Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Number Crunchin' - It's Transparency Time!

So, I used March to run a PWYW promotion on MTDAA stuff, based around the release of the new game. I also happened to release the Solitaire Framework this month. I decided to use this number to see how March went, and figured I would do that in a public forum. Because, why not?

First off, I ran a banner that I kept re-upping for the month to try and direct traffic to my page. It was kind of meh. Here's the recap as of this morning...

The banner ran 238,739 impressions in March, with 177 clicking through. That's 0.07%, which is pretty low. I don't have any of my older banners (I went through and deleted those a month ago in a general housecleaning of my back end at Drivethrurpg), but I am confident that other banners have performed significantly better. I figured I will let the banner go through the end of the day, and then revert things to their normal prices.

Now, on to sales!

Hmf. Not sure what to do with this. Are the numbers skewed because of coronavirus? Maybe. Likely. On one hand, people had more free time in general, so they are probably downloading more stuff. On the other hand, a large number of publishers offered high-profile things at significant discounts or as pay-what-you wants this month, so that drew focus. People had more concern about money in general, so they probably spent less than they might have otherwise. In the end, I kind of assume that the two balanced each other out, and my numbers are what they are, and are likely close to what they would have been otherwise.

Spoiler alert: My 'business model' is as follows: release a few 'prestige' books that have a decent price tag, and a lot of freebie/PWYW stuff that continues to draw traffic and keeps my back catalog in some circulation. This month, I downgraded some of the prestige books (the three MTDAA core books) to PWYW, so that also skews things quite a bit. Seeing as one sale of Sentinels of Echo City Revised accounts for about 1/4 of my total sales for the month (in which Army Ants was the entire focus), that's not very good. In general, I expected sales would have been a bit stronger (or more than a bit, if I'm being honest).

- There was one rating of the Solitaire Framework (3 stars with no comments), and two ratings for Army Ants: Twilight (3 stars and 4 stars, both with no comments). This is about as vanilla of a response as you could possibly get. I have no idea what to do with that, other than people were not real excited about these releases. I honestly thought the Solitaire Framework was going to be pretty popular, if for no other reason than it is a very simple, solid engine for solo gaming, so I thought the timing on that was ideal. Not sure what to do with that. Did it need one piece of killer art to get people excited? I mean, it's one page... still not sure.
- I also was intentional about updated my blog more (11 updates in March) and in posting to social media (I cross posted 11 times to MeWe; I posted 31 pages on Tumblr).
- Tumblr is easy to use, but it's kind of dead. I know - I should have known this. But I didn't realize how dead it really was. I don't like the alternatives, but I may have to find one.
- I'm not a great business man. There are probably better ways to market, leverage, and spread the word about my work. I am trying to get better at that, but the results are pretty mundane.

Anyhow, issue 2 of Army Ants: Twilight drops today, and I'm going to keep on keeping on. Thanks for reading!

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