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Printing and binding of Chaosium PDF's


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All,

I'm a big fan of having my roleplaying books in "dead tree format", but for a majority(?) of Monographs it seems that you can only buy PDF's from Chaosium's website.

Does anyone have any suggestions for how to get high quality printing and binding of these PDF's?

Personally I'm looking for a solution in the United Kingdom, but don't let that stop you for recommending solutions around the world as I'm sure there must be others who are disatisfied with just running these things through their home/office laser printer.

Thanks,

Tom

Edited by thwill
Felt it was better with the title posing a question.
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After initially being disappointed by Kinkos' refusal to print anything that might be copyrighted (even if the document itself gives permission), I found that Office Depot will cheerfully print and bind PDF RPG materials, no questions asked. I got several games books spiral bound with clear plastic covers that way, double-sided, black and white print. I could have gone color, the cost would have risen to prohibitive levels.

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I'm a big fan of having my roleplaying books in "dead tree format", but for a majority(?) of Monographs it seems that you can only buy PDF's from Chaosium's website.

Does anyone have any suggestions for how to get high quality printing and binding of these PDF's?

Talk to a local print bureau or two near you and find out whether they will consider converting a PDF you have bought legitimately to a hard copy book. If they express similar doubts to those Kinko's in the US often raise, it may be worth contacting Chaosium to see if they can supply some sort of permission to get a single copy printed and bound for personal use.

As far as I can recall, it would be technically a breach of Lulu's terms and conditions:

By uploading Content to the Site you represent and warrant, at all times during the term of this Agreement, that the Content:

* Is owned by you or, to the extent owned by someone else, that you have permission to provide the Content to Lulu for use as described above and, in either case, that the Content does not contain any Personal Data about any individual other than you.

* Does not violate any copyright, trademark, trade secret or other intellectual property right of any third party;

That reads to me that at the very least trying to use Lulu would require Chaosium's explicit permission...

Cheers,

Nick

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As a further thought, see if you can find a Book Binder near you (like this lot) and ask their advice - they may well be able to assist. But brace yousrself, as such services aren't cheap...

Also, University Academic Presses usually have a finer grasp of the nuances of copyright etc, so a University Printing facility MAY be better able to help...

Chers,

Nick

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I really wish they had dead tree versions available for all the books on the site. Im sure it would take much for them to enter into an agreement with lulu.com for this function, in fact, it would be free overall and lulu would get their money based on sales, not from chaosium paying them.

However, I am not a real fan of them selling PDFs at all. And here is why.

When I submitted Berlin '61 to them it was with the understanding that I would get $250 for the work and another $250 after 500 copies were sold and another batch of books printed up. Now Im not saying B61 will ever sell a copy, let alone over 500 and to the point that they need to do a second printing of the book. But what I am saying, is nothing in my agreement has to do with PDFs.

They could sell 10,000 PDF copies of B61 and I would never see another red cent.

It just rings of a loop hole to me, one that I dont really care for.

But that is just me I suppose.

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Access to lulu by chaosium directly could be more convenient for fans but would be less-than-professional for them. I would not advise it at all.

The recent increase in the demand for POD services will probably cause a decrease in prices soon. However lulu, as the business initiator, will probably keep the prices higher. As soon as a better site shows up, many companies will change provider. This will provide more value-for-your money to fans.

I doubt I will find a better provider in time for the release of Rome, but I can assure you that I am actively looking for it.

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Also, University Academic Presses usually have a finer grasp of the nuances of copyright etc, so a University Printing facility MAY be better able to help...

What he said. I know that back when I lived in a small university town in Wales I'd have gone straight to my university printing facilities for something like this. They will charge and, as it is not academic, it will go straight to the bottom of their priorities in busy times but I'm sure they could do it.

This applies to the UK only, though, I don't know what university printing facilities are like elsewhere.

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I really wish they had dead tree versions available for all the books on the site. Im sure it would take much for them to enter into an agreement with lulu.com for this function, in fact, it would be free overall and lulu would get their money based on sales, not from chaosium paying them.

Err, it would NOT be free - if you sell books commercially through Lulu, lulu takes a 20% cut of the retail mark up. Plus, Lulu are hideously expensive shipping books printed in the US outside the US (even to Canada). There's quite a kerfuffle at RPGNet about it. SO it would make the monographs less worthwhile for Chaosium, as they would have to reformat ALL their PDF's to meet Lulu's "International distribution" criteria.

However, I am not a real fan of them selling PDFs at all. And here is why.

When I submitted Berlin '61 to them it was with the understanding that I would get $250 for the work and another $250 after 500 copies were sold and another batch of books printed up. Now Im not saying B61 will ever sell a copy, let alone over 500 and to the point that they need to do a second printing of the book. But what I am saying, is nothing in my agreement has to do with PDFs.

You do know that the number of PDF downloads are a matter of public record? e.g. For Berlin '61 look at the number of downloads...

They could sell 10,000 PDF copies of B61 and I would never see another red cent.

It just rings of a loop hole to me, one that I dont really care for.

Or alternatively, they could have genuinely just not got round to adjusting the wording on the monograph deal and might be treating copies sold as copies sold, whether PDF OR print - have you thought to actually ASK them via email?

And since nothing in the agreement explicitly mentions PDF / electronic media / distribution if it came down to it I'd say we (as in monograph authors) would have pretty solid grounds for objecting to that sort of behaviour.

But that is just me I suppose.

Monographs don't pay well, even by the standards of the RPG industry, but I hope your suspicions are incorrect in this matter, and I'll certainly be asking Dustin about it myself. As I said, I suspect it's just an oversight that the wording's not been revised.

Cheers,

Nick

Edited by NickMiddleton
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Err, it would NOT be free - if you sell books commercially through Lulu, lulu takes a 20% cut of the retail mark up. Plus, Lulu are hideously expensive shipping books printed in the US outside the US (even to Canada). There's quite a kerfuffle at RPGNet about it. SO it would make the monographs less wothwhile for Chaosium, as they would have to reforamte ALL their PDF's to meet Lulu's "International distribution" criteria.

Quite right, and thanks for pointing that out. People are fond of holding Lulu up as a solution to distribution, but I've never seen it as such.

I doubt I will find a better provider in time for the release of Rome, but I can assure you that I am actively looking for it.

Have you looked at Cafe Press? What is your opinion of them?

Or alternatively, they could have genuinely just not got round to adjusting the wording on the mongraph deal and might be treating copies sold as copies sold, whether PDF OR print

I'm sure I remember someone (Jason?) saying that pdf's did count toward the total number of copies. I would be surprised if they didn't.

Thalaba

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However, I am not a real fan of them selling PDFs at all. And here is why.

When I submitted Berlin '61 to them it was with the understanding that I would get $250 for the work and another $250 after 500 copies were sold and another batch of books printed up. Now Im not saying B61 will ever sell a copy, let alone over 500 and to the point that they need to do a second printing of the book. But what I am saying, is nothing in my agreement has to do with PDFs.

They could sell 10,000 PDF copies of B61 and I would never see another red cent.

It just rings of a loop hole to me, one that I dont really care for.

But that is just me I suppose.

I receive periodic updates on how my monographs are selling. Print and PDF are calculated separately, but those two figures are added together to achieve the value for total copies sold. When my monograph came out in PDF (after three years as a print version) it sold enough to bump me over the threshold again and soon thereafter I received another check.

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Lulu is a solution to the problem of small producers not being able to handle the costs of mass printing, stocking, mailing, etc. But it is not a cheap solution. The sooner other services appear, the best (thx for the suggestion thalaba). And yes, PDF sales are tracked. This will become more important when licensed products start to appear on Chaosium's web page. Got the picture guys? (pun intended:D )

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Sadly, having looked in to the various PoD options fairly carefully not that long ago, for European publishers I suspect that Lulu remains the best option (allied printers in the UK and Spain, if nothing else).

There are question marks over Amazon's practices with ISBN's and in terms of cost, cut, distribution deals etc actually Lulu is pretty competitive - especially for UK based publishers looking to take advantage of their "Published By You" distribution deal. Both Booksurge (Amazon's PoD arm) and Cafe Press don't offer the range of services Lulu do, and are even more US-centric alas.

However, it is to be hoped that more PoD Service providers will look to enter the field and thus provide further alternatives. Part of the issue is that Lulu provide a complete service that takes a huge amount of the pain out of publishing a book - there are a LOT of printers out there who will do a PoD run for a fee, but all the leg work Lulu does they won't.

Cheers,

Nick

Edited by NickMiddleton
typos
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You can get a pretty good printing result on a normal laser printer if you buy better paper (90g or 100g). The question is how to bind the document... If you only use glue or a copy-shop that makes simple glue binding, the result is usually underwhelming. Those books are too fragile for my taste. On the other hand, you can't use traditional book-binding techniques, since you rarely have an A3 printer that allows you to stitch the paper in the middle.

I bought a cheap ringbinding-machine a while back and it's pretty useful, even if you don't want to use the rings. The machine punches the holes close to the border of the paper and you can use them for binding the document.

If you want to make a softcover-book, you can basically put thick paper or film at the front and back, punch the holes with the machine, and use needle and thread to put it together. I usually use black paper (200g or more) for the back, thick see-through-film for the front, and black duct-tape for the spine. It's an easy way to make long-lasting books quickly and it's especially useful for smaller stuff (adventures and small supplements).

There is an easy way to make hardcover books, too. You basically make a softcover-book, but with 2 sheets of paper (ca. 160g) at the front and the back. Then you make the cover separately - inspiratation for measurements and style can be found on the internet (for example Apply the cover ). You can even use an old book-cover if you have something that would fit. After that you glue the outer pages of the book to the cover with wood glue and let it dry while putting weights on it. It's best to put something between the outer pages and the actual book, otherwise the glue may sip through. It may need a little bit of practice, especially if you want to make a perfect leather-bound grimoire out of you old leather-jacket, but if you keep it simple it's a pretty fast process.

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I really wish they had dead tree versions available for all the books on the site. Im sure it would take much for them to enter into an agreement with lulu.com for this function, in fact, it would be free overall and lulu would get their money based on sales, not from chaosium paying them.

However, I am not a real fan of them selling PDFs at all. And here is why.

When I submitted Berlin '61 to them it was with the understanding that I would get $250 for the work and another $250 after 500 copies were sold and another batch of books printed up. Now Im not saying B61 will ever sell a copy, let alone over 500 and to the point that they need to do a second printing of the book. But what I am saying, is nothing in my agreement has to do with PDFs.

They could sell 10,000 PDF copies of B61 and I would never see another red cent.

It just rings of a loop hole to me, one that I dont really care for.

But that is just me I suppose.

Hi! When Dustin contacted me last year to let me know that Mysteries of Tibet would be available in PDF form he also confirmed that any PDF sales counted towards the initial 500 total in the monograph agreement. I am not sure if I have the original email archived somewhere since I have since switched computers. When I get a chance I will have a look for it.

Jason Williams

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Hi! When Dustin contacted me last year to let me know that Mysteries of Tibet would be available in PDF form ...

You are the one who wrote Mysteries of Tibet. :shocked:

Thank you very much for that one, I used it to introduce Tibetan immigrants

(and yaks) into my science fiction setting, because your monograph enabled

me to come up with an at least remotely plausible description of what their

cultural background might be like in the future - and Tibetans really are some-

thing fresh and new in such a setting. :thumb:

Ah ... you do not plan to write a monograph on the people of the Andes, no ?

- they would also fit perfectly well into my setting ... :)

Edited by rust
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Ah ... you do not plan to write a monograph on the people of the Andes, no ? - they would also fit perfectly well into my setting ... :)

Good to hear that my monograph is being put to good use. :)

Although I do have a passing interest in the Andes I currently have no plans on producing a monograph for that setting.

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Good news! I found the email from Dustin addressing the question about PDF's counting towards the 500 total.

Quote from Dustin:

Howdy Jason!

Dustin here, with a bit of news about your monograph.

We recently started selling our monographs as PDF's. If your's isn't yet available, it will be soon. PDF sales of your monograph work just as physical copy sales and count towards the same total. It's our hope that making a PDF version available will increase the sales of the work, bringing us closer to the moment when we either pay you another $250 to sell 500 more of them or contact you about printing it as a distribution title like we're doing with Secrets of Morocco later this summer...

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Good to hear that my monograph is being put to good use. :)

Although I do have a passing interest in the Andes I currently have no plans on producing a monograph for that setting.

What are you next plans? A full fledged version of the world presented in the BRP adventures book? I'd like to see that.

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What are you next plans? A full fledged version of the world presented in the BRP adventures book? I'd like to see that.

Thanks for pointing me to this forum Chad!

Yes, that is what I am currently working on and it will take the better part of this year in my spare time.

I may end up modifying "the world" slightly that I presented in my contest entry but it will have the same "dystopian future" flavour.

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