Now that the Arkham Sanitarium project is over I'd like to start working on a followup tackling Miskatonic University.
The core group of physical props would be similar to that effort, with a run of patches, an enamel lapel pin, two new postcards, and a notebook. The one thing I'd like to change up is the notebook. In the past I've defaulted to using the pocket size Scout Books because they were one of the very few period accurate options available. The ubiquitous and cheap spiral bound notebooks of today simply didn't exist in the 1920's. There's some evidence they might have been available commercially as early as 1934, but US Patent 2123149, granted to W. Grumbacher, dates their creation to 1936.
Yes, I actually research this stuff. Heh.
The other problem with the Scout Books is that they're damn expensive in small runs. The 100 I ordered for the Arkham Sanitarium project comprised $330 of the project's total cost. They're a great little product, don't get me wrong, but I think there's a better option- composition books. For roughly double the cost of the pocket sized journals it's possible to get three times as many full-sized, custom printed notebooks. Like the pocket journals they would make ideal props or daily use items, with 25 lined pages, the traditional mottled black and white covers with the Miskatonic University logo printed on cardstock, and a historically accurate binding.
The one unfortunate side effect of switching to three composition books instead of one pocket journal is that it will increase the overall project cost, both for the printing of the notebooks and the cost of shipping. I'm going to get more precise figures later today, but I think domestic US shipping will jump to around $4.50 for the completed packages while EU postage will easily approach the $8-$9 range. Considering over half of the donors to the Arkham Sanitarium project were in the Eurozone that's going to add up real fast.
There are a couple of different ways to deal with the increased costs. One is to keep the $25 price point, which I think is the sweet spot for a project like this, but to raise the number of required donors. The second is to have one package available for $25 that includes a single notebook, and another at $30 that includes all three. The third option is to simply charge EU donors more to cover the extra postage cost.
As always, I'm open to your suggestions on how to make the pricing palatable as well as any items you think would be nifty to include.
Update: Ack! Not surprisingly, I vastly underestimated the postage. The mockup package I used weighed 1 pound and would cost $5.55 US and a whopping $10.76 to the EU.