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Purchasing & Downloading Our Books

While the vast majority of purchases from our website go off without a hitch, I do receive the occasional email from customers experiencing issues. As it happens, these issues tend to fall into a couple of common areas, which are easily solved or avoided, so let’s take a look at them.

Purchasing

This is a relatively straightforward process, and the feedback I’ve had about it suggests that there are no real issues with the checkout process. Prices are in Australian dollars, and payment is made via PayPal—you can even checkout using PayPal as a guest, meaning that you don’t need to have a PayPal account to use it.

Downloading

Once the order is placed and payment is made, you should receive an order confirmation email that contains your order details, plus a link to download your purchase. This appears to be the main area where things can go wrong, with customers either not receiving this email, or not realising its significance and deleting it. And don’t forget to check your junk or spam email folder!

If this happens to you, contact me and I can generate another order confirmation email for you. Of course, this only works if you inadvertently deleted the original email; if in fact you didn’t receive it at all for some reason, then it’s likely you may not receive the second one either. This is where the solution below comes in.

Create an Account

Most of our customers use the guest checkout option (as a guest of the site, as distinct from using the guest payment facility with PayPal), which is quick and easy to do. And while this is convenient, creating a dedicated customer account has several advantages.

Firstly, once you’ve created the account, subsequent purchases are actually faster, as you’re no longer asked to supply your details if you make a purchase while logged in.

More importantly, however, is that you then have access to your purchase and download history, and this means that you can log in to your account and download any book you’ve previously purchased. Not only does this solve the issue of not having received the order confirmation email, but it also means you can log in to your account from a different computer or device to the one that contains the email, and still download the book.

If you’ve already purchased books from the site without a customer account, and then decide to create one, once you’ve done so, I can associate those purchases with your new account, and they will then become part of your purchase history. Please note that this doesn’t happen automatically, so if you’re in that position, contact me with the details and I can make the associations.

Of course, not everyone is interested in creating an account, so if all else fails, contact me and I can get the file to you directly by other means. This should be a last resort, however, and I strongly encourage everyone to create a customer account in order to gain some added control over your purchases, and avoid potential problems into the future!

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Another Honour for Brick!

Over the weekend of November 11 & 12, The Australian Capital Territory Scale Modelers’ Society (ACTSMS) held the ScaleACT model show and competition. By all accounts, it was a great show, but one particular incident had special significance for KLP Publishing.

The subject of our first title (Building Brick’s Sabre in 1/32 Scale), Kevin Bricknell, was again awarded the honour of a tribute build of an aircraft he flew during his career. This time, it was his PC-9, and the modeller was Andrew Doppel.

Congratulations to Brick for another well-deserved tribute, and also to Andrew Doppel for creating such a fine model. Thanks also to Andrew for permission to use his photos.

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Why Digital?

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.

Our Manifesto

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 up to half the available space on a page:

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:

One of our recent titles, Building Mac’s Birddog in 1/32 Scale, features a 53-page walkaround of the O-1 Birddog, while our book Building the Wingnut Wings AEG G.IV Late in 1/32 Scale contains a 27-page tutorial on painting wood-grain effects on propellors. Neither of these sections would have been viable in a printed book, and would have needed to be substantially reduced.

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. We wish that there were a workable compromise for this impasse, and if we find one, we will certainly explore it!

In the meantime, we’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic, either here in the comments, or on our Facebook page.

Cheers!