped in Apple's FairPlay encryption. Kindle is proprietary (but is basically a slight variant on an ePub).

I'm 90% certain Nook and Google Play are ePubs, but I have no idea what encryption they might use.

No idea for the others.

Kindle is specifically Mobi and is not really proprietary. Amazon would probably use ePub if they hadn't bought Mobi years ago.

Liberty's Edge

Andrew Betts wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
James Sutter wrote:
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. :)

iBooks is an ePub, typically wrapped in Apple's FairPlay encryption. Kindle is proprietary (but is basically a slight variant on an ePub).

I'm 90% certain Nook and Google Play are ePubs, but I have no idea what encryption they might use.

No idea for the others.

Kindle is specifically Mobi and is not really proprietary. Amazon would probably use ePub if they hadn't bought Mobi years ago.

Actually Kindle is proprietary not Mobi. They can just also read Mobi and some other formats. Not, unfortunately, epub. I know I own a Kindle.

EDIT: I did some quick research. I was slightly wrong. Yes Amazon owns the Mobi format. Everything I have ever downloaded from them directly has come in their .AZW format. which is proprietary DRM'ed.

Grand Lodge

AZW is just the DRM'd Mobi files.

Contributor

Just an FYI for everyone: I'm looking at Dave Gross' "Lord of Runes", the flagship for the partnership, at PaizoCon and it is just beautiful. I love this size format; it allows so much more detail on the cover art. Really a beautiful book!


A note on where you can find DRM-free copies. Apple’s iBookstore sells Tor books without DRM.

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber

... anywhere other than the Apple store? Is like to avoid setting am account up there if I can avoid it.


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I'm not understanding something. I get increasing the cost due to the financial need to break even/turn a profit. I have no problem with the cost of the novels going up while only giving the same amount of content. Heck, I probably wouldn't have noticed.

But why couldn't you have just kept it mass market paperback size at trade paperback costs? All my other books are mass market size, so this is a significant inconvenience for me. Those books were small, unobtrusive, able to fit in my cargo shorts pockets, and I'm sorry it never occurred to me before now that I needed to praise these qualities (note to self: send multiple e-mails to other favored novel lines to encourage them to leave well enough alone).

Next time, buy me dinner first.

Executive Editor

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Tectorman wrote:

I'm not understanding something. I get increasing the cost due to the financial need to break even/turn a profit. I have no problem with the cost of the novels going up while only giving the same amount of content. Heck, I probably wouldn't have noticed.

But why couldn't you have just kept it mass market paperback size at trade paperback costs? All my other books are mass market size, so this is a significant inconvenience for me. Those books were small, unobtrusive, able to fit in my cargo shorts pockets, and I'm sorry it never occurred to me before now that I needed to praise these qualities (note to self: send multiple e-mails to other favored novel lines to encourage them to leave well enough alone).

Next time, buy me dinner first.

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!

Silver Crusade

Very Disappointed with the change to large paperback, 50% increase in cost and no PDF. Would love to have been in the room when this was agreed. Needless to say, I`ve cancelled by novels subscription. I would say more but then "naughty words" would happen and lets not go there.


Judgeohno wrote:
Very Disappointed with the change to large paperback, 50% increase in cost and no PDF. Would love to have been in the room when this was agreed. Needless to say, I`ve cancelled by novels subscription. I would say more but then "naughty words" would happen and lets not go there.

Keep in mind that the tales subscribers get a 30% discount (where before you got none) so you end up paying a 5% increase and not getting the digital version; those that really got the "bad end" of the deal were the tales subscribers who were also AP subscribers and that's because they were already getting a 15% percent discount on their tales and with the new model they ended up paying a ~23% increase and not getting the digital version.

Liberty's Edge

In case anyone is keeping track for purposes of possible future changes, I too prefer the mass market paperback format and would be even happier if a 'digital only' subscription were available.

That being said, it's not like the trade paperback format (or the price) is a great and terrible burden. We're talking about the difference between 9 (trade), 9.5 (mass market), and 10 (electronic subscription) on a ten point scale. Still love the tales.

The Exchange

I do see the merits of trade paperbacks... However, the mass market paperback size fits perfectly in my purse. When it comes to bus/train/airplane reading, I most definitely prefer it to trade size.
I know there are people who read on their phones or tablets, but I can't read on my phone (too distracting/small/old) and I don't own a tablet or e-reader yet (and I doubt it would fit comfortably in my purse, either).

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