Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Green Ronin is NOT a PDF publisher and here is why…

Green Ronin is a well respected and loved RPG publisher. Their staff is top notch and some of the best minds in the RPG industry and publishing business. Fans have supported their various gaming line in local retail stores for years. They have won awards in the field of RPGs and proved themselves to be a great RPG publisher and a top company to retail stores. And that is why Green Ronin is not a PDF publisher.

Green Ronin is a RPG Publisher who makes PDFs, but they are not PDF publisher. They do love PDF sales, but they are not it core focus of their business. The problem that most people seem to forget that there is a distinct difference between what a RPG Publisher is, and what a RPG PDF Publisher is. While they are very similar in just about every fashion, but here are some points that specially separates them:
  1. RPG Publishers what to sell to retail locations who in turn sell to consumers. RPG PDF Publishers want to sell direct to the customer. Simply put, RPG Publishers is Barnes & Nobles; PDF Publishers are Amazon.com.
  2. RPG Publishers put together manuscripts that are sent layout then to printers who print them. The RPG company pays for the print run, the printers sends them to the RPG warehouse that ships the product out to their distributor for sale. PDF publishers put together manuscripts that are sent layout then PDFed and uploaded to sell online. In some cases the create of the PDF can be done for free by the use of free PDF creation programs like CutePDF or PDF 995.
  3. Due to printing cost, RPG Publishers need to do larger page count products to make the product cost effective, since the large the book the more you can charge. While PDF Publishers can do this also, they can also take a larger book and separate it in into smaller individuals PDF products. Green Ronin seemed to do this with their Advanced Race Codex series.
  4. Pricing is normally the real difference between RPG Publisher and PDF Publishers. Often RPG Publisher will use the guide of 50% of the printed cost and that is the price PDF version. Originally the “accept” pricing structure for PDF was 10 per page, but that has changed over the years but pricing for PDF fall in the range of $2 - $8 each.
As I said before, Green Ronin is a RPG Publisher who just happens to make PDFs. Their main goal is to get the physical product in to retail stores. Monte Cook with Malhavoc Press is a PDF Publisher, who just happens to make books. Monte started off testing the PDF waters with The Book of Eldritch Might and went on to do collected bookshelf version of his PDF products with Sword and Sorcery and now with Paizo. Monte’s main goal is to get the information out to the fans no matter the format. DungeonADay.com is a great example of that.

Now with all this said, Green Ronin has release M&M Caper #1: Little League, the comments of Marcus King during the WOTC PDF fiasco more than proves they are fans of the format and see it future potential to help them become a stronger company. Adamant Entertainment, Malhavoc Press, Rite Publishing even LPJ Design are PDF Publishers. Green Ronin is a RPG Publisher who makes PDFs. Remember, there is a difference. Talk to you later…