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Palladium Books® Weekly Update – March 17, 2011

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Palladium Books® Weekly Update – March 17, 2011

By Kevin Siembieda

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Don't get too crazy out there today, but have fun. ;)

As I wrote in a Murmur from the Megaverse I posted yesterday, I've been buried in the Thundercloud Galaxy™ manuscript, tweaking and writing away. My focus is to make this book epic, and get it to the printer by the end of next week. There are a lot of opportunities for unique and wild adventures in this Dimension Book, and we want to make sure all the possibilities are covered. The book may be different from what some people may be expecting, but I think the end result will knock your socks off.

When I work on a book, I more or less go from front to back, but on Thundercloud Galaxy™ I've been working Erick Wujcik style, jumping from section to section as the ideas hit me. That means I'm working on something like 7-9 files at a time, all in various states of completion, but none of them quite finished. I'm finally at a point where I can start wrapping up sections and hand them to Alex and Wayne for final editing. The Colony Creation section is much expanded, but should be finished today. Tomorrow, I hope to be done with the Monster Creation Tables and maybe the section on the mysterious Exiles. I expect to have a good sized chunk of the new Alien R.C.C.s ready for editing over the weekend – there are 20 of them plus new information about theDominators, Gene-Tech and Elder Races. There are now a ton of adventure suggestions, adventure tables and wild opportunities you would expect from an unhinged setting like theThundercloud Galaxy™. I know this title is delayed (which has set back everything else in our schedule, grrrr), but it will be worth the wait. We'll be working through the weekend to wrap this bad boy up.

The disappearance of Kevin Siembieda. Like I said, I have been so absorbed in my work on Thundercloud Galaxy™ that I have been absent from the Palladium Website. As a result, I have not been posting Murmurs from the Megaverse (until yesterday), I've been MIA on Facebook, nor have I been answering my private messages. I've even been dodging some telephone calls, or keeping them short, as I've been pounding away every second I have on Thundercloud Galaxy™ (okay, only 80% of my time has been spent on the book these past couple weeks). I've been putting in so many hours (8:00 AM till 11:00 PM most nights) that I even had a mini-burnout on Tuesday and had to go home at 5:00 PM to crash, rest and get some sleep. I'm fine. I just pushed myself a little too hard. We need to keep new product coming to keep everyone happy, so I'm feeling the pressure.

Online sales were pretty lousy this week. Without a new release in six weeks, sales went from excellent in February to in the toilet the past two weeks. I hope the release of four popular out of printtitles and the Rifts® Baseball Cap next week will help boost sales. Of course, we'll see sales rebound in April with the release of The Rifter® #54 (another great issue) and Thundercloud Galaxy™ around April 12. (I hope to send Thundercloud to the printer by the end of next week.)

BACK IN PRINT: The following out of prints books will be back in print next week (scheduled for March 24 release): 
Rifts® Baseball Cap
Rifts® Dimension Book™ 6: Three Galaxies™
Rifts® Black Vault™
Rifts® Mercenaries™
Aliens Unlimited™ – A Heroes Unlimited™ sourcebook

I just spoke to the printer and all of these titles are on schedule. In fact, we might get them as SOON as Monday!

UPDATE: The Rifter® #54. Wayne is working away on The Rifter®, the cover, by Mike Leonard, is done and is a fitting tribute to the end of the long running Hammer of the Forge™ series. Artwork has been assigned and is in the process of being drawn right now.

UPDATE: Palladium Website. As I think most of you know, we've been busy working on giving the Palladium website a new look. Our goal is to make it look great, offer more functionality, be easy to use, and be fun. Rex Barkdoll is the chief designer and has been a dynamo on this project. Thom Bartold has been working hard on it too. While Wayne and I weigh in on issues of look, form and function, as well as a number of technical and content issues, Rex and Thom have been doing all the heavy lifting on this project and they are kicking . . . um, they are doing a great job. Rex has been a godsend. Not only is he very talented and hard working, but he's a great guy. The new website is really getting there, but there are still more tests, tweaks and fine tuning before it can go live, but we are getting close. A lot of content changes and additions have to be done too, but those may be more of a work in progress. I want to say the site will be up by my birthday, April 2nd, but I do NOT want to rush the guys. Besides, with the Creators Conference starting April 7, and with Wayne and I still banging away on the next two book releases, I doubt we'll have time to get the necessary content done by then. Whew. A lot of activity going on at Palladium these days and all of it good.

UPDATE: Creators Conference. It is coming up too fast. Where does the time go? We are all very excited about this event and expect good things to come from it.

TODAY is the last day for those attending the Conference to reserve a hotel room at the special rate. If you haven't done so, do it today.

UPDATE: Colt the Outlander™/Rifts® Crossover Part Two. Wayne and I reviewed and approved the final version of the Colt/Rifts® comic crossover in Heavy Metal® Magazine. It looks great. Plus it means something special for me as Part Two is dedicated to "the memory of two fallen fathers," my Dad, Henry Siembieda and Dante J. Pacella. Thank you for doing that, RC and Dominic, it means a lot to me. We will let you know what issue the strip is to appear in as soon as we know, but it should be soon. The Rifts® Juicer story will also appear in an upcoming Colt the Outlander™ Collection from Heavy Metal®.

UPDATE: Hammer of the Forge™. Most people seem to like the idea of collecting the Hammer of the Forge™ and presenting it as a novelization with a game section featuring 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® Lemuria. John Zeleznik submitted his tight pencil drawing and color sketch of the cover. Wow, is all I can say.

UPDATE: Robotech® New Generation™ Sourcebook. Apollo Okamura should be working on the cover. I spoke to Tommy Yune and he's excited about the upcoming book and our ideas for additional sourcebooks.

UPDATE: Kathy Simmons is feeling better and plans to work on a couple of new creations this weekend for her online store, queenofghouls.com. As most of you know, Kathy creates and sells one of a kind, life-sized Halloween props of zombies and other monsters.

UPDATE: Alex Marciniszyn. Alex and family continue to hang tough.

I think that's it for now. Have a fun weekend and game on.

– Kevin Siembieda, Publisher

Read more: Palladium Books® Weekly Update – March 17, 2011

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

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