Re: Good bye

From: Brian Curley <bkcurley_at_GEPqve3xjXaroNK3bUIkZ3nxDIENh6YxfIlfdzAA7hRgJFmJ4O4AuGofXVyL02OxA6a>
Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2009 09:44:41 -0500

Tim Ellis wrote:
>> On another list, I've already mentioned my "solutions" for some of
>> the publishing woes that seem to plague 3rd Age Glorantha
>> material. PDF preview (sans art and with minimal layout) editions
>> would supply some needed cash. To the argument that they would
>> undercut sales of the "print" version, considering how long the
>> print versions have languished already it would seem to be a
>> matter of a sure thing vs. a hypothetical.
> The "danger" is that a print product needs to sell in sufficient quantity to be viable. *If* sufficient people were to buy the pdfs only who would previously have bought the hard-copy then it may mean all of Moon Design's cash is tied up in "unsellable" books.

But that's only a problem if those print products actually get printed. And, given recent history, that's a pretty big *IF*. Furthermore, for reasons you present below, I suspect there are many who would buy the electronic format now and the print format later. Especially if the print version contained significant added value in the form of art, revised and corrected text, etc. In fact, I'm one of the folks who bought the cheaper non-limited edition of HQ and then later bought a hardcover copy when Greg made them available on EBay. Then I bought my wife her own copy of the softcover.

>> I don't think that the financial means to hop on a Transatlantic
>> flight is a precondition that a publisher would put on their
>> materials if they were at all serious about publishing.
> True. Mind you it cost me as much in shipping as the price of the book for the last Delta Green hardback, which was only available from Arc Dream (And at the time I didn't realise they would be following it with a public relaease of a paperback version).

But at least the Delta Green book was *available*. I'd gladly pay double cover price if I could just *buy* the damned thing! Given the extremely limited quantities of these Convention Preview releases, etc, the same cannot be said of HQ2.

>> I've yet to see a convincing argument why PDF previous
>> publication is a bad idea.
> It's a bad idea for me because books are easier to handle and read, not requiring any special hardware, and having pages the right size to fit all the words on!
My comment deliberately did not consider personal preference since it's impossible to satisfy everyone's wants. But all the reasons you cite seem to be to be reasons to think a significant number of electronic distro customers would buy the dead tree version.

> To the extent that publishing a PDF might affect the viability of the "dead tree" version, I'd sooner not have books released as PDF in advance of the paper release.
My preference is to see the material published *AT ALL*. Considering how much lower the cost of electronic distribution is, it's far more of a sure thing than a print edition.

> (In some ways waiting 12+months for Blood over Gold was worse knowing that other people had the pdf than if everyone was still waiting for it...)

But it was only your preference that stopped you from buying the PDF. You *could* have bought it and not had to wait. All I am suggesting is that it would be nice to have the choice.

> The other is Greg Stolze's approach with Reign. Greg doesn't offer material for ransom until it is ready, so he can release it (on pdf) immediately. If Rick's only problem was Cashflow then this might be a solution

I don't know the totality of Rick's present circumstance, but as Trotsky pointed out recently, it would seem that there have been many offers of various forms of assistance with non-financial aspects of getting the books published and none of them have been accepted. It'd be nice just to know what the reasons are.

>> With the irregularity of 3rd Age Glorantha material seeing print,
>> I can undestand how many would possibly be reluctant to pre-order
>> a book that, like it or not, they have no *real* reason to expect
>> will get printed. But I think the GTA
>> experiment proved that there are certainly enough hardcore
>> Gloranthaphiles to support such a model.
> The question of costs and expectations is always difficult. Rick could offer HQ2 for pre-order, stateing it's not ready yet, but that he hopes to publish in the first half of this year. Some people will say "I'm not ordering it until I know it exists" - and that's fine. Some people will say "I'm sure Rick will publish it eventually, so I'm happy to pay up front, even if it doesn't turn up until Christmas" - and that's fine too. The problem is that some people will start to demand the book they have ordered, and start invoking various consumer protection laws about mail order products being delivered within 56 days. (I've seen this sort of ranting going on on RPG.NET in the past).
How does Arc Dream get around it?

> The GTA was worded in a slightly different from to Greg's original conception due to similar legal issues.

Right... and I'm sure something similar could be worked out for a ransomware deal with RQ2 (or LotW 2, etc).

>> I certainly think all of us "on the outside" would like to have more regular updates. I think most of us would even understand if the update was just "Sorry no change since last time. Problems with Day Job/Family/Building Maintenance/Illness have meant I have not been able to anything further"

I think everyone is in agreement with that... including the webmaster.

I sincerely hope that Rick isn't reading any of this and seeing it as "Minty's a fuckwit." Nothing could be further from the truth. Like I said before, I've been here for nearly 30 years. I'll continue to be here. Glorantha is my personal Halley's Comet. I only get to visit once in a great while, but the wait never even comes close to killing the desire to see it.

Godspeed all.

BKC [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]            

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