The tinkerer’s report

After posting about the possibility of changing the format of GameSpite Journal a few days ago, I decided to take the idea for a test drive. The verdict: Love the handling, the motor purrs like a kitten, and the mileage seems excellent. Also, car metaphors don’t make any sense when talking about book publishing.

Better to let the results speak for themselves, I guess.

To recap, the issue here is that I’d really like to design for color now that it’s available in Blurb’s compact paperback formats, BUT: Self-published color books are stupidly expensive, as the half-dozen mad souls who have dropped something like $70 for GSJ9 in color hardback format can attest. (And God bless you crazy nut jobs; I feel like a little bell should chime every time someone pulls the trigger on that edition.) I could always make the books shorter in length to save on costs, but then you’d be paying as much for less content. Which isn’t cool.

Fortunately, it looks like switching formats is the way to go. Yes, I realize this will lead to bookshelf irregularities for those who have been following this venture from the start, but I’m willing to have improperly coordinated books on my own shelf if it means the contents are better. And already I can see that this is a definite trade up. By moving from the 5×8 edition to the 6×9, I’m actually able to fit about 50-60% more text on each page without it looking crowded. That means we can move to smaller page counts without drastically reducing the amount of content in each book. And, at the same time, it will look vastly prettier. I mean, look at that mock-up! It’s quite lovely.

So, it looks like GJ10 (a Super NES 20th anniversary tribute) will be printed in full color, with the hardcover edition costing about the same as a current B&W hardcover. Better yet, the B&W paperback edition will cost a few bucks less than previous B&W paperbacks. The amount of text will definitely be reduced from the NES and PS1 anniversary books, but I’m OK with that; at the scale of those behemoths, the editing quality was compromised. The next issue (whenever it comes along) will have the most polished writing and the most vibrant layouts to date, which strikes me as an all-around win.

Anyway, that’s how I spent my Sunday morning. You?

5 thoughts on “The tinkerer’s report

  1. Church and then the Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay.

    I’m a gamer, God understands.

    The format is nice, too.

  2. Hot damn that looks awesome. I’m all for the next series of books looking a little odd when stacked on a shelf with the old one if it allows the guts of these books to become even prettier.

    Feels like the GSJ just hit puberty.

  3. Man, if only Gamespite Journal 9 had been Gamespite Quarterly 9, and then the new format could be Gamespite Journal X to differentiate the two series, and then around Gamespite Journal X3 people would just start wondering what happened to 10, but everybody knows that X is 10.

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