Tag Archives: publishing - Page 2

My Personal Domesday

As easy as it has become to self-publish your RPG, it’s still a fairly daunting prospect. There’s a lot you have to learn and, for the most part, you’re going to have to teach yourself. Sometimes it’s difficult to see what things really cost and how much money you can reasonably expect to make. Fortunately there are many publishers who are willing to share what they’ve learned along the way, helping those of us who are new to the industry with the first steps. Fred Hicks is practically famous for this: regularly revealing Evil Hat’s quarterly sales figures, and providing spreadsheet breakdowns of cost comparisons between print-on-demand vendors. The transparency of small-press and self-published outfits is a boon to anyone looking to join those ranks.

So, in that spirit, I want to share the story of the publication of Chronica Feudalis, my first RPG published in print, and Cellar Games, LLC, the company I started to publish it. I am not claiming to be an expert at this – I don’t know that I’ve fumbled through this process better than anyone else has – but having freshly traversed this ground and by revealing the real numbers behind the process, I hope to provide a solid reference for those who find themselves where I was only a few months ago.

I start a lot of things. Not counting the novels, screenplays, and video game designs, I’ve started writing at least 6 different role-playing games with unique and fairly fleshed-out systems. Chronica Feudalis was begun – practically on a dare by my girlfriend – as an exercise in trying to finish something. My first notes (a skill list and a rough outline) were sketched out in late September of 2008. My plan even then was to bring it to Gen Con Indy in August of 2009.
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