Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Talking About the Business of RPGs

This is something I don't do very often - talk rpg business in public. I normally don't do this because those who are not in the business really don't *know* the business and sadly, I've found that those who know the least tend to be the ones that want to talk the most, certain that they know what's what. Now this may not be the best way to begin a post where I'm effectively asking to speak to people about the business who are not in the business, but I'm interested in your opinions as customers.* And customer opinions are important regardless the knowledge behind the creation and manufacture of a product.

What I've been thinking about is Lulu and how we at Expeditious Retreat Press view the site. We have all the Advanced Adventures PDFs, the two hardbacked Advanced Adventure Compendiums, and Malevolent & Benign: A First Edition Bestiary for sale at Lulu. This means we've been treating Lulu as a source of mainly digital sales and sales of hardbacked material that isn't cost-efficient for us to print in sort runs. I'm certain I could do profitable short runs of the hardbacks, but I would have a lot of sunk cost and would need to spend considerable time before those costs are repaid and turned into profit. I prefer faster turning material - less capital risk, quicker return - because this industry can be *brutal* to those who make a single mistake regarding a sunk cost. Capital, once spent, is gone until recouped and the faster that turnaround the better, IMO.

However, the big sale at Lulu has made me think that perhaps I should be viewing Lulu as a secondary source of *physical* product. There is obviously a demand for our hardbacked-stuff, but I'm now wondering were I put all the Advanced Adventures (as well as a significant part of back catalog) for sale as physical products at Lulu if we would grow physical sales significantly. Sales of physical product is Lulu's purpose, after all, but I have been hesitant to do such because we also sell physical copy direct from the Expeditious Retreat website.

My concern is would we split that revenue stream, and if we did, would it result in increased profitability regardless? I make more per unit selling direct than in any other way, and were I to end up splitting the stream by customers choosing Lulu over our website, I could end up making less even while selling more. Additionally, there will be a considerable time cost in making the material available at Lulu. What I want to happen would be to reach customers who do not shop at our website, but who would gladly shop at Lulu.

So the question to you if you would be so kind to respond is "Would you be more likely, equally likely, or less likely to purchase a product at Lulu rather than at the Expeditious Retreat website?" I've made it a poll, for easy answering.

*We are customers, not consumers. I find the term "consumer" derogatory. We are not senseless gaping maws - we are people first, sources of cash second.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lulu Sale Extended for Tuesday

Lulu has extended their 30% off sale for today, Tuesday Nov 29. The code is now CYBERTUESDAY305. So if you'd like, our OSR hardback books are still for sale at a considerable discount.

Advanced Adventures Compendium 1 - AA #1-10
Advanced Adventures Compendium 2 - AA #11-20 
Malevolent & Benign: A First Edition Bestiary

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Lulu Cybermonday 30% off Code

Lulu's been putting out some great coupon codes lately. The last one was buy one get one 50% off, but this one may be the best I've seen them do. 30% off your entire order. Pretty cool. It's only for tomorrow, though.

CYBERMONDAY305 for 30% off at lulu. If you plan on doing an insane amount of shopping MORECYBERMONDAY305 gets you 35% off, but you have to order at least $750 worth of books. Yeah, me neither... :)

May I recommend three hard-backed OSR products?
Advanced Adventures Compendium 1 - AA #1-10
Advanced Adventures Compendium 2 - AA #11-20 
Malevolent & Benign: A First Edition Bestiary

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Kara-Tur Boxed Set

I just picked up the Kara-Tur boxed set at Half Price Books and I'm glad to see it sitting on my shelf. It's something that I've wanted to look at for a long, long time and now I'll be able to devour bits and pieces of it at my leisure. I know that I'm probably in the Old-School minority, but I've always like the 1e Oriental Adventures hardback and I'm intrigued to see what type of setting they supported it with.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving All!

Hope all my fellow Americans enjoy their Thanksgiving. Today, I shall have tasty food!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pathfinder and India

I've been working a lot on Pathfinder material lately and I've just gotten a few books on India that are calling me from the shelves. In particular, The Economy of the Mughal Empire c. 1595, is demanding that I pick it up and read it. The other books, Mughal Warfare and A New History of India are no slouches, but I'm such a sucker for table about grain production and how many tons of silver were mined in a decade. Raw data for the fantasy grist mill.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Un-seriousness

My act of courage for the day is going grocery shopping on a Sunday. Yeah, I'm soooooo brave. :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lulu "Buy One Get One 50% Off" Code

Lulu's running a buy one book get another at 50% special until Friday, Nov 18th. Enter the code SECRET305 at checkout.

May I recommend our Advanced Adventure Compendiums for your hard-earned geld? :)

Advanced Adventures Compendium 1 - AA #1-10
Advanced Adventures Compendium 2 - AA #11-20

Regardless, there's plenty of OSR stuff at lulu if they don't interest you.

Tome of Tomes

Author:  Jabbit Heuch
Race: Human
Dimensions: 8x10x1.5
Weight: 4lbs.
Materials: Leather-bound, woodboard, parchment
Rarity: Rare
Fields of Study: Physical universe, supernatural & unusual
Special Knowledge Categories: Math, astrology & numerology
Value: 85 gp

Exploring the mechanical methods of number manipulation as well as their esoteric quality, Numbers has long been the go-to book for anyone interested in the subject, but Heuch’s unique take on the supernatural powers of numerology as just as long been the source of great contention within the erudite community.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Tome of Tomes

Fyshe of the Sea
Author: Blawn Carling
Race: Human
Dimensions: 16x16x1
Weight: 5 lbs.
Materials: Leather-bound, woodboard, parchment
Rarity: Common
Fields of Study: Fauna
Special Knowledge Categories: Ichthyoids
Value: 35 gp

An old work, and one slimly illustrated, Fyshe of the Sea has long been a staple of many libraries on the subject. There is little here to recommend for deep investigation, but the work serves as a good general source for pointing where more information is needed.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Starting a New Project

Because, well, you know, I'm not busy enough as is. Sorry for the irregular updates lately - been busting ass on something new and trying to get the older stuff done as well.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tome of Tomes

Been a while since the last book...

Stone Giants of the Garvian Mountains
Author: Greyd Koppie
Race: Human
Dimensions: 8x10x1
Weight: 2 lbs.
Materials: Leather-bound, woodboard, parchment
Rarity: Uncommon
Fields of Study: Giantkind
Special Knowledge Categories: History, law & customs
Value: 50 gp

A study of the stone giant tribes within the Garvian Mountains, this work provides an insider’s look into their history and culture. Koppie lived most of his adult life moving between the major tribal leaders. He even acted as an intermediary settling disputes between clans, such was his respect among the various tribes.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

One Shot and Scenarios for Sale!

The PDFs are up for sale for $2 each at Your Games Now and If you're interested at all in quick-playing rules and one-shot rpging, you should take a look.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

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