Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Coming Soon: My Square Storefront

Yesterday in my post updating the status of The Dragon Horde zine issue #2, I mentioned something about a Square storefront. This really all started as a result of my complete and utter disappointment with a large order of my books wrongly printed by Lulu.com. While they didn't admit their screwup until the last few days of February, the original order arrived nearly a month earlier (with every one of 8 copies of 4 different titles printed incorrectly). More than anything, I was scared that people ordering copies of my books were getting incorrectly printed books. There is absolutely no way to ensure quality control (or even consistency of paper, color, etc.) with an on-demand system that fulfills each print copy individually on a "first-come-first-served" vendor assignment program.

I got lucky... REALLY lucky. First, while working on the program for wife's school's auction, I came across a small local printer, perfectly set up for short run printing (25-50 copies of each) of my books. Second, the d30 Sandbox Companion was so well-received (thank you all again!), it's allowing me to print a small stock of all the New Big Dragon books, in order to fulfill orders directly.

I got all the files off to the printer late last week, and swung by yesterday to look over proofs of the covers, and was quite happy with the result. (In fact, I think the cover for the d30 Sandbox Companion is going to look better in this run than it's ever looked before.) Today, he's running a test of the guts of Valley of the Five Fires (it's the thickest of all the NBD books to date); the test is to make sure the 32 lb. text stock folds well when stapled into the cover (to avoid issues like the Lulu copies that don't actually close because the printer was too cheap to score the spine of the cover on the extra-thick film stock that I didn't even want in the first place).

If the test goes well, I should have a good supply of each title (Valley of the Five Fires, Ogress of Anubis, d30 DM Companion and d30 Sandbox Companion) by the end of the week. The Square storefront is already up, and the various titles are readied (though they're not actually available for purchase yet). I just need to get my packing/mailing supplies and I should be "in business" any day now. And as soon as the 2nd issue of the The Dragon Horde is ready, I'll be printing copies of both it and the first issue, and adding them to the store as well.

Stay tuned!

(P.S., since the Square marketplace uses email addresses for shopping purposes, I can fulfill free PDF copies of the books without having to get a separate email from the purchaser proving their purchase.)

UPDATE: The printer had some issues with another job this past week that delayed mine by a few days. Now looking to have everything fulfilled by the Wednesday, March 26th.


  1. I've held off on the d30 Sandbox Companion until you get this set up. Looking forward to placing an order!

  2. Best of all, the prices will be lower than what Lulu can offer.

  3. AX2 in photo seems more "purple blue" than "aqua/teal blue" AX2 image in sidebar

  4. The color in the photo for the post is a little "off." While the shift is noticeable between the original and the new version, it's not nearly so drastic.

  5. The timing of this post is incredibly spot-on... I was going to order one of your books later tonight! I'll wait for these to be on sale instead. :)

  6. Just a reminder to all, that unfortunately I can't do international shipping as cheaply as Lulu (since they print in international locations and ship from there). So the Square storefront will only handle the U.S. (Even Canadians will still have to rely on Lulu for now. Sorry guys.)

    1. Yeah, I mostly buy POD there instead on RPGNow that charges me as much as another book to send to Brazil.

  7. The only sad thing is that Lulu has a nice shipping price rate for international orders that is hard to beat. :(