News / RPG.net
Something a little offbeat today.
We've talked a bit before (see here, and here, for instance) about how much reviews matter to us -- as writers, as editors, as a publisher, for sales, for personal confidence, to improve our writing, our art, our layouts etc. So let me just repeat that:
Reviews Matter -- Please Do Them!
But overall, it really does help us to know what you like that we do, and what we should do differently. Without any kind of reviews, from as simple as a Star Rating, to the minimum of "I liked this book, you might too" to the kinds of deep and detailed (and incredible) reviews that we get from Endzeitgeist on our products (support his Patreon here), one of the only other metrics we have is just sales numbers.
But sales numbers can lie -- so Book X sold 500 units, and Book Y sold 250, does that mean Book X is twice as good? Or is it that Book X came out at just the right moment? That it coincided with something going on? Maybe its that Book X was a $1 book while Book Y was a $20 book (in which case, we likely made a much better profit on the 250 we sold at $20 than 500 at $1).
Regardless though, there's something else we could use all of your help with:
Talk About Our Stuff!
We exist in a world of the 'semantic web' / "Web 3.0" and are trying to hock our wares in the world of "social media" and -- look, I could drop a dozen more marketing buzzwords from the plethora of articles we've read and shared among ourselves (many of which are filled with misunderstandings, because "that's not what Web 3.0 means!" should be coming off a number of your lips hopefully by now) -- but one thing is always very clear.
In the modern world of especially social media, the most powerful of tools is getting people to talk about your products. For large companies, for major and widely distributed materials like film and television, that discussion and sharing doesn't even need to be "positive" because a film can stand to be hate-watched or posting how much YOU hate X will likely draw our a strong defender of X that LOVES it.
We exist in a much, much smaller niche industry. And its one where very few sales make up the entirety of our sales. I consider myself fairly successful, for a freelance writer of third party support products for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game (and other things), and even my BEST SELLING product has been downloaded maybe a few thousand times (with most selling well under one thousand, sometimes under one hundred!).
We're all going to be doing exactly this for the big companies starting today and running, likely, long after this weekend because its San Diego Comic Con and what every company there NEEDS us to do is notice, to care, to "talk about," and not just hit Like but Share that video, that poster, that article, etc. all about the latest and greatest coming out of Big Media.
And while Gen Con is "our" big convention, both of them highlight "how this all works."
So, what can you do to help "talk" about us?
Join our online communities on Facebook!
Fat Goblin Games -- Our Main Company Page
Shadows over Vathak -- Our Horror-themed Setting for Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Steampunk Musha -- Our East Asian/Steampunk Mashup Setting for Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Castle Falkenstein -- Our group for fans of Castle Falkenstein, new and old.
vs. M Engine -- Our group for vs. M Engine, which supports vs. Ghosts, vs. Stranger Stuff, vs. Moon Men, and others.
Secondly, and more importantly really -- "talk about us."
When you see someone ask "How would you do X?" and you always like to fall back on the Call to Arms: X book's idea, tell them! Share a link! Tag us!
When you see a post saying "What are your favorite 3PP?" -- I assure you, we all take a moment to scan and see if WE get listed, and we try to like and share and engage with those people because that comment matters so much to us!
And thank you for your time and "talking"
Tonight, Thursday October 27th, 2016, at 7 pm Central time till roughly 9 pm Central, I've been invited to participate in an RPG.net Q&A session -- which you can link any time to the chatroom here: http://tinyurl.com/rpgnetchat or if you're finding this out after the fact, read the collected chat here on The Hardboiled GMShow's Office.
I did one of these back in July for vs. Ghosts (which is ON SALE now on RPGNow.com, BUT I also suggest you go take part in their Halloween Trick'or'Treat event ;) ), which you can read the transcript from here!
THIS TIME I want to talk to you about what Fat Goblin Games is up to, especially about our Goblin Army Patreon, as well as our Goblin Hoarde's Hoarde Bundle (still available on our website, but soon available on One BookShelf sites like RPGNow.com and DriveThruRPG.
YOU MISSED THE CHAT? Don't Fret -- read the transcript here:
Lucus Palosaari, A 'Bastard' of Fat Goblin Games
Last time I did this, I had a whole brief spiel about myself and how I got into writing RPGs, but you can go read that there if you care.
The 'key' bit is that I am now an Editor & Project Manager for Fat Goblin Games on a vast array of previous, current, and planned products from supporting our Call to Arms line for Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, our new releases in the Castle Falkenstein game from R. Talsorian, all our vs. M Engine games from vs. Ghosts & vs. Stranger Stuff to upcoming vs. Moon Men & vs. Præternatural, and so much more.
This enviable position makes me one of We Three Bastards (which is how Rick, Troy, and I refer to ourselves -- find out why we use these names HERE!) and we're in charge of our freelancers, whom we call The Goblin Hoarde, and we're not trying to 'raise' a Goblin Army of Fans via Patreon!
The Fat Goblin Army of Patreon
It’s a reality of the tabletop RPG “industry” that it is hard to make money. There’s a reason we have endless Kickstarters and always ongoing discussions of what a fair wage for freelance writers is or what it should cost for RPG art. We not only want to make a living, for ourselves and for our freelancers, “doing this” -- we NEED to.
There is also the idea of the 1,000 True Fans. You can find many think-pieces about it, but the simple idea is that if you can convince a small but dedicated army of fans to be willing to invest in you and your creative endeavors, you can be remarkably successful. For our industry, we don’t need even 1,000 (though that would be amazing!), even 100 True Fans would make a world of difference to the products we can and do produce. And so, this along with so many other things, have lead us to try something a little different: Our Goblin Army Fan Club Patreon!
And from our Patreon Page:
This Patreon is for die-hard Fat Goblin Games fans who want to see — and get involved with —the madness of creating awesome roleplaying games. We want this to be something that completely absorbs you in all things Fat Goblin Games.
By becoming a member of our Goblin Army (as a patron to Fat Goblin Games), you allow us to be able to dedicate to our Goblin Hoarde (the writers, editors, artists, and developers of FGG) the resources needed to:
There are other perks to being in the Goblin Army as well: regular Q&A chats (which can be about anything), sharing of in-house resources (style guides for Pathfinder & 5e development, templates for book styles, etc.), drawing your likeness (or that of your loved ones) into products, and a whole lot more!
So, if you are a fan of Fat Goblin Games and ready to join the Goblin Army— WE WANT YOU!
Patreons are becoming much more popular too in our industry, with not just people like LPJ "talking" about Patreons, if they're the "Next Kickstarter" and their Pro's and Con's etc.
For instance, you can follow all these lovely (and often important Patreons, for at least some fields):
- Reviewer Extraordinaire Endzeitgeist
- Blake Davis of the Archives of Nethys for Pathfinder RPG
- John Reyst and his full array of SRD sites like d20pfsrd.com
- Erik Tenkar of Tenkar's Tavern, dedicated to OSR Blogs
- Jason Bulmahn of Paizo creating the Edge of Eveningtide AP
- Owen KC Stephens of Paizo et al creating RPG Blogs
- Louis Porter Jr. of LPJ Designs doing the Infinite Dungeon "daily"
- Clint Boomer doing Random RPG and Geek Blog "stuff"
- And so many more!
Most of those are dedicated to creation of 'content' which we wanted to try to do something "different" and basically have two major levels: the Enlisted lets say and then the Freebooters. If you look at our tiers, we have $1 - $3 - & $5 levels which I'm referring here to as "Enlisted" which are more casual fans that would like to get some free content and see some behind-the-scenes things, but it's the $10 - $15 - $20 - & $30 levels I think of as our "Freebooters" -- because they're all part of our Fat Goblin Games Freelancer Bootcamp.
I wrote an extensive blog about what that is (and what it is NOT) you can read here, so let me talk about the Enlisted for a moment.
$1 -- Goblin Patriot! Thanks for supporting the Goblin Army at Fat Goblin Games!
$3 -- Low-life Mercenary! Thanks for the support! You'll receive general news and updates.
$5 -- Grunt! Welcome to the Goblin Army! You get everything mentioned in previous levels.
It is our hope to grow this group, as well as the Freebooters, to try to get people that "really like what we are doing" to get some idea of what's going on in the industry, what it takes to make an RPG product, how someone like Rick decides on projects and does his artwork, etc.
We also hope that by giving early access to images, the chance to be drawn in, to beta read books in development, and get the chance to vote on the direction of the company and its products we might get at least say "100 True Fans" of what we make -- and that would transform a lot of things for Fat Goblin Games.
"What I mean" by all this is the point of the discussion and Q&A tonight, so I'm going to leave it off here! Please, wont you join us?