I am the Happy Fun Publisher

Time is squeezing in on me due to impending Newlet#2 (eta two weeks or less) and also prompted by the fact that its been a year and a month since D101’s first release (Hearts in Glorantha #1) this has triggered some pretty heavy reflection on where I’m at with D101.

I think it can be easily summed up with one phrase “I am the Happy Fun Publisher”.

To expand I’m happiest when this is a fun hobby, when it goes under ther radar with the Boss (the wife Rachel, my not so silent partner 🙂 ), and there is a genuine joy about what I’m doing.  I recently had a big dose of the ‘must get this done’ grind for HiG#3 and OpenQuest and it sucketh mightily.

I’ve recently had a huge delusion of grandeur where I pump out the books at the going rate of the ‘Industry, what ever badly inflated price that is, and somehow next year I can give up my day job (as a web developer) . In reality I love my job, it suits me down to the ground and I like the people I work with, and now is not the time to go freelance. I also know that if I went full time with D101 at this point in time I would hate it. I’m never going to say never, but if one day it does happen it will be from a much stronger position than I’m currently in. It will will be an inevitable step that flows with the way my life is going.

Nope I’m doing D101 as a hobby, with perhaps a higher dedication and sense of professionalism, in the same way that some people play sports or spend hours playing World of Warcraft.

So what does this mean in practical terms;

  • I’m going to carry on with the same scatter gun approach to publishing, announcing books here and there, taking my time to deliver oblivious to deadlines whooshing by and occasionally dumping stuff that didn’t work out.  I’m focusing on the Fun, not something I feel I need to put out (except as a mental kick to get something that has been sitting on the Hard-drive in the nearly done phase for too long).  This allow me to actually carry on a few titles that I was considering dropping due to ‘time constraints’.  Immediate benefit of this is that I’m not planing on dropping my Gloranthan titles, as I was before in my previous serious frame of mind.
  • I’m not going to be charging the bizzare prices that RPG publishers seem to be charging these days (this is a rant in itself).  I’ll be charging what I think is a fair price, that people can afford yet still lets me pay out my small costs. RPGing is a social activity, RPG companies or small press should act in a social responsible way and foster a community based on fair play and inclusiveness. To do otherwise in the name for a quick buck means that the Hobby, never mind the so called ‘Industry’, is fucked.  If that means people don’t consider D101 a proper games company, then fuck’ em.  Immediate effect of this is that I’m dropping the print price of OpenQuest to the more reasonable £10.

So that’s where I stand, having fun, releasing what I want, having a laugh with mates and not turning D101 into a joyless must do enterprise.

Hello my name’s Newt and  I am the Happy Fun Publisher.

5 thoughts on “I am the Happy Fun Publisher”

  1. Newt!

    Kudos to you. You will still publish more, better and more often than many ‘pro’ companies.

    When the price drop comes through on the website I am going to go and do some guerilla marketing for you on boards and so on.

  2. Yes!!! Keep doing it for fun, and you’ll keep doing it. At, as we all say, higher standards if anything than the so-called “pros”, and prices that people can actually afford to pay. If it becomes a “must-do” drag, that won’t do, not at all. As it is, your enthusiasm shows in the product.

  3. This all sounds very healthy!

    Two things on pricing:

    * On the PDF side there has long been a fork. What I call PDF-native companies set much lower prices than print-native companies. The latter take a lot of persuading that PDF is a real medium and don’t like discounting from the prices of their print books.

    * On print, my own experience is of a squeeze between a cover price that makes sense in the market and the print cost at the other end. This wouldn’t be much of an issue if I weren’t selling in print at IPR and making products available to retailers, giving me just 44% of cover price for those sales. If that’s something you’re planning to do yourself (and it’s worth considering), beware of dropping prices too much! But perhaps there’s more happy fun in avoiding it.

  4. Good on ya. My mate at Spica Publishing (the link in my name) has a similar approach, and it makes things much more fun all around. I think PDF prices do tend to reflect the publisher’s clout more than their quality of product. I don’t see this as making money out of games, but as messing about with games and getting some pocket money to go with it. 😉

Leave a Reply