I’m often asked about why we don’t offer print versions of our books, so I thought I’d take some time to answer this question, and to fully explain our decision to focus on digital books.
Having owned, reviewed, or otherwise been exposed to a great many modelling guides over the years, I began to notice that many of them shared the same set of unavoidable shortcomings. These were largely due to the limitations of the print format, and not necessarily any fault of the good people involved in their production.
The print process for books and magazines is complex and expensive, and necessarily entails a high level of risk—no publisher or author wants to get lumbered with a warehouse full of unsold books and a substantial financial loss. In print, pages cost money, and none more so than the glossy, heavily illustrated variety. Therefore, one of the overarching constraints of the print medium is the need to keep the page count to a financially-viable maximum, and this often manifests itself in text and images that are too small, and cramped layouts that can be difficult to follow at times.
It seemed to me that the best way to solve these issues would be to avoid print altogether.
The decision to go with a digital format opens up a range of possibilities and options not readily available in print, and collectively they drive our content first ethos. Rather than treat digital publishing as a poor cousin of print publishing, we decided to exploit the inherent advantages of the medium to the benefit of the reader.
To that end, our primary guiding principle is let the content determine the page count. Our books are as long (or as short) as they need to be to convey the relevant content appropriately, and if additional content surfaces, we can add that in too, without fear of breaking some arbitrary page count limit. In effect, there is no page limit.
The freedom to design books of any page length allows us to use larger font sizes, and to display images at the maximum size allowable. This approach requires more pages for a given amount of content, but we’ve already seen that this is not a problem.
Build photos are not tiny thumbnails, and a single image may in fact occupy half (or more) of the available space on a page:
We also use a larger text size than most print publications, to make it easy on aging eyes—you don’t even have to pinch and zoom! Our layouts are deliberately clean and simple, without distracting backgrounds that can make text hard to read.
Our books also include live links to product websites and other online resources, right in the text.
Walkaround images, where included, are displayed as large as possible, and a single photograph may even occupy an entire page:
Finished gallery images are not cluttered with competing text and graphics:
The freedom from the constraints of fixed page counts means we can include content in our books that would not be feasible in a print format—such as extended walkaround sections, comprehensive technique tutorials, much more detailed building and painting sequences, and additional content as appropriate to the book in question.
Free Book Updates!
One of the really great advantages of digital publications is the ability to publish updates as required—these updates could include anything from corrected typos and other errors, to entire new sections of content. Best of all, these updated versions of our books are made available to existing purchasers for free! You can read more about this in the following article here on our website:
But, I Like Physical Books!
Yeah, we understand that, and we do too! We’re not proposing that printed books are redundant, or that you have to pledge your allegiance to one camp or the other. We simply feel that the nature of the content we plan to publish is better served in a digital format, and conversely, is not viable in the print medium. Some of our planned titles will cover specialised or niche modelling topics, and would be completely untenable as printed books.
In the meantime, we’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic, either here in the comments, or on our Facebook page.
Truly a new way of presenting airplane publications to the aviation enthusiast, much like technical manual revisions in the airline industry. I love looking at all the pictures on my iPad
― Yoav Efrati
Love the eBook format! Detailed descriptions + images of the actual product used are great! Well done KLP!
― Carl Gerard
Anyone who hasn’t looked at this series should really check it out. All of the builds are top-notch and truly inspirational. Some of the best modeling references available at a price that can’t be beat!
― Rockie Yarwood
To learn more about purchasing and downloading our books, please check out the following companion article: