PDF Distribution

Anyway . . . all PDFs that were part of this Kickstarter have been sent out. In four cases, these are the “final” files: Fantastic Dungeon Grappling, Dragon Heresy, Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition), and Dungeon Grappling.

In two cases, Hall of Judgment and of course The Citadel at Nordvorn, I’m taking errata and comments until Apr 29 or so, when I send the final files in to the printer.

The Backerkit and pre-order phase of the project will be open until I send the order to the printer next week. After that, the PDF sales (and print-book pre-orders) will migrate to my website. Once both print and PDF products have been sent out, a quantity of all the books will be sent to Warehouse 23 and listed there, plus PDF sales. Of course it’s best for me if you buy them directly from my website . . . but as Guy Fleegman once said, “I’m just jazzed to be on the show, man!”

Say Things Please?

I’ve gotten a few nice comments as part of proofreading, for which feedback I thank you. That being said . . . if you have a review, initial impressions, or comments about the book, telling me is great. Telling Facebook, SJG Forums, RPG.net, Reddit, Twitter, theRPGPub, etc what you think is even better. If you feel strongly, you can always include a link to the hosted pre-order page:

https://the-citadel-at-norvorn.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders

The author saying “buy my stuff, it’s fun!” is all well and good. If I didn’t think it, I shouldn’t write it. But the backers saying “was worth it,” or even better “I’m going to run this/I ran this and it was fun!” is even better.

No Rest for the Weary

If you’ve seen the Gaming Ballistic publishing schedule for 2019, you’ll know I’ve got a lot going on:

The next on the docket is “TFT Group 1.” That will be four adventures for SJGames’ The Fantasy Trip.

I’m pleased to say that I took a break from Nordvorn to do a draft layout of one of the four adventures – I’ve got them all in hand already – and I’m pleased with how it breaks down. The complete adventure text, with reflow, comes in at about 11 pages or so, with some room for art. The remaining five pages are going to be tokens and maps, more art, and of course a title page and table of contents.

I like doing a bit of layout first. It’s somewhat silly, but it’s far easier for me to see things, edit things, and get a good drink of a draft if it’s on paper. Also: I need to do it eventually, and being able to directly import a file into something that looks good makes for a better Kickstarter presentation.

And while “April 19” has but a week left in it, the first two weeks in May is very possible for a crowdfunding launch. In fact, May 8 through June 2 looks like good dates for the campaign.

I’ve played a bit of The Fantasy Trip at FNORDCon and GameHole Con, and it’s a great little tactical combat game, and in the “old-school” fashion, is easily expanded into a “roll and shout” RPG with In the Labyrinth. 

The adventures being funded are not (yet) Nordlond adventures. I don’t have an issue with doing some! And I may well throw down a few Viking-esque adventures later (I’ve got an idea there, in fact, that would be a great short scenario).

Realistically, that puts crowdfunding completion and backerkit surveys finished in the first week in July, with The Dragons of Rosgarth launching in July, and Forest’s End in September/October. So there should be  three completely new books for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, plus Fantastic Dungeon Grappling and Hall of Judgment (2nd Edition) in 2019 for the Powered by GURPS crowd.

We’ll finish up the year with yet another project for The Fantasy Trip, and the authors are hard at work there as well.

Final Touches

Even so . . . I’ve still got a week to go on Nordvorn, and I assure you I will not be idle. The proofing and commentary has already proven valuable and continues to be more so, and those edits will be reflected in the released draft. A reminder on what you can help me with:

  • Spelling, typos, and errors in layout/formatting. Y’all are rocking this already.
  • Mistakes in monster stats. Gotten a few of these, and they’re vital.
  • Glossary Entries. “How do you pronounce this?” and “Oh, more Nordlond phrases” are both good reasons to stick an entry in the glossary. I’ve gotten one or two of these, but suggestions are welcome.
  • Index and cross-reference suggestions. Some of these are obvious: “see [Section Topic here]” will always get a link. Some are NOT so obvious. With PDFs, you can always just do “Find X,” but you can’t do that in print, and that’s where a good index comes into play.

And that’s that!

We just pillaged the $20,000 stretch goal for 128 pages. This makes me happy. Not the least reason for which is the unfinished draft lays out at 115 pages on a 112-page budget. So . . . I don’t  have to cut anything. Thank you all for making this my strongest Kickstarter ever.

As both Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2 and The Citadel at Nordvorn enter their final hours (fewer than 12 for DFM2, about 60 as I type this for Nordvorn), it’s time to check and see if what you’ve got listed is really what you want, and (if it’s not) push the proejct to the offset print run by adding what you want NOW rather than in Backerkit.

Add-Ons vs Pledge Levels

Make sure you’re at the most efficient levels. If you’re interested in both print and PDF of both Citadel and Hall of Judgment, the Viking Raider and Retail Viking levels make more sense. If you’re interested in being a sponsor and want both books, you’ll pick one of the sponsor levels, and then plus-up with add-ons.

This is especially important for Fantastic Dungeon Grappling. At least one person has said they want that booklet and nothing else. The best way to make that happen is to pledge at the No Reward level, and make your pledge $4 for PDF, $7 for Print, and $9 for both.

The process for purchasing add-ons is one of adding sufficient “credit” to your pledge to cover your purchases once the Backerkit pledge manager phase goes online – shortly after the KS closes and cards are charged.

Once there, you’ll find your reward level already in your cart, and an option to buy add-ons. Add what you want just like you would on any on-line shopping experience. Shipping (if any) will be applied, and then your credit subtracted and then any balance can be paid with your credit card or other payment scheme accepted by Backerkit.

Let’s Get Physical

Plenty of folks want PDF for games because they’re searchable and don’t take up shelf space. Those are great reasons.

But for those who would love to have a physical book, but are nervous about international shipping, I’ll remind you that I do two print runs for non-offset books. One here in the USA, and another in the UK or EU. In fact, even if we DO an offset run, one of the printing locations for quality offset print is in the EU. So we’ll see!

So if shipping makes you nervous about physical goods . . . Hall of Judgment was $6 to the UK, $9 to the EU, and $12 to everywhere else. These costs are unpredictable, but avoiding the “ship it out of the USA” step helps a ton.

So consider print!

How to get ALL THE VIKING

If you missed the Hall of Judgment Kickstarter, and want all the Dungeon Fantasy RPG that Gaming Ballistic has to offer, you’re looking at getting:

  • Print and PDF of Citadel at Nordvorn ($35)
  • Print and PDF of Hall of Judgment ($30)
  • Print and PDF of Fantastic Dungeon Grappling ($9)
  • At least one FDG Bookmark. ($3 to $35, depending on quantity)

So if you want everything, select Viking Raider, and then pledge $77 (one bookmark) to $109 (25 bookmarks)

Not too late for Retail Viking

Four copies each of Hall of Judgment and Citadel at Nordvorn. Combined with a Retail pledge over on Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2, and you’ve got months of entertainment in a box, with more on the way later this year from Gaming Ballistic!

Bring that to the attention of your Favorite Local Game Store (but do it fast! DFM2 ends at just after 5pm Central Time!)

Add-on Options

You can always buy stuff without adding money here in Backerkit. But if you add now, you help achieve stretch goals.

You will have the options to add the following cool stuff in Backerkit:

  • Extra copies of Citadel ($14 PDF; $28 print; $35 bundle)
  • Fantastic Dungeon Grappling laminated bookmarks ($3 for 1, $10 for 5, $15 for 10, and $35 for 25; bookmarks in quantities of 5+ will be shipped in pages with five different pieces of art on them!)
  • Hall of Judgment ($12.50 PDF; $25 print; $30 bundle). There was an error on the original add-on listing; I’ve reduced the price.
  • Dungeon Grappling ($7.50 PDF; $20 Bundle). Finally, grappling rules that don’t suck for players of That Other Game (5e, OSR, or PFRPG).
  • Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition) ($13 PDF; $26 Print; $33 Print+PDF bundle). This is Hall of Judgment pre-converted for you to the Dragon Heresy RPG.
  • Dragon Heresy Introductory Set ($20 PDF; $50 Hardcover Print; $60 Print+PDF bundle). The original system book for the setting being explored in Citadel at Nordvorn and Hall of Judgment. Gorgeous sewn-binding, 3mm cover . . . this is one of the best-printed books you’ll handle. If your friends play 5e but you want more tactical flexibility a la Powered by GURPS . . . this is your jumping off point. May be expensive to ship out of the USA, as all my inventory is in the States.
  • The Battle Shield of Torengar ($500). A hand-made shield made as close to the specs of actual finds as I can make it. Can be up to 35.5″ diameter, will be hide faced-and-backed, and likely 5.5 to 6.5 lbs total. This costs over $1,000 to ship outside the USA (yes, really), so it’s only available in the USA.

Offset Print Run Goal

The last goal that’s within reach (unless we add $10,000 in the next three days!) is the offset print run. Based on past Kickstarter performance . . . it’s not crazy. However, it’s a LOT of books, so the best way to get this done is to ensure lots of physical copies of Citadel are on the list. At some point, stretch goal or no, it’s just cheaper to go for the nicer printing . . . but I need to be ordering well over 600 books to make that work.

But it’s not crazy. 150 folks are PDF only. Nearly 380 people are following the campaign but have not yet backed. That’s an “actual plus latent” amount of nearly $35,000. So even that last stretch goal of 144 pages is not out of reach.

Wouldn’t that be something?

I was a guest this evening with Matt Finch, talking about my Top 5 DM Tips.

I had a rough week, so I had little time to prepare. That made it pretty easy, in a way: the only thing I could think of was the most important stuff. I took a few notes, and I think we had a great conversation!

You tell me. It’s about an hour.

Gaming Ballistic started as a blog in late 2012, and then became a company in its own right in October 2016, as the company formally launched its first product, Dungeon Grappling.

This year, 2018, marks the second full year of the company’s operation. It still has but one person doing all of the administrative work: me. During 2018, Gaming Ballistic existed as a vehicle to deliver Douglas’ game ideas, but that will change in 2019.

Gaming Ballistic is a producer of games and entertainment.

2017 Recap and Goals for 2018

In 2017, Gaming Ballistic posted a nearly $20,000 loss. This was mostly expected, since I made big investments in 2017 in Dragon Heresy, and my product focus was on small releases.

My stated goals for 2018 were

  • Release Dragon Heresy
  • Increase revenue and marketing reach
  • Write “The Hunted Lands,” a mini-setting for the DH Intro Set
  • Attend at least two conventions, in Iceland and Wisconsin
  • Make and Sell more shields
  • Five unannounced secret projects
  • Increase blogging of new content
  • Move Venture Beyond ahead

That was a tall order. How did I do?

2018 Executive Summary

To hit the highlights:

  • Gaming Ballistic increased revenue by over 450% in 2018 over 2017!
  • I still lost about $6,000 overall; I know where the losses were, and they’re understandable and OK for a company starting out
  • 2019 has over 15 products queued up, including one in Kickstarter right now, and could be amazing
  • Dragon Heresy, Hall of Judgment, and Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition) are all gorgeous
  • I have launched and delivered five Kickstarters either early or on time

The High Points

Gaming Ballistic, oddly enough, makes games. Roleplaying games, to be precise. Ultimately, making and selling such things are why GB exists.

Fortunately, this year I managed to get three products into the launch tube.

Dragon Heresy

The big goal after 2017 was to hack down my monumental manuscript for the Dragon Heresy RPG into a single book. I got this done, Kickstarted it, and the project went very well. I did not blow the doors off the house and attract 1,000 backers and $100,000 . . . but I did, at literally the last few minutes of the campaign, smash through the $16,000 stretch goal that got me an offset print run! As a result, I managed to print 1,500 copies of what is one of the best-looking games I’ve handled. Most people who see it comment very favorably on its production values. That was a well-run campaign, and I spared no expense in getting the book done.

Dungeon Fantasy RPG License!

The really big news for 2018 was that Gaming Ballistic was granted a license to convert Lost Hall of Tyr, a 64-page adventure for 5e, into Hall of Judgment, a mildly de-Norsed adventure for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG. The project went incredibly well, crushing my prior record for number of backers, and making very nearly as much money (short by $1000) as the far more expensive Dragon Heresy. This one was, and remains, profitable, and it has been very well reviewed.

This went very well. Very well. It went so well that as Sean noted in his foreword to the upcoming Citadel at Norðvorn, it changed the course of SJG’s intent for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, and landed me three additional projects to boot.

GameHole Con

I also hit my first convention since GenCon in 2017. I ran Hall of Judgment twice, played games with Matt Finch, and Steve Jackson, when I asked how Gaming Ballistic could work more with SJG, said “Write for The Fantasy Trip.”

More on that later. I missed out on a booth there for 2019, but I’ll be going back.

Shields and Weapons

The viking shields were a case study in research and improvement. I sold six to eight shields in 2018, including during my Kickstarters. Mostly, in fact, during the Dragon Heresy Kickstarter. But I also made a lot of investment in time and experimentation, eventually producing a pretty darn awesome hide faced-and-backed shield that even my picky Viking Martial Arts instructor approved for use in class. The pure satisfaction of making these right is a joy to me.

I also dabbled in making wooden wasters – practice swords – for class. These were not for sale (yet), but they were a big hit. As soon as I get a breather I’ll be making a bunch more of these for my Asfolk classmates.

Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition)

This is cheating a bit, but I launched and funded a third Kickstarter in December 2018. While financially, it did not meet the goals I set for it mentally, even if I couldn’t fund an offset print run, the book that came from the campaign is beautiful. Glynn did a remarkable job with the maps. All 1st Edition backers got the upgraded PDF for free, as promised.

It was also my first chance to test out the dual-print-run strategy I’d concocted to beat international shipping. Thus far, it’s going well. I’ll tell you more in a month.

Kickstarter Delivery

Not to put too fine a point on it, but as of the end of 2018, all of GB’s Kickstarters were delivered on time or early. People are saying nice things about me in that regard.

Off Target: Challenges and Missteps

Each year brings opportunities for improvement, and some missed steps.

Goals Not Met

The big stuff that I feel I didn’t do well is increase my blogging of new content, really extend my marketing reach, and move Venture Beyond along.

Companies live and die by the number of folks they can draw into their products. I’ve got some great stuff on offer, but my mailing list and ability to attract new customers was not what it needed to be by the end of the year.

Lost Hall of Tyr Goes Thud

I took a hard look at my prior Kickstarters for Dragon Heresy, Dungeon Grappling, and the original Lost Hall. I identified over 200 people that had backed Dragon Heresy but not the original Lost Hall. Then there were a bunch more that had backed Lost Hall in PDF only, and still more that had only gone for Dungeon Grappling. I figured I could hit the $6,000 softcover, lay-flat binding easy. The only real question was if we could scare up the 300 backers at $25 each (ish) to hit the hardcover printing.

Well, apparently the real question was something else. Roughly 131 folks, which is about 1/3 of the number that backed Dragon Heresy, came on board. We got a great digital print run (and I discovered a great domestic short-run printer to deliver it domestically).

But LHoT2e was a great example of coming back down to earth. I missed the market on this really, really badly.

Burnout

I launched Hall of Judgment the day after the PDF for Dragon Heresy went to the printers. I delivered both on time or early. Then I launched Lost Hall of Tyr 2e, thinking I’d step up my volume game, and it fell pretty flat. Sales of Dragon Heresy seemed lukewarm at best.

I really considered just hanging it up at that point. But then I got word from SJG that they were giving me a pretty awesome license to write TFT projects, and of course I had Nordvorn and two more projects in the hopper . . . So I committed to going full throttle in 2019.

2018 Financial Summary

Gaming Ballistic overall was not profitable in 2018, losing about $6,250 over the year.

Let me tell you why this is a tremendously good thing.

Revenue: Over 450% Improvement

First up: GB took in over $41,000 in sales and other income in 2018, more than 5.5x the prior year.

Actually, that’s pretty much it. I had tremendous revenue growth this year. New goal to beat! The good news/bad news is that I’ve got something like 1,200 copies of Dragon Heresy left to sell. Every single sale goes right to profit; they’re sunk costs at this point. One good review in the right place, and those can move quickly. Good potential here, but my watchword was revenue for 2018, and I hit that mark.

Costs: 85% Increase

My costs went up too, but much of that was in buying books. It took nearly $19,000 to bring Dragon Heresy home (and nearly 2/3 of that was printing the thing and getting it to the USA, and shipping it to backers).

I also spent nearly $2,000 in 2018 on Lost Hall 2e, and the maybe $5,000 to $6,000 in revenue that came from Kickstarter and Backerkit hasn’t come in yet. So 2019 is already looking nice.

Places to improve: I dropped a lot of money on raw materials for shields, backing other folks’ Kickstarters, and I spent quite a bit setting myself up with a computer worthy of graphic design and layout.

Adobe is still bloody expensive ($660 per year!) and I am strongly considering a move to Affinity Publisher and Photo. One-time fees for the win.

Net: Still Lost Money

A company’s business is to make money doing cool stuff. I lost money doing cool stuff, but I lost a LOT less, maybe 3x, than the prior year.

In My Sights: 2019 Goals

Well, if 2018 was the year of revenue, 2019 needs to be the year of profit and growth.

I’m going to be brief here.

  • I’ve got three Dungeon Fantasy RPG products in queue. The Citadel at Nordvorn is in Kickstarter right now, and 92% funded with two weeks to go.
  • The Dragons of Rosgarth, by Kyle Norton, and Forest’s End, by Merlin Avery will come out later this year. Both are more traditional adventures, and both will Kickstart
  • Fantastic Dungeon Grappling, a short independent take on the 4-page rules from Hall of Judgment, is nearly done. That one won’t go to Kickstarter, mostly because of bandwidth!
  • I have a licence to produce a minimum of 10 short adventures for The Fantasy Trip. David Pulver and Christopher R. Rice are hard at work, having completed one each and closing in on the second. That will Kickstart in April, and hopefully begin a series of once-a-month releases. We’ll see how the first KS goes, though
  • James Spahn is writing a viking-flavored OSR adventure for me. I can’t wait to see it.
  • I still need to do more original content publishing on my blog
  • I need to be profitable in 2019

That’s it. 2018 was much improved from 2017 . . . and 2019 could be amazing.

The print copies are on their way to me in the US, and will soon be on their way to my UK fulfillment house. That means print copies will arrive to all backers by the end of March for the Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition) Kickstarter. Committed delivery date was before June. Am I pleased about this? Yes. Yes I am.

US Printing Complete!

I received notice that the US printing is ALSO complete. I expect to receive all the books by UPS Ground in the next few days, and it is possible that they could arrive before the weekend is out, which means, since my printer is in Iowa, only a 1-2 day ship time. So I should have them on Friday. Which means they’ll go into the USPS Monday.

Since it takes 2-10 business days to hit destinations in the USA: most everyone should have their copies by March 18.

Rest of World Proof received!

I also got the hardcopy proof from my UK printer today.

The Good

It’s a very attractive book. Putting my micrometer to it, it’s 8.2mm thick as opposed to 8.8mm for the US book. It’s about 90g lighter as well. It’s sharp looking and the color fidelity is good. Binding is good quality.

The changes I made to the cover were made properly.

The matte interiors on the silk-coated paper are legit nice. Under very strong lights in my dining room, they’re far easier to read than one would expect; even the ink doesn’t glisten/reflect much. It’s very nice.

Needs Improvement

I’d sent about 20 pages of corrections. Typos, missing formatting, and a few other things, on the inside of the book. These were not done, though the files were downloaded.

Where we Stand

I told them I would need to validate that the new pages were inserted, but that a digital proof would be acceptable for that. If they do this tonight (no reason they should not), then print approval for the not-the-US books will be given tomorrow (Thursday), and the print process beings. It’s only two or three dozen copies; it shouldn’t take very long.

I suspect fulfillment will begin on these next week, then. I’ll start working with Kixto to get quantities in hand, and print any other copies of books I need to deliver; there are only a few with multiple orders that will be challenging, so for the most part, not-the-US backers should have their stuff by the end of March.

Pix below the fold.

Flawless Victory?

This is the fifth book I’ve delivered early or on time. I am very pleased with that: no one wants to have to wait for their stuff longer than needed.

I’m running another Kickstarter right now. Set in the same world as Lost Hall/Hall of Judgment, The Citadel at Nordvorn expands the setting geography and lore. Check it out!
Continue reading “Lost Hall of Tyr: Print copies enter final stage”

I’m going to be on two more shows in the next two days!

RPG Coast to Coast

I will be one of the hosts tonight at the RPG Coast to Coast at 9:00pmEST//8:00pmCST//7:00pmMST//6:00pmPST.

Topics for tonight include discussing Longevity of D&D, Art not the Artist, How Best to Promote your Product, and whatever else strikes our fancy.

It’s going to be held in the Tenkar’s Tavern Discord chat.

How do I get to The Tavern Discord? Follow these Steps:

  • Step 1.) Go here https://discordapp.com/download
  • Step 2.) Click which is best for you Windows, Mac, Android, IOS, or Linux and download it.
  • Step 3.) Once it has finished downloading click the + button surrounded by a dotted circle on the left hand side
  • Step 4.) Click the Join a Server button and copy and paste this into it https://discord.gg/GaXW2TX

Being Stalked by Matt Finch

OK, not really. I reached out to him. 🙂

Even so, we will be chatting on his D&D Neighborhood channel at 6pm Central time, Saturday Feb 23. We always have fun.

Morning! As we head into what will be a heavy writing weekend for me on Citadel at Norðvorn, I wanted to leave you with two podcasts.

Roleplay Rescue (Che Webster)

Che and I talk for about an hour, and cover gaming stuff both old and new.

Game Night on Geek Gab

I return to their show for the third time. We cover what’s gone on at Gaming Ballistic since HoJ, being nice to customers, and group stealth rolls . . . plus a bunch of Nordvorn sporadically through the show.

I’ve updated the Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition) PDF to correct some errors I noticed while looking at the proof. This should be the final file, though doubtlessly in the future someone will point out something I missed. This is the change log.

You should be receiving a Backerkit distribution of the file. I’m currently spooling out a new interior file for the printer(s), and that will be uploaded slightly later today. They actually prefer changes in the form of single page, but since both of the printers (UK and USA) also support POD, a new, full file is sensible.

Change Log u20190215

  • You’ll never notice this, because you’ll only get this version, but I’m upgrading the cover to 12pt/300gsm instead of 10pt/250gsm. The heavy paper on the interior needs an appropriately stout exterior.
  • p.iii – changed the ampersand in Swords & Wizardry to a different font, because it looked stupid in PR Viking
  • p. vi – adjusted the image and text to bring an orphan line where it belonged. It’s a hard-knock life.
  • p. 11 – Removed some underlines that were a legacy of the paragraph style used in the Pack Animals table
  • p. 18 – the borders went MIA in the Lowland Encounters table. They’re back.
  • p. 30 – a colon was used instead of a period in a run-in title. Colonectomy performed, period.
  • p. 41 – Way too many titles in the map-as-art. Now just reads “Dire Straits,” which gives more room for Dire Wolves to eat the PCs. Talk about clean plate club.
  • p. 42 – changed “When Norðalfar Attack” to “When Goblins Attack” in the art, and fixed a find/replace artifact (Goblinoids–>Goblins) in the text. A goblin is something different in the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, so my faerie goblins got renamed to norðalfs, plural/generic norðalfar.
  • p. 45 – removed an underline in the table that didn’t need to be there.
  • p. 49 – changed “ore” to “more” because typo, dammit.
  • p. 50 – expanded the map to very nearly fill the entire page. It’s slightly offset to the left in the PDF, because in print there will be paper lost to gutter.
  • p. 52 – Added details of “Trap D,” which managed to go MIA for several versions of the book. Yay, poison gas!
  • p. 54 – also expanded the map. This page was the bad print error page, so it would have been fixed regardless
  • p. 56 – Italicized Muspelheim.
  • p. 60 – changed paragraph style on “Varieties——>” to make it match other section heads
  • p. 92 – Changed map title to just read Dire Straits
  • p. 93 – Changed “Norðalfar” to “Goblins”
  • p. 102 – fixed a few layout errors and emphasis mistakes in the One Page Grappling section
  • p. 103 – fixed the ampersand in Swords & Wizardry so it doesn’t look silly
  • Back Cover – there are no ready-to-play characters in Lost Hall 2.0, because Dragon Heresy, 5e, and S&W Characters are very quick and simple to make at Level 1-5. That needed to be removed.

That’s the list!

The moment I’ve been waiting for. I hope you have too. There’s good news and bad news.

The Bad News

Let’s start with the bad news, because other than a few things to adjust, the rest is just freakin’ great.

There are maybe three or four things that need fixin’:

  • One of the pages had a legit whoops. The printer must have run out of ink or something. I’m hoping that quality control would have caught that, ’cause dang.
  • The goblin warrens maps were left out of the document. That’s an issue, because I’m out of space. I have a few ideas. The maps as they are are quite large, and done in full-page mode anyway. I can make them bigger, overlapping the page borders, and that would do it. I hate to lose the Dragon Heresy teaser or any of the other info. I’ll probably do that.
  • One map is labeled “When Norðalfar Attack!” instead of “When Goblins Attack!” That’s a quick fix.
  • There might be typos or other errors, but I’ll do a read-through word-by word with the pages in hand tonight. It’s always easier when you can look at the pages.

And that’s all for errors. One legit printer muck-up, and the rest are really my problem.

The Good News

The book is going to look amazing. Let’s start with the cover, and see how it stacks up with other books. Oh . . . one thing before I go nuts pasting pictures. This is an unbound proof. So don’t look at images where pages show through on the cover and judge the binding. There’s isn’t binding yet. That makes it easier to inspect the quality of the complete page.

The Cover

The Interior

Hall of Judgment - 128 pages; Lost Hall 2.0 - 112 pages. That's THICK paper.
Hall of Judgment – 128 pages; Lost Hall 2.0 – 112 pages. That’s THICK paper.
Oops. Won't ship the book like this!
Oops. Won’t ship the book like this!

Final Word

So, there are a few things to fix. Once that’s done, though – these guys did a nice job, and I look forward to doing more work with them in the near future.

I think you’ll like the heft and feel of the book when you get it. The colors are nice, the cover and paper tangibly good quality, and it stacks up as a nice companion to the Dragon Heresy Introductory Set.

I’ll read and correct errors tonight. Not entirely sure if they’ll want me to send over pages, or an entire file (no problem either way). After that, I suspect it will be a quick turn for printing, and then I’ll get shipping going.

Major milestone!

So, the files have been sent to the two printers: one in the UK, and one here in the USA. I made payment as well, and folks are talking about pre-press (a day or two) followed by perhaps three weeks of printing after proof approval, and that usually takes about a week. In both cases I’ve asked for hard-copy proofs, to check color and binding.
If that happens, I expect to have books ready to ship out by the first or second week in March, that means that by mid-March, the US and UK customers should have their books, and by the end of March or early April, everyone. Even the Aussie, I hope.
The details:
US Books: Preflight is today and tomorrow. Proofing is rapid but usually takes about a week. Then three weeks of printing. I should have books at my house by March 7, which means that I can pack ’em up and ship ’em out by the end of that weekend. Arrival in-hand March 13-22, depending on the USPS. Print copies will be about 9mm thick, printed on 100# matte paper.
International Books: Preflight is tonight. Proofing has to ship to me from the UK, but that has been quite fast in the past. I’ve tried to sneak the title and logos onto the spin, which is a bit thinner (about 6-6.5mm) due to slighly lighter weight paper stock for this printer (130gsm/85#). Assuming this printing looks as good as Hall of Judgment (no reason it should not!), and that they don’t reject my spine information, I’d expect the books to arrive at Kixto, my fulfillment partner in the UK, by the second week in march. From there, we have one going to Australia, one to Korea, and the rest either the UK or EU, so those should be fast. I’m still thinking late March or Early April. For the two folks that also ordered copies of Dragon Heresy in Hardback, I’ll send those separately.
Even so, it looks like the project will complete 2-3 months ahead of schedule.