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Buying from Chaosium


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On 11/30/2022 at 2:09 PM, Lynne H said:

You can if you buy it directly from Chaosium.

I always suggest that you buy from Chaosium, I believe they get more cash that way and Dustin is great at getting the coupons for the discount to you when needed. That said, I did want to mention that I think Bits and Mortar and Drivethru might work like that as well (purchase a PDF when it becomes available and get the Hardcover when it becomes available for its price minus the price of the PDF that you already bought). It would be wise to do the research first before buying and suffering remorse, though. 

If it does work, this might result in less cash for Chaosium, but I wonder if letting others in the industry know they (Chaosium) are "back in black" with materials other than CoC might be worth it. More purchases might equal more shelf-space or pixel bandwidth.

 

On 11/30/2022 at 11:23 AM, ThornPlutonius said:

I would be more willing to buy the pdf  upon early release if I could then apply its cost towards the purchase of the physical book.

As above, but Thorn, do your due diligence to be sure you can get the proper discount. No need to be disappointed after all.

 

2 hours ago, MrMacabre said:

I’m using an apple iPad not a pc when I clock Potts it block nothing happens I have to select edit then tap where in doc I tap portrait box and add image pick image and it goes in while of doc???

Sorry good sir, I can not make heads or tails out of that. You may wish to try to rephrase that one more time or hope for someone more perceptive than I.

 

Has anyone had bad or good results with either Bits and Mortar or Drivethru in this regard?

 

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

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1 hour ago, ThornPlutonius said:

Thanks, Bill!  I was actually thinking Design Mechanism when i wrote that.  Sometimes I type before being fully grounded in reality.  I bought the pdf from Chaosium and look forward to buying the physical book with the discount applied. 

Cheers.

But answering you allowed me a chance to ask the question... "Has anyone had bad or good results with either Bits and Mortar or Drivethru in this regard?" and also to see if there was any Chaosium Staff opinion on my theory of buying from a FLGS with access to bit and mortar or via Drivethru actually benefitting Chasoium in spreading the word.

 

... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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I can't answer for Chaosium products specifically, but I've recently bought from a UK online shop (Zatu Games) and had good experiences with them regarding the Bits & Mortar scheme. It takes a few days, but the half dozen books I've purchased in the last year have all had the relevant PDFs provided after ordering the physical product. 

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14 minutes ago, Silverfoxdmt73 said:

I can't answer for Chaosium products specifically, but I've recently bought from a UK online shop (Zatu Games) and had good experiences with them regarding the Bits & Mortar scheme. It takes a few days, but the half dozen books I've purchased in the last year have all had the relevant PDFs provided after ordering the physical product. 

So you had a digital copy to read while waiting for the physical? Was the physical copy available or did you have to preorder (and possibly prepay) to gain access to the PDF in advance. If not, what kind of scheme did they have. @MOB, please let me know if this can be considered off-topic. I can drop the questions, but I really do not think it would stand on it's own as a thread and I must admit I would like to know if my strategy of buying a goodly amount from sources other than Chaosium has the benefits I postulate... I live in a Chaosium wasteland (CoC and some copies of MRQ when I ran the first Demo (Broken Tower) for RQG back in '17). but when I ordered the Starter Set to my FLGS they did bring in a few extra copies, a few sets of RQRiG and a few copies of the RBoM.

Seems like a win.

... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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On 12/30/2022 at 12:05 PM, Bill the barbarian said:

Cheers.

But answering you allowed me a chance to ask the question... "Has anyone had bad or good results with either Bits and Mortar or Drivethru in this regard?" and also to see if there was any Chaosium Staff opinion on my theory of buying from a FLGS with access to bit and mortar or via Drivethru actually benefitting Chasoium in spreading the word.

 

I have purchased a few books via my local store, after which they authorized Bits & Mortar to provide the pdf.  I've never gained a pdf via B&M after buying from an online source.  I never tried since I understood that B&M was created to generate business for local stores by providing a mechanism for them to share the free pdfs that were originally only available when books were purchased from the publishers' web sites. 

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On 12/29/2022 at 9:54 PM, Bill the barbarian said:

That said, I did want to mention that I think Bits and Mortar and Drivethru might work like that as well (purchase a PDF when it becomes available and get the Hardcover when it becomes available for its price minus the price of the PDF that you already bought).

I'm pretty sure that Drivethru does not work that way, there's no discount on the physical after buying the digital, and Bits and Mortar works the other way around (buy the book, then get the PDF free from Chaosium). I don't think you can get the PDF from Chaosium and then get a refund or the money off the physical book at a Bits and Mortar store, CMIIW.

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2 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

I'm pretty sure that Drivethru does not work that way, there's no discount on the physical after buying the digital

Correct. Perhaps @Nick Brooke can clarify what happens in the case of Community content products that often become available later as POD

2 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

and Bits and Mortar works the other way around (buy the book, then get the PDF free from Chaosium).

Correct (although the PDF comes from Bit & Mortar, not us)

2 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

I don't think you can get the PDF from Chaosium and then get a refund or the money off the physical book at a Bits and Mortar store,

Correct.

I'd also like to add, that if you buy a physical book from a store that is not Bits and Mortar, and then you persuade the shop to join Bits and Mortar, it's at the discretion of that shop if they want to give you a free PDF retrospectively (there's admin).

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On 12/31/2022 at 9:34 PM, Silverfoxdmt73 said:

Zatu are a high street store that also do online postal orders. The pdf's are provided by Bits & Mortar on their website. 

So far I've bought the Root RPG as well as The One Ring and the GM screen and had no issues so far. 

As I noted on the other thread, the Bits and Mortar scheme is not meant for online sales (even if the seller also has a physical store front).

On 12/30/2022 at 8:54 AM, Bill the barbarian said:

I always suggest that you buy from Chaosium, I believe they get more cash that way

Yes, we do. Our return is significantly more if you buy direct from Chaosium, compared to buying from a retailer or DriveThruRPG or Amazon or other online seller. 

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48 minutes ago, Scotty said:

Correct. Perhaps @Nick Brooke can clarify what happens in the case of Community content products that often become available later as POD

Sure!

When you buy a PDF, you pay money for a digital product. Half of it goes to the creator(s), the other half goes to the platform and publisher. You now own a digital product that you can search with Ctrl+F, carry around on multiple devices, back up for safety, cut'n'paste into game handouts, print out handouts from, and so on. If any bonus content gets added, you get it added to your Library on DriveThruRPG automagically.

When you buy a printed book, you pay money for a physical product: the cost of printing and shipping a book, plus in all likelihood a margin on top (I usually set this to be about the same as the digital price; other content creators can do their own things, I'm not their boss). The full cost of printing and shipping goes to the printers (as they included their target margin in those costs, the sneaky devils). The margin on top gets split between the creator(s), platform and publisher. You have a printed book that you can carry around, show off to your admiring friends and family, use to swat flies (or, if it's by Martin Helsdon, stun small rodents), read on the beach, or use to prop up the leg of a wobbly table. If bonus content gets added to the digital edition, the magic print fairy does not insert extra pages at the back of your book, because she doesn't exist.

What if you've already bought the PDF, and want to just pay the printer for a printed copy? DriveThruRPG doesn't have any way of recognising that's what you're doing. Creators get to set one print price for printed books. They don't have any way to communicate with customers: we can't email out a discount voucher to each of our previous customers, because we can't email our previous customers, as we don't know who they are. We could add a discount voucher to an existing digital product, but we can't control how often it gets used, or who gets to use it. (If it could be tied to customer IDs as a one-use thing, that'd be a perfect solution: but it can't be)

We learned this the hard way. When we launched Glamour in print, we bundled a free PDF with every print purchase. We understand DriveThruRPG Customer Services was overrun with requests for hand-crafted discounts in various configurations (e.g. "I bought this in PDF and then I bought it in print, please cancel and refund the PDF purchase I made several months ago"). They asked us not to do anything that might encourage this behaviour, which threatened the future of print-on-demand for our community content programme. So we don't offer that any more. (Remember, DriveThruRPG is a digital marketplace with a bit of outsourced print on the side; if their print sideline starts causing trouble for the core business, they will ruthlessly drop it or impose controls -- ask anyone writing for the DMs Guild)

And bear in mind that if you're saying "print copies should be at-cost for digital customers," what you're really saying is that there should be zero margin in print sales for our platform, publisher and creators, because all the money goes to the printer. I'm not entirely sure why DriveThruRPG would be incentivised to do that, although it's certainly a possibility (for an example of PWYW for POD, see the excellent book The Six Paths).

So what we tell every print creator is: don't make any work for DriveThruRPG. If you have a discount scheme, you need to manage it yourself. (Simon Phipp does this with his books; I email bonus content to my print customers on request). But as I said in my first two paragraphs above, there are advantages to the digital format. It's not a "free extra," it's the thing I made. If you only want the print version, you don't get to Ctrl+F it, or read it on your Kindle, or print out the handouts conveniently. I advise creators not to bother making indexes for their books, because anyone who wants an index can just get the digital edition and Ctrl+F it. (Martin ignores me, which is one of the reasons his books can be used to stun small rodents). I have never abbreviated this as "Tell them to Ctrl+F off," nor will I ever do so, because I love my customers and I hope you do too. (Especially if you're one of them)

Finally, the economics of print on demand are completely different to batch run printing. I wrote a detailed post about this a year ago. Basically, Chaosium could offer its (old) "PDF first, print later" deals because the cost of printing a book is MUCH LOWER for a print run of many thousands of copies than it is when you print each book one at a time, on demand. (And also because the Chaosium knows exactly who its customers are, unlike Jonstown Compendium creators; but I covered that earlier). Mapping across from the one to the other is comparing, I dunno, apples to lobsters. You haven't really understood what you're looking at.

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I mostly have bought from Chaosium.com, to support them.

However, my nearby FLGS's are also struggling!  One almost went under (they saved themselves with a GoFundMe, iirc; but are still shaky).  So I *also* like to support those places!

I think Chaosium is moving away from the "PDF 1st, with print to follow after an extra proofread-pass & community error-trapping."  That early-access PDF was my biggest self-centered reward for buying direct, and AFAIK no longer applies.  Consequently, I will likely move to buying more from my FLGS's (but likely not 100% from FLGS's, will decide case-by-case).

I do not buy this sort of thing from Amazon, or other cut-rate online retailers.  I do sometimes buy from DTRPG, & Bundle-of-Holding.

Edited by g33k
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