Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Two Days til Pre-Orders: Technical Notes About the New Releases

First, the T-shirts will be offered in sizes S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXL. The Flailceratops shirt will be 10€, the Fighter shirt will be 12,00€ (plus shipping or VAT). XXL+ will cost a bit more, because they'll cost me a bit more. If you're interested in a larger size shirt, email me by tomorrow night so I can have that ready to go in the store when we go live.

Shirt preorders will end April 7 11:59pm Finnish time. General pre-orders will last until I get the call from the printer that the completed books are on the way from Keuruu. I estimate that to be somewhere around the 18th but I make no guarantees; that could be off by more than a week either way. (there is a bit of a discount for ordering the Grindhouse + Vornheim combo that will disappear when pre-orders end)

I'm printing the books through Otavan Kirjapaino, one of Finland's leading printing companies. I'd seen a lot of their work on book shelves (and had been impressed by it) long before I ever decided to get into the RPG publishing biz. They've handled the printing of the Finnish editions by people like Neil Gaiman, Weis & Hickman, CS Lewis, and Anne McCaffrey, among others.

I've been told by several people that at these quantities I could have gotten these books printed cheaper elsewhere. China, or Estonia.

Yeah, I could have.

But I like the idea of having the confidence knowing that the people printing my books are the ones printing Michael Crichton and Anne Rice books that go on store shelves. Does anyone ever think, "Gee, I wonder how the binding is going to be on that Vampire Lestat book I'm thinking of picking up?" And the company's office is literally right up the road. Makes it easy to show up in person to discuss things like paper stock and cover finishes and dealing with issues that pop up (and pop up they have) is much simpler.

There are reasons to not go with the lowest possible bidder.

Any fuckups associated with these releases will be formatting issues that are my fault - the physical quality of the books will be just fine. (file that under "famous last words," eh?)

Technical details for the books:

Size 148 x 210 mm
Number of pages 64 pages + cover
Papers and colours
Cover board: 1,75 mm
Endpapers: Offsetpaper 120 g/m2, colours 1/0, black
Cover-Wrap: Galerie Art Gloss 130 g/m2, colours 1/0 black + varnish
Jacket: Galerie Art Gloss 130 g/m2, colours 4/4 CMYK + gloss lamination 1/0
Inner pages: Offsetpaper 120 g/m2, colours 1/1 black
Heads and tails: White
Otabasic, thread sewn, case bound book 1,75 mm cover boards covered with 1 –colour printed paper, round back, printed endpapers, heads and tails, dust jacket.

Tutorial and Referee Books:
Size 148 x 210 mm
Number of pages 96 pages + cover
Papers and colours
Cover: Ensocoat 230 g/m2, colours 4/0 CMYK + water based varnish
Inner pages: Lux Cream 1,8 80 g/m2, 1/1 colours black
Binding Otabind perfect bound, paperback

Rules & Magic Book:
Size 148 x 210 mm
Number of pages 160 + 8 pages + cover
Papers and colours
Cover: Ensocoat 230 g/m2, colours 4/0 CMYK + water based varnish
Inner pages: 160 pages Lux Cream 1,8 80 g/m2, 1/1 colours black
Inner pages: 8 pages Galerie Art Gloss 130 g/m2, 4/4 colours CMYK
Binding Otabind perfect bound, paperback

The color insert in the Rules and Magic book is placed to separate the Rules and the Magic sections, serving a practical function in the book beyond the art on those pages.

And after all that blah blah, here's an art preview. It's the Dwarf "class portrait" by Amos Orion Sterns. I needed something to communicate "fighty type character, but durable." Drawing from the "Scottish Dwarf" stereotype, the scene didn't have to conform to the historical feel I was going for elsewhere - the hill peoples are traditional in the ways of war and fashion. Here it is:

Are we ready to rock?


  1. I think it's awesome you stayed local for your printing. These days, it's too easy to go abroad or far away for services you can get locally. When you purchase locally, the money stays in the community. I'm not sure how Finland is doing these days, but I am sure we could all use a few more dollars (or euros) staying in the community.

  2. Big plus for not supporting slave-labour.