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"Watermarked PDFs?" Topic

14 Posts

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Current Poll

675 hits since 19 Apr 2022
©1994-2022 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian19 Apr 2022 6:54 p.m. PST

How do you feel about them? Do you have a preference?

KarlBergman19 Apr 2022 7:57 p.m. PST

My Library is to small to hold all of the rule books I own, and I hate throwing away things that I spent so much money on. Several years ago I made the decision to go PDF as much as possible, and saved a lot of space in my house from new games. I understand why the watermarking process is used, and should I ever get to the point that I publish any of my rules I will use watermarking on them.

Unless the publisher is someone as big as GW or Battle Front trying to publish a physical book today is just too expensive.

Wargamer Blue20 Apr 2022 3:10 a.m. PST

Watermarks don't bother me.

advocate20 Apr 2022 4:10 a.m. PST

No problem with them. I like my hard copies though.

rustymusket Supporting Member of TMP20 Apr 2022 4:30 a.m. PST

I generally lean toward hard copy, but when it comes to simple rules watermarked PDF works to keep the costs of rules that I am so-so about down.

Gear Pilot20 Apr 2022 6:41 a.m. PST

I've tried to print a single copy for my personal use at Office Depot and they wouldn't do it. So, not too fond of them.

Stryderg20 Apr 2022 6:57 a.m. PST

I've run across some obnoxious ones that make it hard to read the actual text. Generally not a fan.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Apr 2022 9:19 a.m. PST

Wow! I would have said that visual watermarks on .pdfs were not that popular anymore. I have digital DRM watermarks on all the stuff I publish at WGV.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP20 Apr 2022 2:18 p.m. PST

I hate them. I went to print some 900+ pages, three books scanned into PDF's, for my personal use. I purchased the PDF's legally, legitimately, from an agent of the IP owners. said they were locked, and they would not print them.

I had to buy a monthly subscription to a PDF editing service, to gain access to the needed PDF tools to strip out the crap such that would accept my PDF for print. It cost me around $20 USD for the subscription, for one day's use. The original softcover books are selling for more than $250 USD/volume, in a 3-volume set, on e-Bay, when and if you can find available copies. I printed my 3-volume set for $20 USD/hardcover book, delivered: larger format, heavier paper, hard covers, and all-around much nicer quality than the original softcover books. This was after I unlocked the stupid PDF's! It took me four hours to clean up the PDF's enough to get them accepted by Lulu -- not so I could boot-leg copies for a few measly bucks, but so I could have my own printed copies for personal use. Sheesh!

So for $95 USD, I got PDF copies ($4.99/volume) of each book, and three home-delivered, much-better-quality, hardcover versions ($20/volume + $20 USD for the PDF Editor subscription). Took a lot of work, but in the end, I am very happy with my time, money, and efforts, expended.

I lobbied the IP owner for three years to offer them as POD's (they offer 2/3's of their PDF products as POD, but not these). There are around a dozen other customers lobbying them on their selling site, to offer these as POD's. [Crickets…]

Talk about missed opportunities and profits! Another example of corporate greed leading to stupid decisions, alienating their customer base… Idiots! Cheers!

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP20 Apr 2022 2:50 p.m. PST

KarlBergman, that is not true. POD companies, such as, can print 300 page, hardcover books for $20 USD/copy, delivered (see my post above): low quality ink (inkjet, will run if wetted), and low quality paper. Lulu offers to sell IP Owner's PDF files as POD copies, directly to their customers -- the customer can view Lulu's catalog, and order what they like.

I self-published a set of Army Men rules to introduce people to miniature wargaming, back in 1998. I ran off photocopies at OfficeMax, double-sided printing, with a 110# cardstock cover. I assembled, stapled, and folded them, by hand; max page count was around 96 (48 sheets of paper) -- after that, they became too bulky, and would not fold properly. The finished booklets were 8.5" x 5.5". Each copy cost me around $7 USD to print. The deepthroat stapler cost me $35 USD, once. I sold around 150 copies, over a 9-year period. Not a financial success, but it was fun.

I hope to resurrect that game, combining the first three versions, with a fourth (and final) version, into a single PDF (four games for the price of one), available also as a hardcover/softcover POD. The softcover, low quality paper and ink books, in B&W, should run the customers <$25, delivered; in high quality ink and paper, in full color, they may go up to $40 USD-$50 (toner and heavy clay paper) for hardcovers.

If I sell them through a service (WGV), or direct from Lulu, the customer will have the option of getting a PDF (WGV), or a soft or hardcover version, assuming I offer all printing options. The POD's are printed after the customer's coin drops in the service's bank account, delivered in 3-4 weeks. Everybody wins. Cheers!

BenMinis21 Apr 2022 7:51 p.m. PST

I have found it possible to remove the digital locking keys from a pdf by printing it to pdf. You will then get a straight pdf file without any of the locking keys that can then be printed.

QUATERMASS22 Apr 2022 5:19 a.m. PST

Any set of rules or anything for that mater that has a water mark gets deleted straight away.
Could be the best rules ever I don't care! And won't know cos as soon as I see em i move on hate em.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP22 Apr 2022 10:21 a.m. PST

BenMinis, I will give that a try. The issue, for me, has been getting POD services (like to print them for me. I understand the desire to disallow pirating, but to me, this is too prohibitive for honest customers. I know of no good solution. I will try your suggestion, to see if it does, in fact, strip out all of the locking mechanisms, for, and others. Thank you. Cheers!

KarlBergman25 Apr 2022 8:07 p.m. PST

Sgt Slag, I know several people that are currently producing games. The first one constantly looses his shirt in the printing and shipping of his printed copies. He has even set up delivery fulfillment sites to handle various areas of the world. The costs of international shipping and customs taxes are becoming prohibitive. In addition he is still waiting for delivery of his US customer books (his primary, but not only sales source), but they are still sitting at a dock waiting to be loaded on a ship. Another gentleman that I know sells his books as PDF, but has also created a Kindle version so that his customers can choose the option of ordering from Amazon POD, which moves the printing and shipping costs to the buyer. Personally, I invested in a good quality color laser printer so that if I just have to have something in print I can just print it. I also bought a subscription to Adobe Acrobat which allows me a lot better access to the PDFs when I need to.

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