New publishers: I began posting tabletop RPG marketing lessons on Twitter & how to grow your audience

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zweihander

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So I made a switch recently on my Twitter feed to help impart my experiences growing the Grim & Perilous Studios brand between Zweihander RPG, Main Gauche and the other 15 products in my line to newer publishers. This has been a long time in the making, but it's what helped me drive over 90,000+ purchases as a small publisher.

First up: I recently did an interview about a number of topics on being a smaller publisher and how to grow a community around your RPG, which was posted on Medium here: https://medium.com/@davidcollins562/ttrpg-marketing-q-a-2e246625ec66

I've also posted about the efficacy of Facebook ads before on my Twitter. However today, I posted about how I made $642 in 24 hours on DriveThruRPG. This should be of interest to those looking to market their RPGs:

I'm happy to take questions here if you want some general guidance, but I've started a Discord channel specifically for #ttrpgMarketing, which you can find here: https://discord.gg/J3mGSZc
 
This is relevant to me. I'll check it out after work.

Just curious: did you quit your prior day job to go full-time zwei?
 
This is relevant to me. I'll check it out after work.

Just curious: did you quit your prior day job to go full-time zwei?

Nope - still working in my career of digital advertising. I am a serial entrepreneur, however and never sleep. My last business was PlanetReuse, which I ended up selling to an architectural firm. I am hoping that soon Ill be able to do this full time, but my product catalogue needs to grow and I need to find the right partnership for business infrastructure needs.
 
Sounds exhausting. I'd love to work on RPGs as a career, but I can't imagine how hard it would be to make as much selling elfgames as being a software engineer. My wife would very understandably back the car over me if I made that move.
 
Sounds exhausting. I'd love to work on RPGs as a career, but I can't imagine how hard it would be to make as much selling elfgames as being a software engineer. My wife would very understandably back the car over me if I made that move.
You just need to jump the shark and make soooo much as a software engineer you can stop and write elf games. Sound like a plan? I'm pretty sure your wife could get onboard that.
 
You just need to jump the shark and make soooo much as a software engineer you can stop and write elf games. Sound like a plan? I'm pretty sure your wife could get onboard that.
A gentleman gamer? Sounds like a blast - I could roll up in my yacht with an ascot, roll gold dice with diamond pips...the whole nine. I just need to come up with a killer app...
 
You just need to jump the shark and make soooo much as a software engineer you can stop and write elf games. Sound like a plan? I'm pretty sure your wife could get onboard that.
Contracting, grasshopper. Feel the day rate wash over you ...
 
Contracting, grasshopper. Feel the day rate wash over you ...
I know you can make a lot consulting if you get steady work, although I've never liked the implied insecurity of worrying where your next check was coming from.
 
A gentleman gamer? Sounds like a blast - I could roll up in my yacht with an ascot, roll gold dice with diamond pips...the whole nine. I just need to come up with a killer app...
I feel it's very appropriate for me to mention I read that as roll up a yacht with ascot and gold dice.

I'm seeing a new RPG here!
 
A gentleman gamer? Sounds like a blast - I could roll up in my yacht with an ascot, roll gold dice with diamond pips...the whole nine. I just need to come up with a killer app...
Facebook-alike for digital weather stations.

There you go buddy: I supply the idea, you run with it, we split the profits 50/50.
 
I was actually thinking of an online store for yachts. Get there before Amazon, I say. The golden dice are gratis, but the diamond pips are a factory upgrade. I could do one of those punchcard things so you'd get a free ascot for every four or five yachts - quality fabric, of course.
 
Sounds exhausting. I'd love to work on RPGs as a career, but I can't imagine how hard it would be to make as much selling elfgames as being a software engineer. My wife would very understandably back the car over me if I made that move.

Most people are not in it to make big money. I know lots of folks who did it in their spare time, largely to have a creative outlet in the hobby. If you like it, you can always dabble rather than go all in (and frankly you are much more likely to earn a good living keeping your day job).
 
I know you can make a lot consulting if you get steady work, although I've never liked the implied insecurity of worrying where your next check was coming from.
That's what people think but I did two stints in contracting. From 2004-2016 I was out of work about 6 months in total during that whole period and the longest stint was about 3 months. In most cases I had a contract lined up starting the week after finishing my previous gig. I had a major operation in 2016 and the downtime from that was enough to tank my cash reserves and force me into a permie job as a point solution. I left that after about two years[1] and picked up a fairly nice contract in about six weeks.

The contract market is different from the permie market. It tends to sit more about business change and project work, and IMO it takes a different type of personality to do change work well. If you're happy in your comfort zone than you probably won't get much out of contracting, although some folks are happy working as contract grunts on development programmes. If you like projects and building things, or don't mind stepping on a few toes that richly deserve it then you might enjoy contracting in the business change space[2].

I think the key to contracting is to keep your base costs low[3] and be confident in your ability. Single-celled organisms can get contract rates in London. From some secondhand experience from folks who have worked in New York, it doesn't sound all that different.

You will get good at job interviews after a while working as a contractor.

Now, I haven't tried to juggle a career building elfgames with contracting yet, but I am considering it. Building and publishing a large sci-fi verse has been a bit of a bucket list item for about 30 years. Back in 1990 when I was poor and unemployed, it was unattainable. It took a long hiatus as I went through university in the latter part of the '90s and launched an I.T. career. Now I have marketable skills that folks will actually pay for, and the possibility of spending downtime cheaply in Indonesia[4] so it looks almost practical if you hold your head just right and squint a bit.
________
[1] and by the gods it was a toxic place. One entire team walked out on management and sued them over the a culture of bullying and broken promises of a bonus - and won. My grand theory of contracting can be summed up as 'if you're going to work with idiots, you might as well get paid for it.' As a permie with a 3 month notice period, being stuck there was hellish.
[2] I think about 2/3 of the work I've done since 2004 has been in the context of business change programmes and more than 90% has been project based rather than B.A.U.
[3] Take this from bitter experience - the best way to do this is not to get involved with someone with expensive tastes and an impulse spending problem.
[4] Plus, Indonesia has a substantial manga scene so one might also be able to find local illustrators.
 
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I was actually thinking of an online store for yachts. Get there before Amazon, I say. The golden dice are gratis, but the diamond pips are a factory upgrade. I could do one of those punchcard things so you'd get a free ascot for every four or five yachts - quality fabric, of course.
They already have that. It's called Yachtworld.com
 
Holey Necromancey babey.

I thought, "Daniel's back?!"
Admittedly, me too, except my thought was "who da F lifted his ban and why".
(My second thought was "I bet a certain mod won't be happy").

And then I checked the dates:grin:!
 
I admit that I got onboard the Zweihander train, but once I looked at Mythras and other, simpler and mature d100 games... I know that I will never, ever use Daniel's system. It's too... finicky.

Pretty artwork though! Along with Torchbearer and Unhallowed Metropolis, my Zweihander books are on the shelf for "neat looking books that are fun to browse through but will NEVER get played".
 
I can't be doing the Twitter but I'm interested otherwise.
 
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