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I'm making a tabletop RPG (with some friends) that we plan to put on Kickstarter. Along with releasing the RPG in electronic form, I would really like to have a printing or publishing service so that we can have print books to put in interested game stores.

However, even with the Kickstarter money, I doubt we would have the money to buy our own book printer, so to make that route possible, finding a service that would print our books for us would be grand. Additionally, I would like a service that would also let us use our own online shop for selling print (and electronic) books. This service may not exist, but if it does, we would love to hear it.

We've looked at DriveThruRPG's print on demand service, which does seem nice, but doesn't seem friendly with the idea of having our own shop. I also looked at Lulu as a printing/publishing service - however, that doesn't seems to be adequate to the format we want our books in.

If someone here can point us to printing/publishing services for tabletop RPGs, please do so.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi William, and welcome to RPG.SE! Great question, and while I don't have experience to contribute, I look forward to hearing the answers. \$\endgroup\$ – Chuck Dee Sep 20 '14 at 14:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks. The RPG's name is "Born of Legend", by Star Dragon Studios (currently). If you want to scout Kickstarter out for that when it's announced, go ahead. \$\endgroup\$ – William Immendorf Sep 20 '14 at 15:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ You've mentioned digital logistics concerns, but have you thought about the physical logistics? I.e., do you have somewhere to warehouse pallets of books for months and years? Yes/no to that makes a significant impact on the kinds of answers that are useful, as you may need a fulfillment service as well either from a second company or from the printer. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Sep 20 '14 at 18:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ I doubt we really have the space to store excess stock of our books and other products. And yes, we will likely need a fulfillment service for the physical products - I already know of a few that look interesting. \$\endgroup\$ – William Immendorf Sep 20 '14 at 20:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ There are many print on demand options. I suggest you check YouTube and Google for reviews and comparisons. The most commonly used ones that I've seen indie game designers use are RPGNow/DrivethruRPG and Lulu. \$\endgroup\$ – Ich Sep 21 '14 at 1:56
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Amazon's CreateSpace might be a suitable avenue of enquiry. Print on demand, plus distribution through Amazon, both for physical and digital. They also provide 'eStores' so you can have your own storefront, but I've not used it before so you'll need to do some additional research to see if it meets your needs. Alternatively you might be able to make use of their webstore service for your storefront, as you can set that up to run on your own domain.

In terms of printing books, my wife and I have done some limited runs of books in a few formats (Large, A4-ish formats and typical paperback) and we were pleased with the quality and overall process.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Who did you do limited runs with? Amazon? \$\endgroup\$ – Lyndon White Sep 22 '14 at 10:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ With Amazon's CreateSpace, yes. We found CreateSpace to be generally pretty good and haven't had any complaints with them when printing off very small batches of books with them (3-4 books). We've never used them at scale though. \$\endgroup\$ – darkliquid Sep 22 '14 at 10:17

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