is the ttrpg market swamped now? could you write a winner?

gamerprinter

Mapper/Publisher
Whats the advantage of using a publishing company like yourself versus LuLu or is that two different things.
I don't know, I mean, if you're ready to self-publish, go for it, but the author and I worked together in the past, he trusted me and knew what I was capable at - so he felt I was the better choice. I'm experienced at it, and he's not perhaps - I don't know. Though I know he wanted my maps and deck plans. He didn't tell me otherwise, he just asked if I would. Another would-be author, saw me publishing for other people and struck up a conversation and I made the offer to him.

Probably because of the deal I make with the author. Lots of publishers hire authors and pay them X cents a word, or a limited time share in profits, or a royalty. When I wasn't an experienced publisher and wanted to develop my Kaidan setting, Steve Russell (RIP) the publisher let me keep the ownership of the setting (in my case), and a split 50:50 in profits - because Kaidan was my baby, and something I wasn't giving up IP or copyright on (so we shared copyright). Now adventure writers usually aren't doing IP work, like my project, but the adventure is their work, so should have some ownership. My deal with them - and I'm not trying to drum up author/designers (my hands are full already), but I split it down middle 50:50 in perpetude and show them the DTRPG monthly sales report to prove it. Since Steve did that for me, I pass it on.

Plus, I'm not just a "known publisher", most people know me for my maps. I've had a long and successful, freelance cartography career. I created the original hand-drawn map of the city of Kasai for The Empty Throne module of the Jade Regent AP (and wrote the city gazetteer, so I have Paizo street cred), almost every map for every AP in the last 6 years published by Legendary Games, are my maps. I've got over 1800 published maps. I even created all the multi-player maps for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Strategy Guide. I've done maps for @Morrus for EN5ider and W.O.I.N. So some writers just want my maps for their adventures, and perhaps a reason to come to me... here's a link to my Artstation Gallery, click the images to see entire directories of content. Most publishers don't start as mappers. I did.

Compared to Lulu - it's two different things. Sorry, I'm not trying to brag, rather just answering your question. And I cannot help decide advantage between Lulu and other publishers - I only know my story...
 
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Define "great".

Twilight and 50 Shades, as much as I find them to be drek, gave reading satisfaction to millions. They perforce must be great in some sense. Which is fine, because there is no general sense.
THIS^^^ As a former pro musician you have two choices, make something good or make something the average person will listen to. Rarely do they meet...
 


Market swamped??? By no means. After going to GenCon every year from 2005 - 2017 I can say there are literally hundreds released every year. Most never see the light of day, those that do rarely last. D&D, and Pathfinder are just about the longest lasting. Others come go and return, (Star Frontiers, Paranoia, C&C, T&T, Battletech, Star Wars, Star Trek) many just hang out on the fringes for years. As for SUCCESSFUL ttrpgs. There aren't many, especially with the small number of gamers that actually table up. But there is always room for more. Hell, in post 3e land there was a new one every week it seemed.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Whats the advantage of using a publishing company like yourself versus LuLu or is that two different things.
Generally publishing and writing are two very different skillsets and two very different jobs. It's good to decide whether you want to be publisher or a writer.

A publisher might have resources and an existing audience that you don't have. Plus the risk is on the publisher not you. A publisher will pay you to write it, then it's their problem whether it sells or not (unless you have a royalty arrangement), and depending on the publisher that might be more than you'd get by publishing it yourself. The publisher will do all the work of getting it edited, illustrated, layout, distributed.

Kickstarter skews that equation a lot these days though. It's a lot easier these days to publish it yourself because you can buy in the skills and resources needed with Kickstarter funds.
 



gamerprinter

Mapper/Publisher
One of the things I always do when I create a small product as the start of a new line of support products, I create the first one for free - usually a one-shot, but I go all out with top quality cover and interior art, maps, making it look exactly like a paid-for product, add in ad at the end to give some more value, then give it away for FREE. (Not pay-want-you-want, but FREE). I want people to look at my stuff, get a feel of it's quality, and look forward to paying for future products. It's been a successful means of getting exposure.
 

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