Saturday, June 11, 2011

The OSR Publishing Group at Lulu is Dead.

Over two years ago I started the Old School Renaissance Group Store at Lulu. It was an effort to "unify" the OSR, or keep track of the various published materials from different sources. It was met with much enthusiasm and was well support for several years. I think it helped a lot of people track down products they never would have known about otherwise. I became very busy and didn't put as much effort into updating it and keeping it going for the last year or so, and today I sought to rectify that to reinvigorate it and the Labyrinth Lord Publishing Group store. Unfortunately, I discovered that Lulu recently stopped supporting groups.

The store still exists for the time being but no new products can be added. So the store is effectively dead. Despite how large the OSR has grown, I still think there could be a need to create a kind of "hub" for publishers. I have a few ideas about how to do that, but as much as I wish I could maintain such a thing I have to be realistic in that I simply don't have the time. There are added headaches in deciding what to include and what not to. An ideal website would allow each publisher to update his/her own publisher info page. In any case, if anyone is willing to step up to host and maintain such a site I'd love to have a discussion about how to do it.

As I write this I'm actually a little surprised at how sad it makes me that the group store is dead. At the time it was made I felt it was a very positive thing, uniting people who were all into the same kind of gaming across the various clones and publishers. It was a way of showing that we don't have to break apart and faction into various micro-niches of competition. Maybe that hope is already unrealistic because of how much the OSR has grown since 2009. Also, there are more delivery methods today for POD than just Lulu, also more companies only offer print products from their own stores, so trying to create a group store would be almost impossible. Still, a kind of hub to direct people to various publishers and other sources might be doable.

8 comments:

Joseph Browning said...

Sad indeed.

John Adams said...

I still browse there looking for items to buy.

Thanks for doing this for the OSR, David!

Billiam Babble said...

I don't understand Lulu - they do the oddest things to their site and communities, they manage to alienate both customer and publisher alike.
Hopefully some decent cost-effective POD competition is coming along. The stores and groups often succeeded in grouping products where very basic searches failed. Feedback on free products is also non-existent. Oh, Lulu. I'm sure there'll be other ways of unifying OSR, and I'm sure what's still up there is still a good resource for the moment. (Sympathies)

Andreas Davour said...

Well, a wiki where anyone can edit, or at least easily get an account, and then have that as a front end to Lulu/the POD of your choice.

Could work.

Gavin said...

Oh that is a shame! I'd always thought what a marvellous idea the OSR group at Lulu was. I wonder why they've stopped supporting groups...

The Jovial Priest said...

It would be very easy to add a section into the Links to Wisdom House Rule wiki where links to products could be made, if that idea grabs anyone.

scottsz said...

Maybe time for a 'shop OSR' wiki?

Ragnorakk said...

That's really a bummer. I started a group for Tunnels & Trolls material a while back (idea inspired by you my good sir!)and we have had several different authors contribute. I also keep thinking that a 'hub' is a good idea - it is good to be able to present material from a variety of sources in a single spot...

Will have to start looking for a new home I guess.