Open letter to WoTC regarding eBooks

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Dear WoTC,

I want to first applaud the fact that you are finally venturing into the world of eBooks.  I think it is a positive move that will help others around the world enjoy DnD products.  But your decision to publish the up coming novel Shadowbane as an eBook only product will hurt customers of the Realms rather than help.  With this decision you are preventing those who either cannot afford an eReader or have chosen not to purchase one, from having access to the novel.

I will not attempt to guess the reasons for this decision in this letter, but at first glance it does not appear to be one with the customer first in mind.  I urge you to stick with publishing both print and eMedia until such time that the pricing of eMedia reaches reasonable and fair levels.  I have been a loyal customer of DnD and the Realms for well over 20 years.  It is a shame that I will not be able to enjoy Shadowbane due to its unavailabilty in printed form.

For my fellow customers and fans, please respond to this post with your thoughts on this topic.  I feel it is an important one to all of us.


Dear WoTC,

I want to first applaud the fact that you are finally venturing into the world of eBooks.  I think it is a positive move that will help others around the world enjoy DnD products.  But your decision to publish the up coming novel Shadowbane as an eBook only product will hurt customers of the Realms rather than help.  With this decision you are preventing those who either cannot afford an eReader or have chosen not to purchase one, from having access to the novel.

I will not attempt to guess the reasons for this decision in this letter, but at first glance it does not appear to be one with the customer first in mind.  I urge you to stick with publishing both print and eMedia until such time that the pricing of eMedia reaches reasonable and fair levels.  I have been a loyal customer of DnD and the Realms for well over 20 years.  It is a shame that I will not be able to enjoy Shadowbane due to it's unavailabilty in printed form.

For my fellow customers and fans, please respond to this post with your thoughts on this topic.  I feel it is an important one to all of us.



You have access to a computer? Barnes and Noble offers PC and Mac readers for its NookBooks.

www.bn.com 
I am objecting mostly to the price of eBooks.  I see this as a move to force people into the format without having to lure them into it with competitive pricing.  Besides, reading a novel sitting in front of my computer?  Not a real attractive option versus reading a print novel.  Why would I spend money for that?

Amazon’s Kindle is computer friendly too.


However, I won’t read novels this way; I have used the Kindle, did not enjoy it, and got rid of it.  If WotC was to publish all the existing 4E and Essentials rules and accessories this way, I might reconsider this option.



  • Note: While the Compendium tool is great; it does not have everything in it, thus the books are still required.


As far as the money goes, I view it as replacing the cost of paper with the cost of the tech.  Hell if Erik was to place it on his own web page I'd gladly pay him the associated fees for reading it, cutting the middlemen out of completely, but sadly this isn't the way business works.

Yeah, some of us prefer to read real books, as apposed to staring at a screen.
I survived Section 4 and all I got was this lousy sig Off-topic and going downhill from there
Hello All,

Does anyone know what is the price point is for Shadowbane?

Do we know if Shadowbane would have been published in hardback format first, with softcover format to follow later (as with Salvatore's Realms novels)? Or would it have been published as a soft cover only?

If difference between the e-version of the novel vs. a paper novel of roughly the same size and page count? One dollar? A couple dollars? Five or more dollars?

I get the impression that WotC is experimenting: they're stepping into the e-reader market with this book and looking to see how it sells.

For me: I do not own an e-reader. On average, and over the last eight months, for every 3 paper books I purchase, I purchase 1 book through Google Books. I do this so that I can read these purchases on any internet-capable computer/laptop/phone/i-pad-like device.

In my opinion Kindles, and Nooks and e-readers in general are too restrictive. I'd rather be able to use portable devices that I already own.

Factoid: where I live I see quite a few people on the commuter train carrying their cellphone and work laptops. Roughly one in ten of these people also carry an e-reader.

Does anyone know if Shadowbane will be available through Google Books?
ATTN: James Wyatt & Mike Mearls

I am here because upon Erik Scott deBie's announcing on the Candlekeep Forums that Shadowbane was only receiving a e-book release, I mentioned a number of concerns I have about this. Erik then sent me a message saying that I should repost my concerns here. I encourage you to read the thread in its entirety, but here are the posts that I think are relevant to what Erik wanted me to convey:

My original post:
Originally posted by Hawkins
[br]I think my biggest problem with the e-book format is also price. I follow Micheal A. Stackpole on both the RSS feed for his blog and Twitter, and from his extensive research the sweet spot for e-books seems to be $5 USD. This is what I personally am willing to pay for an e-book over the pleasure of holding a print copy in my hand (in which case I am willing to pay $8-10). And I think that many readers are in this boat. Until big publishers realize this, I do not think that e-books produced by big publishers will do nearly as well as they would like them to. My other problem is trying to find an eReader that I can afford (this is where Stackpole and I disagree). He seems to be pushing his readers to go all-digital by speaking of how cutting out the costs of a few hardcovers a year would make up the cost of an eReader. The thing is, all I want a eReader for is those books that I cannot buy in any other format. Therefore, since I will still buy the 2-3 hardcovers and who-knows-how-many paperbacks a year, I still do not have extra cash for the initial purchase of an eReader. (Especially with a baby due in a month and a half. I love my future spawn, but babies do to money what rust monsters do to iron weapons.)


Richard Lee Byers' response:
Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers
Hawkins: You don't have to buy an eReader to partake of eBooks. Download the free Kindle app, the free Nook app, or both and you're good to go.


And my response to Richard Lee Byers:
Originally posted by Hawkins
Lol. That is assuming I can afford an expensive phone [;)]. And I have tried reading eBooks on a laptop and computer screen, and it just gives me a headache. So, as before, for me it is the start-up cost that is prohibitive.


I also suggest you read Micheal A. Stackpole's blog posts on the subject of e-publishing. Much of it is about self-publishing, but I think that much of it applies to traditional publishing companies just now trying to get in the e-book game as well.

Thank you for your time,
Tim "Hawkins" Wallace
Errant d20 Designer - My Blog (last updated February 18, 2013)
Holy e-books from WotC Batman!

Did a search and found this D&D Novel eBooks archive. I had no idea WotC had a backlist of ebooks, much less one that was so extensive.

Note that e-books do not in fact save publishers "a ton of cost" relative to their up front cost to create the book. The cost to pay the author, pay the cover artist and any interior artist, to pay the editor(s)—including copyeditor and proofreader(s), marketing costs, etc...is far more.

Printing, binding and shipping product is expensive, but it amounts to (roughly) 10-20% of a given book's total production cost.

If a paper book costs, say, $5 to produce, print and ship, and if we follow the rule of doubling costs, then you're looking at a $10 retail price.

The e-book version should cost $4 (20% off of $5 is $4) to produce, with an e-book cost of $8.

As an aside, I don't know how anyone can conclude that WotC staff don't read these forums. I don't have a crystal ball that let's me see what they do and don't do at work, and I don't think anyone else does either.

EDIT: Here's a quick primer from Sean K. Reynolds (best Wizard's of the Coast game designer evar) on how sourcebooks are produced and the costs that go into them. Not exactly novels, but I think his commentary is on topic vis-a-vis this discussion.
Holy e-books from WotC Batman!

Did a search and found this D&D Novel eBooks archive. I had no idea WotC had a backlist of ebooks, much less one that was so extensive.

Note that e-books do not in fact save publishers "a ton of cost" relative to their up front cost to create the book. The cost to pay the author, pay the cover artist and any interior artist, to pay the editor(s)—including copyeditor and proofreader(s), marketing costs, etc...is far more.

Printing, binding and shipping product is expensive, but it amounts to (roughly) 10-20% of a given book's total production cost.

If a paper book costs, say, $5 to produce, print and ship, and if we follow the rule of doubling costs, then you're looking at a $10 retail price.

The e-book version should cost $4 (20% off of $5 is $4) to produce, with an e-book cost of $8.

As an aside, I don't know how anyone can conclude that WotC staff don't read these forums. I don't have a crystal ball that let's me see what they do and don't do at work, and I don't think anyone else does either.

EDIT: Here's a quick primer from Sean K. Reynolds (best Wizard's of the Coast game designer evar) on how sourcebooks are produced and the costs that go into them. Not exactly novels, but I think his commentary is on topic vis-a-vis this discussion.



The cost savings from print to eBook might not be a ton but it isn't insignificant either.  Let's not fool ourseves, they are definitely cheaper to make.  So why is WoTC setting the list price the same as the print media?  As Hawkins stated with his Stackpole link, most are coming to the agreement that $4.99 is about the sweet spot for eBook pricing and average length novel.  

But you also can't just look at the cost savings of the actual creation of the book.  The customer loses out on the option to resell that printed book at a used book store.  Actually, the whole concept of owning the book comes into question when it is in it's digital form.  I mean, Amazon can delete your whole catalog off of their Kindle if it suited them.  So I think it is a little unfair of WoTC (or any publisher) to ask their customers to accept less in return for the same amount of money.

Oh, and thanks for the Sean K. Reynolds link.  That was an interesting read.
The cost savings from print to eBook might not be a ton but it isn't insignificant either.  Let's not fool ourseves, they are definitely cheaper to make.  So why is WoTC setting the list price the same as the print media?

Are they?

Softcover print books, such as Elminster in Hell and Elminster's Daughter, sell for $8 retail, as well as $8 on Amazon.com.

Shadowbane, a comparable book in the same softcover format, due in e-book format only, is on sale at Amazon.com for $6.39. Retail is $8, but since the book is in e-format only, it's effectively $6.39.

Whether Amazon sells at a discount or for full retail, they still pay WotC the same (35% to 70% of the retail price, depending on the deal WotC worked out with Amazon).

The decision to sell at the cheaper price wasn't WotC's, it was Amazon's.


Note: B&N has it at 6.99, with no mention as to whether this is a sale price or online retail price.

Oh, and thanks for the Sean K. Reynolds link.  That was an interesting read.

You're welcome!

Note sure if the parallel candlekeep.com discussion has been linked to yet, so here's a link just in case. Scroll down in that thread for another useful cost breakdown on what it costs to make a paperback book.

edit: Hawkinsthedm did link to the Candlekeep.com discussion, so now there's two links. Cool
Not to interfere with the discussion (it's great to see people so interested!), but I wanted to mention another aspect to the e-book:

But you also can't just look at the cost savings of the actual creation of the book.  The customer loses out on the option to resell that printed book at a used book store.  Actually, the whole concept of owning the book comes into question when it is in it's digital form.  I mean, Amazon can delete your whole catalog off of their Kindle if it suited them.  So I think it is a little unfair of WoTC (or any publisher) to ask their customers to accept less in return for the same amount of money.

The e-book format for Shadowbane also allows a great deal of expanded material. It has a short story I wrote (ala the companion pieces I write for all my novels), info about Luskan, Plague Demons, and several sample chapters--none of which would have fit in a print book.

If print copies do become available, they will most likely not include these things (ala a DVD release without the director commentary and bonus features).

This is not to suggest that you absolutely need them (though I will attest that my story is awesome, no bias, of course), but that might explain a little about the price point being higher than one might expect. I am very sympathetic to the need to find the happy sweet spot on the price that's fair to everyone (you, me, WotC).

Cheers
Not to interfere with the discussion (it's great to see people so interested!), but I wanted to mention another aspect to the e-book:

But you also can't just look at the cost savings of the actual creation of the book.  The customer loses out on the option to resell that printed book at a used book store.  Actually, the whole concept of owning the book comes into question when it is in it's digital form.  I mean, Amazon can delete your whole catalog off of their Kindle if it suited them.  So I think it is a little unfair of WoTC (or any publisher) to ask their customers to accept less in return for the same amount of money.

The e-book format for Shadowbane also allows a great deal of expanded material. It has a short story I wrote (ala the companion pieces I write for all my novels), info about Luskan, Plague Demons, and several sample chapters--none of which would have fit in a print book.

If print copies do become available, they will most likely not include these things (ala a DVD release without the director commentary and bonus features).

This is not to suggest that you absolutely need them (though I will attest that my story is awesome, no bias, of course), but that might explain a little about the price point being higher than one might expect. I am very sympathetic to the need to find the happy sweet spot on the price that's fair to everyone (you, me, WotC).

Cheers




Erik, that is great that extra material can and will be included in the eBook release of Shadowbane.  But I think a greater point is being missed here.  The fact that the print novel will not even be available for purchase.  At this point it may never be printed and may only remain an eBook.  This is the decision that I have the most trouble with.  It really upsets me that I will be missing out on your novel.
On the contrary, Caolin: I am merely making a side-note observation, because an earlier post questioned the value of the e-book as compared to the paper version. This is in no way meant to distract or detract from the discussion at hand.

Indeed, part of my post detailed the fact that if the book were to be published in a paper version, it would be missing these things. This serves absolutely to demonstrate that a paper version is possible. So you should definitely keep talking about it.

I haven't posted much in this thread, seeing as it's an obvious conflict of interest. But I would highly encourage the discussion to continue, and reiterate that those who feel strongly about this issue should forward their words along.

Cheers
On the contrary, Caolin: I am merely making a side-note observation, because an earlier post questioned the value of the e-book as compared to the paper version. This is in no way meant to distract or detract from the discussion at hand.

Indeed, part of my post detailed the fact that if the book were to be published in a paper version, it would be missing these things. This serves absolutely to demonstrate that a paper version is possible. So you should definitely keep talking about it.

I haven't posted much in this thread, seeing as it's an obvious conflict of interest. But I would highly encourage the discussion to continue, and reiterate that those who feel strongly about this issue should forward their words along.

Cheers




I completely understand and respect what you have to say.  Thank you for the words of encouragement.   
Hi folks!

I've ventured here from the Candlekeep forum. I don't think I can't add much to the discussion other than to back those who would like Erik's novel to be released as a paperback as well.

I'm really glad that Erik's participating in this discussion and giving us some insight. I enjoyed all his previous novels, and I'm convinced I will enjoy "Shadowbane" as well, but I don't actually have a chance to enjoy the book.

I, for example, can afford an e-Reader etc. but it won't replicate the experience of reading an actual paperback. What's more, I don't find the prices of ebooks high (I find them, and the printed novels, actually very cheap - though it is a biased opinion because of my good financial standing).
Dear WotC, it's not always about money, really... it's about the experience of a physical book. Ebooks don't appeal to me, and I can't change that. I think you are loosing a significant group of potential customers.

So, Whoever Is In Charge of the Novels Department, please hear us, and rethink your decision about publishing "Shadowbane" (and any other future novel) exclusively in an electronic format.
I'm really glad that Erik's participating in this discussion and giving us some insight. I enjoyed all his previous novels, and I'm convinced I will enjoy "Shadowbane" as well, but I don't actually have a chance to enjoy the book.

I'm sorry about that as well, Elsenrail.

Cheers

Just to be clear up front, I hope this works out one way or the other for Erik because I like his previous books and I think he is a good guy after my interactions with him. I also hope whatever ends up happening works out for WotC because I want more FR books and it's pointless wishing ill will upon a company like WotC over a decision I don't agree with. I am also considering trying to get this book despite my reservations about reading it on my computer because I want to know what happens next in this story. I am also aware that a statement like that probably weakens my position, but it's the truth.


Having said all of that, if I get the book I would be getting it in digital format very reluctantly and only because I really want to read this book. I would probably not be giving it serious thought if it were an unknown author. I am in agreement with Elsenrail that a noticeable part of my enjoyment of reading is in the actual physical product. I like to be able to look at my bookshelf and see my books. I like to know that Amazon can't pull some shenanigans and delete my book that I should own. I like to own a physical copy. I understand the advantages to most parties of going digital. They make sense. However, I think a number of people prefer physical copies and going all digital is a mistake.  


So, again, I hope this doesn't negatively impact Erik or WotC and I may still get the book in this format if I have no other choice, but I don't think this is the way to go and I would be very reluctant to buy books with no favorable track record for the elements involved (characters, author, setting, etc) to read this way.        

I object to ebooks because you can't get them signed. :P


I dunno. I've read a fair few novels now on my phone(kindle app for blackberry). It started with Elaine Cunningham's Honor Among Thieves, and continued when I got bored at work with the first book of the Erevis Cale trilogy, which quickly turned into the rest of said trilogy and the Twilight War trilogy.


Thing is, while it's a convenient format for reading on the go, it's just not a book. :| Tellingly, I still bought the physical Erevis Cale trilogy omnibus despite having already bought the ebook versions. That way I can easily flip through looking for things I've forgotten or find that one scene I want to read again, things that aren't easy or even necessarily possible in the app.


I'll buy the ebook of Shadowbane, of course, and I'll read it on my phone, largely at work in down periods. But it will irk me that I don't have a physical copy. :|

It's spelled Corellon Larethian, not Correlon, Correllon, Correlllon, Corellion, Correlian or any other way of getting it wrong. I'm a total grognard and I still play 4E.
thats the reason why I agree Nai calus.

unless wotc releases a e copy with an alternate  criedts page, thats signed... I"m not going aout of my way either 
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
I wonder if some enterprising techie could create a program whereby an author could digitally sign an ebook. Hmm . . .

I'll pop back out of the thread so as not to distract anyone, but I wanted to add two things:

1) I'd like to suggest that we all post in this thread with the stated goal of finding a reasonable solution that makes everyone happy (you, me, WotC). This should not be just about airing unhappiness but rather discussing solutions.

2) Thanks for the support, guys! It really does make my day.

Cheers

I wonder if some enterprising techie could create a program whereby an author could digitally sign an ebook. Hmm . . .


While digital signatures have been around for a while, I’d be worried about its capacity to be lifted from the document for darker reasons.  Often these are made as an overlay to the true document, which once removed can be embedded in another document.  So security could be a problem.


Besides the personal value of the signed copy, there is also an inherently increase value to certain collectors.  I was offered $500 for my signed, 1st print, copy of Jordan’s “Wheel of Time’; but since I’m a collector myself I turned it down.  Perhaps it will be with something to my heirs.


I'd like to suggest that we all post in this thread with the stated goal of finding a reasonable solution that makes everyone happy (you, me, WotC). This should not be just about airing unhappiness but rather discussing solutions.


Simple solution – publish a print version.  You and WotC will get more circulation; consequently, more money and perhaps new fans and gamers; and I get what I want.  Otherwise WotC, as well as yourself and other writers, have lost the cabal of book lovers and myself. 

Simple solution – publish a print version.  You and WotC will get more circulation; consequently, more money and perhaps new fans and gamers; and I get what I want.  Otherwise WotC, as well as yourself and other writers, have lost the cabal of book lovers and myself. 

No doubt that SEEMS like a simple solution, but simply saying it that way fails to take into account the many variations of print publication. Major print and distribution as they've done before, limited runs, print on demand, etc., etc.

I do want to clarify that *I*, the author, am not the one making these decisions. If I could personally print physical copies and fly to your house and put them in your hands, believe me, I would do so. Heck, if I could go on a tour where I just sat around and read the book to halls full of people, that would be great. But I understand that WotC has to consider its means and the market.

But it is extremely worthwhile to talk about your desire (or even demand) for print versions.

Cheers

No doubt that SEEMS like a simple solution, but simply saying it that way fails to take into account the many variations of print publication.  Major print and distribution as they've done before, limited runs, print on demand, etc., etc.  But I understand that WotC has to consider its means and the market.


As Holmes said "Data, data, data – I cannot make bricks without clay" (The Adventure of the Copper Beeches) without data we cannot come up with a true solution; so we the consumer must stick with what we view as the simplist – PRINT.


I do want to clarify that *I*, the author, am not the one making these decisions. If I could personally print physical copies and fly to your house and put them in your hands, believe me, I would do so. Heck, if I could go on a tour where I just sat around and read the book to halls full of people, that would be great.

But it is extremely worthwhile to talk about your desire (or even demand) for print versions.



Hopefully, WotC is also listening to our talks here, including yours, for a print version.  Your earnest offer to “fly and deliver” shows how much you, as an author, value both your consumers and fans.  Hopefully they will too.


I’ve been to author book readings and like a great movie trailer they highlight the book through selected excerpts living wanting for more.  Not to mention the face time that comes with the experience. 
 


Wishful thinking is just that: wishful thinking. But if I had my wishes come true, I'd find the means to finance Realms author readings in bookstores (retail and locally owned/operated), FLGSs and Cons.

I'd also finance a limited print run of Shadowbane: one that can only be had if you come to the reading of same and collect the book from the author's hands after you've shaken his hand.

Or is that railroading? ;)
As Holmes said "Data, data, data – I cannot make bricks without clay" (The Adventure of the Copper Beeches) without data we cannot come up with a true solution; so we the consumer must stick with what we view as the simplist – PRINT.

I appreciate the quote, but do you mean print-on-demand? A full printing cycle with international distribution? Totally different propositions.

Logically, to take you at your word, it seems all I have to do is provide the simplest solution, which is print ONE copy, and then claim that it's a printed edition. And clearly I don't want that.

Well, unless I'm the one who gets the copy. :D

Hopefully, WotC is also listening to our talks here, including yours, for a print version.  Your earnest offer to “fly and deliver” shows how much you, as an author, value both your consumers and fans.  Hopefully they will too.
I’ve been to author book readings and like a great movie trailer they highlight the book through selected excerpts living wanting for more.  Not to mention the face time that comes with the experience. 

Why thank you, and I absolutely do not disagree. Author readings are a great place to sell books.

I'd also finance a limited print run of Shadowbane: one that can only be had if you come to the reading of same and collect the book from the author's hands after you've shaken his hand.
Or is that railroading? ;)

That sounds like awesomeness, actually.

Clearly, someone wants to have Erik's secret love child.
RUN ERIK!  RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!!

Oh bother! :expeditious retreat:

Cheers

the one problem with a limited pritn run that you have to get at the meeting with the author is that the authors go only so far and if they don't  go near  where you live, signed book is not worth the price of gas or a plane ticket....

now if said limited run composes an alternate cover, thats different 
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
WotC has shown a willingness to experiment, so alternate covers sounds good to me.

Maybe WotC could work a deal with their printer(s?) to print and bind 100 copies of an already in-print novel with an alternate cover and an alternate, extended forward from the author and/or editor.

These copies could be given away as prizes at GenCon, given away at author signings or randomly inserted in book shipments to retailers.

The kicker would be that both the print and e-versions of book would both have to reach a minimum threshold of sales (to cover the cost of comissioning the artwork and forward).

WotC could post sales numbers and ask us to get the word out to try and drive sales up.

If WotC's making a little extra on e-sales, that's one way to give something back to the fans, esp. if they try to help get books bought.

Edit: WotC could also sponsor a charity give away of books or even a percentage of funds by tying book sales to drives for these services. Might seem hokey at first, but if WotC is accountable (by showing sales figures) to readers, I think some or even most readers would be willing to pay extra for a print or e-book if a portion went to a cause related to reading/charity.
I just think its funny that if you want the game books (legally) you have to buy them in print, but the novels are now going to be all digital!?

Im sure they will make a print copy, eventually. Im thinking this is just a test, they realease the digital one first and look at sales figures, then a few months later theyll release it in print form and compare sales figures, that what im thinking.

And another thing, another thing about having a real book is that I sort of consider myself a collector. Its nice to look over at the bookshelf and see stacks of Realms novels, how in the Sam Hill am I going to add a digital "book" to the stack!?

And, Ive just had another thought, Theres a few sites you can go to to get "bootlegged" digital copies of the game books (or so ive been told), so now im wondering, are there gonna be shady characters in alleyways saying, "pssst, hey buddy, wanna buy a print copy of Shadowbane?"
I survived Section 4 and all I got was this lousy sig Off-topic and going downhill from there
Erik, since I've been talking physical print version novels I doubt I'd except print on demand.

I also have no clue how you arrived at the logical conclusion that I would except a single copy being print as a simple solution to the lack of a mass market publication of a print version.

And, Ive just had another thought, Theres a few sites you can go to to get "bootlegged" digital copies of the game books (or so ive been told), so now im wondering, are there gonna be shady characters in alleyways saying, "pssst, hey buddy, wanna buy a print copy of Shadowbane?"



Yes, bootlegs are easily obtained, but are illegal to do so; additionally, why?  The only thing we wind up doing is screwing the industry, which instead of prosecuting the criminals acts in a knee jerk reaction and yanks all the digital products from the shelves.  This not only hurt the reputation of the company with its consumers, but also hurt the online business community.
I’d rather buy the print version, than steal the author’s work – and since I do not read e-books (novels) in the first place it seems rather self-defeating to do get a bootleg copy anyway.
Erik, since I've been talking physical print version novels I doubt I'd except print on demand.

Ah, but print on demand DOES product physical print versions. Since all you said was "print," my question is still valid.

I also have no clue how you arrived at the logical conclusion that I would except a single copy being print as a simple solution to the lack of a mass market publication of a print version.

Simply a logical exercise. You invoked Sherlock Holmes, so in that spirit I offered a logically-sound though obviously insufficient reply to your suggestion of "PRINT."

This was my way of demonstrating that your request wasn't specific enough, and that the issue is more complicated than "print copies exist" vs. "print copies don't exist." Your scenario of "PRINT" isn't the simplest answer, but rather an incomplete answer.

I apologize for being confusing--I was simply rising to your logical challenge.

Cheers

Then once again let me be (very) specific.


I want a mass-market paperback, with a paperboard cover and bound with glue, edition of the novel Shadowbane, as well as other WotC novels, to be published in the “A Format”, although a limited run of a hardback version is expectable addition to this there is not much use for a trade paperback version unless the entire series will be made available in the “C Format”.

Understood.

Cheers

Then once again let me be (very) specific.


I want a mass-market paperback, with a paperboard cover and bound with glue, edition of the novel Shadowbane, as well as other WotC novels, to be published in the “A Format”, although a limited run of a hardback version is expectable addition to this there is not much use for a trade paperback version unless the entire series will be made available in the “C Format”.



This! +++1

HAND OF KARSUS!

 

 

There's another issue with the novels going ebook only. The vast majority of the ebook catalog is only available in the US. To most of you it's not a problem, but there're a lot of fans all over the world that won't be able to read the new novels if this isn't addressed. 

While I'm able to import "regular" books to my country and read them that way, I can't import an ebook. Amazon, B&N and the rest of the ebook stores just won't let me buy them.

If this is how it's going to be from now on, you're gonna have at least one very unhappy fan. 

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@ORC_Ragnar: Indeed.

This thread seems to have been devoid of personal attacks thus far, and I hope to keep it that way.

Thanks to all of you for your patience and civility.

Cheers

But your decision to publish the up coming novel Shadowbane as an eBook only product will hurt customers of the Realms rather than help.  With this decision you are preventing those who either cannot afford an eReader or have chosen not to purchase one, from having access to the novel.

I second this. Publishing e-book only FR novels is currently causing me to seriously considering to stop reading FR novels at all. I will go on hiatus buying any new FR novels after finishing the few I have currently already on my to read pile.

I always wanted to read all FR novels and now that I am finally less than 30 away to be at the bleeding edge of the release schedule I have to find out about FR novels that are only in a format I have no interest in buying.


If I can't put Shadowbane next to it's 220+ fellows I have no interest in buying it and currently a greatly lessened interest in buying any other FR novel either.


 


Sure, I know that such point would eventually come when I might not have the time to read FR novels "speedily" and fall more and more behind the release schedule or the point when I just decide that I have become "too old for this ####" or that WotC would eventually switch to ebooks only.


However as the first two points are yet untrue I just hoped that the third point wouldn't come true so soon.



Some thoughts:
I collect physical copies of FR and DL novels. I won't buy an eBook copy.
Some enterprising person will sell custom bound versions of the book for 30 or 40 bucks. There will be many people to line up and buy these black market books.
Ebooks will eventually be given away "free" (included in the low low price) with the paper version of a book.
Ebooks will eventually drop in price as the novilty of the technology fades.
Prices for paper bound books will rise as ebook prices drop.
Potentially, in the future, bound copies of these books will only be available on demand from sites sucsh as lulu.com.

The short answer for me... to keep me spending mony on Wizards fiction I need to be able to buy physical copies of the books.
I'd also like to point out that I cant sit on my backside reading anything on my pc for very long.
I end up taking a nap 
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
Some enterprising person will sell custom bound versions of the book for 30 or 40 bucks. There will be many people to line up and buy these black market books.

As much as I like the ever growing rack bays of novel spines proudly displaying their FR logo decorating my flat, I just wouldn't start to buy "black market" paperbacks. I'd rather simply stop reading FR novels and use my newly won freetime for one of the thousands of other things vying for my freetime.