July 8, 2010


Last week I talked about several problems I had with printing with Lulu.com. Well - another set of proof copies of Open Game Table Volume 2 have arrived -- and they look amazing; I'm psyched to say the least! Finally I have a book in hand that looks like it is supposed to!

Now... why the Lulu + Heart hyperbole? Well... they not only are re-shipping me additional (free copies) for all the misprinted copies I ordered; but they are also refunding me the the full amount for all the orders I made. WOHOO! That's awesome. Lulu.com often gets a bad rap from people on the 'tubes - but, my experience so far with their customer service (Yolanda - you rock!) has been great. I'm honestly super surprised, as I was expecting them to act like a giant faceless corporate Juggernaut. Well, they may still be a corporate juggernaut - but at least they are a nice one.

A print run for GenCon is being organized by Studio2Publishing next week -- so if you are going to GenCon this year; please stop by their booth and pick up a copy!

Question for TCM readers: Would you be interested in getting a preview of what Studio2Publishing will be releasing at GenCon this year before going? Let me know in the comments. If so - I'll see what I can do and if they are willing to provide me with some goodies...

July 6, 2010

Obsidian Portal donates over 70 Pre-Paid Ascendency Memberships

Today I recieved confirmation of some super-excellent news for the 70+ contributors to the Open Game Table, Volume 2 project. It turns out that the owners of ObsidianPortal.com are some pretty generous and classy guys - they are donating more than 70 pre-paid Ascendency Memberships to the Obsidian Portal, one for each and every contributor to the project. I was stunned - when I got the email from Micah Wedemeyer that said he was willing to sponsor the project AND donate premium memberships to the contributors I had to double check. "To the contributors"? That is over 70 people Micah... are you sure? And he wrote back:
I'm dead serious about offering free 6-month subs to all the contributors. Obsidian Portal only survives if the RPG community continues to grow, and initiatives like the OGT are a huge part of nurturing the community.
So - coocookachoo! Whoot!  The contributors to the project have been notified; but I thought the whole community should know how excellent these guys are.

Thanks for being Excellent, Micah. We all appreciate it! This is the type of "coming together" that I really enjoy about the RPG blogging community. It's great to be here.

So - head over to ObsidianPortal.com today and check it out. If you are already an OP user, let us know in the comments and share your experiences!

July 3, 2010

Lulu Printing Fail - Open Game Table Vol. 2 (Update; Fixed?)

I posted earlier today that I had finally received a galley / proof copy of the new volume of Open Game Table. Despite a perfect looking PDF, the book Lulu sent me had missing fonts and garbled text on 12 pages in the book. Well, one thing that has surprised me is the "personal" service I've received. They have already refunded my order and, after I resent them the raw postscript file and a re-distilled version of the prepress PDF, they are shipping me a new copy of the book. They even suggested it was likely an error in their file server; or the offset that printed the book. Either way, the email I received indicated (again) that everything was looking good and I should have my book in a few days. I'll keep you in the loop.Although I doubt they physically checked the printing; at least they are responding in a short time during a holiday weekend (trying to stay positive!)

Once the proofs come in and they look 100% to specs - then I'll make use of all the EXTREMELY generous sponsorship funds and place a printing order for 75 copies. Once those come in, I'll box and ship them out to every volunteer who contributed to the project. Stay tuned!

I only pray I haven't run out of time; Studio2Publishing placed a deadline for mid-July for the book to be printed in time for GenCon. We shall see (fingers crossed!). I may have to deliver them myself...

July 2, 2010

Lulu Printing Fail - Open Game Table Vol. 2

After nearly 3 weeks (no kidding...) of trying to provide Lulu with pre-press PDFs of Open Game Table Vol. 2 that would _not_ produce a RIP Error; I finally had success on Monday (see more here how/why the RIP Error was occurring). I have been fortunate in that I've been working with the same representative from Lulu since the start when my first PDF would not print on their off set printers, so I contacted her again and she did a great job telling me that my PDF printed just fine and that it was in the mail etc. I was psyched! For a while I thought that the whole project was going to crash because (for reasons I couldn't figure out for a LONG time, see below) my prepress PDFs of the manuscript just would-not-print. I spent HOURS slaving over the document in Adobe Acrobat, trying postscript, downloading Ghostscript, using Adobe Distiller directly, paying for a few third party apps that claim to "fix PDFs" (even though I couldn't see anything wrong with my PDF on my screen or in my pre-flight analysis). The PDF was just broken; it was a mystery.. until I turned off Ligatures in my document. As soon as I removed font ligatures -- Lulu then reported that VOILA! My PDF was ready to go.

Since Studio 2 is the distributor of OGTv2; I'm up against a deadline. So I ordered my galley proofs from Lulu using their super expensive rush order (~$80). The book arrived in three days. It looks awesome. The cover that is. But once I open it up... and start flipping through it... it's a different story altogether...

Either there's an Alien at Lulu trying to communicate with the mothership; or something really weird is going on. There are 12 other pages in the book that look like this -- but none of those pages look the way they do when viewed on screen from the PDF. I'm sure I'll get this resolved... it's just insanely frustrating when these sorts of things happen.

Back to the drawing board...

I'll keep you all updated when I finally have a clean / good galley proof in my hands...