Sunday, March 10, 2013

Hollow Earth Expedition rebound

The binding on my copy of the Hollow Earth Expedition core rule book started to fall apart. The first five or so pages and the last five or so pages started coming away from the rest of the binding. The center of the book remained rock solid. It seems to be some sort of problem with how the covers open up. Several gamers have reported similar problems, so it must've been a particular run of this book.

I sought a FedEx Office Print & Ship Center/Kinkos to repair this book that I'm so fond of. The plan was to take the book and rebind it with a plastic spiral with thicker covers. The first person to help was Mary, who assured me that what I requested could be done at a reasonable cost- which was to rebind the book with a plastic spiral binding. She originally thought they could punch holes in the covers, but another employee shot that option down (later Mary tried it anyway and saw that it wasn't going to work).

As an alternative to punching the original covers, she said they could make copies of the covers onto a lighter card stock and laminate them. This ended up being problem-some and taking them (Mary had to defer to the other guy working, Sydney) quite a lot of time.

I ended up leaving to do other errands and returning and they were still having troubles. This was also due to a pretty constant stream of other customers coming through. After about 3 hours total they presented a very nicely bound book. As you can see in some of the photos below, the lamination is very sturdy, though not as thick as the original covers.






From what I've heard, the subsequent releases, Secrets of the Surface World and Mysteries of the Hollow Earth are having none of these problems with their spines.

It really pays to be polite and kind when your patience is tested. This took a lot longer than any of us anticipated. I did spend more time in the store than any other customers I saw come and go. Not all of them were that friendly. In the end they finished the job and sent me home with no charge! They worked their asses off on this one. Mary said it would probably cost about $12-$14 for this production. I said I'd be back if any other books fell apart.

Thank you to Mary and Sydney for such determined effort.


A side note:
While Sydney was finishing up the job, I inquired about a cost comparison for printing a PDF would be with Mary. In the past I've used Printme1.com for getting physical copies of electronic gaming books. They're minimum cost is at a base line $14.99 (at the time of this post). For a 300 page b&w document with a comb binding and a clear cover with a cardstock back, the same would cost FexEx around $30-$40.

See the PrintMe1 post for the Fate Core book for more on that.

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