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Old 06-05-2012, 10:16 AM   #21
shawnhcorey
 
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Default Re: POD

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
There are lots of parts to the cost, and they scale differently for different processes and product types. I'm not the expert there! However, do bear in mind that people expect POD items to cost less in toto than items produced in other ways (I have no idea why), which means that even modest shipping costs, acceptable for other items, can cut into sales.
I find this strange too. If anything, PDFs should cost less than physical books since there are no material, printing, or distribution costs.
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:54 AM   #22
Kromm
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Default Re: POD

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Originally Posted by Not another shrubbery View Post
Really? That seems counter-intuitive. I would think that having a book printed just to suit my whim would come with a premium, if anything.
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Originally Posted by shawnhcorey View Post
I find this strange too. If anything, PDFs should cost less than physical books since there are no material, printing, or distribution costs.
The contrast of which I was speaking was "POD vs. printed in a big lot at a large printer," not "POD vs. PDF"; most people realize that PDF will be cheaper than print. I've had people explain to me that even though POD is on-demand and small-run, and thus in some ways a premium product without economies of scale to reduce cost, they expect it to be cheaper because "everybody knows that POD machines are crappy." The thing is, I've seen recent POD output, and it's nice – maybe nicer that what big printers spit out. But there was an early stage where POD hardware was crummy, and I think we're fighting the myth that it still is. This hobby does have its fair share of reactionaries.
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Old 06-05-2012, 01:30 PM   #23
Ze'Manel Cunha
 
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Default Re: POD

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
The contrast of which I was speaking was "POD vs. printed in a big lot at a large printer," not "POD vs. PDF"; most people realize that PDF will be cheaper than print. I've had people explain to me that even though POD is on-demand and small-run, and thus in some ways a premium product without economies of scale to reduce cost, they expect it to be cheaper because "everybody knows that POD machines are crappy." The thing is, I've seen recent POD output, and it's nice – maybe nicer that what big printers spit out. But there was an early stage where POD hardware was crummy, and I think we're fighting the myth that it still is. This hobby does have its fair share of reactionaries.
This is where you guys, as holding the quality line at SJGames, need to be very explicit that your POD product is a high quality job.


I know I've picked up a few POD books from Amazon, some of which were printed by companies like Lulu with no quality control, which means one book would be great and the next one would be crap, missing pages, etc.
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:35 PM   #24
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Default Re: POD

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
... However, do bear in mind that people expect POD items to cost less in toto than items produced in other ways (I have no idea why) ...
*blink* *blink*

Have they never heard of "economies of scale"?
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:28 PM   #25
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Default Re: POD

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*blink* *blink*

Have they never heard of "economies of scale"?
They have when they're buying things that are produced in bulk and want lower prices.

People attend to things that support their self-interest.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:20 PM   #26
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Default Re: POD

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We've had plenty of meetings and looked at plenty of spreadsheets. It boils down to this: "At the prices set by that those selling or leasing the current technology, if every last e23 customer who bought the PDF also bought the POD version, we wouldn't break even for most items." What we must determine, then, is whether there's a great, untapped market for printed materials among those who refuse to buy that content in PDF form . . . a market larger than the PDF market. Evidence that such a market exists is sketchy. The alternative is to wait for the technology prices to drop, which is what we're currently doing. There's a third option – handle POD for third parties as well as SJ Games stuff, so that the tech pays for itself – but Steve has rightly declared that he doesn't want SJ Games to become a printer, and just about all of his staff back him on that.

For the skeptical, note that this is well beyond the talk stage. There's space cleared in the warehouse. Staff have visited POD facilities to learn about the tech. We certainly want to do this. It's just that the economics of it aren't looking good right now (or weren't, as of January 2011, when I was last in Austin).
I just wanted to throw in that I'm one of those guys who prefer print to PDF when possible. I've picked up nearly everything that has made it to print for 4e so far (I haven't picked up Tactical Shooting or Mass Combat. They're not really my speed, but I'm considering buying them to show my support for bringing formerly PDF-only items to print).

There's just something intangible about having something tangible, IMHO.
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