Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

18 Jul 2012

FOA 2012 Print Version Now Available!

We're proud to announce that the printed hard copy version of Football Outsiders Almanac 2012 is now on sale through Createspace. Click here to purchase it for $22.95. The book will be on Amazon in a few days, but remember that buying the book direct through the Createspace link on our site means more income for the FO staff.

Unfortunately, we ran into a technical issue regarding the length of the book that has required us to cut some of the content. Createspace now requires certain margin widths in order to publish a book over 600 pages, and our margins were a little smaller. There was no way to fix the problem without completely re-laying out the book, which would have kept it from being available until mid-August.

Therefore, the essays on SackSEER and Playmaker Score have been removed from the print version of the book. They are still available in the PDF version of the book, and for those who buy the hard copy, the section on FO Rookie Projections has URLs so you can read these essays online. In addition, we had to remove the Fantasy Appendix from the hard copy version. We decided this was the best way to get the book down to 600 pages and get it out to readers as soon as possible.

One more note on buying the book from Createspace: For some reason, Createspace is very conservative on the expected arrival dates of books. The shipping dates they give are generally a load of nonsense. We've found during the shipping process of past books that the "Priority" shipping arrives in 2-3 days, the "Standard" shipping comes in 5-6 days, and the "Economy" shipping comes in about a week.

As far as the Kindle version of the book, we're still trying to figure out a way to make it work, but it is looking doubtful. As the examples posted here show, it's very difficult to make our table-heavy presentation look right in Kindle. We've tried the suggestions of numerous readers, and nothing has helped.

We know that Baseball Prospectus did a Kindle version this year, but remember that a) they have an actual publishing company behind them to do the work, and b) according to BP people we spoke to, the Kindle version wasn't exactly loved by readers because of the way they had to chop up player tables to make everything fit.

One reader did suggest a Kindle version that consisted of nothing but text, without the tables. I would be curious how many readers are interested in such a version. If it looks like there is actual interest there, we perhaps could go forward with that version, and sell it alongside a PDF that would have tables so you could also see the tables when you wanted.

For next year we're considering maybe trying to put together some sort of iPad application; that seems to be a much better place for FOA than a primarily-text reader like the Kindle.

UPDATE: I didn't realize how popular the Fantasy Appendix was; scroll down to the comments to find a URL where people who buy print copies of the book can download it.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 18 Jul 2012

47 comments, Last at 26 Jul 2012, 10:03am by tuluse


by Diz (not verified) :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 7:36pm

next time you need to cut pages, get rid of the college section and make it its own 100 page 'book'/pdf.

by theprophecy :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 7:53pm


by tuluse :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 7:55pm


by JimZipCode :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 2:44am


No fantasy appendix?

by Jerry :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 3:24am


Not meant as a shot at college fans, but apparently I'm not the only one who ignores that part of the book.

by OmrothYes (not verified) :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 4:36am

+5 - those don't belong in the book.

I love you guys but I'm pretty dissapointed I can't use the back of FOA this year to keep track during my fantasy auction :(

by phillyangst :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 6:22am


I can do without the college chapters. I say charge extra for the PDF version including the college info. FO has "cut their teeth" providing saFermetrics on professional football. I believe this is a poor choice to cut NFL related content from the hard copy.

"DVOA loves Philadelphia!"

by billsfan :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 6:59am

+6.25 NFL is your core competency, as they say. Unless you know something about your readers that we don't.

(I also like the Eagles)

by Theo :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 7:48am


by Lou W (not verified) :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 11:13am

+9. Love the combine projection systems and the appendix, and have no interest in college football (the only part of the book I don't read cover-to-cover), so, in my opinion, this was a poor decision. I'll still buy though, as I love you guys. :)

by mikedewitt :: Fri, 07/20/2012 - 1:20am

+10. What he said. I'm glad to see I'm not the only NFL fanatic that could care less about college. I always thought I was a little weird for that. The Appendix is a must have on draft day.

by theprophecy :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 7:56pm

Feedback for app version: better than PDF on Kindle probably (sadly). Hopefully you can use a cross-platform toolset like Adobe AIR that will let you compile the same app to both iOS and Android.

by billsfan :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 7:03am

That would be awesome, especially if you could take tabular data that's spread across multiple sections of the book (e.g. strategic tendencies, mean projected wins/strength of schedule, line stats, DVOA by position, etc.) and look at it all in tables where the user can tap a column heading and sort it by whatever.

For a completely arbitrary example, the 2011 Patriots were second in percent of pass plays called while ahead in the 2nd half, but there's no easy way to find who's first. Bills have the 29th-easiest projected schedule, but which three teams have it easier? (Previous-year's DVOA by position is easy enough, I've been copying that from the website table and putting it into Excel for years.)

I'd be willing to pay a little more for a feature like that. If this is something already available with Premium, well, I don't want it badly enough to pay that much.

(I also like the Eagles)

by Jacob (not verified) :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 9:36pm

Will the Amazon book have everything that's missing in the Createspace version? If so, I will purchase from Amazon and make a donation to FO. Please let me know where I can mail a check to FO to make up for the difference between puchasing at Amazon and Createspace.

by Vincent Verhei :: Wed, 07/18/2012 - 10:39pm

Actually, they are the exact same book.

by Junior :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 1:43am

"We know that Baseball Prospectus did a Kindle version this year, but remember that a) they have an actual publishing company behind them to do the work"

Has the ship sailed on FO hooking up with a publisher again?

by Goepfi :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 3:39am

Anything new about the availablity in europe (germany) through amazon?

Cheapest createspace shipping will arrive sept 7

by Theo :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 7:51am

I've successfully ordered it that way to the Netherlands, so my bet is that Germany shouldn't be a problem.

by Goepfi :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:43am

So you have ordered it via createspace?
I dont want to wait until the start of the season or pay a big price for shipping.

by Aaron Schatz :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:45am
by Goepfi :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:47am

it is, i checked it right now, too.
thanks a lot - will buy it right now.

by bartleby :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 5:05pm

I didn't see the book available on Amazon as of today, only on Createspace.

by Theo :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 11:35am

Ah my bad, I forgot to specify I ordered it through amazon.

by Lasse Johansen (not verified) :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 3:52am

Will it also be availible on amazon.co.uk?

For those of living in Europe and want to avoid the chance of ekstra VAT and custom taxes far greater than the price of the book itself.

Looking forward to reading as always.

by Riceloft :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 5:39am

I went ahead and ordered the PDF for the first time. Hopefully you guys won't have to drop content from the printed version next year :(.

by Aaron Schatz :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 9:59am

We won't. We know how to avoid this problem for next year.

by valaj11 :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 8:55am

The College section is excellent...please KEEP it!!!

by WesOMG (not verified) :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 9:31am

What would've been contained in the "Fantasy Appendix"? If it's the whole back section with the projections and top 200, that's a big deal to me. That was one of my favorite parts of the book. I'm with the drop the college part crowd.

by A. Diggity :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 9:58am

I can't believe that cutting the fantasy appendix, the relative accuracy of which has been a huge marketing bullet point for years, is what you decided to do. Actually, I can't believe that this situation couldn't get resolved in some other way; wasn't there a professional printer who wanted to help you out, Vince? Whatever came of that?

Flabbergasted right now. I've bought every annual thus far, have been ready to buy this one for weeks, and now I'm not sure what to do.

by cja (not verified) :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:17am

Agreed, especially considering the length of the fantasy appendix.

I started playing fantasy the year of the first annual, and it was all I brought to the draft. I still you use to select my D/ST [scans downs list...takes whoever FO is higher on than anyone else with the 2nd to last pick...works well].

Aside from it's usefulness during a draft, I like having it as a reference. I've been going through old annuals and the fantasy appendix is a great way to remember and compare. I'd throw down for Kubiak if I played in a high stakes league...but I don't. I feel like this omission hurts the legacy of the book.

by Junior :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:39am

Reply to comment #21:

Yeah that was me. I failed, and failed miserably, and feel like an ass for not coming up with something after being positive that there was a relatively easy fix. Spent 2 hours looking for an automated fix within Indesign. There was no avoiding extensive "manual labor" to push out the margins.

The printer should have made FO aware of their page-count rules well in advance one way or another. It's real easy to start out the book with proper margins and a huge CF to go back and adjust later.

by Marc (not verified) :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:01am

Love the book and really want to purchase the print copy. I like to just pick it up a randomly leaf through it without feeling tied to a computer. But like a lot of your readers, having the Fantasy Appendix available for league drafts is an important reason for buying the book. I don't really understand all that's involved in the publishing of the book and I'd think that you'd do anything to avoid cutting any content -- is there any way just the Fantasy Appendix only would be made available for purchase as a pdf, especially for those who buy the print copy of the Almanac?

by A. Diggity :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:13am

Yeah, I'd like this as well; I could just print out those pages (along with the SackSEER and Playmaker Scores stuff) and I'd be perfectly happy.

by Aaron Schatz :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:19am

Hi everybody.

There was no way to do this without making some people unhappy. We pleaded and pleaded with Createspace to bend their rules for us, to no avail.

As far as using a "professional printer," or going with an actual publisher, don't make me get into the economics of the publishing business. Trust me when I say that the way we do things now is much better for everyone.

Doing a separate book for college isn't feasible because there's a minimum cost no matter the size of the book. The marginal cost of adding pages is minimal except for this weird new rule about books over 600 pages, and we won't have a problem with that next year because we'll know ahead of time to format the book in that fashion.

I guess I didn't realize how popular the Fantasy Appendix was, so I have now made that available online as well, here:


We ask that you only download this file if you are buying a print copy of the book, although obviously we can't stop anyone from downloading it otherwise. This is the same file that is in the PDF, meaning it won't account for any later KUBIAK changes such as preseason injuries or possible suspensions of Marshawn Lynch and Dez Bryant.

Don't worry, the Fantasy Appendix will be back in next year's book.

by Mike W :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:26am

Thanks, Aaron. I can now happily buy the book.

The appendix is useful to many of us for rank ordering players prior to and during drafts. That's the only time I would ever look at it, so it's actually fine that it's not physically in the book, but it would not be fine if I didn't have it at all.

Again, thank you for providing this.

by cja (not verified) :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:30am

Thanks, you guys are the best.

by A. Diggity :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:32am

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Buying now.

by NRG :: Sat, 07/21/2012 - 6:23pm

Good move on posting the missing piece. Thanks, and buying now.

by Marc (not verified) :: Mon, 07/23/2012 - 7:30pm

Thank you. Will purchase the print copy as soon as I am done here.

by Maven (not verified) :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 1:29pm

I would absolutely love to be able to buy a bundled kindle (no tables) + PDF version. I'd definitely pay more than just the PDF price too.

by bartleby :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 5:04pm

When will you sell the book on Amazon? That way we can get free shipping.

Also, reading a PDF file on a Kindle is a nightmare.

by Anonymous1 (not verified) :: Fri, 07/20/2012 - 2:55pm
by tuluse :: Thu, 07/19/2012 - 5:07pm

I've put my order in on Createspace.

I wait with bated breath.

by tuluse :: Thu, 07/26/2012 - 10:03am

With the slowest shipping option, I received the book yesterday. So it came in under a week.

by Raiderjoe :: Fri, 07/20/2012 - 12:34am

Might buy book

by Willsy :: Fri, 07/20/2012 - 5:23am

Last year Createspace got it to me by about Week 12 so while I would like to make you rich I am off to Amazon.


by Josher464 :: Fri, 07/20/2012 - 12:54pm

Just as a, somewhat, off-topic note: I just downloaded the PDF for my iPad and it looks fantastic. So the app sounds like a winner for next year.

Thanks for the great work as always FO!