Buying PDFs?

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Verderer
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Buying PDFs?

Postby Verderer » Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:21 am

I am pretty new with these pdf versions of RPG books, and was wondering if you could guide me with this?

I was looking at Drive Through RPG and RPG now (are these two related by the way?), and it seems they're selling Conan books at the same price as Mongoose is selling their hard copies, some pdf's even seem to cost more than Mongoose's paper versions! :shock:

So what I am missing here, aren't pdf's supposed to be cheaper than paper copies? Or is it that Mongoose is selling them extremely cheap?

I know ordering from Mongoose will incur hefty postage to the price (with me living in Finland), but even so, I'd rather have the paper copy at hand than try to read the pdf on computer screen or print it (which can be very expensive too).

Do you people buy pdf versions a lot?
merkkari-masa
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Postby merkkari-masa » Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:39 am

Not me
Verderer
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Postby Verderer » Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:02 am

Ok- :wink:

Just to add, I am currently trawling all the LGSs for the books I want, but if they don't have them, I need to look abroad.
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Re: Buying PDFs?

Postby Paladin » Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:32 am

Verderer wrote:I was looking at Drive Through RPG and RPG now (are these two related by the way?), and it seems they're selling Conan books at the same price as Mongoose is selling their hard copies, some pdf's even seem to cost more than Mongoose's paper versions! :shock:

So what I am missing here, aren't pdf's supposed to be cheaper than paper copies? Or is it that Mongoose is selling them extremely cheap?
http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/phpBB ... ht=#516745
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DigitalMage
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Re: Buying PDFs?

Postby DigitalMage » Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:04 pm

Verderer wrote:I was looking at Drive Through RPG and RPG now (are these two related by the way?)
Originally they were seperate sites, but then they merged to become onbookshelf, however they keep the seperate sites for name recognition, though now they are effectively just different "skins" for the same system, e.g. my wishlist and account is the same if viewed on RPGNow or DriveThru.
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Postby Clovenhoof » Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:27 pm

I bought only one Conan PDF, Hyboria's Fiercest, because my FLGS is way overpriced (we're talking 30 Euros / 45$ here) and my FIGS never had it in stock. I paid about 11 Euros for the PDF so I'm quite happy.
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Postby The King » Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:36 pm

Clovenhoof wrote:I bought only one Conan PDF, Hyboria's Fiercest, because my FLGS is way overpriced (we're talking 30 Euros / 45$ here) and my FIGS never had it in stock. I paid about 11 Euros for the PDF so I'm quite happy.
Though if you print all the page at your expense on a color printer, this price should be essentially the same.
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Re: Buying PDFs?

Postby Verderer » Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:51 pm

Paladin wrote:
Verderer wrote:I was looking at Drive Through RPG and RPG now (are these two related by the way?), and it seems they're selling Conan books at the same price as Mongoose is selling their hard copies, some pdf's even seem to cost more than Mongoose's paper versions! :shock:

So what I am missing here, aren't pdf's supposed to be cheaper than paper copies? Or is it that Mongoose is selling them extremely cheap?
http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/phpBB ... ht=#516745
What, so it's an error? Seems rather systematic then. What's the correct price for, say, 2nd edition rulebook pdf? Does anyone know?
maladaar
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Postby maladaar » Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:58 pm

This link has the prices discounted for all books except 2.

http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/index.php?cPath=211

I love the pdfs.

I do buy hard copies when I can, but having everything on the laptop, which I use during gaming makes life as a GM easier when I need to look something up.
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Re: Buying PDFs?

Postby DigitalMage » Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:04 pm

Verderer wrote:What's the correct price for, say, 2nd edition rulebook pdf? Does anyone know?
Per the above link $34.97 which at current exchange rates is £17.98, so a bit less than the physical book.
Clovenhoof
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Postby Clovenhoof » Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:28 pm

The King wrote:Though if you print all the page at your expense on a color printer, this price should be essentially the same.
The PDF is black and white. ;)
Cost per page about 2 cents. And I'm not printing the entire book, but only the sections that I need for the game.
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Postby Yogah of Yag » Thu Jun 12, 2008 5:36 pm

You're right: the PDF's should be a good deal cheaper than the HC, but for many publishers, they're not. :cry: It depends on the publisher and whether or not it's a new product or a scan/reprint of an older release (like old Judges Guild materials, or TSR's 1st ed. AD&D books, etc.) which are usually much more reasonable, if not very fair given how much you'd pay through eBay.
p1fx
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Postby p1fx » Thu Jun 12, 2008 6:51 pm

oh this stupid website!!! had just finished writing a massive response about pdf's, as im a publishing student and have looked at them in detail. but when i finished and clicked submit it decided i needded to sign in again and thus deleted my post!!!!! arrgh stupid stupid thing.
basically though (as im not gonna write it all again) dont buy the pdf's
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Postby The King » Thu Jun 12, 2008 7:17 pm

Clovenhoof wrote:
The King wrote:Though if you print all the page at your expense on a color printer, this price should be essentially the same.
The PDF is black and white. ;)
Cost per page about 2 cents. And I'm not printing the entire book, but only the sections that I need for the game.
You're right, this series is B/W which is indeed quite cheaper to print.
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Verderer
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Postby Verderer » Thu Jun 12, 2008 8:41 pm

Ok, thanks for the responses folks. I already got most of the books I need anyway, so the need for pdfs is dimishing even as I write this. Was just curious about all this, doesn't seem very good business to me. But I am probably underestaming the market due to my own preferences.
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Postby Clovenhoof » Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:09 pm

Let me put it that way: generally, PDFs ought to be cheaper. As it is, you don't really save a lot by buying a PDF and printing it out. A colour publication might even become more expensive that way, and you still don't get a hardcover but a stack of sheets.

However, European customers currently can save quite a bit compare to buying imported books at the game store, due to the weak dollar.
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p1fx
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Postby p1fx » Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:37 pm

to be charging the same as a printed version is digraceful, pdf's retail are meant to be a way for the publishing house or registered seller to offer their product direct to the customer at a reduced rate due to lack of print and distribution costs, however it seems some retailers are using lack of costs as a way to overly increase their profit margins.
also the quality is crap. not only the home printed version, unless u have a really high quality printer (laser too) and something like my thermal binder, but the pdf's themselves, there are often b+w, and they are not the same quality as the ones sent to printers, look at file size it would be massive in comparrison if it was proper thing with right resloution (300 dpi instead of around 92 in bought pdf's) scalling, spreads and bleeds, and the cover would be provided on a seperate pdf so as the back front and spin are all as one. so what you get in the printed book is far more superior in quality for the same price near enough.
DigitalMage
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Postby DigitalMage » Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:44 pm

p1fx wrote:basically though (as im not gonna write it all again) dont buy the pdf's
Could I ask you to try to repost some of your reasons, as at the moment all I can do is ask why?

For me PDFs have a utility over and above hardcopy, firstly I can stick them on my mobile phone and read them anywhere, whereas I rarely pick up hardcopy to read. As an example I just finished reading the D&D DMG 3.5 in hardcopy, it took me 10 months! In the same time I have read over a dozen PDFs.

Secondly, I can have all my PDFs on my work PC and thus in my lunch hour I can reference pretty much my entire gaming library to prep a game. I do nearly all my game prep in my lunch hours.

Thirdly, PDFs are searchable, so if I read a character name and wonder where I have read that name before I can do a search to find all occurences.

Finally, I can often copy and paste from PDFs to make crib sheets for me and my players, e.g. copying and pasting feat descriptions for a character. Also I can print multiple copies of rules summary pages from the books to provide as player aids. I can also copy and paste images to make suitably themed character and sign up sheets for convention games.

So, I pretty much will not buy an RPG not available in PDF and I will only buy the hardcopy when I have bought & read the PDF.

So yes I would like PDFs to be cheaper than the hardcopy, but sometimes even full price the benefit can be worth it.


Mind you I wish Mongoose would bloody well add book marks to their PDFs!!!!
p1fx
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Postby p1fx » Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:49 pm

well look up for a few reasons. in your case pdfs seem to be fine but not all of us would be able to put stuff on work pc or a mobile phone and so would only be able to read pdf at home. we cant all be able to do game prep in lunch hour, not everyone gets a hour lol. but to not buy a game unless its got a pdf version seems a bit daft though? its they quality that dose it for me plus i like real books hence why publishing is my trade of choice lol
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Postby Paladin » Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:16 am

p1fx wrote:to not buy a game unless its got a pdf version seems a bit daft though?
By that logic, so does not buying a book if it's only PDF. ;)

They both have their niches and uses. Logically one would expect PFGs to be cheaper since they cost the company very little and the profit margin is larger than print media, but I can't fault a company for trying to make up for losses on piracy by the dishonest on electronic copies.
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