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Jonstown Compendium - imminent price rise for printed books


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On 6/6/2021 at 7:42 AM, Nick Brooke said:

That all costs creators more. What if we’d rather you just bought an attractively-printed, nicely-bound copy of our book?

Six Seasons in Sartar ordered. ūüėČ

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@Graeme P - Yozarian’s Bandit Ducks has just come out in print! This was the first Jonstown Compendium release, and it’s a beautifully-presented introductory scenario with a strong Gloranthan flavour, interesting pregenerated characters (the titular Duck Bandits, who’d also make excellent NPCs to insert into any campaign), fun non-combat encounters and challenges, and good advice for gamemasters on how to stage events. The artwork is gorgeous, if you like your Ducks cartoonish and whimsical. (Which I do). Currently $11.05 for a premium colour softback, about the same size as The Duel at Dangerford.

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16 minutes ago, Nick Brooke said:

@Graeme P - Yozarian’s Bandit Ducks has just come out in print! This was the first Jonstown Compendium release, and it’s a beautifully-presented introductory scenario with a strong Gloranthan flavour, interesting pregenerated characters (the titular Duck Bandits, who’d also make excellent NPCs to insert into any campaign), fun non-combat encounters and challenges, and good advice for gamemasters on how to stage events. The artwork is gorgeous, if you like your Ducks cartoonish and whimsical. (Which I do). Currently $11.05 for a premium colour softback, about the same size as The Duel at Dangerford.

One of my favourite jobs to edit, as well. Great tale , great game! ...and DUCKS! @Runeblogger, are you going to buy a copy too? How long do I have to buy this before the price rise Nick?

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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3 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

One of my favourite jobs to edit, as well. Great tale , great game! ...and DUCKS! @Runeblogger, are you going to buy a copy too? How long do I have to buy this before the price rise Nick?

The premium colour price rise hits on 1 July. Initially every printed title’s cover price will go up by the increase in printing cost. You may see some of them settling at a new level thereafter, as creators adjust.

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Then I had better get quacking cracking!

Jokes aside, my current game is based in Real City in the Rubble; it may well be that I can mine the scenario for ideas. Am just about finished running Rough Business from P:GtA.

In other news, my most recent order arrived this week - it arrived just over 3 weeks from the date is was shipped.  That inspires some confidence, and now I have a legion of chaos to inflict on the heroes as well...

... time passes...

Done.  Bought seven titles in glorious premium tactile tangible reality.  In case it is useful to anyone, postage to Australia is just under 25% of the cover price.  Bulk orders did not seem to impact this. 

Edited by Graeme P
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3 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Anyone mind copying and pasting it here?

Can't copy on mobile device sorry, but I checked that link works even if not logged in.

TL/DR: Printing cost in the UK is NOT going up, but prices are the same everywhere therefore the price IS going up*. So creator, publisher, and DTRPG will enjoy a big bonus on UK sales.

As has been noted, creators can adjust their pricing as they wish after the automatic increase, but not by region. Complications!

Edited by PhilHibbs
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4 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Anyone mind copying and pasting it here?

Thanks in advance!

Per Rick: "Quick DTRPG POD update on premium color pricing for Jonstown Compendium titles. UK printed premium color prices will not increase for UK orders. Just applies if you order in the UK and ship to a UK address Apparently, the UK LSI facility kept one of their older printers. I just got an email from DTRPG about this."

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2 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Per Rick: "Quick DTRPG POD update on premium color pricing for Jonstown Compendium titles. UK printed premium color prices will not increase for UK orders. Just applies if you order in the UK and ship to a UK address Apparently, the UK LSI facility kept one of their older printers. I just got an email from DTRPG about this."

Finally living in the U.K. has paid off! Everything is coming up Milhouse!

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3 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

Except that prices are still going up... I don't know if creators can do region-specific discounts.

We can’t.

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OK, here's a bit of insider info on how this works.

It used to be that books printed in the UK cost a few dollars more than books printed in the US. So we'd set our selling prices to make our target margin somewhere between the UK (higher) and US (lower) print cost. Before you ask, there is no easy way for creators to get a US vs. UK print split, as DriveThruRPG reporting is rudimentary at best. Books are printed in the US for US orders, in the UK for customers in the rest of the world, and there's no way US customers can have their books printed in the UK and shipped to the US. I didn't make the rules.

So now the cost of printing "premium colour" books in the US is going up "dramatically" (between a third and half again, remember), while the UK print costs are pretty much treading water. Which means we'll set our new selling prices so that we make our target margin somewhere between the UK (lower) and US (higher) print cost. Simples!

What's that target margin? For us, it's usually been the price of the PDF. We generally set that with an eye on the print cost, bearing in mind Chaosium's rule of thumb ("print price is twice digital"), as we follow that rule ourselves: it's something the market is used to. There are occasional deviations (e.g. both Dangerford and Moonson Book Two are "cheaper" in digital than print, because reasons), and I also keep an eye on my own price-per-page-of-content metric for the Index (because I'm not insane).

So now we are looking into new, cheaper-looking print formats ("standard colour"). The good news here is, the US and UK print costs are pretty similar. So our cheap edition's selling price will be print cost plus the usual target margin, and presto! we have a product range. "Looking into" means I've created and shared the files needed to set them up, and it's now in the hands of DriveThruRPG and eventually Lightning Source. Hopefully they'll be available next month. If the proof-print of Glamour I've ordered looks terrible, we won't sell books in this format. But the omens are good (Secrets of Dorastor looks really nice in standard colour).

In practice, our cheap editions will likely be 10% cheaper than the current prices, and the premium editions will likely see a price rise of 15-25%, with bigger hikes for fatter books. (If the print cost goes up by 50% but our margin doesn't change, the selling price goes up just 25%, you see? Because our margin was based on the old print cost, more or less). We won't be changing the selling price of our PDFs; we'll probably keep the same relationship between PDF and print prices for future books (i.e. premium printing will cost a bit more than 2x PDF, while cheap printing will cost a bit less).  

That's my process; other creators may handle this differently. I'm always happy to advise in the Jonstown Compendium Creators' Circle on Facebook, or just email me if social media isn't your thing.

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Well, I am pleased and surprised.  But I now suspect that ducks only pretend that they cannot fly and have been very successful in fooling all the tall races since before Time began.

My 'printed in the UK' copy of Yozarian's Bandit Ducks arrived in Australia today, a mere eight days after it was ordered.  Ahead of all the others that are on the same order, which of course is why (perhaps) ducks can fly...

It may just be that the Sandheart militia are footsore from having to walk this far and so march slowly.

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  • 3 weeks later...

OK, the price hike hit last night, and now the dust has settled we can survey the new landscape...

The cheap proof-print of Glamour looked absolutely fine, so I've set up standard colour editions of all my books, which are about 10% cheaper than the previous versions. These are produced on a cheaper printer, and you will notice the difference: the print is flatter and fuzzier, without the sharp edges and rich, deep colours we are used to in premium print. The paper is identical to the premium editions, it's just the inkjets that are cheaper.

The prices of the premium colour editions have gone up due to the increase in printing costs. This is typically a 20-30% increase, meaning the premium editions now cost about a third again as much as the new cheap editions.

If you bought a book in last week's 25% off sale, you got a premium edition for less than the new cheap editions cost: congratulations, that's a great deal!

Going forward, creators will decide whether to bring out new titles in standard colour, premium colour or both. More formats will be more expensive to set up. I'm thinking of releasing my books in premium colour first, and bringing out a standard colour edition afterwards... unless a book doesn't have any gorgeous colour artwork, in which case the cheap edition is probably all that's warranted. (NB: the books I'm working on these days usually have gorgeous colour artwork).

Comparison shots: standard colour on the left, premium colour on the right.

2021-06-30 13.16.26 HDR.jpg

2021-06-30 13.17.33 HDR.jpg

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