Squaring the Publishing Circle

At 2kg in weight Abracadabra is a beautiful beast of a book

Hi everyone,

This was originally posted as an update to my sixth Kickstarter of 2020 but it has a relevance across the whole of my output so I thought I would copy it out here for ease of reference. Originally written January 2021 I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year albeit very likely quieter and quite different to previous years. Staying safe is the priority. (I say from Britain who had it's borders closed for a period due to the virus!)

I'm lucky that no one in my house has contracted it and working from home I get to be safe and secluded.

One of the spin off consequences of the pandemic is an increase in courier and postal rates globally. I'm not entirely sure why, unless it is in response to the increased demand (although I always thought volume decreased price).

It does means that having a book personally signed, packaged and shipped to you by the author becomes something of a luxury item. (One could argue it always was.) I want my works to be available to as wide an audience as possible and I know from growing up, and as a young teenager getting into RPG's NOT being able to afford the books that price can be a barrier.

And yet, there are those who, like me, grew up with RPGs and now, as successful adults, can chose to spend good money on a good product. In other words, I believe I see both sides of the situation. Quality, exclusive items have a place in the industry, as do more economical, mass produced items.

I've given the matter a lot of thought. Personally holding Abracadabra combined with reading the reviews and feedback from people who have received their copies confirms beyond a shadow of a doubt that such a book is best savoured in physical format. But what of the cost of shipping and the ease of reading on a pdf?

Well, yes - both are factors on the other side of the scale and need to be taken into account. One backer recently in response to the Advent Calendar made the point that not everyone has room for another book on their shelves.

So, here's my working solution.

Each significant book I produce will be released with a limited edition version and a regular print run.

The limited edition will be hand signed and have exclusive extras such as bookplates, bookmarks, numbering, unique covers etc. (The specifics will vary from book to book.)

Those limited editions will be printed in the UK and pass through my hands here before being shipped out worldwide.

They will also come with a pdf version of the book, included in the price.

Separate to that limited edition version will be a general print release. This will be printed on both sides of the Atlantic (for it's really getting things to America that is the main issue) and thus postage will be cheaper.

Only at the time of the general release will the pdf version become available as a separate item.

It is likely that the limited editions will be released a few months prior to the general edition but I might do both together in some cases.

It strikes me that by doing this everyone get's the best options for their desires and financial reach.

Which leads me to next significant book from The Grinning Frog...

This is a collection of magic items but rather than simply list the magic items we are choosing, by popular request, to list fewer items and give more content for each.

You will have roughly 150 magical oddities - comprised of circa 75 core items and as many variations. In addition we expect there to be over 200 story hooks, approximately 100 named NPCs and the book will run to a minimum of 200 pages.

We are listing options for repairing the items, producing copies, likely locations for them and a history of the item comprising (in most cases) their creation and former owners. Myths, rumours and stories will be provided about the items.

It's also the limited edition, signed and numbered version with a unique bookplate and exclusive book mark. Only 100 issues will be printed.


So that was the update as posted with a few bits trimmed off the end. I hope it makes clear to everyone reading it how and what I will be producing my work. Additionally, I very much hope that it enables everyone to back and purchase the type of content that works for them on all levels. Stay safe and keep gaming. Stephen


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