thread: 2012-03-13 : Indie POV pt 2: Does It Pay?

On 2012-03-15, Meserach wrote:

Luke, thanks particularly for sharing your experience. Yours was especially interesting, since I've always perceived that Burning Wheel was a hit in indie RPGs on roughly a similar scale to Vincent, so it is interesting to see that they payoff for you is apparently so different.

Why do we think this is? Are your expenses just a lot higher than Vincent's, as you seem to suggest? I imagine that BW is a lot more expensive to print per unit; you've said you think you sell more than Vincent and your prices are higher, but your per-unit margin is presumably a lot lower? Also I imagine Vincent does more PDF fulfilment than you, where unit costs are very low (next to zero) and margins correspondingly higher, even with lower prices for PDFs. Is this accurate? I don't know how much PDF fulfilment (if any) happens for Burning Wheel products.

Outside of per-unit expense concerns, what about your overheads? It seems like they might be higher than Vincent's? You appear to hire more staff than he does (I'm surprised to learn you retain a book-keeper and a fulfilment troll: Vincent, do you do anything similar?). I imagine you've also paid out a lot more to pay artists to decorate your (generally much longer) books? Do you attend more conventions than Vincent does?

Sorry for all the questions but I do find this apparent difference fascinating, and if there is some particular science to Vincent's relative financial success it would be useful to be able to capture it.


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