Publishing Advice - [Omnihedron] Year Two

Posted by: Neil Gow On: Sep 23rd 2010 edited

Taking a moment to crunch some simple numbers at the end of my second year of production, this is what I came up with:

Duty & Honour Lifetime (24m) Sales

Total 492

Looking at last years lifetime figure, 316 copies, I'm very pleased that second year sales have remained strong numbers-wise.

Beat to Quarters Lifetime (12m) Sales

Total 308

I'm exceptionally pleased with these figures. I've balanced up in my mind the fact that this is a second game for the system, so some would see it as a supplement rather than a stand alone game, and that there are some people, naturally, who would have bought D&H and not found it to their tastes. Therefore to maintain similar one year figures is very nice indeed.

Duty & Honour 1809 Miscellany Lifetime (18m) Sales

Total 240

Secretly, I think this is the one that pleases me the most. I believe received wisdom tells us that a supplement will sell about 33% of the original book? The Miscellany is around 50%.

All in all, 1040 units in total between the three products and a very happy publisher. Work on the 1810 Miscellany is coming to an end now, so the line is still growing and still seems to be popular. Mission accomplished. Set sail for home!


Posted by: Gregor Hutton On: Sep 23rd 2010

That is fantastic, Neil, and those direct numbers are pretty good from where I sit.

(No matter what any "real publisher" blowhard on the internet says, north of 500 copies is good for any RPG book, more so when you're not in distro, and around 250 is respectable for a supplement of pretty much any system that is not D&D, Pathfinder, etc.)

Posted by: Malcolm Craig On: Sep 24th 2010

I think you might well indulge in a well-deserved splicing of the mainbrace for such a performance!

It would be interesting to hear about the geographical spread of your sales, even if it's just an anecdotal "I've sold a few here, a few there, etc". As you're not with IPR, do you sell many books to North America? And how has Europe taken the games? Sold many to France?


Posted by: Neil Gow On: Sep 24th 2010

This is purely anecdotal.

Obviously the vast majority of the sales direct are within the UK. Elsewhere, I send a lot of books to Sweden, Germany and Australia. Direct sales seem to act like an infection. I send one book to a city and then a couple of weeks later I get a few orders for more books from the same city...!

I have had some sales to North America, but not a huge amount, however I keep an eye on the location of people who comment on threads and a lot of them are from the States, so I reckon thats down to pdf sales mostly.

A goodly proportion of those direct sales are through Leisure Games and Patriot Games. LG seem to shift a fair number of copies every couple of months, but obviously I cannot tell where they are going.

And no evidence of any sales to France yet. Colour me unsurprised!


Posted by: Gary Bowerbank On: Sep 28th 2010

Good work Neil. I thought your basic maths skills were when D&H Lifetime sales were 24 million, then I got what you meant...

Do you think the relatively low price point for the game means players are more likely to buy the book as well as the GM? I definitely think the amount of play time at conventions is a big factor too.

One of my current players has bought BtQ as we're playing it at the moment. Being a more traditional sort he doesn't really get what's supposed to happen from reading the book (its no Pathfinder), but he totally gets the game from seeing it in action.

Do you think there an elements of "that sounds interesting" from people having played it who then want to read about it? How much of your fan base would you guess at comes from Napoleonic or history buffs?

Realise its all guesswork, but intrested to hear your views...


Posted by: Neil Gow On: Sep 28th 2010

I definitely like to think that the relatively low price, especially of the pdfs, allows for someone who is 'Empire-curious' to pick it up and have a gander without much risk. One of the things I have planned is a downloadable intro adventure to give people a look at the game for free as well.

I do think, however, that the game doesn't act as the best manual for roleplaying out there. It makes an assumption that you sort of know what the gig is and thats probably something that could have been done better. Its definitely something that seems to spread virally through play and I am happy with that. Even if people only play it once and have a good time, thats well cool.

I do have a few known 'nap nerds' who have been attracted to the game and the entire Sharpe thing does seem to be a valid jumping on point for a number of people. I've been quite shocked (pleasantly so) that there has been a lot of latent Sharpe love in the community and that has fed sales.

I think one of the crucial factors for me has been being realistic about the scope of the market. Its very much the niche of a niche of a niche. As you said, its no Pathfinder!


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