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Steve

Guide to Glorantha reprint news

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Since this is pretty big news, and was originally posted in the middle of a thread discussing the latest RuneQuest design note, I thought it was worthy of a repost over here.

Rick Meints said:

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The Guide to Glorantha is currently being reprinted. It will be available this year. I do not give a specific month on purpose, so please don't ask for one. 

... and ...

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To leave no doubt in anyone's mind, the Guide isn't being "worked on". It is at the printers going through its file reviews and then the printing presses roll. I want to state this to avoid ANY confusion over whether this is a revised book, or a straight reprint. This is a reprint. We fixed a name in the credits, added a name to the credits, updated the copyright date, and that's about it. Thus, this is basically a reprint. We are not revising any gloranthan content. This is not a revised edition, or a second edition, etc.

Since it is being printed in China, we will let people know when it is on the cargo ship and headed towards our various fulfillment warehouses. We MAY take pre-orders when we feel the time is right. Since it will be shipped to customers from our warehouses in the US, the UK, Australia, and Canada, many overseas customers will be paying less for shipping. We have not decided on the retail price yet. The price may very well be higher because of inflation, etc. We do not know if it will be sold in game stores because most game stores are hesitant to stock RPG related books that are HUGE and relatively expensive. If you are planning on buying the Guide this time around, we suggest you plan on buying it direct from Chaosium. That will be the way to get it the fastest.

Great news, eh?

 

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Probably not the right topic for this, but I originally took part in the kickstarter contributing enough for a pdf copy - then never got round to downloading it.

I recently tried sending a message on the Glorantha.com site about this but got no reply.  Does anyone know the best way for me to get in touch so that they can verify my identity and let me get my pdf?

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Recently, the Chaosium Facebook account commented (in response to something I said on one of their FB posts):

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... we're planning a new version of The Guide, but it won't be exactly the same format as the first edition.

Which sounds intriguing, given that Rick said it would be a straight reprint.

 

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38 minutes ago, Steve said:

Recently, the Chaosium Facebook account commented (in response to something I said on one of their FB posts):

Which sounds intriguing, given that Rick said it would be a straight reprint.

 

Might to be two different things here. They're currently reprinting the GtG (with a couple of tweaks to the Credits). Historically they also talked about a different version altogether: whatever that will be.

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41 minutes ago, Steve said:

Recently, the Chaosium Facebook account commented (in response to something I said on one of their FB posts):

Which sounds intriguing, given that Rick said it would be a straight reprint.

 

Dang.  Ninja'ed by Jongjom...

The reprint now in the works is clearly a "reprint".  They may well have some other project in mind which (or in development) which is what's mentioned over on FB...

Edited by g33k

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I think I read early on that they said that the content of the G2G would hopefully remain in circulation in some form, although not always in th form of large coffee table books, although this next release sounds pretty much the same.

I know there was mention of also doing Gods Of Glorantha in similar format as a double companion volume to the G2G, which will likely be another lengthy Kickstarter project if it happens, and pretty big news if it is announced.

I can see the content for both of them being re-released later in a series of general trade publications, but it will always be good to have the original coffee-table books from a collectors point of view.

Any fan of the Gloranthan setting who doesn't have the G2G should defnately consider getting it this time around.

Edited by Mankcam
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I can only think that it was a mistake by whoever replied from the Chaosium account, confusing the reprint with something else. As jongjom said, the guide reprint is a straight reprint with a couple of very minor corrections.

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Instead of re-printing (in the future), you could put it up on DriveThruRPG with a print-on-demand option.  It would probably cost a little more for the individual, but customers would then have an in-print option without you having to do new massive print-runs.  Plus, I think they offer a few print options (softcover B&W, softcover color, and I think even a hardcover option).

(I'm old school, but conventional big-print-run type publishing is ... dinosaur type "old school" ...except for special editions)

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We can't do the Guide as POD because DTRPG doesn't do 10"x12" format. We would have to redo the entire 800 pages of layout.

As for big-print-run type publishing being a dinosaur, I couldn't disagree more. Ask any RPG company that sells thousands of any printed product and they will tell you that big print run printing is the only way to even come close to making any real money on a book, especially if it has full color internal pages. Yes, you could sell thousands of a book as POD, but you would be depriving your company of a huge amount of revenue. Printing a softcover color book that is 128 pages would cost at least $25 POD. You can't sell that book competitively priced for more than about $35. Compare that to a conventional "dinosaur" print run of 1000 copies and it would cost less than $5 per copy. I am rounding off numbers as a quick example. POD takes away almost all of the risks, but it also basically removes all of the chance to make real money too. You may not feel it is necessary, but to compete with the big companies on store shelves you have to seriously consider doing books as full color. There are exceptions, but look at WOTC, Paizo, etc. Full color books. Chaosium, Pelgrane, Cubicle 7, and many other medium sized RPG companies (relative for the industry) do likewise.  

PS: We looked at getting color POD copies made from a place that could do single copies of a 10x12 book. It was $140 a copy. In general, 800 color pages printed even on 8.5x11 paper is not going to be cheap. You either print a book like the Guide 1000+ copies at a time, or the price is unbearable.

We've held off reprinting it for a while because we weren't sure if there was significant demand, beyond a few dozen additional buyers. 2000 copies we thought pretty much sated the demand. 

Lastly, I feel the need to state that POD is awesome if you have a book of standard size with B&W internal pages. We do a number of titles like that via POD, and intend to offer MANY more. POD doesn't do so well for full color books, which may change in the future. 

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Did you ever consider having an ebook version of it, and in general of all your products ? For instance e-pub, convertible to other proprietary formates. Ok, it is not optimal for art and is B&W, but would be nice for all the ebook possessors.

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ZIT: You should visit our website at chaosium.com. All of our new titles are being released as e-pubs. All our fiction has been done that way for years. 

If the Guide wasn't in color, a lot of the art would be less vivid, and the maps would be much harder to read. Yes, we've thought about e-pub. Displaying a 10x12 full color book with hundreds of maps and illustrations on a small B&W screen doesn't work very well. 

The Guide is as much of a visual presentation of glorantha as it is the textual. ebooks are great for novels and similar.

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I stand corrected about this book being able to do POD ... I can see how the size, and amount of color, etc. would be prohibitive.

On the other point (dinosaurs), seems to me that 80+% of the RPG books I buy lately (if I even bother to buy the physical copies, which is rather rare as well) are POD.  And are just fine as POD, both in cost and quality.  It's really only special things that I've gotten that weren't POD, other than the D&D5 books.  I can see something like this book being in that "special things" category, due to its nature and content... but, in general?

Are you really saying that after all costs (not just the per-print unit cost, but the shipping to your warehouse or fulfillment center, costs of warehousing inventory, etc.), you really still have a significantly better profit margin on the old-school print runs vs POD?  That would surprise me a bit.

(I trust your answer whatever it is -- I don't want to leave the impression that my question is a challenge on that level)

 

Anyway ... count me as one of the people who wants a copy of the new run.  I wanted in on the original KS, but couldn't justify it right then.  I'm not really a RQ gamer, the only BRP games I've played very much are the old Stormbringer! edition (not Elric... though the one time I played Elric it appeared to be the exact same game), and CoC ... and own a copy of Ringworld somewhere.   My interest is in finding a new _setting_, and considering Glorantha for it.  Plus, collecting old-school-gamer stuff :-)

(setting for what mechanics?  probably a FATE variant)

(speaking of things I'd love to see in "print" again... I'd love to see a PDF of Ringworld + Companion :-) but I bet that would be a big licensing headache; but I'd buy it, and I'd back a KS to fund it).

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As I said, POD is great for books with B&W internal pages. Depending on how you feel about paper quality and binding, they ARE often just as good as what a traditional print run would achieve. If I were starting out as a smaller publisher doing B&W internal page books I would almost surely go with a POD only approach. It saves so many hassles and almost all of the guesswork. I would create the books, put them on DTRPG and Lulu, and be done with it. They would sell ok. I could even sell to a few game stores that bought directly.

Sorry, but POD isn't an option for game companies that want to go into regular distribution to game stores. It certainly isn't an option if you want to print color books on any kind of scale. Yes, printing color books by the thousands, shipping them to our warehouses, and paying for fulfillment is cheaper than selling color POD books. WAY better, as in not even close. You can't do color POD books for distributors because you can only charge distributors 40% of cover price, and you can't print a color POD book for 40% of cover price unless you charge more for the book than 95% of the market is willing to pay.

Lastly, I don't know from which companies you purchase 80% of your books, but I am starting to suspect most of them are not published by WOTC, Paizo, Cubicle 7, Modiphius, Pelgrane, or Chaosium, and they also aren't in full color. I suspect they are mostly by smaller publishers (and awesome ones too).

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I have to retract my 80% number, because I forgot about Paizo until you mentioned them.  I forgot that for the last couple years (until recently) I had a subscription to their adventure paths, which throws off my accounting of purchases by quite a lot.  (and I forgot because they were largely going straight to my shelves and not being run ... which is why I eventually cancelled my subscription)

The reason my 80% was pretty much correct without that, wasn't about smaller publishers, it was about almost exclusively buying PDFs anymore.  It was that "except for special things" part -- first print run of D&D 5e, because at time I didn't think I could get 5e PDFs from WOTC (I don't recall if they changed that policy, I hadn't been looking at them for a while before 5e came out, nor since 5e first came out).  I know they're doing a lot of older editions in PDF lately, been buying those up a lot ... but for 5e, I don't recall if they're still print-only or not.  I didn't catch the 5e bug, so I haven't paid attention.

With Modiphius: I bought physical prints of the new edition of Mutant Chronicles, not to use them, but to collect them (my favorite setting ever, so I backed the kickstarter at almost the highest pledge level -- which got me _everything_ except miniatures).  When it comes to _using_ Modiphius products, it's all about PDFs ... I only buy their physical prints as "special things" -- nostalgia on my bookshelf, not use.  And, to continue on your list: I haven't ever bought anything physical from Pelgrane or Cubicle 7, and it's been since the 1990's that I bought physical products from Chaosium (I do still buy PDFs from you guys, I promise ... but I took a hiatus from gaming somewhere in there, and when I started buying Chaosium stuff again, it has been all PDF, and pretty much through DTRPG... kinda miffed that the Guide to Glorantha PDF isn't on DTRPG, even though the Atlas is).

(and if you brought Ringworld back, especially as a general Known Space product instead of focused just on the ring, I would absolutely buy that as a physical product... might even put in a large bid on a kickstarter for it; but I wouldn't be surprised I'm almost the ONLY customer you could count on for that).


For the last half-dozen to dozen or so years, I've been a PDF gamer, not a printed book gamer.  Doesn't matter if they're a big publisher or a small one.  Paizo's adventure path subscription was the only significant exception to that.  (and I don't recall why I bought the physical copies for that; it wasn't a meaningful exception as far as I can recall)  The other exceptions have pretty much been POD.

The only other physical print books I can recall buying in the last 5 years, that weren't POD or used/vintage-from-days-past, were ... actually, coincidentally, at Pacificon (or was it Dundracon?) a few years ago, Chaosium and Crafty Games were across the aisle from each other in the dealers room, and they had a great deal on print+PDF for their new (at the time) Fantasy Craft game.  And I didn't see anything at Chaosium that I either didn't already own, or really wanted/needed.  So I bought their deal for Fantasy Craft :-}

I generally look at printed books, these days, as "collectable for my bookshelf", "if I can't get it any other format", or "a side benefit to getting something else from a higher pledge level in a kickstarter".  And those last two seem to be leaning a lot more toward POD, in my experience, lately.  Either old things being reprinted via POD, or (as you suggested) small publisher KS's that deliver printed content via a coupon for a POD.

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I reviewed the final proofs yesterday, and approved them. Ordering will start on the Chaosium website once the books are on the boat, probably in about 3-6 weeks.

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About the imminent arrival of the physical Guide to Glorantha my thoughts are:  YAY!

Is there a pre-order list I can get on ?  I don't want to miss out a second time.

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