Noble Knight Games got back to me today and we talked the situation over. Turns out they listed it as OoP because the books are not provided through an industry standard distribution means and, understandably, they didn’t look beyond that to verify the books’ availability status. It also seems the person who sold them their used copies didn’t want to disabuse NKG of this belief because it would have meant they would have had to charge the retailer a fair price rather than the high cost they demanded for “out of print” books.
So, no harmful intent on NKG‘s part to either Misfit Studios or their customers, but I’m still worried about potential effects the out of print status may have had on direct sales, as the listing may have suggested to people not to look for new copies that are still available from the Misfit Studios Lulu store font. Such things are an unavoidable aspect of publishing.
I’m adding this clarification because I don’t want to be accused of altering blog posts by changing the original text, but I also felt it was only fair to add this after hearing what happened on NKG‘s end.
So, while doing my quarterly search to see which Misfit Studios products have come out as illegal torrents, I came across this link of Noble Knight Games selling print copies of Armageddon Armed Force and Enemies Archived.
Don’t get me wrong: I’ve found some great things at Noble Knight Games, but they are charging $50 USD for Armed Force and $75 for Enemies Archived. NKG lists both products as out of print. So, here’s the thing.
The product information provided by NKG says Armed Force is the hardcover so the mark up in this case isn’t all that bad, but for Enemies Archived no information is given as to whether it is the color interior or the B/W, but all copies they are selling are used. What’s more, both books, in both their respective variations, are not only still available to buy at Lulu.com, which is where these used versions NKG originated from (it’s the only place they’ve ever seen print), but you can get brand new copies of Armed Force from Lulu.com for $43 (hardcover) and $29.97 (softcover), plus S&H, and brand new copies of Enemies Archived for $18.27 (color interior) or $11.20 (black and white.)
I normally don’t begrudge a retailer trying to make some money, but not only are they listing the books incorrectly as out of print, but they are charging more for used books than customers can buy new ones for (at a nearly $57 or $64 mark up for Enemies Archived, depending on the version that is being sold.) There are “customers who bought this product also bought …” listings for both products, but I hope few customers were taken in by this product listing.