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Neil Carr
United States
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I've stepped onto the path of being an amateur RPG publisher via Kickstarter. I want to see how far I can travel from zero-to-hero and I'm looking for help along the way. These series of posts are in part just me thinking aloud, but also asking specific questions as I put the pieces together to achieve rpg publishing victory.

How does one distribute PDFs to many people if the PDFs are beyond the scope of email allowances?

Typically email isn't going to let you send or receive files above 20 megabytes, so if you have a PDF that is bigger than that you need another solution to distribution.

You could do it through RPGNow, but to go that route you'd either have to give the PDF away for free, or send vouchers to customers which you have to purchase from RPGNow, which means your not getting any real funding from the crowdfunding project, or at least RPGNow is getting a 30% cut.

Eventually you would want to have your PDF set up on RPGNow for regular sales, but this is just an issue for getting the files to the backers of the crowdfunding project.

There are other routes, such as Dropbox, but you don't have much control who's downloading the files, and it requires the backer to get a Dropbox account.

One could raise a lot of philosophical questions about file sharing with this topic and whether a creator should even be that concerned with who gets the file, but I guess I'm just more interested in figuring out if there is an inexpensive technical solution to the problem.

Does anyone know of some kind of media sharing inventory service, so you can share files and know when/if your customer was able to download the file?
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William Hostman
United States
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I've been Banished to Oregon... Gaming in Corvallis, living in Alsea... Need gamers willing to try new things...
The Splattered Imperium
Cheap way 1: on a free webhost, put up a pasword protected zipfile, and email the URL and password to people.

Cheap way 2: if small enough, just email the file to people.
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I am the wasp / that burrows in! I am the shriek / of twilight din!
The ones I've gotten have just been on a web server with .htaccess. You leave it open for a few weeks then take it down and whoever complains are the customers you have to deal with manually.

Another option is making a torrent and including a polite "how to pay" message for the non-backers who will inevitably grab it. If the torrent host gives you the option of deleting the file, you can make it a private torrent for backers and thus disable PEX / DHT. If there are more than 100 backers I'd take that route.
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He went overloading on testing and coding and his name was
United Kingdom
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Support comes in many forms: community involvement, forum posts, submitting data, running PbF games, word-of-mouth advertising, financial donations... All these are vital to this site, and you have my sincere thanks for participating in any of them.
Currently: planning.
If you do want to go for the direct web hosted route, then I have a paid hosting account with no ads and unlimited disk space that I'm willing to use to help folks. I'd chuck in a customised subdomain with a personal FTP account too.

I can get a fair amount of analytics on visitors too including the option to send weekly/monthly/quarterly reports by e-mail to you. But this doesn't go to the level of individuals' data, so it wouldn't tell you if particular individuals had successfully downloaded the file or not.

Aramis' password-protection option is a good way to limit usage. As is not advertising the URL in public. (Once a file has been sent to a backer, there's no way to prevent them from giving it away to others anyway.)
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