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Has DTRPG abandoned small creators?

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squirewaldo
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Has DTRPG abandoned small creators?

Post by squirewaldo »

I have been posting self-produced sets of rules on DTRPG and its associated sites, wargames and RPGS, for years. What I loved about DTRPG was how they not only allowed us little guys to submit our stuff but also supported us.

That seems to have changed. I don't want to complain. DTRPG is still an awesome resource for creators, but... I have noticed that it is not supporting small producers. Specifically, on the front page I used to have my products listed in the ' Exclusively on DriveThruRPG.com' section quite often. Now my products just don't show up at all. With that I have also seen my sales go down by 90%. This began in February 2022.

Just curious what others think/know.

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randalls
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Re: Has DTRPG abandoned small creators?

Post by randalls »

squirewaldo wrote:
Thu Jul 07, 2022 9:05 pm

Specifically, on the front page I used to have my products listed in the ' Exclusively on DriveThruRPG.com' section quite often. Now my products just don't show up at all. With that I have also seen my sales go down by 90%. This began in February 2022.

I can't say much as:

a) I don't have an exclusive setup with OBS so my stuff has never appeared on the "Exclusively on" section.

b) Sales have always been small and very variable for me, but -- on average -- they seem about the same as in the (post Google+) past. Especially as I haven't released anything new in a year or so -- and don't have any real plans for new releases in the future. Selling games was always just a way to pay my wife's medical debt. That's paid now so I imagine if I do ever release a new game, it will be free just like they used to be. It's less hassle.

c) Speaking of Google+, the only big drop in sales for me had nothing to do with any changes at OBS. It came when Google killed Google+ and the OSR lost the only platform almost everyone was on. My sales never really recovered from that. At best, they are maybe 50%-60% of what they before Google+ died. Of course, that's probably my fault as I'm not much of a social networking person. Most of the non-Google+ platforms annoy me to the point I just don't use them very much (Facebook -- and I'm only there because because family and a few old friends are on there) or at all (everything not Facebook).

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RandallS
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Designer: Microlite74, Microlite75, Microlite78, Microlite81, Microlite20 OSS, and others
Compiler: The Microlite20 RPG Collection
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squirewaldo
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Re: Has DTRPG abandoned small creators?

Post by squirewaldo »

randalls wrote:
Sat Jul 09, 2022 8:32 am

a) I don't have an exclusive setup with OBS so my stuff has never appeared on the "Exclusively on" section.

I chose early on to give DTRPG exclusive rights to distribute my gaming products and I was very pleased with the results. I have used Amazon in the past for some things, but DTRPG and its sister sites are so focused on gaming I thought that it would be a better place to put my gaming related work. Plus I get a higher commission.

Initially it was a good decision for me. Now I am questioning that. Again, they seem to be abandoning small producers who give them exclusivity in favor of larger publishers who do not. And that may very well be the wisest choice for them. However, it forces me to question my decision to give them exclusivity since they are no longer giving me the support that they used to. In my mind it was part of the bargain... they are free to change their policies, but then I must decide how to proceed myself. Amazon has a similar offer of exclusivity in exchange for higher royalties and greater support -- they too have changed their levels of support for exclusivity.

What to do???

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squirewaldo
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Re: Has DTRPG abandoned small creators?

Post by squirewaldo »

I guess my real question is what should I do to fix it if it can be fixed at all?

For instance, my covers used to be simple and boring... perhaps even ugly. I just didn't know how to make a cover. I have worked hard to make my covers a bit more appealing, but they are still clearly amateur. I don't see the point of paying someone hundreds of dollars to make a fancy cover for a book that will not make much money. I guess it is a chicken vs egg issue though... If you don't find a way to produce a fancy cover you are not going to sell anything, and if you don't sell anything you cannot afford a fancy cover.

I wonder if that is what is happening to my products? Have they been re-classified by DTRPG as unappealing and thus relegated to never being shown anymore? Or is it something else? Ah the mysteries of the internet!

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Re: Has DTRPG abandoned small creators?

Post by randalls »

squirewaldo wrote:
Thu Jul 14, 2022 10:18 am

For instance, my covers used to be simple and boring... perhaps even ugly. I just didn't know how to make a cover. I have worked hard to make my covers a bit more appealing, but they are still clearly amateur.

Looking through the Exclusive row on DrivethruRPG just now, I'm seeing lots of simple covers and even a couple of products with no cover at all. So I doubt that's the cause or at least the sole cause. That said, can you post a link to your products on Drivethru so I can look at your covers. I'm not a great cover designer, but I would be happy to look and see if I have any suggestions. A cover is what attracts attention much of the time when people are just scrolling through products.

I wonder if that is what is happening to my products? Have they been re-classified by DTRPG as unappealing and thus relegated to never being shown anymore? Or is it something else? Ah the mysteries of the internet!

I seldom have to contact their staff, but when I have, I've found them generally forthcoming and trying to be helpful. Perhaps you should drop them an email saying you used to see your products on the exclusive area on the front page fairly often , but haven't see them there at all since February (or whenever) and ask them you've just been unlucky in a random rotation or if something has changed in the rotation system and if there is something you need to do make your products more likely to appear there.

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RandallS
Playing and Gamemastering Tabletop RPGs Since 1975
Designer: Microlite74, Microlite75, Microlite78, Microlite81, Microlite20 OSS, and others
Compiler: The Microlite20 RPG Collection
Administrator: Rules Light RPGs

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