New Dimension GamesMeant to post this last July, but things happened.
I have a high school friend who I visit periodically. A couple of years ago she began dating, and thereby brought into my acquaintance, a gentleman who's dealing with a challenge that surprised and interested me:
So, you've spent most of the last decade writing role playing books, fantasy novels, and board games wrapped around some core conceptual themes. Your creations have finally come to fruition: the role playing books are printed and your starting to sell several lines of them. (The completed novels you've shelved for the moment in order to work on selling the games. The board game(s) (well at least the one I played) had cards that looked store bought and was good enough to be very marketable but it is too costly for you to produce and sell yourself. You've been submitting the board games to Wizards of the Coast and the like but without particular luck so far.) You're selling role playing books in some retail stores, but you make almost nothing off the books in that way. You've put up a website, but people are more likely to buy things if they can see what they are buying or have heard of it before. How do you make money off of your work in order to continue to do what you love? How do you bring your work to the attention of the people that need to see it?
The challenge didn't really sink in to me until I sat in the dungeon room listening to figures of number of books made, cost of production, cost of sales by mail order, cost of sales in stores. (Some retail stores carry his books, but they take enough of a cut that he sells through retail stores in order simply to increase publicity.) To hear figures (which I no longer recollect) of numbers currently sold, of the cost of going to a convention in the Midwest and the number of books sold there. To hear success stories and troubles. The adds put in papers. The cost of a cover artist recognized in the field and the sort of contract you make with them.
I've done very little roleplaying and I cannot recall ever having used a role playing book aside from looking someone's last name up in a copy of my roommate's book on Monsters. So while I've sat and glanced through a book or two of his last summer I can't evaluate them. His novels I haven't read. But, I can solemnly vouch that the Pirate board game is definitely good enough to sell. Any board game in which you can enjoy loosing deserves to be sold on the market. ( An aside on dungeons. )
I post this because I thought you would find the problem interesting to think about and the dungeon neat. I want to post it because I would like to hear your input on how to advance these games both because I think some of you could in your words provide help (a number of you are very much into the roleplaying world and probably know useful things and can therefore both from your knowledge and intelligence provide helpful input) and because my (incorrigible) curiosity (as always) would be interested to know your thoughts on bringing ideas to market.