Saturday, April 15, 2023

Looking at Data

Let's do some transparency!

I have no real reason to hide any of these numbers, so I figured that I'd just go ahead and publish them, and we can do a little analysis... and see what we can learn. I've posted my total sales for this month, along with my total sales over time on my three 'biggest' releases. Historically, there are some books that have sold better (in some cases much better), but those were released in a different time, with rules I would no longer feel comfortable supporting, in a different retail environment. These are the three foundational books that I could justify supporting, because they are pretty good. My Army Ants stuff and other things (Cupcake Scouts) are a bit more marginal and have smaller audiences. These three games were released in similar formats within a relatively short period, so I can make some apples to apples comparisons here.

First of all, the top section is my sales this month. It does not include free downloads - since I have offered two things as pay what you want downloads, I have had dozens of each downloaded. This means nothing to me. I believe that there are a significant number of people who just download lots of free content and never look at it. If this was a convention, they are grabbing my free sample, sticking it in a bag, and probably never looking at it again. The only sales that mean anything are those that A) people pay for, or B) *and most important* generate other sales. I have sold 11 copies of Hack'D & Slash'D. Two of those sales happened after I released the Mini Module as a pay what you want (which sold three copies). These are not 'significant' sales. This also is while I've been running two banners to support that game. So... there's simply not a lot of interest in Hack'D & Slash'D. I've done a hard sell on it, but it just hasn't generated much interest.

On the next level up, I have Shards of Tomorrow. That is a game I am very proud of. I released a supplement for it a week ago. I expected that the supplement, Dispatches from the Pale, would have reached a decent audience, and would have at least generated some more interest for the core rules for that game. I would have considered three sales a decent return (I would make $10 in core rules sales for releasing a 4-page supplement. That's a sustainable model). It didn't happen. 

Strangely, Resolute, a game I published thirteen years (!) ago, still sells copies. I don't really understand it. Okay, maybe I understand it a little bit. 

Because there's a market for supers games. And it's only a dollar.

This month, I also sold one copy of Stalwart Age, which is a game I haven't released anything for in a year. I haven't tried to support it in some time. I haven't talked about it.

But it continues to sell. When I look at total sales (and these three games have all been on the market for a comparable amount of time; they are all formatted the same way, and have comparable quality), Stalwart Age far exceeds sales for the other two.

In looking at 'what I want'... in a perfect world, I've got a game (or two) that people like and that they play. It sells a few copies every month, and I make more than $20. I release a 2-4 page supplement for it once a month that adds some content, and which always helps to build the game and to increase its audience. 

I've got a lot of content on the Stalwart Age blog page, but that page (like this one) sees very little traffic. For example, the MOST read post there has 96 views, and many have 0-5 views. EVER.

That includes a wide range of character profiles, game content, and overviews of Doc issues. I've probably got about a dozen supplements sitting there already that nobody has seen. So, I'm going to start by taking that content, re-packaging it, cleaning up and re-organizing it, and seeing how that goes. 

I'm also going to re-structure all of my pricing. I think that part of the appeal of the Resolute rules is that the book is only $1. I'm going to re-set my pricing on books to either $1 for shorter books (fewer than 25 pages) and 2.95 for everything longer. I want to increase sales... I want more eyeballs on my work. I think that might help. 

I'll probably be back in a few weeks to tell you how it's going.

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