Thursday, January 27, 2022

A Year in RPG Self Publishing: Year 2

Have you ever wondered if there's any money in indie RPGs? 

Have you considered making a break into the industry, or just want to earn a little extra cash on the side?

In this second annual report of my run at “making it” in RPGs, I will endeavor to answer these questions and more. I will break down how I spent my year, what I published, things I learned, and get into concrete financial realities.

I entered 2021 earning $1 an hour publishing pamphlet adventures, and I’m beginning the new year with a Kickstarter in the top 100 TTRPG crowdfunding campaigns of all time ($370,000 pledged and climbing). Let’s examine what happened in between.

I leaped into full-time RPG work last year, focusing heavily on my own publishing efforts. I ran my first Kickstarter campaign, published three zines and one pamphlet for the Mothership RPG, and started a business to house it all. 

I also grappled with chronic health issues under the mounting weight of responsibility, uncertainty, and alienation. My hobby fully metamorphosed into a job and now threatens to become a career. I gambled on a massive project that will ultimately consume two years of my life. I played almost no games for fun.

As I did in my first annual report for 2020 (which you should read if you want to hear how I got my start), I’ll begin by analyzing my 2021 RPG finances. From there, we’ll move onto a summary of this year’s lessons learned—the growing pains of a tiny publisher becoming a small publisher. Finally, I’ll walk you through a brutally honest and grounded look at my entire year month-by-month to share the highs and lows of RPG self-publishing.

Financial Realities

Barring illness and the odd holiday, I worked every single day this year on my projects. I rode a wave of intense Kickstarter management crunch into intense Kickstarter fulfillment crunch into… intense Kickstarter management crunch once again. Conservatively, I worked an average of 50-60 hours per week on RPGs. It is my sole source of income. Let’s see how well I did, shall we?

2021 RPG Publishing Income

Kickstarter: $15500
Physical Sales: $20000
Digital Sales: $5000
TOTAL: $40500
That’s 9 times more than I made in 2020. My direct physical sales grew by a whopping 1300%, while my digital sales failed to double—despite the total value of my digital portfolio tripling. Before we move onto my costs for 2021, let’s take a closer look at where my income came from.

Wholesale is King

As a small creator without a massive following or storefront of your own, the most viable sales path is wholesale (bulk sales at usually 50% off) to indie-oriented RPG storefronts. About half of my non-Kickstarter physical sales came from wholesale orders by Exalted Funeral. Tuesday Knight Games (who only sell Mothership material) accounts for most of the remaining figure, and smaller orders to indie shops like Spear Witch, Monkey’s Paw Games, Four Rogues, and others comprise the rest. 

Late in the year I sent some of my zines to Indie Press Revolution which operates on a consignment basis (pays out quarterly at a higher percent based on actual sales figures). I made around $1000 from their store over a few months, and despite the initial learning curve setting things up in their backend—the more passive arrangement seems to be working well.

What about Digital? 

Despite switching over to promoting my storefront as my primary digital platform, DriveThruRPG sales managed to surpass itch’s by around 30% (after accounting for fees). DriveThru’s platform simply offers better (or rather, any) promotional and discovery tools to a seemingly much larger RPG user base, but I’m glad to funnel direct traffic to itch given their much lower cut.

Back Catalogs Pay Dividends

Of that $40,000 figure, I earned around $4000 on digital and physical sales of material published in 2020. As I grow as a creator, I continue to reach new audiences who discover my old along with my new material. Those long term sales may seem small, but when considering net income (as we’ll soon see) they form an invaluable base of low-overhead profits to survive on.

2021 RPG Publishing Costs

Commissions & Royalties: $10500
Printing costs: $7500
Platform & Payment Processing Fees: $4500
Shipping & Misc. Costs: $1500
TOTAL: $24000

Making games is expensive. 

It’s more expensive if you have neither art nor design skills. Most of my commission expenses went towards illustration and graphic design for my zines (but it was more than worth it), with a smaller chunk paying for writing and editing. Zine printing is generally cheap, pamphlets surprisingly less so. Fees take thousands of little bites out of what you have left.

That means I made $16,500 net profit working full time in RPGs in 2021. Before taxes.


Taking the low end of my estimated 50-60 work week, I made around $6.50/hr last year. That’s half of minimum wage where I live, less than I made working at a summer camp as a teenager. 

In my recap post for 2020, I rationalized and fudged the numbers to produce a more attractive $7/hr from the genuine $1/hr tally. I could do that here—I spent thousands of dollars in 2021 and dedicated most of my labor to a project funding in 2022, but that was also the case last year.
The truth is that it’s hard to make a living in RPGs. Social, artistic, and financial capital takes a long time to build up steam, and despite wild successes and a massive amount of help along the way—I’m still not making a living wage. However, I’m proud of what I accomplished in 2021 and I’m feeling pretty good about my position heading into 2022. Let’s take a brief look at some of the other metrics we can use to quantify my headway:


I’ve heard it said that emails are the most valuable commodity in RPG sales. It’s true. I didn’t get my newsletter up and running until December 2021, and I’m kicking myself for not doing it sooner. However, if you’re selling games you might have access to a solid list already. Let’s take a look at some stats:

Anodyne Direct Newsletter Subscribers: 152
DriveThruRPG Email-able Customers: 1287 Email-able Customers: 439 Followers: 506
Backerkit Launch Subscribers: 2686

DriveThruRPG Email-able Customers

There’s a limit on what you can use this for, but you can promote DTRPG releases and even crowdfunding campaigns (if fulfilled at least digitally through them) to your entire customer base via email. It’s not quite solid gold because you can’t ethically/legally import this list to your personal newsletter, but it’s a very solid number and has netted me thousands of dollars across two Kickstarter campaigns. Email-able Customers

This works similarly to DTRPG, but only goes out to purchasers of an individual product. Choose the product with the highest number of purchasers, and fire away. More numbers to feed the conversion furnace. Followers

This one’s trickier, because you can’t directly contact this list. What it does do is notify followers whenever you publicly list a new product on itch. You can use this as a roundabout newsletter by creating placeholder pages for upcoming products, which they can then wishlist (or click through to a crowdfunding campaign).

Backerkit Launch Subscribers

These are blood-emails. These people clicked on paid ads for my currently live Kickstarter, Hull Breach (before it went live), then signed up to be notified about the project on a Backerkit-run landing page. I’ll dig into this more in a project post-mortem, but these emails made our project. This mighty chunk cost me about $5000 (paid after the KS ends), a month’s worth of expertly directed ads. They’re currently sitting at 40% conversion, around 25% of our Kickstarter’s total funds. AND I get to keep those emails for future projects. Emails are everything.

One of our Hull Breach ads. Several Facebook users disapproved of our Dead Space homage.

Social Media

Both the bane and boon of independent creators everywhere. I approach social media from as professional a perspective as possible, and I still weather frequent eddies of parasocial anxiety and bitter frustration from its use. I plan to cover social media more in a future blog post on marketing, but in short: use Twitter no more than you have to, it’s mostly a distraction. Here’s my stats:

Twitter Followers: 1186
Instagram Followers: 209
Facebook Followers: 64
Reddit Points: ~34,000
Discord Pings: 0 (mute everything!)

Twitter demands most of my time and energy, but the majority of my traceable success comes from Reddit*—and all work and meaningful social interactions occur on Discord. I’ve gradually built my Twitter account to four digits over years of avoiding discourse and carefully sharing cool things from cool people. It feels a little like a pyrrhic victory. I made an Instagram only recently to promote my new Kickstarter, and a Facebook page for my company because that is a requirement to run ads there.

*Using Hull Breach for an example: I've made $6000 total from dozens of Twitter posts after years of building a platform there, and $10000 from a few reddit posts—no followers required.

The Financial Future

From year one to year two of self-publishing my RPG content, I’ve raised my annual net income by about 1300% and my hourly wages by 650%. Can I expect similarly explosive growth from 2022? There are a lot of unknown variables with any Kickstarter, and Hull Breach is orders of magnitude more complex and risky than my previous campaign. With paid advertising complicating profit margins and materials costs skyrocketing, I’ll end up taking home a modest fraction of the total. 1300% income growth might be unrealistic, but I feel optimistic about crossing the poverty line.

So, what does this all mean? Should you abandon your job and strike west for the indie gold rush? Well, no. But there’s something here if you work at it, and a glimmer of hope if you have no alternatives.

Lessons Learned

Big Projects Work Better

There’s a reason why the biggest players in the RPG industry put out A4 hardback after A4 hardback. Big, hardcover books just sell better. On an indie scale, this feels counterintuitive: cheap zine printing results in better profit margins, you can charge more for a zine per page/word count than a hardcover, zines just feel easier and more approachable. 

However, operating on an indie scale also means that you have limited time for project management and promotion. I’ve previously speculated that running a crowdfunding campaign (or any major release effort) is more or less a fixed time investment, regardless of project size. Hull Breach confirmed that. Doing fewer, bigger projects lets you spend way more of your time actually making the book and less doing all the miserable logistics and marketing tasks. There’s other very good reasons too, like paid advertising being way more effective for expensive items and promotional metrics benefiting the already-big-sellers the most.

Hull Breach stats. With The Drain's $11 average pledge, paid ads would be impossible.
That’s not to say you should set your eyes on a 300 page hardcover for your first publication. You first need skills, connections, reputation, following, and capital to mitigate the substantial risk. But for a small-medium sized publisher with their feet under them, going bigger is the more efficient move. I still like zines, though.

Start an Imprint Sooner than Later 

Until very recently, I published everything under my own name. This led to a little confusion when I started developing and publishing zines written by other people, like Picket Line Tango and Meat Grinder. To correct that issue and head off future mistakes, I started an LLC: Anodyne Printware.
Anodyne acts as not only my publishing brand, but as a shield from real or imagined legal threats. As a business entity, it also lets me do handy things like open a business bank account and establish credit separately from my own. If you’re thinking about establishing a publishing company in the US, an LLC is the least tax-complicated way to do so.

Choose Your Commission Battles 

When you’re first starting out, taking commissioned work is an excellent way to build skills and reputation—but you’ll quickly find that even high commission rates for indie RPGs pale in comparison to long term sales. But that’s not to say you should ditch commissions entirely once you have an imprint going. Working for other people is a good way to supplement long independent release cycles, make friends and connections, and help get your name out there.

2021 in Self-Publishing


I began the year in the thick of Kickstarter preparation. I was gearing up to run my first ever crowdfunding campaign for my first ever RPG zine, The Drain. As I prepared, I learned. I learned the Kickstarter backend, explored a post-campaign pledge manager program, plumbed the depths of international tax law and small business ownership, and probably a few other disciplines my stress-addled brain has since repressed. Using Kickstarter for the first time is like taking an immersive language course while juggling and singing opera.

At the same time, I helped organize the crew of 3rd party Mothership creators who were also running projects during Zine Quest 3 (6 of us all told). We swapped feedback on each other’s campaign page previews, prepared cross-promotional Kickstarter updates, and supplied Tuesday Knight Games with convenient press kit material to boost us in the 1st party Mothership newsletter and social media posts. Those efforts paid off—4 of the top 10 Zine Quest 3 projects (by both funding and backer count) were Mothership zines.


In February I ran my Kickstarter. I funded within the first hour on launch day. In a fit of childlike giddiness, I celebrated by building a snow fort in my front yard. I rode that exhilaration to the very end of my campaign, churning out a book’s worth of campaign updates and blog posts over two weeks. Then, as Fort Kickstarter melted into a gray slurry, I too crumbled.

The Kickstarter come-down is hard. After my campaign ended, I almost immediately sunk into a deep depression and my chronic health issues spiraled out of control. It didn’t help that, as I learned, a Kickstarter project never truly ends. You have the pledge manager to worry about, the customer support questions, the mental blow of unexpected fees and losses (like failed pledge collections). You trade the anxiety of one number (funding totals) for another (survey completion rate).

The good news was that my Kickstarter went well. Very well. I had over 1400 backers, raised more than $15000, and blew past even my highest expectations several fold. You can find more insights into my first crowdfunding experience in my post-mortem writeup for The Drain here

When my Kickstarter ended, I got to enjoy the other projects funding for Zine Quest. The creativity on display was astounding. I think I backed something to the tune of 20 projects.


After a proper post-campaign wallow, I got back to work. I shepherded the last bits of art and final layout tweaks into The Drain. I also cranked out all the custom game content I promised to backers at my highest pledge tier—by the time I finished, I’d written a whole second zine’s worth of new creatures, tables, and mechanics.

Not satisfied with my already oppressive workload, I managed to start two brand new projects in March. I had been encouraging my best friend Emily (who’d contributed a sci-fi horror legal contract prop to a 2020 project of mine) to work on something new for Mothership. With a bit of prodding, she got started writing a murder mystery scenario that I would help her develop and publish—Picket Line Tango.
Since the end of 2020, members of the 3rd party Mothership Discord server had been discussing doing some sort of collaborative anthology project to follow up The Third sector from that year. In March, I started taking concrete steps to make that a reality. After volunteering to publish the project, I kicked organizational efforts into high gear by drawing up a project framework and assembling a design team. We christened the project with a name: Hull Breach.


In April we built the foundations upon which Hull Breach now stands. We created a design style guide and aesthetic vision, gathered a group of incredible artists and kicked off writing efforts. The contributor list grew to nearly 30 members.

Picket Line Tango gained a designer in Eric K. Hill and artist in Roque Romero. Together, they hashed out a gorgeous Saul Bass inspired aesthetic that still gives me the chills to behold. Meanwhile, Emily and I launched into heavy development and playtesting. The mystery scenario proved the toughest design challenge I’d faced, and we produced, scraped, and overhauled more drafts than I can count. The effort was worth it—it’s undoubtedly the best adventure I’ve ever worked on.

Postcards From Cable Street, a charity project benefiting UK anti-fascist groups released in April. I had written a very weird Troika adventure for the project in 2020, and it was really cool to see the final book. I hope our donations did some good.

I managed to wrap up work on some of The Drain’s stretch goal material and ordered a printed proof. The finish line was in sight. Little did I know, major problems were waiting right around the corner to beat me up and take my lunch money.


Starting in May, I began development on Hull Breach articles. In addition to handling the logistical, marketing, and publishing concerns for the project—I wanted a direct creative hand in ensuring every article was the best possible version we could produce. My article development process ended up looking something like this:
  • Comment up the initial rough draft with high-level suggestions and meet with the author to discuss possible directions.
  • Review the 2nd draft, and provide feedback on what to address in playtesting.
  • In some cases, playtest the content myself.
  • Meet with the author to discuss playtesting and review player feedback.
  • Comment up the post-playtesting rough draft with more granular, detail-oriented suggestions.
  • Send the final draft off to our editing team.
  • Review the edited manuscript before sending it to layout.

I repeated this process for each of the 25+ articles in Hull Breach. Development became a constant backdrop to the rest of my work, new drafts constantly cycling in and out of my to-do list. Though challenging, I’m incredibly proud of the work all the authors and I put into these articles. Mothership fans might come for our art and layout, but I’m very confident they’ll stay for the written content.

Also in May, we released Picket Line Tango! After the bombast and anxieties of The Drain, a non-Kickstarter release felt bittersweet. The slower sales and harsh 50% wholesale price of a direct-retail release contrasted starkly with the rush of crowdfunding. After a second print run a few months after release, I can nearly pay myself for my development and production labor 9 months later. On the other hand, the release was comparatively painless—releasing its grip on my life after a few days rather than half a year.

June loomed on my calendar, and with it—the promised fulfillment date for The Drain. I’d prepared all the custom written content that would go on the posters for my highest-pledge-tier backers, but I still needed to find a way to apply it to the page. I had initially planned to handwrite each piece onto the posters, but discovered that my inner ear condition left me dizzy to the point of incapacitation when writing even a few lines. Scrambling to find an alternative solution, I discovered printable, iron-on transfer paper. A little emergency layout later from my savior Meredith Silver, and we averted that crisis.

Results of the transfer paper process. I think it came out really well!


The less said about June 2021, the better. The company running my post-campaign pledge manager sent a critical update to my backers with a major error that added a heap of additional customer support concerns to my plate. A misprint on one of my projects led to a considerable financial loss, and amidst deteriorating health issues I blew up one of my closest friendships.

I still managed to fulfill The Drain on time.


A major victory behind me, I forged on with Hull Breach’s development and production. With the help of Matt Umland who I recruited to aid me in project management, we started putting out feelers to print and fulfillment companies. I found a little time to begin planning out my own written contributions to the project.

We also made headway on the two adventure expansions for The Drain funded by stretch goals. For the sequel adventure Meat Grinder, we plunged into the world of 90s demonic FPS games with evocative writing by Sigmacastell and retro game manual influenced layout stylings by Meredith Silver. We managed to snag a spectacularly big get for Meat Grinder’s art, one of my favorite contemporary illustrators—Codex Noirmatic
For the prequel adventure Wrath of God, I re-assembled the team from The Third Sector (Ribston Pippin and Eric K. Hill) to create some pixel-y goodness. We had a lot of fun with both projects, and I think it shows in the final results.

I also revived my blog from months of neglect and began a series sharing what I’ve learned of crowdfunding fulfillment. I’m grateful to past me, as I still frequently reference my own posts when saddling up for new projects.


Hull Breach art and layout progressed to the point that it started to resemble a book rather than a conspiracy of notes spread across documents and Discord channels. It felt real for the first time.

In the background, our 3rd party Mothership publishing community continued to develop and flourish. To help give our group a sense of identity (and just for fun), I commissioned Meredith Silver to make us a logo. The 3rd Sector Collective was born.
Logo in hand, we ran a recruitment drive to locate people who were just starting out in their 3rd party Mothership development process—as they would most benefit from the community’s shared knowledge. Up until this point, I had owned the Discord server where the group primarily communicated and organized. As the server grew and I took the position of publisher for several of the members, I decided to divest myself of power and handed server ownership off to another active member. 

I’m happy to say that the community continues to flourish under the impetus of its awesome members. I can’t wait to see what they create in 2022.


September was a month of releases. We wrapped up and pushed out both Meat Grinder and Wrath of God to backers, and later the wider world. Meat Grinder saw a spectacularly fancy handcrafted printrun from L.F. OSR—my copy is one of my most prized possessions.

In a fit of pique, I decided to host a game jam on Burned out from my push to get those adventures out, I wanted a lower stakes outlet to have a bit of fun. My game jam restricted all participants to ONLY use MS Paint (or an equivalent basic program) for layout on their project. Despite the very silly premise and garish landing page, FORTY-EIGHT people submitted projects to the MS Paint TTRPG Jam. The creativity on display absolutely floored me, and I’m so grateful to everyone for joining me in this ridiculous exercise.
For my part, wrote a little 1-on-1 game and adventure about surviving on an island (influenced by my binging survival TV shows like Survivorman and Alone). I’ve hidden the game from my main catalog to not embarrass my professionally laid out offerings, but I’m happy with how it turned out. Maybe someone even played it!

This month, I also took my first proper vacation in years. I spent a long weekend at the beach. For the first time in as long as I could remember, I didn’t feel horrendously sick. I should do that more often.


Finally free from the obligations of one Kickstarter, I turned my sole focus to the next. With the Mothership Boxed Set Kickstarter campaign dates announced, we chose a date for Hull Breach—not too soon, avoiding the holidays, not stepping on Zine Quest’s (now Zine Month’) toes. January 4th.

We officially announced Hull Breach on October 21st. Our pre-launch page climbed to over 1000 followers after 1 week.

Meanwhile, I was getting financially organized for the largest work endeavor I’d ever embarked upon in my life. I formed an LLC, opened bank accounts, revised payment methods. I commissioned Meredith Silver to make a logo for my new company and publishing imprint. I became Anodyne Printware.


The calm before the storm. As the Mothership Boxed Set Kickstarter campaign smashed records, we paused Hull Breach promotional efforts to give them some space. Our Kickstarter’s follower account nonetheless continued to rise, thanks in no small part to a Boxed Set campaign update shoutout from Sean McCoy.

Seizing on the promotional lull, we gave the book’s content one final push before putting down our pens and putting all our efforts into building and managing our Kickstarter. Our book which had started out as a 60-page zine had become a 200+ page hardcover.
Realizing far too late that I should have done so years ago, I started a newsletter. If you’re an RPG creator and you don’t have a newsletter, the first thing you should do after finishing reading this post (and leaving a friendly comment :) is start one. As someone much younger said many thousands of words ago, emails are everything.


December was a sprint to the finish line. We made a website for Hull Breach, complete with a complex ARG (that I might write about more in a future post). We built the Kickstarter campaign page. We partnered up with Backerkit and launched a major ad campaign. We finalized all print and logistics plans, pledge prices, and stretch goals, created our KS video and graphical assets, prepared announcement posts and press releases, outlined campaign updates, and so, so much more.

We tried to have a little fun with our campaign page graphics.

During all this, Kickstarter decided to announce they were “moving to the blockchain” in the most vague and infuriatingly tone deaf way imaginable. The community response was swift and harsh. Many on social media expressed their frustration with Kickstarter, but others lashed out and put the onus of change on creators. 

Mere weeks out from launching a Kickstarter with a terrifyingly high budget and dozens of contributors dependent upon its success, the online vitriol put me in the hospital with stroke-like symptoms. Between the hospitalization, my incapacitated condition, side-effect-heavy medications, multiple terrifying potential diagnoses and constant testing, I lost an entire week of work. Thankfully, my diagnosis turned out to be relatively benign (give or take a little nerve damage)—but I experienced what was possibly the worst week of my life.

More importantly, I couldn’t afford to lose a week of work. When the last test came back negative and my strength returned, in manic desperation I dove into 80+ hour work weeks. I finished the campaign page quite literally hours before launch.


Reviewing these notes, I find it difficult to believe all that happened in one year. I successfully ran and fulfilled my first Kickstarter. I published 4 Mothership adventures (not to mention my two 1st party Mothership adventures released in 2021). I started a company. I wrote 8 blog posts and 25 Kickstarter updates. I produced and developed a 200 page book.

In my RPG self-publishing recap for 2020, I finished by saying I felt confident about being able to support myself through RPG work alone. This year, I learned that for a fact. After two years of making games and writing adventures for tabletop RPGs, Hull Breach has ensured that I will be able to pay myself a living wage doing what I love. I’m looking forward to next year.

If you haven't yet, at least give our Kickstarter video a watch. It's pretty good.

In the coming months, expect a thorough (possibly multi-part) post-mortem on Hull Breach. I intend to break down exactly how we did what we did, what costs and logistics are involved in a large Kickstarter like ours, and what we’d do differently next time. I’ve also been percolating over a “how to market your RPG” blog post for many months now, but waited until I had my first experience with paid ads to give a more usefully rounded perspective. That should be out soon, too.

As an aside, I apologize for leaving this blog fallow the last few months. As you now know, I’ve been quite busy of late! If you’re a returning visitor, you might notice the visual facelift (courtesy of Meredith Silver). Let me know what you think about the new look!

Until next time.


  1. Damn... Congratulations and thanks for sharing this. Is really valuable.

  2. Super valuable, very honest post - I appreciate it so much!

    My question for you, if you are up for sharing, is: Was that $16k in profit essentially all you were paid in the year? Did you have to live off of $16k entirely I suppose is my question? As someone looking to build a job of it in the way you are doing, that number seems really hard to support myself off of (of course, a partner having income or other factors like living with family or something could make that more tenable).

  3. Awesome story. Thank you. I'm looking forward to reading more, learning more.

  4. Well there's yer problem.

    Thanks for the information, but there are two things that need to be considered here:

    1: Most small business startups take 2-5 years of more than 40 hours per week to get into the black, where they make more money than they cost. You have already passed that line. As you build name recognition, you tend to get more money with less advertising.

    2: RPGs are weird because the customer base will pay obscene amounts of money for anything but the game itself. They'll pay hundreds on dice towers, on dice, on miniatures and so on, but they will typically try to avoid paying anything for the actual game. If you want to make a reasonable income in RPGs, then relying on the game won't work that well, you generally have to use it as leverage to lead people into buying the supporting materials instead. That you were able to make a profit off the games themselves is surprisingly impressive.

    But yeah, just trying to sell RPGs and nothing else? And PRINTED copies (which accounts for over half your expenses) at that? Yeah, it's... not likely you'll make a profit off that unless you really push yourself to a 60 hour work week as is normal in video game design. If you want more money for less work, focus on the supplemental material, that's where the money is. The game itself is just a doorway to the rest, as frustrating as that may be.

    1. I think that's probably true for some RPGs, but I disagree that you can't make money just printing books and zines! Some people have done that very successfully recently, see: The Mothership 1st Edition Boxed Set and Herbalist's Primer.

    2. Obviously it's possible, since you did turn a profit after all, it's just going to be vastly more time and effort for lower payout comparatively is all.

      If you keep working at it and keep building reputation, showing you provide good quality products and people start to recognize your name, then you can eventually do pretty well for yourself and cut back on the hours a bit. I'd guess this year, if you maintained about the same workload, you'd wind up with a better net profit and better per-hour income, and within a few years would be able to live quite comfortably on such. The issue is just that you basically need to get to the reputation of someone like John Harper, where you can be guaranteed a fairly sizable fanbase with each consistent release.

      Again, can totally be done, but also again with that same reputation you'd probably make more selling miniatures than the actual games. It's not going to prevent me from making the games though, and I doubt it'll stop you either, it's just something to be aware of and accept that this is a decision being made where you're giving up some degree of profit for the opportunity to work on the stuff you personally want to make. As long as you're true to yourself in this, I don't see an issue with it and it can work just fine.

  5. Love this post! I own my own TTRPG publishing company (Headless Hydra Press) and reading this makes me feel less alone haha. Love the transparency and congratulations on the super successful Kickstarter!

    1. I'm so glad it was helpful for you! I definitely empathize with the sense of alone-ness.

  6. Fascinating insight thank you, just like last year's. Good luck for 2022.

  7. Excellent post, extremely informative and detailed. Thanks for putting this up! Hopes for the best of luck in the future ahead!

  8. Much obliged, Ian. Saw this on Reddit, been sitting on it for more than half a year.

    Combining your business notes (emails, LLC, wholesale, printing) with more research, aiming to follow in your footsteps. Thank you for doing so much pathfinding in this regard!