Just a few days ago I posted about DriveThruRPG’s upcoming POD service. As participant in the preview program I ordered Brave New World, an alternative history superhero RPG from Pinnacle Entertainment which – for whatever reason – is sold by Alderac Entertainment Group on DriveThruRPG. Perhaps one of my readers can shed some light on this. Please note that the game itself will not be subject of this post.
I ordered the Brave New World PDF+softcover bundle on December 8. On the 13th the book was shipped from the UK and was in my inbox only 2 days later. For POD and international shipping this was pretty fast. I have ordered from Lulu several times and usually I wait at least two weeks.
The sender address also revealed what POD service is actually printing the books. It’s Lightning Source, a POD service with subsidiaries in the US and the UK. That explains the pretty low shipping costs. And from what I’ve heard from a small press publisher at Gen Con, Lightning Source has a pretty good customer service and good quality for low prices.
And I have to admit that the quality of the softcover book is great. The cover and backcover are in full color while the interior of the book is black and white only. While flipping through the book I didn’t encounter any printing errors. The binding does look sturdy enough to survive the daily wear and tear.
There are only a few pages where contrast may be an issue. Usually it’s fine but on some of the pages which are full-color in the PDF version but black and white in the printed book, contrast is pretty low. But this is only a very minor nitpick. Overall the print quality is as good as I’ve hoped and shipping times are pretty short.
I currently have no word on when the POD service will open to the general public and I don’t know how many products will actually be available for print. But I am sure that this new service will definitely be a boon to publishers and customers alike. And perhaps a lot of titles which have been out-of-print for many years (and only available in digital form) will finally be available in print again!
This is great news!
They really are great. We at White Wolf have started with a nice selection of our old Mind’s Eye Theatre books, and we have dozens of other books that are in the pipeline for approval and release over the next few weeks. I’m glad people are finally able to start seeing all the hard work that DTR has been putting into this program!
On the AEG issue, it was part of a short-lived partnership between the companies in the mid-90’s. It started with licensing the Deadlands CCG, and extended to AEG’s Bounty Hunter program to cover some Pinnacle products. I am not entirely positive what the deal with BNW was, but I do recall that AEG had enough control over the license that I pitched an idea for a post-apoc extension of the setting to Zinser (to no avail, obviously).
Thanks for clearing that up for me. What I find pretty weird, is that there’s no mention at all of AEG inside of the book or on the cover.