Sales Report

dchart
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:39 am

Re: Sales Report

Postby dchart » Wed May 08, 2019 8:52 pm

Greymarch2000 wrote:
dchart wrote:Looking at my sales, the one star review of the templates does appear to have completely killed sales on that. If someone has found them useful and would care to leave a five-star review, with actual comments on their usefulness, it would be interesting to see what effect that has. I do have more ideas for things to write, but given the sales, they are unlikely to happen unless and until they push up to "must write this now!" level.


Sadly Infiniverse authors cannot rate other Infiniverse products.

But somebody else did! Thank you, Scott S. We will have to wait a few months to see whether that makes any difference.

dchart
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:39 am

Re: Sales Report

Postby dchart » Wed May 08, 2019 9:14 pm

Doc Gordon wrote:You said Kickstarters are "very effective marketing campaigns" and, well, I just cannot agree with that.

They are selling over a thousand copies of supplements for a game that was niche 30 years ago. By the standards of TRPGs that are not D&D, that is very effective marketing.

I am certainly not going to say that Ulisses is doing their marketing correctly, because there are a lot of people in this business who suck at marketing (including myself). However, marketing is a real cost, both in time and in money, and without knowing a lot more about what is going on inside Ulisses, I'm not going to say that they are doing it wrong. If they are selling about 1,200 copies through the Kickstarter, and then several hundred more through distribution, the sales figures that they have for other product lines might suggest that they cannot expect many more sales no matter what sort of marketing they do — in which case, it is not rational to do further marketing, as it will simply reduce the viability of the line. (I don't know; obviously, I don't see Ulisses's sales figures. But it is possible.) Further, RPG publishers normally have fewer staff than outsiders think. I would be astonished if Torg could support a dedicated marketing person. In that case, any time spent on marketing is time not spent on the products. When push comes to shove, high quality products are more important than marketing. If your products are good, word-of-mouth might save you, but if your products suck, great marketing just gets you Theranos. When push comes to shove and you are selling 1,200 copies of your supplements, it's a no-brainer; maintain the quality of the products.

The point is that, given the additional information that Ulisses has, they might well be making the most sensible decisions about marketing. Or screwing it up big-time. RPG companies have a history of both of those, and we don't know.

Now, it is true that I cannot, in this particular case, see any reason why they can't do a monthly blog post on their own site introducing new Infiniverse Exchange products; they don't get 50% (because DTRPG also gets a cut), but it is basically free money for them. It does look a lot like good potential return on very little effort. (They could just copy-and-paste the blurbs the authors write.) But even there, they might have reasons for not doing that. Maybe they think the Infiniverse Exchange is full of crap written by schmucks too dumb to know when they are being exploited, and don't want to associate themselves with it any more than they have to.

Obviously, I would like to see Ulisses do more to promote the Infiniverse Exchange, lest it die the same way Scriptorium Aventuris has. But that might not be sensible for them. It might be best for Ulisses to let the Infiniverse Exchange die, sad as that would be for those of us who have written for it.

Doc Gordon
Posts: 72
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Re: Sales Report

Postby Doc Gordon » Wed May 08, 2019 10:48 pm

dchart wrote:I am certainly not going to say that Ulisses is doing their marketing correctly, because there are a lot of people in this business who suck at marketing (including myself). However, marketing is a real cost, both in time and in money, and without knowing a lot more about what is going on inside Ulisses, I'm not going to say that they are doing it wrong. If they are selling about 1,200 copies through the Kickstarter, and then several hundred more through distribution, the sales figures that they have for other product lines might suggest that they cannot expect many more sales no matter what sort of marketing they do — in which case, it is not rational to do further marketing, as it will simply reduce the viability of the line. (I don't know; obviously, I don't see Ulisses's sales figures. But it is possible.) Further, RPG publishers normally have fewer staff than outsiders think. I would be astonished if Torg could support a dedicated marketing person. In that case, any time spent on marketing is time not spent on the products. When push comes to shove, high quality products are more important than marketing. If your products are good, word-of-mouth might save you, but if your products suck, great marketing just gets you Theranos. When push comes to shove and you are selling 1,200 copies of your supplements, it's a no-brainer; maintain the quality of the products.
I will happily say they are doing it completely bass-ackwards, David! Fewer staff only means time MUST be taken away from a product, TEMPORARILY, to do marketing. See, you're looking at marketing totally eschew... without the marketing, the ONLY production is being done for those who already know the product, and NO ONE NEW is coming in, to help build up the base and procure the money to be able to hire the people necessary to help out with other important stuff, such as marketing.

HOWEVER, when all you have are folks working on the product, the only BASE you're going to have, without word-of-mouth or external marketing by others not connected to USNA, is the BASE you started with. The first number of Kickstarter backers was nearly 2,300, while the Living Land Kickstarter had 1000 LESS than that. I rest my case.

The point is that, given the additional information that Ulisses has, they might well be making the most sensible decisions about marketing. Or screwing it up big-time. RPG companies have a history of both of those, and we don't know.
True. However, Cubicle 7, for The One Ring and the new Warhammer 4th Edition, the D&D 5e Adventures in Middle-earth, and the Doctor Who RPG, is now booming. At first, when I saw them taking on too many games, I and many others began to wonder where they were going to get all the people they needed to make all of their games happen... now, they have enough people... why? You might ask. M A R K E T I N G !!!

Now, it is true that I cannot, in this particular case, see any reason why they can't do a monthly blog post on their own site introducing new Infiniverse Exchange products
NOW you're getting it! :D

It does look a lot like good potential return on very little effort. (They could just copy-and-paste the blurbs the authors write.) But even there, they might have reasons for not doing that. Maybe they think the Infiniverse Exchange is full of crap written by schmucks too dumb to know when they are being exploited, and don't want to associate themselves with it any more than they have to.
Well, if that's the truth they need to go and read; I busted my ass to finish Possibility Blackout, I paid attention to THEIR rules and, though I broke a few for personal bias and other reasons, I still obeyed nearly all of their recommendations, and I have written an adventure far superior to the original. Forgive me, I'm honestly not trying to tout my own work, because I know for a fact everyone who applies work to the Exchange does the work they are proud to release and, though many folks may not see the pride and hard work that was put into these documents, I don't believe USNA would see any of these as being produced by schmucks, hehe.

Obviously, I would like to see Ulisses do more to promote the Infiniverse Exchange, lest it die the same way Scriptorium Aventuris has. But that might not be sensible for them. It might be best for Ulisses to let the Infiniverse Exchange die, sad as that would be for those of us who have written for it.
I think you misunderstood, now that I'm here, what I was trying to accomplish. USNA needs to market USNA products, NOT the Exchange products... that should be for those of us who put those products up on the Exchange. However, IF USNA were to spend even the small amount of money I recommended in my earlier post strictly for marketing, including a blog, and promoting that blog among blog centers online, including the various web sites they can get themselves onto, and yes even using AdWords and other similar functions to help with marketing, perhaps even hiring a small marketing firm with that money, to do the job for them, in the subsequent buildup of new players it would spill over into the Infiniverse Exchange.

Perhaps they're waiting to get the rest of the Cosm books out there before they do so, to have at least a mostly complete game, but I'm telling THEM, that is a MISTAKE. You want as many people as possible ready to go in the Infiniverse, to move it forward rapidly, once Year One is complete, all the Cosm books out, adventures having been played, etc.

dchart
Posts: 63
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Re: Sales Report

Postby dchart » Sat Jun 08, 2019 10:17 pm

Eighteenth Month, 5/8 – 6/7

12 Perils: 3, 8 Million Gods: 2, An Edeinos in Core Earth: 1, Home Front Philadelphia: 1, LibreOffice Templates: 0, Road to Philadelphia: 2, Spirited Tools: 5

After a very weak first month, Spirited Tools had a strong second month, and actually overtook An Edeinos in Core Earth for total sales. Otherwise, this was a fairly typical month. The Templates always had low sales (unsurprisingly, given that you don't have to pay if you don't want to), so there is no way to say whether the improved review has had an effect yet. I did receive five star ratings on several of the products (thank you!), but, again, it is too early to say whether that is making a real difference. One of those products was Spirited Tools, so it may be making a difference.

Doc Gordon
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Location: Texas

Re: Sales Report

Postby Doc Gordon » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:15 pm

David, as soon as I have some actual disposable income, I intend to purchase one of everything from the Infiniverse Exchange. I should have some news on that by the middle of July one way or the other.

Flash
Posts: 366
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Re: Sales Report

Postby Flash » Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:37 pm

Doc Gordon wrote:[ The first number of Kickstarter backers was nearly 2,300, while the Living Land Kickstarter had 1000 LESS than that. I rest my case.


Just to chime in while reading this. From a German language video about doing crowdfundings I remember that Ulisses counts any follow up kickstarter for a supplement after the core game that reaches half the number of backers as very successful.

My guess they are perfectly happy ho the Torg line performs. I they can continue with more then a thousand backers per box I see no problems for the line.

Doc Gordon
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Re: Sales Report

Postby Doc Gordon » Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:48 pm

Of course you wouldn't.

That's a terribly unrealistic number, I'm afraid, necessary to keep a game line running. The losses will outweigh the games, and we MAY NOT see the completion of the Cosm books, let alone ANYTHING from Year Two as a result. Money needs to be spent for marketing, period; It does NOT matter what type of business it is, without marketing the business cannot sustain its requirements.

GeniusCodeMonkey
Posts: 300
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Re: Sales Report

Postby GeniusCodeMonkey » Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:22 pm

Doc Gordon wrote:Of course you wouldn't.

That's a terribly unrealistic number, I'm afraid, necessary to keep a game line running. The losses will outweigh the games, and we MAY NOT see the completion of the Cosm books, let alone ANYTHING from Year Two as a result. Money needs to be spent for marketing, period; It does NOT matter what type of business it is, without marketing the business cannot sustain its requirements.


I've just completed an university course on business management. I agree 100%, without money for marketing any product will die. Kickstarter alone is not enough, I'm sure UNA advertise is the press, on Facebook, Twitter and all sort. That all cost money. Not to mention how much good graphic artist, layouts, writers and even the electricity for the servers to run this forum cost, that ain't all free.
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Doc Gordon
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Re: Sales Report

Postby Doc Gordon » Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:54 pm

GeniusCodeMonkey, thank you. I have not established any of my bonafides, here... being on the cusp of 48 years old and amazingly interested in Role-Playing Games since I was 19, I have studied all sorts of facets concerning the requirements RPG companies have placed on them to do what they need to in order to be successful. Unfortunately, marketing has never been a strong point of the RPG industry, which is too bad, because a LOT of game companies could have been far more successful than they are. I have studied these elements for nearly thirty years and, though I'm grateful that many of my favorite games are coming back through rewrites and Kickstarters, I fear the loss of those games, again, due to lack of treating these properties with a seriousness they are due. These newer developers are amazing and rebuild these games with means and substance not used originally, so in that realm they are certainly treating the games with a sincerity and a love they should be treated with.

So, why not that final step of actually making the common person, and far more nerds than are in gaming, now, knowledgeable about these things?

GeniusCodeMonkey
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Re: Sales Report

Postby GeniusCodeMonkey » Tue Jun 18, 2019 5:53 pm

Doc Gordon wrote:.
So, why not that final step of actually making the common person, and far more nerds than are in gaming, now, knowledgeable about these things?


Ditto, 48, been gaming since 16, it helped me get over my stutter and shyness talking to my others.

Good question. Board games have had a resurgence in the UK; but when having friends over most adults are interested in having a drink, food and maybe play a throwaway game (cards or board) but not put in the effort in playing RPGs. They think it's too geeky. I've tried this both at work and with friends who don't RPG.

There is also the problem of up skilling and people making the effort to read rules from a 200+ page book instead of the 2 or 3 pages from a board game (that's why I likes the old GURP lite system and D&D basic set which merges lite rules and boardgames).

Younger people are also harder to get into RPGs because they want the instant gratification they get from consoles.

It's a hard market to get conversions. I think if someone did a TORG boardgame with some simple rules then it would put a new twist on it and maybe get people interested in the RPG.
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