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Author Topic: NPA Pricing and Distribution  (Read 2155 times)
Luke
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« on: May 29, 2004, 08:15:00 PM »

The No Press RPG Anthology is moving into its final stages. The last bits needed are: Cover design (which I am working on), Introduction by cool/famous person (which I'm not having any luck with -- everyone's busy!), and a final round of editing (which it really, really needs). Those are important bits, obviously, but nothing too big.

At this point, it's all laid out and ready to be spit-polished, finished and sent off.

We need to start talking about price and distribution.

The book is going to be 8.5 x 11, perfect bound, 4c cover, 12pt C1S, black interior, 60-70# paper.

I got quotes from two POD printers, Express Media and RPI.
Express Media (using 60# paper) came in at 4.58 per unit for $100 books. 4.15 per unit at 500 books.

RPI (using 70# paper, and a laminated cover (a much nicer look)) came in at $6.39 per unit for 100 books. $5.35 per unit for 500 books.

Neither of those prices include shipping as far as I can tell.

Let's assume a cover price of $20, shall we? And we'll assume a direct sales model -- cons and website orders. Also, let's use the lower bid for our cost analysis.

Rounding up to 5.00 to include shipping, that leaves us with a $15 profit margin per book. Not bad.

But how do we divide that?

Personally, I think that all editors and authors should get an equal share. (This is contrary to my earlier viewpoint, but I think Rich and Jon did a bang up job and I want them and me to have a stake. Because I'm greedy? No, because I think this rocks and I want to be a partner in it.)  In that utopia, we divide $15 by 11. $1.36 each per book going the "communal spoils" route.

The math is easy, but the mechanics for division are more complicated.

If I sell three or four copies of the NPA at a con, do I then head home and paypay ten other people $5.44. That doesn't seem fun. Nor does doing "quarterly payments" to everyone involved. I'm just not equipped for that level of business yet.

And what if Mr Cherry sells a couple of copies to his friends? Does he repeat the process of sending out $2.72 to all us starving NPA'ers?

What I propose is that everyone be given access to ordering their own copies -- everyone gets their own high resolution pdf, and/or we all can contribute toward doing bigger print runs to knock down the price. So each person buys in at the number of copies they want, and then they are free to sell them and keep the money. They spread the word, make a little something, and we all profit in the end.

Now I am going to contradict myself a bit. Because I do believe we should have a communal website -- nopress.org or something -- that has a bit about each game and allows folks to order the game. Profits from the web sales should be split equally. Perhaps a year-end divide? Maybe at GenCon? I bet I could convince Key20 handle fulfillment for this. They take a cut, but it's reasonable considering that none of us have to be doggin' it down to the post office every day.

Speaking of GenCon, or any other con that multiple NPA'ers attend, all spoils from NPA sales will be divided equally among those present. (Not: "I sold one, you didn't, nyeh!")

So, what do you think? I'm open to other suggestions. I've been wracking my brain and I can't come up with anything reasonably fair.

-Luke

Inevitable Post Script: Let's talk about direct sales for now. I think we'd be getting ahead of ourselves trying to hash out distribution. (on which sales would each make a nickel profit.)
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iambenlehman
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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2004, 08:24:37 PM »

My less than optimal solution.

All profits, ever, get sunk into a paypal account (or something), which is managed by you, Luke, because I trust you.  At the end of a year's time, the profits are divided between the editors and authors like a great horde of pirate treasure, preferably with a few treacherous shootings, a mutiny, and a treasure map.  If we haven't nearly sold out by the year's end, I will be very surprised.

yrs--
--Ben
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Luke
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« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2004, 08:45:58 PM »

Quote from: iambenlehman
My less than optimal solution.

All profits, ever, get sunk into a paypal account (or something), which is managed by you, Luke, because I trust you.  At the end of a year's time, the profits are divided between the editors and authors like a great horde of pirate treasure, preferably with a few treacherous shootings, a mutiny, and a treasure map.  If we haven't nearly sold out by the year's end, I will be very surprised.


I appreciate your trust, Ben. But this is, indeed, a suboptimal solution. Con sales? That cash would have to be deposited into my bank account and then withdrawn into the paypal account. Same for everyone else, except that they would have to then send me the money and paypal would deduct further transaction fees.

The communal pot seems like it would be easier to manage if its income was coming from a single source -- the website. Proceeds from that could definitely be divided at year's end. It's the con sales which complicate matters.

Also, what does "sold out" mean? This is POD publishing, there is no real "sold out" threshold. There's always more of the game available if we want it. Printing turn around is a week. When a POD publisher tells you they've "sold out!" it's a bit deceptive. They're really just saying they've hit a significant sales point and are going to order another batch of games.

For us, sold out really implies that we order a set amount at the outset and try to sell them. How many we order in our first batch is also part of the discussion of this thread. Who pays? I certainly can't afford to order more than 100 myself (and even that is pushing it right now). Does everyone buy in? What if people don't buy in, but are still making earnings from the website? Do the people who did buy in get compensated more?

so many questions!
-L
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iambenlehman
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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2004, 09:12:06 PM »

So, what you're proposing is, essentially, the we sell collectively through the website, with any participant retaining the right to essentially "buy at cost" and resell through cons?

Cool.  I'd look out for two things -- first, make sure that everyone splitting the cost of the book at the Con is working on selling the book (I can't just show up, play some LARPs, and take home an equal share) and, second, make sure that the convention sellers don't undercut the website prices too much.  I think that these are both pretty reasonable things to expect under the general policy of "be nice to each other."

yrs--
--Ben

PS  I do insist on the treasure map, though.
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Luke
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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2004, 09:17:36 PM »

Quote from: iambenlehman
So, what you're proposing is, essentially, the we sell collectively through the website, with any participant retaining the right to essentially "buy at cost" and resell through cons?


Yes. And I don't think we have to worry too much about the NPA folks being laggards. Everyone involved in the project seems pretty upfront and enthusiastic. Except for Mike Holmes, who is shadey.

-Luke
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Michael S. Miller
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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2004, 06:08:28 AM »

Hi, Luke & all.

I'd also support the two ways of selling: 1) direct website/Key20 fulfillment with profits split evenly annually and 2) individuals selling their own copies in person and pocketing the profits.
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xiombarg
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« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2004, 11:18:40 AM »

I agree that all contributors -- including editors -- should get a share.

I like the model "sell from website, split profits... sell it yourself, buy at cost and pocket the profit yourself."

The latter seems the fairest way to handle con selling. If you want to sell it at cons, buy it at cost, and any profit you make is yours. Everyone who is part of the project should have a PDF that they can turn into books if they want to for this purpose. If more than one person works together to sell the book at a con, they can decide how to split the profits.

As far as the former (the website), I think we should stipulate that any online sales should go through the NPA website. That is, if I promote the NPA on my website, to buy people will be linked to the NPA website. I can't buy books at cost and sell them on my website -- that trick is reserved for cons and other "face to face" sales. Make sense?

Here is the question, tho: Who is going to run the website, and who is going to pay the costs for the NPA website? For the website, I advocate the "big pot of money" method, to be split up every so often. I prefer every three months, but whatever. Perhaps whoever runs the website should get an extra fee off the top for handing this stuff? Every three months he subtracts website hosting costs, an additional nominal fee, and then distrubutes the cash to everyone via PalPal or whatever. If Key20 is willing to handle this for a fee, more power to them.

In the end, Luke, this is your project, so you'll probably have to decide what's best and then see if anyone majorly objects to your decision.
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iambenlehman
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« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2004, 06:05:58 AM »

Just to clarify:

Are direct sales to a FLGS part of "con sales" or not?  I'm not talking about a huge volume here, just one or two.

I don't go to cons (often) but I do go to gaming stores.

yrs--
--Ben
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Lxndr
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« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2004, 06:13:27 AM »

And how are we going to handle the GenCon "con sales"?  There's quite a few NPA contributors there.  Just "whoever happens to close that particular sale" or...?
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Luke
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« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2004, 06:33:08 AM »

Quote from: Lxndr
And how are we going to handle the GenCon "con sales"?  There's quite a few NPA contributors there.  Just "whoever happens to close that particular sale" or...?


Quote from: Luke
Speaking of GenCon, or any other con that multiple NPA'ers attend, all spoils from NPA sales will be divided equally among those present.


As for game stores, I propose we follow the same model we've been discussing. If a store orders 3 copies from key20/the website, it goes in the pot. If someone manages to personally convince the store to carry the anthology, then they make the $10 themselves (recouping their $5 investment and making a little profit).

-L
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Jeph
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Jeff Schecter


« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2004, 03:35:21 PM »

I like the way that model (ie, sales through the site are split among all contributors/editors/luke evenly, sales by individuals are individual affairs) looks. I support it. Damn, I wish I was able to get to GenCon.

Also: do we have it confirmed as to at which summer con the NPA will make it's debut?

--Jeff
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Matt Machell
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« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2004, 03:42:53 AM »

I think the joint on web/individual at con approach seems pretty ideal. The editors and Luke should definately get equal share, you guys put in a huge amount of work on this.

-Matt
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