Dungeon Crawl #1 had a short print run that went pretty well - I had the time to print issues and mail them out individually. But after the wave stopped, and it was just a trickle, it became a problem to do the issue and get it out on time. The PDF has been free since January.
The second issue has been successful in PDF, particularly since I switched it over to Pay What You Want. I'm very happy with those numbers. But the print-on-demand option is much too expensive for what I wanted, and even though I'm extremely happy with how it looks as a printed book, I've only sold seven copies. The Lulu print option doesn't seem worth continuing to pursue for individual issues.
For issue #3 and going forward, here's what I want to do.
- The PDF will always be available on the day of release on the OneBookShelf sites (RPGNow / DriveThruRPG). I would like to stick to the $4 cost here.
- After 3 months, the PDF on OneBookShelf will switch to Pay What You Want. All back issues will be available perpetually in PWYW.
- Each issue will have a one-time only print run. Basically, this will open on the same day as the PDF sale, and there will be a limited number of copies and an end date. Each person who buys a print copy will get a free PDF copy emailed from me. Once the ordering window closes, I will make the print copies on my laserjet printer and they will be mailed out as a single batch. This will cost less than the current Lulu copies.
- There will be a Lulu print on demand compilation every four issues (like with Fight On!). This will be available as a softcover book. I think that's the only reasonable way to use the Lulu printing services. The first compilation will be available sometime after the print run for Dungeon Crawl #4 finishes.