20200120 So I Made a Thing 1/20 '20
The folks at gmbinder.com are kinda brilliant. They've built a website that makes it easy for any old schmo like me build a PDF with all the formatting of a Wizards of the Coast Official 5e Dungeons & Dragons manual.
You enter simple markdown into one window, the website interperets the markdown, and uses CSS to spit the content back out in a second window with all the formatting done for you. No need to learn about different fonts or spacing or... whatever.
I've seen a couple different incarnations of this kind of thing, but GMBinder seems to be the best of them - at least that I've been able to find. And it's 100% free - at least currently.
So when I first came across one of their competitors, the idea occured to me: "This would be a great way to promote dragonbones.net and my illustration services. I'll make a short "D&D Book" that is filled with my art and talks about how to hire me to create the art for your D&D book!" It's kinda meta, and I think folks would like that. I've never heard of it being done before, and the name of the game when selling anything is 'stand out from the crowd'. So if I do this right, I can stand out from the crowd while demonstrating just how perfectly I fit in with the crowd.
Oh shut it, Westley - it makes sense to me, and that's what matters.
Anyway - if any of you would like to have a look, you can find it here.
The cover is just a rough sketch, but all the art in it is my work, and I'm already working on a revision which will expand the book, provide more samples, etc. But with that said, I would love any and all criticisms / feedback / reviews / etc. Please - beat it up. :)
But to your question - I can't think of any real reason to limit page count aside from my desire to keep the file size reasonable so I can email it to folks.
I'll post future versions so you can see what I've done. I DO like the idea of keeping each tier on their own page if I can do it... properly. :)
Also - a heartfelt thank you for the feedback!
Run this past Jerm-- he makes this stuff for a living.
(With that, I know DnD people are a different breed, a breed who still actually *reads.* But sometimes a one-pager with a stripped-down image for cheap, a more detailed one for less-cheap, and a fully-realized beautiful image for spendy hits you harder. Their eye will be drawn to the fully-realized one right away because it's the purtiest. But in the thing you have here, people don't see your best work until they're a few pages deep... and who's to say they'll get that far?
Also, I love you dearly, but that front-page image isn't pulling me in. I see what you're trying to do, but I think you put your most gorgeous work on the front cover... and maybe put thumbnails of the same image at different pricepoints/detail levels around it so they can see the options you offer.
Just a scream of consciousness reply here... sorry if I'm not totally clear.
That said, I DO want to explain the minutia. For a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that people ALL perceive themselves to be on the Hobbyist level when it comes to what they're willing to pay for, but they want to use it for the Professional level of product. And here's the important part: They may still feel this way when they're done looking at my PDF, but _I_ will know that I gave them the relevant information and will therefor feel okay charging them in a way that I feel is appropriate. I know that you understand how difficult that can be for me.
As to the cover - you're right. As I mentioned in the OP, this is a rough sketch, and I'm working on refining it even tonight. It will eventually be a MUCH more refined and finished image.
I will absolutely run this by Jerm.
Lastly - the advantage to old friends is, I'm certain, that their perspective is very clear regardless as to whether or not they feel like they are being so. I read you loud and clear. :)
And, as usual, I'm being... overly verbose. I _may_ have had a bit of rum, so please forgive that. ;)
I've got an idea for the finished image that I'm unsure if I can pull off, but I'm going to try. There will be magical effects coming up / off of the tablet to the glowing eyes in the shadows behind me. Along with these effects, I want to give hints of a sword in the hand with the stylus (pen mightier than the... yadda yadda) and a shield on the tablet arm. These should be subtle though - something you have to be paying attention in order to see.
The idea is to present myself as a guardian between the viewer and the monsters in the dark. I keep them at bay until the viewer gives the go ahead to release them.
That seems like a worthwhile symbolism to start the document.