Thursday, February 21, 2013

Butt Kicking for Goodness! Wait For It...

So, it looks like the Ogre Kickstarter won't even be arriving on the shores of the US until late July - at best:


Updated Schedule -- Not Before July, I’m Afraid
Update #74 · Feb. 21, 2013 · 2 comments

The factory has opened -- we had a long talk today. We know that quite a few of you might be unhappy to hear of this timeline, but we wanted to share exactly what steps are left.

Then there's a crapload of interim steps

Delivery to Austin -- late July

We know that this may have been unpleasant to hear (and for us to share!), but we hope that you might be able to be big-hearted and gracious -- even though you have every right to be upset.

We grossly underestimated how long a project of this size would take – we’re really sorry about that. It’s been a learning process -- even the factory has never handled a game this big (and has had to make new machinery!).

The good news is that there aren’t many things left that can go wrong (trays and the drop test are the two biggest). We’re about 98% finished for in-house production, and 30% finished for manufacturing.

Good things come to those who wait, and we know that you’ve waited very, very patiently. We’re confident that Ogre will be very good, when it arrives.

So yeah, it's going to be very late at best.

King For a Day

King for a Day books have left NJ.

The wait is nearly over

Magicians: A Language Learning RPG

A very interesting breakdown of hidden costs of a Kickstarter

Book Update
Update #32 · Feb. 20, 2013 · 35 comments
Hello everyone,

I've got some big news that is a mixed bag but this update is mainly to let you know of a big change to the physical book. I'll hit you with the bad news straight off and I'll follow up with some explanations for those who would like one. As we neared the end of the kickstarter project I promised to both up the page count from 120 pages to 180 pages and make the book a hardcover instead of a softcover, this wasn't a stretch goal or anything, I simply believed it possible due to all the support Magicians was receiving. As it turns out, the page count will actually be 212 pages but I will not be able to afford to send out hardcovers, it's going to end up being a softcover 212-page book instead.

The reason for this is, in short, an $11,430 dollar tax hit. I know this is extremely disappointing news for everyone, this was really something I wanted but it all comes down to not having the funds. That said, the book will still be great quality and be an awesome thing to own, it will just be a perfect bound book instead of a case bound one.

The change will not affect the timeline, and I should be able to start shipping books out in about a month as I've send the final PDF out to the printer, they've told me 3 weeks to receive all the books but there needs to be a proof before then so maybe a bit longer. The only thing left to add to the final PDF is the audio, which I'm just now getting started on and I'll try to have it out to you real soon.

The longer explanation:

As you probably all know, I live in South Korea and am Canadian. Because of this I wouldn't normally be able to create or run a project on kickstarter but I have a good friend in New Jersey that offered to be the middle man for the endeavor and to let me use their account for the whole operation.

It's also tax season and since the kickstarter money came in in 2012 taxes are owed on the kickstarter money as well. I'd set aside about $6000 for taxes after talking with my friend, figuring around 20-25% for taxes. Unfortunately, I just got finished sending $11,430 to the states to cover tax costs. The kickstarter amount was large enough to both bump my friend into a new bracket and to kill any and all of his deductibles.

Here's the cost breakdown of the kickstarter as a whole:

Total from the kickstarter: $34,056

After 10% deducted by kickstarter and Amazon payments, and after pledges that didn't go through are subtracted we ended up with something a bit shy of $30,500 but we'll round up.

Cost of editing and layout: $2515

Cost of artwork: $6000 (all the stretch goals, over 200 pieces of artwork)

Cost of shirts: $500

Cost of beads: $1,200

Cost of coins: $1,200

Cost of pouches: $150

Website: $900

Taxes: $11,430

A total of $23,895 in costs.

A few more hundred dollars for currency exchanges, sending fees, plus packing expenses, etc. and I've got less than $6500 dollars left to cover both the buying of the books and the shipment of them. Even a very conservative estimate for shipment eats most, if not all, of that money. And so there's no way I can afford to go for the hardcover option. I'll already be delving into my school savings to pay for it all, will be taking a semester off school to work and try to make that money back up so I can get back to school in September.

Once again, you have my sincere apologies, I know ignorance isn't much of a defense; I'd have run an entirely different kickstarter if I'd known 40% of the project's money would end up in other people's pockets. I hope you all still feel that there is value in your pledges, everything else is unaffected and I'm working on building the final multimedia PDF with audio capabilities as we speak. I'll try to have it out to you all as soon as I can.


  1. I wonder how the tax thing will affect other kick starters that were "hosted" by Americans for people in other countries. Hopefully they made a better estimate of the tax costs.

    1. yeah, that was a steep tax hit

    2. There is no reason for a business to be paying tax on the entire kickstarted amount - he should only be paying tax on the profits. Those guys need to talk to an accountant pronto.

    3. yes it looks like they paid about 33% (between federal, state, fica and medicare tax that might make sense) and it sounds like they declared this as earned income instead being smart about this they really fucked up. His friend should file for an extension (and file towards the end of the year) and they should have a real accountant do the work for less then a $1000 bucks to sort out this mess.

    4. Something screwy here - even for a sole trader the costs should be deductible from the earned income, pre-tax. I agree with above comments, an accountant is direly needed!

    5. And that's not even getting into the whole Permanent Establishment threshold requirement required for a non-resident business to even be forced to pay US taxes. Having an agent collect funds and then forward them on to you shouldn't count as a PE. (Article 8 and 9 of the US / Republic of Korea Tax Convention or Article V and VII of the US Canada one --- depending on where he's resident and paying taxes).

    6. I feel bad for the poor guy. He's got about $6500 to handle printing for 700 or so books, plus shipping for them and the tangible rewards from 2-4 other suppliers, depending on where he's getting his shirts/beads/coins/pouches. He can't do fulfillment personally- shipping all that stuff to South Korea and then shipping it back to his majority-North American backer base would be cash suicide, even if he didn't go insane filling out 700 sets of customs paperwork. So hopefully he's got a stateside fulfillment partner that he can have everything shipped to and have them pack it up for dispatch. If he doesn't... well, that doesn't bear contemplating. Having to do multiple waves of shipping would flatten him, as you can't get a smile delivered for less than $5 a package.

      As for taxes, yeah, I can see a sufficiently canny accountant being able to move the cash through the stateside agent without taxes sticking to it. But for most hobbyists, handling international business deal structuring is not really part of their skill set. Sadly, a lot of people just don't realize this is even going to be a problem until after they're staring at it. It's painful to see the guy come away from a $35K kickstarter with the realization that he needs a second job just to pay for his success.

  2. I don't know if you mentioned it earlier, but at least someone involved in the Dwimmermount KS came through - Joe Bloch's treasure map adventure, which was part of a stretch goal I think. (There was supposed to be another one from the Myth & Magic guy, but I guess that's not too likely)

    1. The Myth & Magic guy is quite late in the delivery of his own project, so I'm not expecting to see that stuff in the near future.

  3. Since we're mentioning Kickstarters, on the Swords & Wizardry KS, I heard today that the Monster Books have just shipped from the printers to Bill's house. Estimate probably about a week in transit, and once they're received we'll start packing and shipping the second half of the orders that contained those books.

    1. Awesome news! I'm part of that second shipment ;)


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