Why a print proof now?
Well, I want to be able to underline the fact that the game is done apart from additional artwork, and there seems to be no better way of doing that than being able to include in the video some shots of me holding a printed copy of the game.
In addition, actually getting to print can be more time consuming than you might think.
I’m going with DriveThruRPG and they use lightning Source as their printer, so that is the context in which I’m writing, other printing solutions may work differently.
Step 1: prepare the print pdf exactly according to their specifications.
Step 2: use their cover template generator on the Lightning source site to create a cover template with appropriate bleeds, gutters etc, and then fill cover in on that.
Step 3: (assuming you have already registered as a publisher on dtrpg) upload the coffee and body files. These will be checked over a 7-10 period and you will either get back an OK or a list of problems that need to be fixed. I’ve been waiting 10 days and not heard yet…
Step 4: fix any problems and resubmit. Wait another 7-10 days.
Step 5: order a proof copy at cost price. Hopefully this will arrive in a reasonable time and there are no obvious problems or gaffes in layout or colour.
An initial hitch
Well, I ran into a hitch at step 3! After 10 days I emailed my contact and they chased things up and reset the status, so that things could start progressing again. Demonstrates that it is always worth checking up with your contacts if things seem to be taking too long.
Good news follows
Happily I got an all clear from the preflight process! That was an unexpected result, but I had been following all the guidance as carefully as possible – so credit to the writers of the guidance, because it seems to have worked!
As a result of that I ordered by proof copy, which should be arriving in a few days.
The moral of the story
This is an important reminder that when planning dates and times for a Kickstarter there WILL be things which are outside of your control that you will need to make allowances for.
And it is definitely worth your while in following any guidance produced by your printers to the letter – a stitch in time saves nine indeed.