Posted by Steve M. on the boards at herogames.com:
"I know that everyone's dying to know what the production format is going to be, so we're going to be completely candid and let you know where things stand at the moment:
We refuse to cut vast amounts out of this book. The material Steve Long has written is great stuff and we feel it would be a tremendous loss to us all if it was to be sliced apart. Now, despite some posted opinions, this does *not* make it easier for us. What it means is that we have had to lay out the entire book all over again, starting from scratch. All the previous work that was done to bring the monster down to a manageable 300 pages has been for naught. (and well-discarded says I)
Now, the price of producing a book of the size we are looking at (well over 300 pages) is very expensive. Hard to do, due not only to the fact that Hero is not rich at the moment (at least not until this book and several other products hit the main market!)...but also because we refuse to print this product on cheap paper and a binding that will fall apart in a year.
It is very likely that we will produce the first run of Hero 5th on a CD (and a download as well for those that want to pay less and don't care about having a physical copy). This may be what needs to happen to get Hero 5th out at first..but the intention would be to use the sales generated by the CD to eventually pay for a well-bound high-quality book to be published. *If* (and mind the *if* - it's all still up in the air) this is what occurs, then we are considering including along with the Hero 5th CD-ROM a coupon good for a sizeable discount on the purchase of the next version. This idea is still being bounced around, but the thought is that this way the supportive hero gamers who bought the CD and helped to get the paper prouduct produced would not be getting charged full price for the book if they wanted it in both formats.
All still in debate...but it's looking like a strong possibility. This gets the book out, puts no size-limitations on the manuscript, helps fund the eventual paper publishing, and doesn't have everyone waiting another three years for Hero System 5th Edition!"