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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 155 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Publishing Dust Devils  (Read 4150 times)
Ron Edwards
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« on: August 14, 2002, 06:45:02 AM »

Hi Matt,

Um, I advise caution.

I agree that the "next commercial step" is called for, for Dust Devils. But slamming it into the stores? Remember, retailers give Not One Rat's Ass for reviews, not even Ken's. Sorcerer got raves from Ken, including the Outie Award last year, and retailers were still saying, "Never heard of it," at GTS the following spring.

Dust Devils has a lot, lot of potential for success, but I'm very worried that people are going to forget the quantum leap in production costs and promotion that's necessary even to get into the stores, let alone receive the necessary in-store attention that gets the game sold. I'd especially like to see it be a financial success at each step, and not leapin' all the way to the print step.

Plus, this is a historic moment: Ken is plugging an on-line electronic product. That's a big deal! He's a print-only, print-is-it guy. The primary benefit of his interest in the game is in legitimizing the PDF medium to people who care about quality in role-playing. That's a strength - to move to print at this point would be stepping past using that strength.

Best,
Ron
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2002, 07:23:45 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Hi Matt,

Um, I advise caution.

I agree that the "next commercial step" is called for, for Dust Devils. But slamming it into the stores? Remember, retailers give Not One Rat's Ass for reviews, not even Ken's. Sorcerer got raves from Ken, including the Outie Award last year, and retailers were still saying, "Never heard of it," at GTS the following spring.


First of all, I'll be proceeding with caution at every step. A little credit, please. I'm not seeing stars because of Hite alone. It was a flattering step, but just a step among many. There were/are many other factors here.

Quote from: Ron Edwards

Dust Devils has a lot, lot of potential for success, but I'm very worried that people are going to forget the quantum leap in production costs and promotion that's necessary even to get into the stores, let alone receive the necessary in-store attention that gets the game sold. I'd especially like to see it be a financial success at each step, and not leapin' all the way to the print step.


And that's precisely why I'm being cautious. Costs. People are going to forget? Who are these people, Ron, 'cause I only see one guy sitting here! It isn't people, it's me, Matt Snyder who needs to "remember" the quantum leap in production costs. Not saying you're wrong at all. I need to know and soon what the scale of those costs are!

So, Ron, what do you recommend as the next step, with these observations? Take them as you will.

First, Alliance stopped by the booth and showed interest and shared some insight (Jason Blair could give you names, they escape me now). They said it'd sell, but it really should be more pages to be perfect bound and not digest size because it had some connotaion among retailers as a "humorous" format. (They didn't say anything about saddle-stitched, which could work for the current edition I imagine. They just didn't like the comb binding, which would obviously get smashed in distribution ... literally).

Second, the creative for the game is paid for, thanks to con sales which paid for the whole print run and the art, though not the $100 to have booth space w/ ya'll. If I do increase the page count, I'll probably throw down for some more interior art.

If sending it down the mainstream channel  seems too great a step, why so? Financial risk? What is the intermediate step you think makes more sense?

(I'd still like to know precisely what your beef with distribution is -- where's the essay/spiel? Part of my problem is an only sketchy understanding of how this whole distribution thing works -- one of the things I'm researching immediately-- let alone why you keep saying it doesn't!)

Quote from: Ron Edwards

Plus, this is a historic moment: Ken is plugging an on-line electronic product. That's a big deal! He's a print-only, print-is-it guy. The primary benefit of his interest in the game is in legitimizing the PDF medium to people who care about quality in role-playing. That's a strength - to move to print at this point would be stepping past using that strength.


Is it? Hite has Dust Devils because 1) Tweet told him to and 2) he could get it in print at the con. Here it is, in your hands to hold and feel, Ken. To the best of my knowledge, he had never heard of the DD pdf document (nor had Tweet). Sure, lots of folks told me they had the PDF version, but these two movers and shakers did not, and acted completely surprised to discover the game.

The PDF version of the game does not exist any longer. Folks may have the PDF, but it's not on my site anymore. I'm not too eager to give it away when folks are paying for the expanded version. Plus, the old PDF version is about 1/3 the size of the current edition.

Ok, in my disjointed writing of this post I'm sure I've forgotten something. I'll add it later when / if I think of something.

Matt
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Mike Holmes
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« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2002, 07:39:21 AM »

I think Ron is suggesting selling the PDF, Matt.

Mike
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2002, 07:49:14 AM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
I think Ron is suggesting selling the PDF, Matt.

Mike


Ok, very good. After re-reading my post, it came off snippish without intent. Ron's a big boy, and probably knows this, but it was worth mentioning.

Selling the PDF may be just the way to go, Mike (and everyone). Before GenCon, I planned on selling the printed versions I had left online. I also planned on having printed versions left.

So, rather than throw down another $100, $200 or more to print out more copies, selling the PDF may be just the ticket to keeping Dust Devils available and visible while I work toward the "real deal" in print.

Thanks for the obvious, simple point, Mike. I'm still trying to figure out, "What day is it?" after the con. Then there's that whole work thing. Back to the grind .. on both counts.
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2002, 08:29:34 AM »

Quote from: Matt Snyder
So, rather than throw down another $100, $200 or more to print out more copies, selling the PDF may be just the ticket to keeping Dust Devils available and visible while I work toward the "real deal" in print.



Here's my thought:

Internet usage is getting more and more prevalent. Connection speeds are getting faster. Releasing a game online to be downloaded/emailed is viable. People will find it and buy it.

Game prices for PDFs can be kept low. Low production costs, low/no distribution costs and no warehousing fees mean that you get more money from a $10 PDF than a $20 book. Also, if you need more copies...well, you never need more copies since it's all 1's and 0's.

The buyer also has options and benefits.

1) Low cost
2) Speedy, free delivery (no trips to the cat-piss store anymore)
3) Updated versions? Easy and most likely free or low nearly free.
4) Binding options. I think this is a plus. For example, MY version of octaNe has a coil binding and a color cover on white paper. Clinton's using that cool orange/blue flecked white paper instead. Result: Clinton made a decision that is more pleasing to him (and frankly, it sounds great to me as well...wish I did that!).

Are there cons? Sure. But the only real thing we need to legitimize PDFs as just another way to distribute games are Good PDF Games.

And darnit, we got those. A'plenty. Now, we just wait for people to find those games. We win.

- J, who will be printing more copies of his game to sell at the big cons BUT using the book the way a band or sports team sells t-shirts. It's advertising (for the PDF in this case) that the fan pays for.
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
jburneko
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« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2002, 08:44:24 AM »

If for nothing else other than to offer encouragement I'd like to point out that you have at least one .pdf customer right here.  I was very disappointed when I went to your site the other day and discovered the playtest .pdf gone and what looked like no plans to be offering a .pdf sale anytime soon.

In about three weeks time I'm throwing in the towel on my Werewolf game and switching games with my Weekend Group.  This time I'm offering a MUCH narrower range of choices (all Forge games).  I'd REALLY like to have Dust Devils on the table as an option.

Just showing my support.

Jesse
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2002, 09:40:09 AM »

A much-needed clarification.

The gentleman I talked to at the con was not w/ Alliance, but was Aldo Ghiozzi  from Impressions Advertising.

The confusion stems from the fact that Alliance DID stop by when I was gone, and Jason Blair talked to 'em then. He gave me a card, and I've confused that person with Aldo.

Just goes to show how much I've got to learn here, but I appreciate everyone's earnest and eager help and support.

Thanks to Seth for pointing this out.
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Matt Snyder
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« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2002, 09:41:53 AM »

Quote from: jburneko
If for nothing else other than to offer encouragement I'd like to point out that you have at least one .pdf customer right here.  I was very disappointed when I went to your site the other day and discovered the playtest .pdf gone and what looked like no plans to be offering a .pdf sale anytime soon.

In about three weeks time I'm throwing in the towel on my Werewolf game and switching games with my Weekend Group.  This time I'm offering a MUCH narrower range of choices (all Forge games).  I'd REALLY like to have Dust Devils on the table as an option.

Just showing my support.

Jesse


Fear not, Jesse. Cooler head than mine have prevailed (as usual), and Dust Devils will be available within a few days on the site (www.chimera.info/dustdevils)

Once I get all the paypal stuff arranged and reflow the text BACK to the letter sized-page we're good to go. I'll anounce as much here when it's ready.
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2002, 10:57:56 AM »

Hi Matt,

So we're cool, then?

I'll get an essay started - not a rant - on the concerns that the "Have game, considering a book" publisher needs to consider most urgently.

Best,
Ron
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2002, 11:27:28 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Hi Matt,

So we're cool, then?

I'll get an essay started - not a rant - on the concerns that the "Have game, considering a book" publisher needs to consider most urgently.

Best,
Ron


Indeed we are, Ron. Just been overwhelmed by things since the con. Here at home I'm working like crazy to get ready for our ownlocal micro-con where I'll be demo-ing again and selling the game at the gamestore.

My reluctance to sell online was 1) due to costs of printing another print run when a lovely, professional one is just down the road and 2) my inexplicable memory lapse of offering up the current version for PDF (rather than selling the aforementioned printed, comb-bound ones).

Anyway, Christ, if I post again today, my head will burst. I need a beer and an accountant. The former will have to do.

Fire away on the essay, Ron!

Matt
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
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