One milestone down

As of a short while ago, I now have all text for GameSpite Quarterly 5 placed on-page, and 90% laid out. Once I tidy things up, it’s really just a matter of placing images (which, it has to be said, is way more time-consuming than it has any right to be). This issue will be the single longest Quarterly ever, the full 440 pages Blurb allows. That’s a lot! Maybe too many, actually, since it’s going to make the paperback version quite a bit more expensive than I ever intended — a $20 book really blows my intended scheme of making these things available for $12-14. Granted, this issue is more than twice as thick as I ever expected a quarterly publication to be, but that’s NES fandom for ya.

So, I put the question to you: Should I publish the paperback edition with the full contents of the hardcover and hope people don’t flinch at the price, or do I trim everything that isn’t a full article and knock five bucks off the price? Publishing two separate editions of the paperback version (one complete, one not) isn’t a viable compromise; I learned from issue three that no one wants a so-called budget edition. Well, that’s not quite true; one person bought the budget edition. Hi there, whoever you were. Thanks for making sure the time I took to trim down that edition to budget size wasn’t a complete waste.

Big and pricey, or slim and affordable? This is the question I need answered. And now I commence adding images, which will probably wrap next weekend. I could probably get it done tomorrow, but I signed up for a press screening of Scott Pilgrim and will apparently be traveling to L.A. tomorrow. That’s rad and all, but does somewhat complicate the magazine production process. This thing is slated for September 1 publication, though, so even with my last-minute travel plans we’re still waaaay ahead of schedule. For once. It’s kind of weird, but in a sexy way.

25 thoughts on “One milestone down

  1. I think the lesson from the different price-scheme versions was that people who were buying retrospectives for video games on the internet are not particularly price-sensitive. The difficulty is getting people to know about it, not in finding a price point that gets the content/potential audience ratio right. I’d lean more towards making it complete, because that’ll have a greater chance of being interesting to people.

  2. My vote’s to keep the full content in the paperback edition. I can never justify buying the hard cover edition but always feel a bit sad when I read the great articles exclusive to them.

  3. Full-size. Anyone who’s going to buy a self-published book about the NES is probably the sort of person who will want to pay a few extra bucks for more stuff about the NES (ie what Merus said).

    Given the shipping charges on these books, they aren’t really an impulse buy to begin with, so an extra $6 shouldn’t stop anyone.

  4. I’ll be buying hardcover as long as you’re offering ’em, so… not a concern. But I tend to think awesome content should take precedence over an ideal price point. Where would we be if they kept SNES games priced at 49.99?

  5. Either way I would be buying the paperback version since I prefer them to hardcovers (and its cheaper). I’d rather pay the $5 to get all of the awesome content in one book.

    To compare, most video game books like Nintendo Magic, Game Over and Power+Up were priced at $20, and you’ve already said there’s 440 pages worth of content.

  6. I agree with the others. $20 is not expensive at all for a book. I’ll bu no matter what the price is. Hell the shipping to Japan is high so a bigger book makes it more worth while.

  7. Full-size. I haven’t actually ordered any of the quarterlies yet, but I want this one, and the 2nd one, so I may order both of those at once. Six dollars more for full content is definitely the way to go.

  8. Full size please. It’s only $5. People can forgo one Starbucks and have more than enough to cover that.

    $20 for a 400+ page book packed to the gills is a bargain.

  9. “I learned from issue three that no one wants a so-called budget edition.”

    So you already know the answer.

  10. I vote for big and pricey too.

    And please don’t listen to Ialda. Themed issues like this should be all in one place.

  11. Big and pricey! The hardback is always out of my price justification range (even though I’d love the extra articles), but 20 for a meaty paperback seems perfectly reasonable!

  12. @ Ialda

    So then instead of paying $20 for 400 pages you’d wind up paying $25-28 for the same 400 pages. One big book please. If people are fretting over $5 then they probably shouldn’t be buying a book about video games in the first place because they have bigger financial issues.

  13. Here’s another vote for the full-content paperback.

    I also hope you’ll consider offering the same content, regardless of binding, as much as possible in the future.

  14. It’s going to be one volume. One. Just one. Single. Uno. Issatsu. Less than two, more than zero. This is not up for debate. I have no interest in creating a more complicated setup that will cost readers more. There is no gain to be had in taking that approach. Zero. None. Nada. Less than one.

    Anyway, the people have spoken, and a $20 full-content paperback it is.

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