Palladium Books® Weekly Update – March 10, 2011
By Kevin Siembieda
We've been riding the whirlwind all week.
Wayne keeps muttering, "Too much going on," and he's right. I think Wayne and I have been at the office till 10:00 PM every day working like mad on multiple projects and dealing with the demands of the business. That means I've been coordinating and directing efforts on several fronts. Everything from day to day stuff, to filing copyright forms, preparing contracts, sending out art assignments for The Rifter® #54, lining up artists for upcoming and future books, talking to freelancers, talking to my attorney, prepping for the Creators Conference, working on Thundercloud Galaxy™, getting the next batch of out of print books lined up for reprinting, as well as putting into motion a number of still secret projects and dealing with things behind the scenes. It is all very exciting, but holy moley!
UPDATE: Palladium Web Site. The new Palladium web site has been a big part of what we've been working on this week. There are a lot of decisions to be made, from program choices and costs, to design features and a thousand little details (ease of use, legibility of text, font styles, titles for buttons and pull downs, choice of artwork, and a zillion other things). And that's just our end of things, our web designer Rex Barkdoll is doing most of the heavy lifting. Emails and telephone discussions between me, Wayne Smith, Thom Bartold, and Rex have been flying fast and furious (with additional input from Alex, Julius, Kathy, Matthew and a few fans). There are also all kinds of content changes and updates to be made.
So what do I think of the new Palladium web site design? Personally, I love it, and think most of you will too. It is a vast improvement over the current site: cleaner, easier to use, slick and fun. Everyone working on it is putting their heart and soul into the project. Of course, our funds and time are limited, so we can only do so much, but we're definitely working hard to make it as cool as we can.
When will it launch? We're hoping by the end of March, but it might be April. Trust me, you'll know it when you see it. ;)
UPDATE: Creators Conference. I have been locked in numerous meetings and discussions about the Creators Conference. It should be exciting, but it's not just fun and games. There has been a lot of planning and thought about various topics to be discussed and workshops to be considered. I've also been talking with some key people about a number of the projects and plans I intend to reveal at the Conference. I've been in frequent discussion with Mark Dudley as he'll be heading up a new division within Palladium Books. Freelancer Note: Reserve your hotel room. You have till March 16, 2011 before the Palladium rate is invalid and the price for a room goes up $20 a night.
UPDATE: Secrets. Movies, television, videogame development, comic books, and a range of other projects based on Palladium's intellectual properties (IPs) are being explored. There have been rumblings on several fronts, but when you are dealing with third parties and potential licensees (especially those in big business like Hollywood), you are pretty much a leaf at the mercy of the wind. That's one reason we have not been revealing any details on these fronts, as we don't want to get your hopes up. We'll see a flurry of interest or activity about a Palladium IP, then nothing, or the interest wanes, or you are on hold for weeks or months, and even years. Case in point, it has been 9 years since we signed the Rifts movie option. Will there ever be a Rifts movie? Maybe, maybe not. Will it be produced by Jerry Bruckheimer Films? Maybe, maybe not, but I do remain hopeful. It's maddening sometimes even when you understand and appreciate the reason for the delay or hesitation to move forward. Of course, it's not a simple decision like, "lets make a movie." I wish. Meanwhile, we've been trying to make moves in some of these areas ourselves.
UPDATE: Colt the Outlander™/Rifts® Crossover Part Two. After an unexpected delay, the Colt/Rifts® comic crossover in Heavy Metal® Magazine is finished and approved. It's a pulse pounding finish with great art and strong story. We'll let you know what issue it will appear in as soon as we know, but it should be soon. The Rifts® story will also appear in an upcoming Colt the Outlander™ Collection from Heavy Metal.
Back in Stock: Rifts® Baseball Cap. Spring and baseball season fast approach, so I figured Palladium better stock up on the popular Rifts® Baseball Cap. A khaki color hat with black trim and a black Rifts® logo. Should be back in stock and ready to ship by March 24, 2011.
UPDATE: The Rifter® #54. As reported in the last Weekly Update, this is the landmark final chapter of the long running, Hammer of the Forge™ by James M.G. Cannon. Thus, it only seemed fitting that we dedicate the cover to the series. Mike Leonard is working on the cover even as you read this. Other articles include the weapons and gizmos of the Fortress City of New Chillicothe in Rifts®, creatures from across the Megaverse®, superheroes, Nightbane® fiction and more.
Question: Should we collect the Hammer of the Forge™ and present it as a novelization with a game section that presents the stats for key characters, aliens, weapons, and other elements from the Forge series? It's an idea Wayne Smith and some fans have suggested and I'm thinking about. Is this a product you would buy?
UPDATE: Rifts® Dimension Book 14: Thundercloud Galaxy™. I've done a minimal amount of work on the book this week, but I vow it will go to press before the end of March and it will be another great book. I expect to dive back into it full force this weekend.
UPDATE: Rifts® Lemuria. John Zeleznik is fast at work on the cover and I need to assign interior artwork. Nick Bradshaw and a few others keep asking to work on this book, so I need to get cracking.
UPDATE: Robotech® New Generation™ Sourcebook. Apollo Okamura should be working on the cover, and I need to get author, Irvin Jackson working on the next Robotech® sourcebook.
UPDATE: Kathy Simmons is feeling better and hopes to be working on her ghouls for queenofghouls.com this weekend.
UPDATE: Alex Marciniszyn. Alex and family are hanging tough.
UPDATE: Online Sales. This week's sales have been poor. Between winter doldrums and the delay of Thundercloud Galaxy™, sales have dropped off significantly. In fact, we went from an incredible week of sales with people subscribing to The Rifter® to a dismal week. It's to be expected.
– Kevin Siembieda, Publisher