GameSpite Quarterly status report

The first issue of GameSpite Quarterly is still missing a handful of articles (including a few I need to write myself), but I’ve completed most of the initial layout — such as it is. The drawback to using is that you have to put your book together through their proprietary software, which is pretty limited. If you’ve seen the first book we published, you have a pretty good idea of what the interiors will look like: clusters of plan text broken up by the occasional intro page or page of screenshots. It would be nice to have more options…but we don’t. Given the choice between “limited options” and “impossible to create,” though, I’ll take the former any day.

Unfortunately, I’m having a hard time keeping the page count under 160, even after using a more compact font in a smaller size than we did for the book. Yay, you say, 160 pages. Yeah, I say, but remember this project isn’t ad-supported: the larger the book is, the higher the final cost per book. I was hoping to keep it at $12, but if we go over 160 pages that’s $14. Realistically speaking, that’s a pretty reasonable price for a small-press, ad-free book printed on high-quality paper; but in strictly subjective terms, it seems an awful lot for a magazine. So I am considering our options.

On the plus side, we’ll probably be ready to open orders before May 10.

33 thoughts on “GameSpite Quarterly status report

  1. Have I suggested using instead? I think I’ve suggested using instead. The things I’ve printed using them have turned out a-okay in my opinion.

  2. hey, $14 dollars for 160 pages isn’t bad. Hell, I’d be willing to pay up to $20 for the book if the writing is as good as all of the previous Gamespite articles.

  3. $20 seems a decent price ceiling if need be. If the paper quality is high and the content is there to back it up (which I’m sure it will be), don’t be afraid to ask for it Parish… just don’t bleed us!

  4. Lulu would offer a savings of a few cents, while requiring a complete reworking of the production process and the use of a different online store from the one that sells the existing book. I’m not seeing the upside here.

  5. I’d be willing to pay $20 for it, at least. I mean, realistically, I’ll pay whatever it ends up costing without batting an eye. And the higher the page count the better.

  6. Would be that horrible to have some ad-space in the book? If you made it something innocuous like, say itself, and kept it in a very specific area, say the beginning and end of the book, it might help reduce the cost.

  7. Oh come on Jeremy…$14 is not a “lot” of money for a quality book. Stop selling your readers short. :-)

  8. The upside is you don’t have to use blurb’s proprietary software that’s really tailored more towards photo books. It still amazes me that you were able to create Vol. 1 using BookSmart.

  9. Jeremy dude, I’d pay up to $25 or $30 for a nice, well-made magazine man. If its good I’d probably buy the next one, too.

    Also, why can’t I read my forum posts? You can’t measure my level of interest if you can’t see my posts, right?

  10. Oh, I know a few people would be perfectly happy to pay any price for these, but I’d like to sell more than a couple dozen copies, so I’m cost-conscious. Still, it’s quarterly journal, not a monthly rag, so I guess the pricing won’t be in line with, say, Redbook.

    And the book won’t be incorporating advertising of any sort for a number of reasons.

  11. Wouldn’t a few people buying a slightly more expensive book make more money than a ton of people buying a cheaper book? Or am I totally wrong?

  12. @Sarcasmorator

    I suppose, but how expensive could these books actually be to make anyway? They’re not exactly proffesionally done, right?

  13. @Tempest: Well, the size of the book dictates how much it will costs. According to the site, the price jumps a bit per book after 160 pages (from $1 to $14 depending on the book type). This jump does not include tax and shipping.

    @Parish: How about a slight content cut? Can you take out a few of the articles and repurpose them as gifts for people who consistently donated to the site? I know the subscription button is gone, but I am fairly sure that you had a pretty loyal group who paid for subscriptions for as long as that button was there. You can take some of your would-be articles for the book and make them into comics for those folks. It would save space on the book, let you be creative, and further reward your supporters,

  14. @rei: Right. You folks are trying to break even. The stuff I was suggesting was just to cut down the size of the book, but still keep the content around in one form or another.

  15. “Nobody’s doing this for money.”

    No, but I’d like for everyone contributing to see something for their troubles.

    Here’s how it works: I intend to price the books about 50% over the actual cost of production — which looks to be roughly $5. Since fulfillment is all happening through Blurb, they simply take the cost of production and anything on top of that is handed to us as profit. I have to put back about a third of whatever we make for taxes, and the rest of that I intend to split up for myself and the authors at a set page rate per copy sold. So $1 differences in cost don’t affect earnings too much, but they do affect the perception of value for buyers.

  16. I’m with Johnny on this one – not to imply you didn’t look into other options, but if there’s a better one out there, it might be best to put this on hold another week or two and find the service that’s perfect for what we want to do.

  17. It’s not a better service. Lulu books are lower quality than Blurb’s, and the price difference is only 50 cents at this level. Plus I’d have to scrap the work I spent my entire weekend doing, and I don’t have a decent page layout program to work with. Even if I did, Lulu works from PDFs, which in my experience never print out precisely like they should. In other words: THERE IS NO UPSIDE.

  18. There was nothing wrong with the “blurb” layout of the first book. Stick with what works. The grass isn’t always greener.

  19. “THERE IS NO UPSIDE” translation: i don’t want to re-do the work I’ve done this weekend to provide a possibly better looking layout and cheaper book?

  20. @ munkus

    Would you re-do an entire weekend’s worth of work to save 50 cents a copy? If you say yes then you’re full of BS.

    Seriously, you’re bitching about TWO dollars. Get a small coffee from Starbucks tomorrow instead of a large and you’ll have your two extra dollars.

    If you don’t like the layout of the book then don’t buy it. Your loss.

  21. munkus: you obviously missed the part about Blurb creating a higher-quality product, and my not having the proper tools to create layouts for a PDF, and the pitfalls of the Lulu submission process. Tell you what, I’ll make a special version of the book just for you. It’ll be a stack of photocopies stapled together, and it’ll cost 50 cents less than the standard version. Email me when the orders go live to make the most of this very special opportunity.

  22. 50 cents really isn’t a lot, to be honest, but I can see Munkus’ point in a way. I’d pay a bit of a price for photocopies stapled together if the material is actually worth paying for. Maybe this should be your test bed, before you actually make a “real” magazine.

  23. @ Tempest Zer0

    So, the book is $14…and a bunch of photocopies are $13.50, you’d take the pile of photocopies? Wow.

  24. The past ten years of this website have been a testbed, you miserable goon. Now we’re just at the point where people are being senselessly contrary to see how much of a jackass they can be.

  25. From my understanding, Lulu also takes 20% of any profit made off the books, whereas Blurb (I think) does not. I know profit’s not a motivating factor, but it does mean the authors would get paid less if the price were to remain the same.

  26. @ Tempest Zer0

    50 cents isn’t a lot, as you say, and it’s even less when you take into account all the disadvantages you’d be taking on (the ones that keep getting repeatedly stated by Parish and repeatedly ignored by seemingly everyone else) to save this meager amount. And from the sounds of it, Parish had already considered Lulu before he did the weekend’s work on this, so it’s hardly him not being bothered to redo it.

  27. Blurb appends a $5 fee whenever they cut a check — whether you’ve earned $25 or $2500, it’s always just a single five dollar fee per check. Beyond that, their earnings are built into the base price of the book. A 160-page book has a base cost of $8, and I’m adding $4.50 on top of that to give a little to the authors, myself, and the tax man for our trouble. Unlike Lulu, Blurb will not take more than $5 of anything above the base price of the book.

  28. I hate that this turned into a thread of completely asinine goonery, but I have to say I’d be more than happy to pay 14 dollars over 12. I mean, I bought Year One even with Blurb’s sort of exorbitant shipping costs, a quarterly issue is no big deal.

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