thread: 2012-03-06 : Chad Underkoffler: Freelancing for RPGs

On 2012-03-07, Paolo Guccione (RosenMcStern elsewhere) wrote:

First of all, let me express the greatest kudos of all to Vincent. After all the unpleasant fuss that has been going on for the last days, it takes some guts to "make things right" and publish an informative post which explains all these little details that could have helped understand what people were talking about. As usual, Vincent shows he has guts and confirms that is still a source of valuable info.

In reply to Chad:

>> But yeah, when I was trying to run ASMP as a business, I was hugely fond of offering percentage of net profits for participants (artist, layout, editor), in lieu of solid up-front payments.

This is exactly how I have worked for the first year of activity. Work on our award-winning book was (actually, it still is) compensated this way. I stopped doing this for artists and editors after one year, but it is still the norm for writers. And they sound rather happy!

>> Generally, I'd later offer a flat-cash buyout of their percentage around 18 months to 2 years in. That's where the long tail of most gaming products starts biting in. Unless you're a phenomenon, 18 months and you're done.

Then I must have phenomenal writers, because I am still paying royalties in the $100-$200 per quarter for stuff published in 2009 and 2010 :) Uhm, okay, I should also clarify that I have the aforementioned Cubicle Seven as publishing partner. Their marketing squad rocks.

Ok, speaking seriously. I will probably do the same and buyout the remaining rights for artists and minor products after a while, but this has never occurred to me yet. In my experience, products are still viable and worth paying on a percentage after 3+ years, and using PayPal or money transfer eliminates the cost and annoyance of physical checks.

To summarize: as Vincent noted above, there are many different ways you can organize your business model when publishing or freelancing RPGs nowadays. It does not boil down to "indie vs. work for hire" only. There are ways you can work for small press and still retain your IP while making some money. It is great that this article provided an opportunity to keep people informed about what goes around in our small world.


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