A Penny for Your Thoughts
On 2008-10-02, Seth Ben-Ezra wrote:
1. What's your name?
2. What's your publishing company?
Dark Omen Games
3. What game or games have you published?
Legends of Alyria
A Flower for Mara
4. When you first started publishing, what success did you hope for?
Make a decent profit as a side business, have people play my games, and tell me that I'm awesome. (I hadn't really figured out that last bit into words until recently, but it's true, and I should own up.)
5. Did you achieve it?
Well, my initial publishing attempt actually hurt me badly financially, though part of that was the context when it happened. I've had some people play my games and say that I'm awesome, but really, probably not as many as I've thought that I "should". Yeah, that's in quotes because it's silly to say that anyone should think I'm awesome.
6. What success do you hope for now?
I want to design cool games and publish them with the money that I make from selling my games. In other words, I want Dark Omen to be self-sufficient. If it can fund some additional stuff on the side, then all the better. And, I still want people to think I'm awesome, though I think that I probably need to give up on this as a goal. If it happens, it happens. But trying to pursue the popularity game just really isn't helpful.
7. Have you achieved it?
In general, yes, although the lack of profit motive as a primary purpose is making me question the amount of time that I should spend on Dark Omen. So, these are questions that I'm still grappling with. However, at this point, with the exception of GenCon, I can easily pay for new print runs, plus upgrade equipment, plus even buy additional stuff on the side from my sales.
8. If a hopeful new RPG publisher came to you and asked you for your wisdom, to help her set reasonable expectations for her own games' success, what would you tell her?
*Don't go into debt to publish anything.
*Don't design anything that you wouldn't see as being your Favorite Game, at least for a while. If you don't love it *for itself*, then no one else will.
*This is craft-fair territory, not big business territory. Have comparable expectations of your presumed income and popularity.
*Don't go into debt to publish anything. (It needs to be said twice.)
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