Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Legit Publisher/POD Inquiry

So I literally know nothing about how the publishing side of TTRPGs works.
If any of y'all are reading this, I have a legit query:

What does it take to get a PoD option for one's book on DTRPG? Why would a publisher choose not to have a PoD option? Is there a fee the publisher must pay or something?

Thanks in advance to anyone who happens to read this and answers.

...and no, I'm not asking for me. Hahaha publishing is far more productivity than I am capable of.


  1. Putting a book up for PoD on DriveThruRPG is pretty much the same as putting a downloadable up, but there's the added extra step of having to purchase a proof copy so you can confirm the quality of your product before you can put it on sale.

    Which can mean you wind up with a pile of defective copies if you missed something in proofreading and need to make a change. Plus it takes about a week to 10 days from upload to printer pre-flight check to actual printing to delivery before you can hit the "put on sale" button once the proof copy meets your standards. I had three go rounds with proofing on my first book, got it down to 1 on my third. I guess you can just go with the first print and call it macaroni, but I could never ask someone to spend their hard earned bux on something that wasn't as good as I could make it.

    Otherwise, you use the same tools for making the print version as you do for making a downloadable .pdf. DriveThruRPG and their printer have an assortment of templates for most of the popular apps, which I recommend using so that you don't get caught out by a formatting issue.

    The only other thing I can think of is that your publisher to be friend should know that printing costs raise the price of the book vs. a downloadable, so adjust your MSRP accordingly.

    BTW for a final dollop of crass self promotion my stuff is up there at Bigfella Games

    Aside from that last bit I hope that's helpful. :)

  2. So I know this isn't really related to this post, but I was wondering if you had ever finished Whitebox Cyberpunk? I had a similar idea of developing such a game and found your blog through some searching, and I'm super impressed by your progress

    1. I never did finish it, but strangely enough I was just looking through my notes the other day wondering if I should just knock the rest of it out.

  3. BigFella pretty much covered it. For POD, you do need to make a separate cover file and the interior without the cover. But after I finished the PDF formatting for Chanbara, converting it for print was pretty simple (removed hyperlinks, did the cover file from one of their templates, added an extra blank page at the end).

    The proof process took a while, but I put the PDF up for sale while I was going through it. It took a bit longer for me, since I'm not living in the U.S. but the third proof copy was good enough to print (and the first two are good enough to use at the table if I need to).