Daily Illuminator

May 22, 2005: GURPS Mysteries Rules!

Congratulations to Lisa Steele, whose GURPS Mysteries remains the e23 chart-topper, and has just broken 300 copies sold.

Does this mean we're going to go exclusively to PDFs? Not on your life.

On the one hand: if we had released the book on paper, it might have sold a couple of thousand in this time. Maybe less . . . the reason we went digital with it in the first place is that, though it is a great book, it is very, very niche. But still, we would have sold more on paper so far.

Of course, we're probably making a bit more on the PDFs. It gets complex here, because that depends very much on how many we printed. If we'd printed only 1,500, each one would have cost us a LOT more than if we'd printed 3,000. Let alone 5,000. But if we'd printed big numbers, we would still be in the hole on the total print job AND we'd have a lot in the warehouse. (Want to know what PAIN is? PAIN is throwing away good products because you overprinted. A book can be the finest treatment possible of its subject, and if you printed 10,000 and there have been only 8,000 people who wanted it after 10 years passed . . . ouch.)

With PDF, on the other hand, there is zero print bill, and no matter how many people want a copy, we always have one more for the next customer. But there are none in the warehouse, taking up shelf space and costing us inventory tax.

Yes, this has been somewhat of a ramble. The point is that PDF is definitely right for some products, and not for others. So we'll keep doing it for some, and not for others.
-- Steve Jackson

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