Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Shakespeare Deathmatch: A Post-Mortem

Well, the last post-mortem I did on the MTDAA Kickstarter was my most read post of all time, so we'll see how my full disclosure on all things Shakespeare Deathmatch goes...

Here's the breakdown (remember that my starting balance was after fees for Amazon Payments and Kickstarter):

Starting Balance
Proof Copies

Card Printing/Shipping
Printing Re-do
Shipping Rewards #1
Shipping Rewards #2
Shipping International
- 158.30

- Well, this got ugly! I ended up losing 27.77 on this project (actually a little more, since I don't include some supplies like envelopes and tape that I purchased and kept the extras of for other things...). The cards were more expensive than I expected (since I printed cards at 6"x6" and didn't get the bulk discount I expected), and International shipping (10 packages at an average of 15.80 a package when I charged only $5 or $10 extra depending on what was ordered). I also short ordered cards on the first go-round for some odd reason  (I did the math three times on three different occasions before ordering cards, and still was a dozen decks short when I was packaging, so had to re-order). Basically I took a hit in two places to keep the quality of the project up: the character cards and the t-shirts. I could have cut my t-shirt costs in half and received lower-quality shirts (wasn't willing to do that), and I could have created simpler character cards that were part of the deck and saved quite a bit (also wasn't willing to do that). If I had it to do over again, I would skimp on the character cards, since these were a huge cost (more than half of the cost of the cards - layering these as standard playing-card size cards would have cut about $200 off the card printing) and I'd get rid of t-shirts altogether as a backer reward. These were a big $ sink in this project. It was fun to do the project, and I hope people are enjoying it, but I sure didn't make anything on it! I was putting together the Saga of the Splintered Realm KS as this was winding down, and I applied some of the lessons here so that I wouldn't repeat mistakes in that KS.

And by the way - in case you're wondering (because I would be at this point if I was you...) I did not use any money from the Saga of the Splintered Realm KS to pay for the overage on this one - that's all out of pocket. I actually don't get the funds from that one for two more weeks, so there's no financial overlap between the two projects.

I hope based on this that you can see I want to feel like my customers get their money's worth, and maybe you'll consider backing my Patreon Campaign to shift my Army Ants webcomic into high gear...