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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 144 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Mongoose contacted me  (Read 13080 times)
Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2006, 06:43:18 AM »

The deal would make good sense at the point when DitV's no-middleman sales are tailing off and Vincent is readying for no-middleman sales of a new game, as a way of creating mindshare for crossover interest in Vincent's direction.

Paul
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My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
komradebob
Member

Posts: 462


« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2006, 08:10:33 AM »

May I ask a quick question?

What would Mongoose be getting out of the deal beyond the sales?

Vincent, you seem to feel these guys were being staright forward with you, so did this part come up in conversation?

It strikes me that this offer is about Mongoose taking a shot with a non-traditional rpg and seeing how it flies, with that part being as important or more important than the dollar value of sales for this specific book.

Any thoughts?
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Robert Earley-Clark

currently developing:The Village Game:Family storytelling with toys
Pelgrane
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Posts: 125


« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2006, 09:25:13 AM »

May I ask a quick question?

What would Mongoose be getting out of the deal beyond the sales?

Vincent, you seem to feel these guys were being staright forward with you, so did this part come up in conversation?

It strikes me that this offer is about Mongoose taking a shot with a non-traditional rpg and seeing how it flies, with that part being as important or more important than the dollar value of sales for this specific book.

Any thoughts?

1. Mongoose would publish the game and be happy with it purely on the basis that they like it and it gives them kudos. It's a boutique product for them. I suspect they'd be happy if it was cost-neutral. They are serious gaming geeks as well as business people. I doubt they have any ulterior motive.

2. Mongoose would almost certainly sell the book into an as-yet-untapped market. They do have some clout. Whether the margin on this increased number of sales would be more than the margin if you continue to sell as you do, I'm not sure. Probably not in this case. For games on the slipperly slope down it would seem a very sensible thing to try.

3. An arrangement where you can sell your books through your channels (online though your webstore, at conventions) and the mainstream publisher through distribution and their webstore would seem a reasonable arrangement. If the manufacturer truely believes they can sell more - that would make sense for them, too. Personally, I see no need why the creator should have to compromise at all on text, layout, art or anything else, or even having their imprint on the book, too.

Simon

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Joshua A.C. Newman
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Posts: 1144

the glyphpress


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« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2006, 11:14:29 AM »

Paul, what I'm saying is that that makes sense if It's:

Quote
Dogs in the Vineyard
by Vincent Baker



published by Mongoose Games.

If it's instead,

Quote
Mongoose Games presents
Dogs in the Vineyard



designed by Vincent Baker
written by Arnold Veldtstrap, Pickles McFipple, Elvis Aron Presley, and Tiny Tim
illustrated by Bulb Hussenfoss, Quelb Nhurnt, and Wendy Umple

... then it gains V. nothing.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
komradebob
Member

Posts: 462


« Reply #19 on: June 21, 2006, 11:23:33 AM »

Pardon, but wouldn't Vincent gain:
1) Wider name recognition, and
2) Another possible outlet for future games hat don't closely mimic traditiona/mainstream rpg designs?
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Robert Earley-Clark

currently developing:The Village Game:Family storytelling with toys
Joshua A.C. Newman
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the glyphpress


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« Reply #20 on: June 21, 2006, 11:34:42 AM »

Quote from: komradebob
Pardon, but wouldn't Vincent gain:
1) Wider name recognition,

Who wrote Exalted?

His name is Andrew Watt. He wrote a good chunk of the latest ed. He's a middle school teacher down the street from me.

How's that name recognition thing working out there?

Quote
and
2) Another possible outlet for future games hat don't closely mimic traditiona/mainstream rpg designs?

What's the benefit of selling more if it costs you to do it? Fame is of surprisingly little value. You can't eat it, for sure.

Vincent's in a very good bargaining position. What he gets from someone like Mongoose sets precendent for any other offers that come in the future to other indie publishers. If the best they can offer is "A little worse than you're doing now!" then that doesn't bode well.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Thunder_God
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Posts: 486

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« Reply #21 on: June 21, 2006, 11:53:21 AM »

Well, some names do have recognition, even if it's only online, mainly Rebecca Borgstrom and Michael Goodwin.

But I agree, it is a Vincent Baker game, but then again, we don't know the dirty details since this is aborted anyway, it seems to me like we're kneading water now.
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Guy Shalev.

Cranium Rats Central, looking for playtesters for my various games.
CSI Games, my RPG Blog and Project. Last Updated on: January 29th 2010
Joshua A.C. Newman
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Posts: 1144

the glyphpress


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« Reply #22 on: June 21, 2006, 12:13:09 PM »

No, this is, and will continue to be, an issue. Jared, Clinton, and Vincent have all been approached, to my knowledge, over the last two years. It's a recurring phenomenon. Somehow, people who aren't publishing their own work are always surprised when actual indie publishers turn down pie in the sky promises from mainstream publishers.

Here's my impression:

You give up:
Your IP.
Your right to control the sales and marketing of your product.
Your cred.
A percentage of your income.


You gain:
Books lost in distribution.
Access to store owners who don't understand your product.


The equation that makes sense is this one:

I keep:
My IP.
My income.

I gain:
A greater fan base.
A greater income.

The publisher gains:
A new product
A modest cut from that new product, which, after all they didn't pay to develop, but are producing, publicizing, etc.

That looks kinda like a company I already know about.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Jake Richmond
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Posts: 220


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« Reply #23 on: June 22, 2006, 04:11:53 AM »

Luke has a good point. There's a shit lot of game store that carry Mongoose books that don't carry any (or many) of our books. Big chain stores for one. But really, based on the numbers you mentioned, it really dosent sound like this is worth your time. I can also understand wanting to keep selling your game on your own terms. Several people have suggested that Matt and I bring Panty Explosion to various publishers, but really I'd much rather sell the game on my own terms and keep the money for myself. I already have to split profits with my partner, splitting them with a publisher would just suck.

I'll go ahead and say as well that Mongoose seems to be a pretty okay company. I just did a job for them and they didn't rip me off at all. Which is pretty novel really.



Jake
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #24 on: June 22, 2006, 05:41:56 AM »

It should be noted that my crabbiness on this topic has nothing to do with Mongoose itself. They seem like decent people, and the fact that you were paid and not dicked around puts them, as far as I know, at the top of the publisher food chain.

That doesn't change the fact that the terms here being discussed are unacceptable.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Jake Richmond
Member

Posts: 220


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« Reply #25 on: June 22, 2006, 03:52:59 PM »

I agree. The terms just don't work. I wonder if Mongoose realizes that?
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Pelgrane
Member

Posts: 125


« Reply #26 on: June 23, 2006, 03:05:29 AM »

To summarize - deals with publishers selling through distribution are only worth considering if:
1. You retain whatever control you find desireable over your IP (a matter of your taste). This can include a complete creator veto at any stage.
2. You make more money than you otherwise would (a matter of plugging projections into a spreadsheet, and accounting for risk)
3. You have an air-tight close-ended agreement with a mutual termination clause.
4. You reach a wider audience (again, a matter of taste - would you rather make the same money and have twice as many people playing your game?)
5. You retain exclusivity whatever channels to market you want (eg you keep your webstore and get exclusives at conventions)

Until a mid-sized name tries this out, we won't know what will happen. A game currently in slow decline, sales-wise, would be seem like a good candidate. Mr Newman's sample agreement might well be acceptable to some publishers. Incidentally, I am not angling to publish anyone's game, in case I'm giving that impression!

The purest and safest agreement I can think of from a creator point of view is:
1. The game is printed unchanged in whatever format the creator desires. The mainstream publisher gets their imprint on the back. If the publisher wants to change the format and the creator agrees, the creator gets an absolute veto. The only reason I can think to change the format is to leverage the publisher's brand and make it appeal to their customers.
2. The publisher sells through distribution and their website, plus conventions where the creator allows it.
3. Net margin after agreed costs is split 50/50. Possibly the creator is paid in books which would be worth more per unit due to economies of scale. An exceptionally brave publisher could agree to a minimum payment, which takes the risks of a sales hit from the creator ie "I''m so confident we'll do well for you that I will guarantee you get X, which is what you think you would have got anyway"
4. The agreement lasts for a year, with an optional mutual termination clause after that. Publisher gets a few months to shift residual stock.

--
Simon Rogers
Pelgrane Press Ltd
http://www.dyingearth.com
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David Chunn
Member

Posts: 34


« Reply #27 on: June 23, 2006, 08:36:20 AM »

Who are Rebecca Borgstrom and Michael Goodwin? I don't want an answer. I'm just making a point. I've heard the first name before, but it doesn't mean anything to me. I know Forge designers because they're independents, because they run the whole show. Otherwise, I'm familiar with Tweet, Laws, and a bunch of guys who did designs back in the day (Perrin, St Andre, etc.).

Dogs wouldn't be the only indie they're looking at. They want to do other indie games with their Flaming Cobra  imprint.
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Jake Richmond
Member

Posts: 220


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« Reply #28 on: June 23, 2006, 03:48:01 PM »

Flaming Cobra is a good name.
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Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
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« Reply #29 on: June 23, 2006, 04:23:46 PM »

Guys, this discussion is wandering. Let's close it down now.

Best, Ron
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