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General Forge Forums => Publishing => Topic started by: Jason Morningstar on March 13, 2006, 04:00:06 PM

Title: The Roach Report
Post by: Jason Morningstar on March 13, 2006, 04:00:06 PM
Hi Everybody,

This particular forum was a gold mine for me while preparing the Shab-al-Hiri Roach for publication, and I want to add to the available data pool and share some of my experiences.

Bully Pulpit Games is myself, Steve Segedy, and our graphic designer, the Mad Irishman.  When you see high quality Web stuff, or a well laid out book, please know that I had very little to do with that.

 We contracted with RPI to do our printing.  The process took a little longer than we expected and there were a few minor miscommunications,  but they were very good about making things right when we had issues.  They automatically printed a second proof without notifying us there  would be a $60 fee, for example, and credited us when we balked.  We  (well, Steve) communicated with RPI by phone and email, and we never  had any difficulty reaching our representative.  Things were handled  very professionally and we'll definitely use them again.

The Roach in final form is a 78 page perfect bound book, full color cover and B&W interior.  Our total cost for printing 100 initial books was US$475.  I'm happy to say we've already recovered that in the first three days of sales.

We decided to cut cards individually for the first 100 (a "special edition"), and future printings will require some minor scissor work by the buyer.  Since this was a one-time deal, we had the cards cut locally, at Kinkos, after a long and serious discussion about our need for precision.  They did a great job, cutting us 110 sets of cards whcih we then had to collate and put in coin envelopes.

The cost of the printing on cardstock, cutting, and envelopes pushed our per unit cost to a very satisfying US$6.66 (this is slowly decreasing).  The labor involved in collating and sorting 5,280 individual cards was pretty intense and I do not recommend it.

Our business expenses have run to around $230 thusfar, with $110 in Web hosting and domain registration and $120 in a license and some other stuff.  Our Paypal fee per unit is currently $1.15.  We’ve also shelled out $45.29 on free and discounted copies. 

I guess the takeaway message here is that I wrote this game in a week last May and now it is a very attractive product on its way to New Zealand (thanks for the order, Mike!) - we won't lose any money, we'll make enough to cover our next print run, and you can totally do it too. 


Title: Re: The Roach Report
Post by: MikeSands on March 13, 2006, 06:11:01 PM
...on its way to New Zealand (thanks for the order, Mike!)

No problem there... I am looking forward to the published version, as is my wife (an academic, who immediately wanted to play this when I explained the setup).

Title: Re: The Roach Report
Post by: Andy Kitkowski on March 14, 2006, 10:25:03 AM
Can you explain the $120 license?

Also, what were your art/layout "actual book" costs before printing?

Title: Re: The Roach Report
Post by: Jason Morningstar on March 14, 2006, 10:52:55 AM
Andy, all three of us work for free, so our layout costs consisted of sending prostitutes and blue flake cocaine over to the Mad Irishman's place every so often.  All the art is either public domain or used with permission (insert esoteric UK copyright story here).  I processsed it all myself and did the collages. 

Hit me up about licensure in person, OK?

Title: Re: The Roach Report
Post by: Peter Nordstrand on March 15, 2006, 12:00:07 AM

I'm glad you are doing well. And I can hardly wait for my copy to arrive.

Do you lose money on international orders, due to shipping costs? Is it a significant cost, speaking in percentages?



Title: Re: The Roach Report
Post by: Jason Morningstar on March 15, 2006, 06:58:11 AM
Hey Peter,

Your copy was shipped Monday!  And yes, we do lose some money on international shipping.  This was a considered decision on our part.  I believe that getting the Roach into the hands of people outside the United States will ultimately be good for the game and good for business.  Currently we only offer the game in printed form, and about a quarter of our orders are international. 

If there is a lot of demand, we'll certainly look to find a European distributor and ship in bulk. 


Title: Re: The Roach Report
Post by: Frank T on March 15, 2006, 09:46:40 AM
IPR is charging double the costs that you are charging. I believe Matt, Vincent and Emily are undercharging much the same way. Which is great. It does not influence my decision to buy a game, but I've heard quite some people over on German RPG forums say that the critical limit, to them, is just that difference between $25 and $30. So overall, you might even be profiting from this arrangement in a material way.

- Frank