I’ve received a fair number of requests to sell GameSpite Journal in PDF format, which is perfectly understandable because, let’s face it, those books are kind of wicked pricey. (Especially in light of Blurb’s even-rising shipping costs.) So I experimented with the possibility yesterday and… I wasn’t impressed with what I found.
For starters, I have to pay a $5 fee for each book I want to sell as a PDF so they can convert the book file into a PDF… which is stupid, since I upload books as PDFs to begin with. Worse because of Blurb’s inability to make offer multiple editions of a single book as a single product — which is why there are always three or four different versions up on the store for each GameSpite book rather than one version with options for color/BW and paper/hardcover — I’d have to pay the fee for each and every edition on the store.
OK, fine, whatever. But the real kicker is that their base price (the amount they pocket up front) for a PDF is $5 — for a product that costs them pennies to deliver. If I want to see any profit from the PDFs, I have to add a surcharge above that, which is idiotic. Five bucks seems like the extreme limit of a reasonable asking price for a digital file. I have a few PDFs on the store for $7 as a result of this experiment, and that just seems stupid.
So here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to set up my own Google Checkout or something and sell PDFs of the books myself and charge less than $5. I don’t need Blurb to overcharge you and me to sell digital versions of the books. I can sell for less than Blurb expects and profit more myself at the same time. So, those of you who were interested, please stay tuned — I’m pretty busy over the next week or two, but this should happen sooner than later. And, if all goes well, I’ll be done with The Anatomy of Zelda in a few days and ready to sell that as a physical product. I’ll look into the prospect of adding a free PDF download for at least the premium version of that.
As for the prospect of GameSpite eBooks… unfortunately, that won’t happen. These books are heavily focused around layout and design, and the eBook format is antithetical to the idea of design. I’ve tested eBooks and they are disastrous. Sorry!
And now, back to non-administrative stuff.