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Whill

print version of Septimus problems?

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I have been rather absent lately, for various reasons (problems with the print version of Septimus being the last straw to full burn-out).

 

wraith, thank you for your support of D6 and sharing your responses from Mr. Gibson, but may I ask what specficially are the problems with the print version of Septimus?

 

Jokes about Chinese pirates aside, were some of them really lost at sea?

 

Is there a problem with the print-job or the layout?

 

Will they ever be available through "the chain" so my FLGS can order me a copy to buy from them?

 

My understanding is that Eric Gibson is very supportive of retail business so I would think that my effort to support them selling WEG products to me should be appauded, or least make me deserving of an explaination.

 

Why are the Septimus problems such a big secret? Is it feared that if the details became known it would somehow hurt the PR of the game, WEG or Bill Coffin? (If so, I will happily accept a PMed answer and I promise not to tell the secret.) But I would think that a complete lack of any news at all would hurt sales of the book more, but what do I know? I'm just a loyal WEG fan and paying RPG consumer, not a business man.

 

Please, what's going on with the Septimus hardbacks? If I can just get an official answer I promise stop asking the question. Pretty please? :)

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The OpenD6 Developer unofficially mentioned that he wants to get back to OpenD6 after January.

 

The Septimus print problems are many. I actually wrote this response already, but the site timed out on me and I lost all I wrote. I then did so work and realized my previous post would probably have been misleading (people would think I was saying I got scammed, when that is not [i think] the case).

 

This goes back to before GenCon. As most of you know, Septimus was to be our big GenCon release. Bill was coming to sign books and all was working as planned. The printer repeatedly assured me that the book would be in my warehouse by the end of July.

 

Not long before the end of July, I was informed that there was a delay and the book might NOT be there when promised. Ouch. A bit over a week before GenCon (perhaps 2 weeks, I don't really remember), I was told that the books were finishing their print and would be shipping in like two days. This is probably like two weeks before GenCon (very end of July, beginning of August) and the books had not yet been put on the slow boat from China. Clearly, they were NOT going to be here for GenCon. I asked them to send 200 books via air, but they were going to make me pay for the airbill, which would have been many hundreds of dollars. In hindsight, this would still have saved me much money. I declined (already starting my slow boil). I then started scrambling to find a POD printing would could get me the books in about a week. A wasted a few days on that, decided Lulu was the fastest option and planned that. Alas, with DAYS before needing to leave for Indy, I found out the Lulu has set print size requirements and the layout size for the offset HC run was different from the soft cover Lulu run, so the book had to be re-layed out. I finally had the new layout done the evening before leaving for Indianapolis. There were problems transferring the file to Lulu, and I got a late start. I ended up not successfully transferring the file until I was actually at GenCon and in my hotel. To get the book there in time for Bill to sign, I had to choose and super expedited print/ship option. The cost of the print was not terrible, but the cost to expedite the printing and shipping was a real killer. In the end, I got 100 books printed and shipped in basically less than 2 days, but it cost me about $1,300 to do that. Sales at GenCon were meager, and I'm fairly certain that I barely covered the cost of the print and NONE of the cost of the booth, badges, hotel rooms, etc. GenCon got me DOWN in the dumps.

 

After GenCon, it was back to dealing with the books. The books were continually delayed. The agent's communications became parse and were cryptic. Apparently, the books didn't even get on a boat until AFTER GenCon was over. They were delayed first in China, then supposedly in Los Angeles (or whatever). I got an email saying the books were in port in LA, then I got an email saying they were enroute. To my warehouse? No. To United States. AFTER I was told they were in California. Weeks later, then a mail saying they were confirmed to be in the US. Then and email saying they were held up by customs, then and email saying that the books were being held in a forwarders warehouse pending the final (1/2) payment of the books. Really? Almost 2 months after GenCon and the books are finally in port, and I had not see a single one yet? I told them, not until I got a copy of the book and approved it. They argued that I waived "approvals" to get the books finished faster (faster, as in 2 months late, faster?). They told me they would send me a copy of the book, but I'd have to pay them and extra $15 or something like that for the Fedex charges (clearly we were both getting on each other's nerves, to charge me $15, after playing them almost $3k already) .... That was the straw that broke the camel's back. I refused the order, told them to take their books back. I canceled, demanded my initial payment back (have not received it -- in the process of trying to get a chargeback refund from my bank).

 

Anyway, the basic problem is a big business disagreement, due to delays and a loss of a big chunk of money. I'm not sure if I was in the right. But in the end, I'm tired of the whole thing. I have not talked to the printer agent in almost two months and it'll be infinitely longer before I want to talk to her again.

 

At this time, I have not sought out a new printer for Septimus. The sales of the pdf and the print run through both Lulu and at GenCon have been, well, underwhelming and I do not believe with the state of the industry the way it is that paying for another 1500 books up front would be fiscally responsible. Lulu offers a hardcover option, but it is too expensive to put into retail (possibly if retailers order directly from me, rather that distribution) and Lulu's shipping costs are unfairly high for non-US buyers, so I'm in a difficult place.

 

Additionally, a Lulu hardcover option would require yet another layout of the book. This is not a huge problem and is something I probably should have done already, but have not.

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Eric - that all sucks in a very big way. I hope some time after the event will let you put it behind you and move on with WEG.

 

If it helps at all, RPGNow/DTRPG are in the beta-testing stages of their new POD offering. It isn't through Lulu, and offers much better rates for publishers. It might be something to keep an eye on. No idea when it will be ready to roll out, but I guess in late Q1/early Q2 of this year.

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Eric - that all sucks in a very big way. I hope some time after the event will let you put it behind you and move on with WEG.

 

If it helps at all, RPGNow/DTRPG are in the beta-testing stages of their new POD offering. It isn't through Lulu, and offers much better rates for publishers. It might be something to keep an eye on. No idea when it will be ready to roll out, but I guess in late Q1/early Q2 of this year.

 

I mean to check that out. RPGnow would be preferable to Lulu because RPGnow already has a targeted customer base there specifically FOR rpgs and Lulu only pays out once a quarter.

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Wow. And one would think that failing to deliver the goods MONTHS after all of your promotional work would put you in a position to sue for damages. OF course, you'd have to have the time and money to sue.

 

Do you have any idea what they're going to do with the books? I'm assuming that they can't just try to unload the books themselves.

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Wow. And one would think that failing to deliver the goods MONTHS after all of your promotional work would put you in a position to sue for damages. OF course, you'd have to have the time and money to sue.

 

Do you have any idea what they're going to do with the books? I'm assuming that they can't just try to unload the books themselves.

 

First, I'm not sure what recourse I have, but most offshore printers are VERY VERY clear that delays happen for various reasons, yadda yadda. And any promises of dates are informal at best.

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The Septimus print problems are many...

 

Anyway, the basic problem is a big business disagreement...

 

At this time, I have not sought out a new printer for Septimus...

 

Thank you Eric for this detailed response. The fan community and hardback customer base really appreciates it! I am sorry to hear about all the trouble with the Chinese print option you chose.

 

If I get a reply from Eric and the old preorder offer is still valid then I will get that direct from him, if not then from Lulu.
Eric emailed me yesterday and is checking on the shipping costs, so I presume when hes done that its ready to send off.

 

These were posted in a thread called, "Hard Back Copies." I guess I incorrectly assumed this transaction was regarding a hardback copy. But from what I've read in this thread, you never even recieved one single hardback copy, so this must have been for the paperbook.

 

Lulu offers a hardcover option, but it is too expensive to put into retail (possibly if retailers order directly from me, rather that distribution)...

 

Additionally, a Lulu hardcover option would require yet another layout of the book. This is not a huge problem and is something I probably should have done already, but have not.

 

Please keep us posted on the possible future availability of this hardback option.

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Over the last two evenings I've been fixing the layouts for a hardcover version of the book to be available through Lulu.com. I've actually been doing two: the same B&W version which will be the likely hardcover print option through Lulu and a color version of the book, which will likely replace the PDF available through RPGnow and Lulu. Since it will also be the appropriate size for it, I'll probably provide the option to purchase a hardcover color version of the book as well through Lulu for those of you with more money and sense, as I'm sure it will be GROSSLY expensive.

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I would like there to be, but I'm struggling to make the numbers work. The cost to print a hardcover from Lulu will be roughly $23 - $24 each. This is FAR about the cost of an offset print (per copy), but offset to hit the right margins, needs to be over 1000 books, with 1500 being a more reasonable min.

 

Distribution pay publishers only 40% of cover. The cover price of Septimus Hardcover is to be $44, meaning distribution will on pay $17.60. Warehousing and shipping costs reduce that to roughly $14.18 (or so).

 

So, putting that hardcover into distribution will come to a net loss of about 9.32, plus the cost of shipping from Lulu, so lets make that -$10.

 

I would LIKE to be able to offer retailers direct purchase of the book, but while doing so would eliminate the loses, there would really be no profit either and, let's face it, I have to actually earn money to make up money paid for the writing, editing, and art.

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Thanks again for all the details. We appreciate the responses. I'm still in the market for a black-and-white hardcover, but I think that a color copy would be too expensive.

 

I realize that your profit margin may be the largest for the PDF, but I still don't want to pay for the book twice so I guess I have to keep waiting.

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I would like there to be, but I'm struggling to make the numbers work. The cost to print a hardcover from Lulu will be roughly $23 - $24 each. This is FAR about the cost of an offset print (per copy), but offset to hit the right margins, needs to be over 1000 books, with 1500 being a more reasonable min.

 

Distribution pay publishers only 40% of cover. The cover price of Septimus Hardcover is to be $44, meaning distribution will on pay $17.60. Warehousing and shipping costs reduce that to roughly $14.18 (or so).

 

So, putting that hardcover into distribution will come to a net loss of about 9.32, plus the cost of shipping from Lulu, so lets make that -$10.

 

I would LIKE to be able to offer retailers direct purchase of the book, but while doing so would eliminate the loses, there would really be no profit either and, let's face it, I have to actually earn money to make up money paid for the writing, editing, and art.

 

As an alternative, can you just give me the address of the warehouse in LA where they're being kept? I can just assemble a crack team to go in, snag a few copies, set a controlled fire to the building, and then everyone can just write off the loss as part of their insurance. I'll send you a check for 44x the number of copies that we managed to steal, and no one will be harmed (unless you count loss of property, public services for fighting the fire, the loss of material goods, and anyone inadvertently maimed or killed in the blaze).

 

I see no way that my carefully laid plans can possibly go wrong.

 

:)

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As an alternative, can you just give me the address of the warehouse in LA where they're being kept? I can just assemble a crack team to go in, snag a few copies, set a controlled fire to the building, and then everyone can just write off the loss as part of their insurance. I'll send you a check for 44x the number of copies that we managed to steal, and no one will be harmed (unless you count loss of property, public services for fighting the fire, the loss of material goods, and anyone inadvertently maimed or killed in the blaze).

 

I see no way that my carefully laid plans can possibly go wrong.

 

:)

 

Lol... Whish I had such an address. It would make for an interesting LARP adventure.

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Maybe I'll just have to post it as a D6 Adventure module.

 

That would earn you at LEAST one official WEG awesome point.

 

 

They may or may not have robotic attack dogs assisting ninjas as guards.

 

The intel is... unclear on that point.

Edited by hellsreach

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Are any of the D6 books at lulu??

 

Do you mean the older D6 books? No. Since those are available as PDF freely, I didn't put them on Lulu. I do have several copies of boks of those books if you wanted a print version.

 

Of course, Septimus is at Lulu which is a D6 book.

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Sorry I reposted this in another thread also since I didn't want to hijack this one. I sent you a PM about getting some of those books. Not every one likes to buy PDFs. I got so so many I now only buy small page count supplements. I try to always get larger page count and main books in print.

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Almost 2 months after GenCon and the books are finally in port, and I had not see a single one yet? I told them, not until I got a copy of the book and approved it. They argued that I waived "approvals" to get the books finished faster (faster, as in 2 months late, faster?). They told me they would send me a copy of the book, but I'd have to pay them and extra $15 or something like that for the Fedex charges (clearly we were both getting on each other's nerves, to charge me $15, after playing them almost $3k already) .... That was the straw that broke the camel's back. I refused the order, told them to take their books back. I canceled, demanded my initial payment back (have not received it -- in the process of trying to get a chargeback refund from my bank).

 

Anyway, the basic problem is a big business disagreement, due to delays and a loss of a big chunk of money. I'm not sure if I was in the right. But in the end, I'm tired of the whole thing. I have not talked to the printer agent in almost two months and it'll be infinitely longer before I want to talk to her again.

 

At this time, I have not sought out a new printer for Septimus. The sales of the pdf and the print run through both Lulu and at GenCon have been, well, underwhelming and I do not believe with the state of the industry the way it is that paying for another 1500 books up front would be fiscally responsible.

 

It seems to me, unless I am way off in understanding these complex business disagreements, that you not wanting to pay an additional $15 is why we don't have a Septimus hardback.

 

Lulu offers a hardcover option, but it is too expensive to put into retail (possibly if retailers order directly from me, rather that distribution) and Lulu's shipping costs are unfairly high for non-US buyers, so I'm in a difficult place.

 

Additionally, a Lulu hardcover option would require yet another layout of the book. This is not a huge problem and is something I probably should have done already, but have not.

 

Thanks for trying to explain to us laymen how your business is run. It is appreciated, and better than no updates at all.

Edited by Whill
I reduced my prolonged rantings to the base core of the post

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I wasn't trying to make points or "help" the situation because I no longer feel that any possible help exists. I feel completely powerless to help in this situation.

 

The Septimus hardcover in color fell through. Now the Septimus harcover in black-and-white also fell through over a matter of a mere $15.

 

And both times we found out what happened about it long after it's planned release. The paperback has numerous errors and ommisions (I hear). At least a PDF can be edited.

 

I will not buy both a PDF and a hardback. I will not pay for it twice. So I have given up on waiing for the hardback, and decided to just buy the PDF.

Edited by Whill
I removed my offer for do donate $15 towards the hardback cause because it got no reply, and I decided to just buy the PDF.

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I don't know if Bill Coffin even comes here, but if he manages to have Septimus released in any form or system, I'll jump to support it. I'd love to see a good hardcover edition in the local stores, with a few modules or expansions every 6 months or so. I know it would sell, because the setting is a good one.

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