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2017 in Review: Dancing Lights Press

Earlier I ran some sales reports, to see which of my books have sold the most copies. I also threw some data into a spreadsheet to see month-over-month which books have long tails and continue to sell, and which have a release spike and then die off. The idea is to get a feel for the sorts of things I should focus my attention on, and what really isn’t worth a lot of effort in the long term. The results didn’t surprise me, but it’s nice to have data to support my hunches.

What I refer to as the “self-help” books, guides for writers and game designers, are all the highest-volume sellers. Actual games are in the bottom. I’m pulling together more data to validate why that it, but I know in my gut. There’s not a lot of the kind of stuff that sells the best for me. I’m filling niche that hasn’t been tapped out yet. There’s already a glut of games, and a lot more competition. This was why I made the sudden pivot back in October, away from games and toward the Foragers Guild Guides. It’s just business. I have to pay the bills.

As much as I want to finish Witchfinder Covenant, my game about witchcraft during the English Civil War, it’s going to be a lot more work for not much return. I have some ideas on how to retool it, but for now it’s a hot rod in my garage that I tinker with once in a while.

Starlight Manifesto is effectively dead at the moment. The Season 1 Campaign Book didn’t sell well enough to make it worthwhile to continue with the other seasons. Maybe in the future, after I get some other things accomplished. It’s another hot rod in the garage for now.

I would really like to do more with Revelations in Cold Iron, but it is literally the worst-selling book in the catalog. People either love it or hate it, but there aren’t enough of either to make it take off in any meaningful way.

The future of the Lighthouse Roleplaying System lies with the Foragers Guild. There will be a Foragers Guild RPG at some point that’s built on that engine. Then any future games will be built on the iteration of Lighthouse used by the FGRPG. A lot of the things that I wanted to develop into individual games will get fantasy-ized and folded into a theoretical FGRPG line. Because let’s face it, the fantasy genre is the 800 pound gorilla in this hobby.

If this comes off as a little defeatist, it really isn’t. The rent is getting paid. While I’m not getting to do everything that I’d like to do creatively, the business is becoming stronger and more stable. I’ve got something here, and I’m going to continue to run with it.

Published in The Invisible College of Blogs

One Comment

  1. I’ll go ahead and save the notes and ideas I have for the Starlight Manifesto spin-off, Discovery Station 7. You know, for later.

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