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Palladium Books® Weekly Update – March 10, 2011

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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

Read more: Palladium Books® Weekly Update – March 10, 2011

Palladium Books® Weekly Update – March 3, 2011

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Palladium Books® Weekly Update – March 3, 2011

By Kevin Siembieda

My dear friends, a few things have happened in the last week or two that shook me a bit and bummed me out a little. It was nothing bad for the company, it just made me feel bad. You know, one of those moments where you wonder what's wrong with people and businesses in the world and you feel disappointed, frustrated and sad. Then I thought about you, the Palladium fans, the outpouring of support you have always given me, how you are there for us in good times and bad, and it helped buoy my spirits and restore my faith in humankind again. Thanks for being so awesome. Thanks for being there for me even when you don't realize it.

The Rifter® Super-Subscription offer was scheduled to end Monday. We had a great weekend of sales as a lot of people rushed to place their subscription order before the offer ended on Monday. A good number of people also ordered a lot of other books while they were at it, so I was absolutely thrilled with the sales. Of course, there has been a sharp decline in the days after, but that's to be expected.

FYI: You can subscribe to The Rifter® any time. And it is always a money saving proposition. The Winter Super-Offer is just our annual "push" and offers an additional "gift." So please, subscribe when that moment strikes and you realize you need a subscription to The Rifter®. And you know you need one. You need it. You know you do. You're missing out if you don't have one . . .

(Hmmm, I wonder if my power to hypnotize you into ordering a subscription is working? No! Not even a little? Shucks. What if I told you we will extend the subscription offer for just ONE MORE WEEKEND? Yeah, you can still get the subscription and the free gift this one last weekend. Offer ends Monday morning, March 7, 2011.)

Click here for all the details and order info.

A strange week for me. This past week has been a little strange for me. I've gone from high energy to feeling tired, back up to high energy, then a bit blue. I think the long hours of the past few weeks wore me out and catching a cold didn't help any. An "alleged friend" suggested that with my birthday sneaking up on me, it was old age (I turn 55 on April 2nd). He tried to make nice by saying I actually sounded more energized and positive than he's heard from me in a long while, but he is not forgiven. ;)

I spent much of the week catching up on a number of business related matters, planning for the Creators Conference, talking to people on the phone and taking care of this and that. On many fronts it has been a productive week. Though I've not put in as much time as I would like on the writing of Thundercloud Galaxy™, I have spent some time doing writing for some other projects, including the Creators Conference which is coming up fast.

UPDATE: Creators Conference. I had someone suggest to me that I should not talk about the Creators Conference since it is not open to the general public. I considered that for a moment, and I hope I'm not frustrating fans, but here's why I mention it a bit: The Conference should have a tremendous impact on Palladium Books and future projects. Therefore, it is important to fans interested about such things. I want to discuss with Palladium's core freelance writers and artists the plans I have to take Palladium to the next level and their role in it. I want to talk about our crafts of game design, writing and illustration. There will round table discussions, workshops, brainstorming and plans for the future. Not just Palladium's future, but their futures as creators as well. There should also be plenty of hugs, friendly chats, laughter and gaming. I think it will be good for all of us and great for Palladium. Note to Freelancers: I think next week is your last chance to get rooms at the discounted Palladium rate, so place your reservations now. I've talked with two people this week who have not done so yet!

UPDATE: Rifts® Dimension Book 14: Thundercloud Galaxy™. We continue to work on Rifts® Thundercloud Galaxy™. I apologize for the delay, but we are working to make this book the best it can be. Though Palladium is known for its high quality, part of my new agenda is to push the envelope even further and try to knock your socks off with each and every new book. I think we did that with Rifts® Triax™ 2, Rifts® Dimensional Outbreak™, Heroes of the Megaverse® and Armageddon Unlimited™. Now we want to do it again with Thundercloud Galaxy™, Robotech® sourcebooks, the Rifts® Vampire books, Rifts® Lemuria, Rifts® Megaverse® in Flames and all the rest.

As for offering a FREE Sneak Preview of Thundercloud Galaxy™ from DriveThruRPG.comDriveThruRPG.com at some point, we're trying to decide what part of the book we should select. We'll try to remember to do the same with most upcoming releases (may not be allowed with licensed properties, we'll have to look into it).

See Secrets of the Thundercloud Galaxy™ later in this Update.

UPDATE: The Rifter® #54. This is destined to be a landmark issue: The final chapter of The Hammer of the Forge! This story started with issue number ONE. Thanks for a great run James M.G. Cannon.

UPDATE: Rifts® Lemuria. Jazzy Johnny Z is busy working away on the cover, but I've yet to assign the interior artwork for it.

UPDATE: Robotech® New Generation™ Sourcebook. Apollo Okamura should be working on the cover for this book and I hope to be working away on the manuscript in a few weeks.

UPDATE: Alex Marciniszyn. There has been some turmoil and issues within the family, but overall, everybody continues to press forward.

UPDATE: Kathy Simmons. As you may know, Kathy is one of the forces behind the scenes at Palladium. She processes online and distributor orders, handles payroll and bookkeeping and does other business related work. She is also working at getting her own fledgling business (queenofghouls.com) off the ground. Well, she hadn't been feeling well for about a week, then the pain started. She and all of us (which is why we are not doctors) thought she must be passing a kidney stone. Turns out the poor girl has shingles. I've never had them, and never want to get them. My grandfather and Erick Wujcik had shingles and both of them said it was an awful and painful experience. She's going through the worst of it now and has another 10-14 days to deal with, ouch. Plus it has prevented her from working on her newest and coolest ghoul creations. Get well soon, Queen of Ghouls.

UPDATE: New Palladium Website. There has been an increased level of work with the Palladium Website these past two weeks and excitement is running high. I spoke with the main fan/freelancer who is the mover and shaker behind this project at great length and I love his ideas and enthusiasm. Of course, nothing goes easy, so now that work on it is really picking up, they've hit a few glitches and snags. Grrrr. Fear not, it is coming and you will like it.

Snow is gone but it's been cold. Lower Michigan has had one of the snowiest winters on record. As of this date, we've seen approximately two feet more than an average winter. I am soooo ready for spring weather.

– Kevin Siembieda, Publisher

Read more: Palladium Books® Weekly Update – March 3, 2011

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