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Monday, 5 October 2015

Re-thinking Everything We Assume About RPG Self-Publishing

I read an interesting article the other day, written by a guy who realized some hard truths about his work in the game publishing hobby.

What's said here applies to RPGs just as much.  There's this STUPID fucking idea that everyone has to be their own publisher (that, as with most stupid ideas in RPGs, came out of the Forge).  But why?

I wouldn't be any good at it, nor would I like doing it.  Other people, who might be good publishers, are shit writers or game designers.  It would be much smarter for the hobby if there was a mix of "publisher guys", "game designer guys" and a few who might be both.

The problem most people have with that route is that they don't think they could get someone else on board with their game.  But like the article says: if you can't do that, your game probably sucks.  I've never had a problem getting people to publish my games, and maybe part of that is because I'm internet hobby-famous, but another part is that my games kick ass.

If you present an interesting enough idea, you'll find someone who'll want to take a chance on teaming up with you to publish it.


Currently Smoking: Mastro De Paja Bent Apple + Dunhill Early Morning


  1. You're right. It's not for everyone. A lot of people can't or shouldn't do both. However, today's technology has made it far easier to self-publish than ever before. PDFs and print-on-demand are a dream for guys like me who don't want to handle the minutia of taking orders, going to the printer, shipping, etc.

    I shopped Liberation of the Demon Slayer around to a dozen suitable publishers and only found one dude who was interested in helping me. But then it turned out he was no help at all and pulled a bit of a Dwimmermount on some other project of his.

    So, in the end, I'm glad that I forged Kort'thalis Publishing on my own. I don't always do the greatest job, but the work exists, I'm proud of it, and I get a regular (albeit modest) stream of money for my trouble.

    1. Your work is good, in terms of publishing quality. But there are some of us that just don't want to be publishers.
      I wonder if there are some people who maybe are publishers, but wish they could publish more stuff they didn't have to write themselves?

    2. I wouldn't mind either having my operation folded in with someone else's, because I am a crappy graphic designer and an even worse marketer. Sadly, I've not been accomplished/successful enough for anyone to be interested, (There was a time when I said that the last thing I wanted to be was a publisher, but then I fell out of the RPG biz but still wanted to write and design and have my stuff read and enjoyed.)