Tag Archives: brainstorming

Brainfarts: Selling adverts in RPG Ebooks: Can it work? Can you make it viable?

2 Jun

So, more thinking out loud here, I’m going to talk about something that is virtually non existent in RPG ebook media as far as I am aware, which could either be a real pain for me, or a real bonus.

To recap, while before I could advertise my own projects, material and goods etc on the WP blog platform, if I got caught advertising any other persons stuff without monetisation, I’d have been shut down, never to return. This restriction did not apply to my ebooks, in which I can publish whatever the fuck I like (with restrictions on dodgy material and such) however many pages I want, there is freedom to advertise anything.

Now the advertising word is my oyster, so to speak.

Sure, a couple of people moaned about me adding adverts at the back for my products, but the rest have said nothing. Whether it’s a sign of apathy, or that no one cares that I’m sticking the ads in at the end, listening to the vocal few is always a bad thing, so I’ll plump for the apathy angle instead.

Hear this idea out, then you can discuss, comment and chip in with your own thoughts.

These ads cost me nothing to put in, so why not make some cash by letting others do the same? So, before the nay sayer’s chip in and yap about it’s not worth it to advertise in my PDFs, why then, did plenty of real hobby advertisers opt to advertise in last years Grinning Skull Compendium 2016 if it’s no good to do so? Even so it was offered by me to do it for free, if there were no value to advertisers, then why bother? That is because, it is a good idea.

You might think that even so my releases don’t sell into the thousands usually, you forget that these adverts are classed as being in the niche subject of direct targeted adverts. With that the value goes up, the chance of response also goes up and job is done.

Since the idea was taken up with the compendium, why not take this forward and try again, only this time lets try and get it to pay. A full A5 sized page ad (half A4 page size) could be expensive to pay for, but as I am not a huge name publisher, I’m willing to keep the price low. Also I’d be inclined to offer the ad in each new small PDF release until 2018 as incentive to advertisers. Maybe selling myself short? but, as they cost me nothing to include, then I think this adds extra value to tempt niche advertisers to part with their cash. How much? $20 seems reasonable to me for almost seven months worth of promotion in a niche hobby publication.

Now while many advertisers were happy to take the free offer, how many would be willing to pay for the privilage? $20 is hardly anything for a whole 7 months worth of ads (and beyond if you consider that the PDFs will contain the ads whilst in that edition) I’d limit it, to the first 20 advertisers to take up such offer, and negotiate any others after that (space providing, and smaller ad, maybe $15 for a quarter page for same amount of time) I’d draft a template letter, containing the details, then isolate 100 potential niche hobby companies and potential advertisers, and send the offer. This would then be easy to log the results, maximise the potential of filling the schedule and net a possible $400+. Noice!

Can it be done? Will anyone be brave enough to be included and pathe the way for my grand future plan? (not telling just yet) Who can tell?

The reason for this transparency, is that I want to show those of you out there, that indeed there are other ways around situations like this, and to prove or fail in the attempt. Sure, I could do this in secret, try it myself and not publish how it worked or didn’t, but since this is an experiment, I wanted to share what happens in case you are in a similar situation and would like to do the same. I’m nice like that, you know, and want you all to know that I care about you all so much! Apart from that man at the back picking his nose, I don’t like him!!

So, what are your thoughts? Good idea? Bad idea? Is there any validity? Are there any small publishers like myself who have an opinion on this?

As ever, comment, share, and get a conversation going. I’d love to hear your opinions!

Let me know what you think, would you like me to try it? Would you try it?

Brainstorming: Grinning Skull digest anyone?

9 Mar

Just taking a brief respite in my sculpting and model making to say something…So, this has been rattling around in my head for a while, ignore the title of the post, that just implies the basis of the idea rather than the outcome, so to speak.
Whilst I like the computer world and it’s weirdness of the web, the myriad of different thoughts, opinions and voices that aren’t stifled by censorship and big corporations and such like, what I dislike a lot is Ebook type publications. My problem with them is that I have a hard time getting into them and having a good read, maybe an ebook reader or tablet is in order for me, but for the time being, it’s a no go.
I like real books and mags, that tactile feel of turning the page, the smell of the print, and the ability to read wherever
you want. for me and others, books will never go out of fashion.
So, what am I harping on about? Well, even so there are lots of great small press wargaming publications available for free and low priced, the electronic nature of them puts me of. I want to read stuff in places there isn’t going to be a recharge point, or plug socket, even sat on the bog! I want stuff in print!
What I am partial to, is reading other peoples blogs, there are tons of really great articles on them, from all parts of the wargaming world, the blog writers put some great material out there, most of them are far from professional writers, but they still produce great stuff regardless.
Now even so I enjoy the occasional foray into the historical bits, I’m a scifi/fantasy nut when it comes to my wargaming, which is why I enjoy blogs from likeminded people, it seems to be the only real place that one can get access to this kind of reading matter nowadays. But, I’d much prefer it in print form. I still hanker for the days of independent games magazines of old, and while I realise that these times are gone due to the dwindling numbers of the buying public, I still think that there are plenty of us old guard left that would support some kind of small press publication I’m imagining, something dedicated to the scifi and fantasy end of the wargaming hobby, but I’m not thinking about it being in the form of a magazine, rather a softback book.
OK, I’m thinking a compendium of sorts, articles, How to’s, Tutorials, fiction, interviews, reviews, a bit of art and cartoons and so forth, all contained in a publication dedicated to scifi and fantasy wargames. Hell, you could even stick some quick rulesets in there too, there doesn’t need to be rhyme or reason to tie it together with themes, the only coherent theme would be around scifi and fantasy wargaming.
It wouldn’t have to be a regular magazine type of periodical, even if it were successful it doesn’t need to be more often than one year at a time. Just a stand alone book, or a digest dedicated to the independent scifi & fantasy miniature wargaming scene.
So how to produce this “digest”? Ignore my post title, I wouldn’t ever think of naming it the grinning skull digest, that was merely to get my message across, it wouldn’t matter too much what it was called, only the concept is important.
I think everyone has at least one or two great articles in them, even myself. That’s how I would envision starting to get the volume of material needed for something like this. All it would need is a group of likeminded people behind the idea, everyone involved would get full credit for their involvement, I would imagine that while new original material would be preferred, a bulk of what you’d need could be reproduced (with permission and consent) from the web from their original writers.
I’d like to think that the many independent miniature firms could be involved a great deal, and by allowing them to showcase their own rulesets, miniatures and such, a lot of additional material could be collated for the book, after all it’s free advertising allowing them to showcase their stuff and may reach new audiences and customers. Same goes for blog owners and writers, artists and photographers, and many other folks eager to show off what they are capable of.

Alright, you know that money is going to come into play at some point, but with the event of print on demand and things like kickstarter, now making stuff like this is even more easy to do than it ever was, so while cash is great, it doesn’t have to be a big issue. Besides, if there was any money raised from the book, it could be donated to charity to save any hassle, or put into the next one if it were deemed to go that in direction. No real money ever need to change hands, nobody needs to get paid, self promotion far exceeds the price or cost.
All I’m saying is that an idea like this could be good, it’s not set in stone, nor am I saying it’ll work out as cut and dried as I’ve set out. I’m simply just trying to start a dialog and discuss if it could be done.
I’d be up for involvement, and I’d happily donate my skills to it, but whether anyone else feels the same way is another matter. It was just an idea that’s been floating about for a while in my noggin.

So, hopefully I have put my point across, and now I’d like to throw the ball over to you lot, please lets start a conversation to the how’s and why’s, yeses and no’s and so on. Go on, feel free to stick your oar in and have a say, you
don’t even need to have a vested interest to jump in with an opinion. Have your say, please. If you think it wouldn’t work, just say, if you would change something, say it. All opinions are valid (apart from anyone acting like a dick, keep it constructive please!)

I never said it was ever going to be easy….

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