There’s a thread over on RPG.net where a designer asks what to do now that he’s finished his RPG. That’s all pretty standard stuff, but one of the responses was so good I’m going to re-post it here.
Here’s the rough formula I used; it may not be the best formula, but it worked for me.
1) Write a game. Lay it out in a simple, clean two-column format with some apposite stock art acquired from DTRPG. Use InDesign if you have an educator’s discount or a willingness to splurge for the best, and use Scribus if you want a free but less friendly alternative. Plan for POD from the start. It’s simple to turn a PDF into a book if you’ve planned the layout from the start. OneBookshelf’s print submission guidelines will tell you what you need to do.
2) Write a supplement or adventure for that game. You’re going to charge for this, because OBS is a business, and they need to make some profit off of at least oen product if they’re going to be serving up your free game on their website.
3) Get a publisher account set up with OneBookshelf. This takes about 24 hours and is free.
4) Load the game and supplement both as PDFs and as print files. Get the print proofs sent to you and have someone else look for problems too.
5) Put the game up for free and the supplement up for a modest price. Price the game POD at at least $25 and the supplement at at least $10 for anything more than 32 pages, and $15-$19 for larger supplements. Price the supplement PDF at half the print cost, and bundle a free PDF with the POD. Stay away from penny-ante PDF pricing; people who see $0.99 stuff tend to assume it’s shovelware, rightly or not.
6) Start selling.
7) Customers who download your free products end up added to your OBS mailing list if they choose to accept emails. This is why, after two years, there are about 6,500 people who’ll take my emails. These people are going to be your market, so treat them gently. One email per month, tops, and make sure you’ve got something meaningful to tell them when you do. Spamming customers is a guaranteed way to build hate.
8) Continue supporting your game with freebie products to keep people interested while you work on paying materials.
9) Abandon all life outside of your work.
There. A simple nine-step plan to earning slightly less per hour than you’d make at Burger King, except without as much social status.
I think that Heroes Against Darkness needs a print version, don’t you?
Heroes Against Darkness – Game Rules.