Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dear Internet (Plans and Woes)

The only thing worse than writing is revising.

There are two things in publishing that are fun to do: Coming up with a great idea that survives the fleshing out and development process, and holding the final published book in my hands.

Everything in between sucks.

There, I said it.

But I'm making good progress on all this stuff that sucks, so that I may get past it.

Along with that, I've spent the past few days working on my Ropecon booth, both in gathering more merchandise to carry (my table is going to be the OSR Mecca the likes of which can't be seen unless you travel to 2242 Kennedy Rd in Janesville, WI) and designing the actual look of the table as far as display options and such.

I'm risking a fair bit on all this hoping there is an audience at Finland's largest RPG convention, because all those other publishers are going to get paid for their goods even if I can't sell a thing... but I think it's a smart move for me to do. Here's my theory: I believe when you're selling RPG stuff, you can't just sell a game. The game can be great, awesome even, but if the potential customer questions his ability to find other people to play with, he's not as likely to put his money down. RPGs are social games, and to get a foothold, you really have to sell a community, or rather a network of players that will give potential players the confidence that all this shit isn't just going to rot on their shelf.

By gathering everything I can from the OSR, I can show people that there is a community around these games. And it's not out there across the world, it's now right here, in your face. So spend your money with confidence that this gaming stuff you're buying will be able to be used for gaming.

I've found myself in the position to spare no expense on the effort (but since I'm a low-class guy from the projects, that really doesn't mean all that much; my vendor table vision doesn't go far beyond banners, tablecloths, and magazine racks...), so it's actually a bit more stressful making decisions rather than just having to deal with the least of conditions.

We'll see how accurate my theories are and how well this all works at the end of July. If this does work, it's going to be a deal (not necessarily a big deal, mind you) in the greater RPG world, not just the OSR. If this fails, well, it's certainly going to be a talked-about disaster outside the OSR.

(this is called hype)

Obviously, since I'm going forward with the whole plan, I like my chances.

Back to work... revising. (current job: making sure the spell list is consistent in terminology and consistent with my rules changes and aren't still reflecting their original OGL sources... things like that... yuuuucck)


  1. What are the metrics for "success" other than turning maybe turning a profit...

    One suggestion if not too late, I would think a "feelie" handout would help, those are successful at GENCON. Some token or badge perhaps...

    Or, a game session transcript juxtaposed against the 4th Ed. experience\

    And, never underestimate the power of alive demonstration... or scantily clad (fit) women.

    If you garner the latter, you will find sales skyrocket.

  2. That "in between stuff" is what keeps me from doing any of the creative stuff I'd like to do. Sigh...back to my boring job...