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Youngblood
07-06-2007, 06:32 PM
Hey all, I just completed my first book, but am extremely lost on what to do next.
First off, I have written a pencil/paper role-playing game (imagine Dungeons & Dragons if you aren't familiar with the table-top genre).
It is just over 200 pages with many pictures.
I also designed it using QuarkXPress 5.0.
Like I said, it is done, but I don't know the next steps as to how to get this on bookshelves. Considering the subject matter, the book is most suited for the shelves of comic book/hobby stores.
I know my target audience, but I don't how to reach them.
I would greatly appreciate any help that you could offer me on what my next steps should be.
-Tim

ResearchGuy
07-06-2007, 11:13 PM
Hey all, I just completed my first book, but am extremely lost on what to do next. . . .
Tim, your very next step should be to buy a copy of the latest edition (15th, 2006), of Dan Poynter's Self-Publishing Manual. Study it from beginning to end.

Please take my word on this. If you are interested in self-publishing, study that book.

BUT if you are open to normal commercial publishing (which I would urge as your first option), then spend serious time with the latest editions of Writer's Market and Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents and, if you can find it in a nearby library, Literary Marketplace. Study up on writing query letters and book proposals. Other books worth your time: Michael Larson, How to Get a Literary Agent, and Pam Brodowsky and Eric Neuhaus, Bulletproof Book Proposals.

Unless you want to be a businessperson first and foremost and have the necessary entrepreneurial skills, you do not want to self-publish.

Let me also recommend my own booklet, "The Pursuit of Publishing," http://www.lulu.com/content/740262 .

--Ken

Youngblood
07-07-2007, 12:54 AM
BUT if you are open to normal commercial publishing (which I would urge as your first option)

Thanks for the great reply. I probably should look into commercial publishing, since I am not very business savvy. My concern is that I'm not for sure how many more roadblocks I will have to pass through, considering my book is a pencil/paper roleplaying game and not a regular fictional book.
-Tim

ResearchGuy
07-07-2007, 01:18 AM
. . . My concern is that I'm not for sure how many more roadblocks I will have to pass through, considering my book is a pencil/paper roleplaying game and not a regular fictional book.
-Tim
Tim, you will probably have lots of roadblocks. So what? You do not have to get over, under, or around them all at once. Set the goal--and that is important, as a clear goal has wonderous effects in helping to focus and sustain efforts.

Can you picture thousands of people enjoying your book? Can you picture those people telling their familes and friends about it? Can you picture booksellers (whether in comic shops, game stores, gift shops, novelty stores, or regular book stores, or all of those) recommending your book to customers because it will be fun and entertaining for the customers or their families? Can you picture yourself enthusiastically telling people about this terrific book you have developed? Can you picture yourself written up in local newspapers as the author/designer of this great new roleplaying game book? Can you picture yourself explaining to an agent or a publisher why and how there is an audience for your book?

If you can do those things, you are on your way.

A practical suggestion: spend time in bookstores, hobby shops, comic stores, and other places that might carry anything comparable to your book. Scope out the competition. Figure out how your book fits into the market. And keep an eye out for publishers that are publishing anything at all comparable. Those are publishers you may want to target.

--Ken

Youngblood
07-26-2007, 12:44 AM
So I was thinking of this publishing model. Through my web site, I would offer people the chance to purchase a .pdf download or a hard copy through Lulu. I guess this would make me a self-publisher. How does this plan sound?
-Tim

ResearchGuy
07-26-2007, 06:32 PM
So I was thinking of this publishing model. Through my web site, I would offer people the chance to purchase a .pdf download or a hard copy through Lulu. I guess this would make me a self-publisher. How does this plan sound?
-Tim
FWIW, Lulu sells pdf downloads as well as printed books. You set the prices. See stores.lulu.com/kenumbach for my own examples. A page on my website has links to the Lulu pages for the items for sale there.

Unless you really want to deal with the mechanics of payment for pdf downloads, it is better to let Lulu handle that.

Now . . . marketing POD books and pdf downloads, there is the challenge.

--Ken

Youngblood
07-26-2007, 06:57 PM
FWIW, Lulu sells pdf downloads as well as printed books. You set the prices. See stores.lulu.com/kenumbach for my own examples. A page on my website has links to the Lulu pages for the items for sale there.

Unless you really want to deal with the mechanics of payment for pdf downloads, it is better to let Lulu handle that.

Now . . . marketing POD books and pdf downloads, there is the challenge.

--Ken

Thanks Ken.
Didn't know Lulu offered both. Good to know. Marketing would prove to be a challenge, no doubt about that. I'm not planning on quitting my day job for the profits. In fact, I really just want to put something "out there," regardless if it makes a dime.
As far as marketing, I would probably just travel to local hobby/comic book stores and ask them to promote the book, as well as going to conventions to sell copies.

Anthony Ravenscroft
07-27-2007, 06:46 AM
The "out there" mantra has made millions of bucks for companies from Vantage to PublishAmerica.

Have you really had much to do with the gaming industry...? You sound incredibly naive.

First: go to at least one RPG or sf/f convention per weekend for the next two-four years. Spend all day alternating selling your game with hosting mini-tournaments, with prizes. Then host a table from like 10 pm until sunrise, to run demo tournaments. With prizes. After maybe five years of this, people will start looking for you in the dealer's room; if you're fortunate, Year Two will be the first time you sell more copies than you give away.

Visit every gaming-related store within 100 miles of you on a weekly basis, hosting mini-tourneys with prizes. Make the nearest one your home base, maybe even "official headquarters," & host a serious day-long competition every two weeks at the outside. (With prizes.)

How's your playtesting gone? I've got friends who playtested everything from the original D&D to "Champions" to this goofy concept called "Magic" or something. There is simply no buzz to replace enthusiastic playtesters, especially since the Internet -- & I include the millions of bucks TSR blew on advertising.

veinglory
07-27-2007, 06:57 AM
Massive amounts of people self-publish RPGs and then there are the thousands of micro-presses in this area. Given the RPG market is largely brand loyal they are dividing a very small and picky market share. (How many micro-press and self-published RPGs do you own, your friends, anyone you know?) I would suggest at least trying to find a third party publisher.

Youngblood
07-28-2007, 09:27 PM
You sound incredibly naive.

That's why I am here ;)