Saturday, June 22, 2013

"Marketing Your RPG" Panel "On Air" With Rachel Ventura

I watched the whole thing live last night and it was very entertaining and even a bit informative - some interesting personalities were on display ;)

I wish they had included someone like +Joseph Bloch , +James Raggi or Kevin Crawford - the independent small guys that are successful at their craft. The advice given was mostly (not all) aimed at projects that could afford an advertising budget that probably amounts to more than the more successful OSR projects even take in. The secret to successful OSR publishing (besides putting out a damn good product) is word of mouth for a large part, as you probably don't have an advertising budget.

I did receive an invite to be on the panel, and for that I am flattered (thanks +Rachel Ventura ) but I really don't think I'd have been able to add more than I did in the chat window. I'm not a publisher of games. I'm a writer of blogs :)


  1. Erik, you would have added a lot to that panel and maybe brought it down to earth. The kind of advice they were offering was so high dollar that I can't imagine anyone except maybe a half-dozen companies who could take advantage of it. It also seemed to be geared to the Paizo/Pathfinder crowd which is a much different kettle of fish than the OSR.

    You get sales by building a better mousetrap or writing a better dungeon. In the OSR marketing, is as I believe you said, mainly word of mouth. This all seemed to be about the old sales idea of getting people to buy something they didn't really want with money they didn't really have. Talk to me about getting people to know the quality of your product not playing the percentages through mass emails and playing it safe by trying to be an inoffensive little internet drone instead of just being who you are and letting your work save your irritable old gamer ass from your abrasive personality.

    1. Jason, the insight I have into the OSR market is thanks to the fine publishers and creators that talk to me behind the scenes as their projects are coming to completion - in other words, before they even release on RPGNow or whatever. It can be one hell of an eye opener.

      You can be highly opinionated and still be liked by a large segment of the hobby.

      I've made my enemies - it's no secret Zak has me blocked on G+ - but at least I've made them honestly. I've also had pissing matches with other strong personalities that ended with handshakes.

      If you put on a show it shows, and not in a good way.

  2. I felt we hit an array of pocketbooks by offering advice about free platforms like blogger? Social media, mailchimp, forums, and kickstarter. we did speak toward some ads but also dicussed bartering for ads. One Book Shelf also offers ways to advertise for free. We had hoped the call would give people the means to get started and some pointers on how to grow and maintain their audience.

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  4. The plays the Thing Erik, and you just can't like everyone or shake the hands of someone who really needs a good punch in the face (although you have to watch your knuckles).

    The marketing advice seemed geared primarily to a very stratified level of the "RPG industry". And I'm at the "RPG hobby" end of this where almost all the people who published RPGs that I know are actually at since they can't quit their dayjobs. Rather than bulk emails I was thinking more along the lines of what convetions to attend and perhaps running your adventures regularly online for free. I think the development of a physical zine that is mailed to customers would go a long way toward developing a mailing list of potential customers for POD copies as a pdf copy of a zine or online magazine would help with pdf sales.

    NOTE: Wish you could fix typos with this comment notepad


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