GW Goes Digital

Just spotted that Games Workshop is rolling out digital book releases on iTunes.

This should be a Big Deal.

I know that, as soon as I picked up an iPad, I loaded it up with FAQ PDFs and, as tablets have caught on, other folks at the club have started doing the same.  Doug McN rolls to tournaments with bins of codices for reference, which is a lot of hassle. GW providing electronic reference copies is huge; they turn a 20 lb box that he’s got to wrestle around into a tablet..  And I want those reference copies, legit.

Who am I kidding?  It is a Big Deal.

I’m unhappy with the reality of it, though:

For starters, this is all tightly bound to the Apple ecosystem.  I’ve decided I’m happy living in it, but not everyone is.  If you’re in the Android sphere, at the moment, this does you no good.

Also, it’s tough to find what GW’s actually offering.  I followed the link in the article, which of course runs into iTunes, and I get one Scroll of Binding by Mat Ward and a couple of books that maybe he contributed to?  Clicking through on the Scroll of Binding shows “More by Mat Ward” which turns up the above results.  So, I’m not even sure how I’m supposed to find what GW’s offering digital.  That makes things difficult.  This is probably Apple’s fault, though, since it’s not like iTunes provides all that great a digital shopping experience.

I’m not happy with GW shilling Scrolls of Binding for $1, since I’m pretty sure that’s the sort of content I have a White Dwarf subscription for.  $1 is totally doable (it’s less than a trip to the vending machine at work), but if they’re going to start putting new rules supplements up here, it’s tough to justify the magazine.  (White Dwarf’s value, or lack thereof, as well as its general lack of timeliness has been discussed to death elsewhere.  At least my copy of June’s issue showed up before the product it’s shilling for.)

Most significantly, this:

I get that pricing products digitally vs. physically is not a straightforward, simple equation.  I get that the bulk of the costs in generating a book have little to do with the physicality of the book.  But damn, I’m just not comfortable with paying the same amount for a digital book I don’t exactly-completely own as I would for a physical print book I unambiguously own that I can resell.  (Plus, this is priced at the post-price increase cost, so it currently costs ~$10 more than the print book, which is a particular button for me… but I get that it won’t last, so I can’t let it set me off.  Again: the annual price-increase thing’s been talked to death elsewhere; I have nothing to add.)

eBook pricing is a complicated, nuanced thing.  I get that.  But an eBook priced at 100% of the print book cost, particularly at a >$40 price tag is not something I’m willing to invest in.  This is making me feel pretty bitter.

(Two negative posts effectively in a row?  Crap.  I need to start posting painted mini pics so I can turn things around!)