Saturday, October 23, 2010

PDFs and You (Well, Me)

There have been some interesting changes in the relationship between brick and mortar retailers and the PDF market in the past few month, for the better in my opinion.

The big one is the Bits & Mortar program set up and promoted by Evil Hat Productions and Pelgrane Press, among others. Buy one of their products, such as Esoterrorists or Dresden Files, at your participating FLGS (that's Friendly Local Game Store, for those that don't speak acronym), give the store your email and the FLGS will email you a free PDF of the book you have purchased.

Margaret Weis Productions has a program in place wherein, when you buy one of their products, participating retailers give you a postcard with a code on it. You can then go to the MWP website, follow the directions on the card and get a free PDF of the product you purchased.

Green Ronin's program only works with pre-orders and doesn't give you a free PDF. When you pre-order a copy of any of their new releases, the store gives you a code with which you can order a discounted PDF of the book off the Green Ronin website.

Of the other major RPG publishers, WOTC stopped selling PDFs of their new products after the PH2 debacle (you can still find PDFs of new WOTC stuff, but they are not legal), while Pazio and Steve Jackson Games sell PDFs through their own websites, as well as other stores. I've spoken to people from both companies about adopting some program similar to one of the above and was told they would they would at least look into it. White Wolf, meanwhile, continues its shift towards PDF only releases of new product.