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Old 07-17-2023, 12:40 PM   #1
Steven Marsh
 
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Default On Demand Hardcovers?

Hey, all! The following isn't a set-in-stone definite plan, but more of a chin-stroking "Hmm... maybe?" contemplation.

Do folks here have any thoughts about making more hardcovers available as part of our On Demand program?

We've already dabbled a smidge in these waters; the Girl Genius Sourcebook and Roleplaying Game is available in both hardcover and softcover formats. But we've never looked too seriously into expanding that format.

I'm putting feelers out about the general idea primarily because – if we go this route – it won't be trivial; we'll have to reformat books for the different hardcover specifications, which will take time. And the books themselves won't be cheap (you can compare the Girl Genius formats above as an example). If we pursue this, I imagine these would be of most interest to collectors or those who want the extra durability that hardbacks provide. However, if it proves successful, it might open the door to other options, such as On Demand Third Edition hardcover books that have previously only ever been available in softcover . . .

Again, we're absolutely not making any promises here. Even if we do pursue it, it won't be overnight. But I figure tossing the question out in a public forum like this is an easy way to get some feedback from some of our most dedicated and knowledgable fans.

And now, I'll turn over the microphone to you all to post your thoughts here. :-)
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Old 07-17-2023, 03:31 PM   #2
Refplace
 
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Default Re: On Demand Hardcovers?

I personally have gone the way of electronic viewing for reference and game material (still prefer paper for fiction). However if gaming in person I like hard copies of the books gamers may need at the table, especially the core books.
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My GURPS publications GURPS Powers: Totem and Nature Spirits; GURPS Template Toolkit 4: Spirits; Pyramid articles. Buying them lets us know you want more!
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REFPLace GURPS Landing Page
My List of GURPS You Tube videos (plus a few other useful items)
My GURPS Wiki entries
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Old 07-17-2023, 03:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: On Demand Hardcovers?

I would love to be able to continue buying full-color hardcovers. I missed a number of them when I was on a gaming hiatus in the first years of 4e.

The price is rough, of course, which might limit how many I purchase.
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Old 07-17-2023, 04:53 PM   #4
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Default Re: On Demand Hardcovers?

As it is, I routinely buy ANY Gurps hardcovers I come across.

So, Yes I would be interested.
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Old 07-17-2023, 05:38 PM   #5
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: On Demand Hardcovers?

From the gamers I know, books are mostly bought by the collectors, and they'll like hardbacks.

The main attraction for softcover is the lower price, which translates into an ability to have a larger library. But PDFs serve that goal even better, except for those that insist on having a physical copy.

Personally, I, like Refplace, have gone over to electronic books for game rules. The PDF search function is just too useful for reference -- especially if you're talking something as large as GURPS 4e. Even face-to-face, I have a laptop on which to tote the library and do the search to find all the references.

If I had a suggestion, it would be to bundle the hardcopy books with the PDF versions (as do many other RPG companies) at something like the hardcopy price. I don't think it's unreasonable to price the PDFs alone as SJG does; they still have to cover the production costs, just like a hardcopy, and the cost of the paper itself, though not trivial, isn't really that much of the final price of a book. Just because the marginal cost of copying and watermarking a single existing PDF is tiny doesn't mean that the cost of creating it to have one to copy is tiny, and RPG sales aren't huge volume, so all the writing, editing, layout, art, and other staff and production costs aren't spread thin over millions of copies. But to me, it does feel a bit unfair to have to pay that creation cost twice, once built into the paper price and again for the PDF. And since I need the PDF for actual play, that means the separate pricing strategy actually means I buy fewer physical books than I would if they were bundled. (For me, that tradeoff has actually worked the other way around, going back and buying PDFs of books I originally bought in hardcopy which I decided I used them often enough for reference that it'd be worth it.)

Doubling the price to have both makes it an either-or choice, where "both" isn't really an option. I have maybe ten(?) hardcopy GURPS 4e other than Basic -- I'm not even sure, since they just sit in the basement -- but over a hundred and fifty 4e books (not all of which exist in physical form). At the price points of the Girl Genius example, we're talking several thousand dollars to have the physical copies on top of the PDFs, as opposed to only around a thousand more to have them all both in hardcopy and PDF, had the pair been bundled at the hardcopy price. I don't know that the second would have happened had it been a choice, but the first option certainly won't.
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Old 07-17-2023, 06:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: On Demand Hardcovers?

Hmmm... My heart says "F yeah! Hardcovers! Buy 'em all!"... but my brain, ever the killjoy, reminds me that I've already bought nearly all the GURPS 4e and DFRPG books that are available in softcover POD (as well as some 3e titles).

That said, I'd likely spring for hardcover versions of the books I use a lot or really enjoyed, like the *-Tech books, Powers, Thaumatology, Autoduel, and so on, especially if they were available in colour as well.
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Old 07-17-2023, 06:27 PM   #7
Turhan's Bey Company
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Default Re: On Demand Hardcovers?

While I love the idea of more GURPS hardcovers, I'm not sure what I'd actually buy. I've already got nearly all of the previously published GURPS hardbacks, and I'm unlikely to shell out for harddcover 3e books, with possible exceptions for Conan and Goblins.

But I might be interested in hardcover options for POD 4e books which haven't previously been available that way.
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Old 07-17-2023, 06:33 PM   #8
Refplace
 
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Default Re: On Demand Hardcovers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
If I had a suggestion, it would be to bundle the hardcopy books with the PDF versions (as do many other RPG companies) at something like the hardcopy price. I don't think it's unreasonable to price the PDFs alone as SJG does; they still have to cover the production costs, just like a hardcopy, and the cost of the paper itself, though not trivial, isn't really that much of the final price of a book.
In my experience most people outside the publishing industry really underestimate the cost of hardcopy.
You have material costs, shipping, storage, extra taxes, and as noted in this case extra editorial and layout work to get them to the new format.
Also you cant just print a new hardcopy anytime you want it, print runs get cheaper per unit on larger runs.
If the two things were to be combined I would think a PDF addon to a hardcopy is much smarter from the business side than adding hard copy to PDF (you would have to raise the PDFs to even begin to offset the extra costs and that would deter purchases).
Maybe a 50% half off sale on PDFs when purchasing a hard cover?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turhan's Bey Company View Post
While I love the idea of more GURPS hardcovers, I'm not sure what I'd actually buy. I've already got nearly all of the previously published GURPS hardbacks, and I'm unlikely to shell out for harddcover 3e books, with possible exceptions for Conan and Goblins.

But I might be interested in hardcover options for POD 4e books which haven't previously been available that way.
Yeah, I lost most of my Third Edition books over the years, moving and a flood. I might pick up some of them for nostalgia sakes but more leikly to get ones I cant get any other way now. Unfortunately most of those would be licensed books.
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My GURPS publications GURPS Powers: Totem and Nature Spirits; GURPS Template Toolkit 4: Spirits; Pyramid articles. Buying them lets us know you want more!
My GURPS fan contribution and blog:
REFPLace GURPS Landing Page
My List of GURPS You Tube videos (plus a few other useful items)
My GURPS Wiki entries
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Old 07-18-2023, 03:40 AM   #9
Prime Evil
 
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Default Re: On Demand Hardcovers?

I would love replacement hardcopy versions of a few essential GURPS 4e books - Magic, Thaumatology, Powers, High Tech, Ultra-Tech, Martial Arts, etc. My copies are starting to look a bit worse for wear - for some reason, the covers of some early GURPS 4e books degrade with age (looks like heat bubbles and creases). There's also been a ton of errata incorporated in the newer PoD softcovers. I'd also be interested in hardcover compilations of various Dungeon Fantasy books, but this would require considerable work on the SJ Games side so probably isn't realistic. I realize that PoD Hardcovers are a luxury....but it's one I'd gladly invest in for my favouruite game.

(Incidentally, the printers who did the initial kickstarter print run for Girl Genius did an amazing job. Really superb quality!)
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Old 07-18-2023, 04:13 AM   #10
Odysseus
 
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Default Re: On Demand Hardcovers?

I would buy the Hardcovers. I like having them on my shelf and I am missing quite a few of them. Most of them. I check for them at every used bookstore and gaming store I stop by. When I just went on a 700 mile road trip a few days ago, I stopped by 3 used book stores, and I looked for them, ( amongst other things of course!)

So yes, I would like them.
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