Thursday, December 31, 2015

State of Rite Publishing 2015

2nd Best Year Ever.

It will always be a hard to top 2013, the year of the Lords of Gossamer & Shadow (Diceless) Kickstarter & its retail release. The core book is an evergreen product for us as are many of the supplements. Nevertheless, 2015 had the highest amount of retail sales in out 8 year history. I am well pleased.

This year saw us continue release a small setting product each month, supported greatly by Matt Banach’s work on his series of short inexpensive Gossamer Worlds PDFS, Gossamer Worlds: GlimmerGloam becoming a best-seller. I even published Matt’s crazy idea of an entire gaming product written in poetic verse, GossamerWorlds: Poetica Mundi, to great critical acclaim.   

I also got the opportunity to work with Rob Donoghue again with his excellent work on Lucien’s Guide: Legends & Lies, plus we brought on H.M. “Dain” Lybarger who wrote Threats: Secrets of the Annunaki and my personally favorite projects, Gossamer Words: Planet Fiction, so you could ally or become the enemy of Sherlock Holmes along with many other fictional characters.

Finally, we have also started shipping the Kickstarter for our second Icon Deck of cards, to allow GMs and Players to have representations of Icons in the Lords of Gossamer & Shadow game or Trumps in their Amber Diceless games. DrivethruCards really does amazing quality cards, I could not have done this project without them.

For Diceless 2016, we will see the release of The Long Walk: Life On The Grand Stair, a massive supplement which will come out of editing next quarter. Addendum Shapeshifting which is in mock layout now. The retail release of the second Icon Deck, an Adventure written by me, and of course more Gossamer Worlds. I also hope to do one or two compilation print books. And launch a new Kickstarter once the Long Walk is complete and in everyone’s hands.

We released our supplement to our ENnie Award wining game/adventure The Demolished Ones, as Robert N. Emerson gave us A Fly In The Ointment, which to me is really an enhancement to the original story rather than a traditional supplement giving you a new experience if you run the adventure a second time.

13th Age
We jumped into a new license this year with support for The 13th Age, and while its sales are not as strong as Pathfinder or Diceless, our strongest showing being 101 Feats and Talents, it is profitable for us and we will continue to do so through 2016.

Speaking of 2016 look out for the Book of Icons and the Taskshaper.

5th Edition
While there is no official license for 5th Edition, I have chosen to follow the model of Goodman Games and many other publishers and release content under the existing OGL, as there is virtually nothing in 5th Edition that was not published in one format or another during the d20 ERA by one company or another.

As such Ed Kabara has done a number of products for us from 101 1st LevelSpells to The Breaking of Forstor Nagar, and I look forward to him doing more and more.

In 2016 I hope to bring another 5e expert on board to create some additional products for us.  

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
We had some amazing success in 2016, I was especially pleased to release the largest product we have ever done with Faces of the Tarnished Souk: An Npc Collection. Its really an amazing book doing what I wanted, and succeeding where I felt every other book of Npcs had failed.  Completely both the Kickstarter and then its retail release is something every small publisher longs for in the modern era of publishing. For a micro press like me, it’s amazing.

Another big milestone was the Martial Arts Guidebook completion after a long arduous production (I will never use Indieagogo again); we have released to our backers the PDF and are shipping the signed Print copies. The retail PDF has gained the highest critical acclaim from Thilo “Endzeitgeist” Graff with a 5/5 start + seal of approval and being recommended for his best for 2015.   I am more than well pleased.

We also saw financial success, with such products The Secrets of the Iron Titan, which let folks, finally play the construct character they wanted to. The Kaiju Codex, which brought Godzilla and Pacific Rim to your Pathfinder game. Along with great new ideas like the 101 Environment Spell Series by Dave Paul who has gone from being our go-to-editor to being a major writing force with this series.

Speaking of Dave Paul the editor, we launched our Patreon this year for our PathwaysE-zine. Allowing us to add two additional paid articles by some of the greatest talents in the industry. As always by using a different cover artist every month, we give work to new talent that micropress publishers can afford, and allow them to demonstrate the quality of work they can do on a deadline.  

This also allows us to find some of the best artists in our freelance stable like Dennis Darmody, Ernanda Souza, and Juan Diego Dianderes. Plus it allowed us to find new talents this year like Lee Pfenniger, Melvin Chan, and Manuel Castanon. I however never seem to have enough work for all the artists I love so if you a publisher check these folks out and give them some work.

We also launched a great Kickstarter this year with In the Company of Dragons, upgrading the original small PDF, that allows you to play a dragon right alongside other PCs, into a much larger book, we already have the manuscript complete and its off in editing land so we are on schedule to release it in 2016.

We also had big fun with our April fools product In the Company of Gelatinous Cubes, because who doesn’t want to play Jell-O.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the skill of Tommi Salama’s Rite Map Packs and his amazing cartography. I really enjoy every time we get to put one of these out. He has taken the Pathfinder Rpg community by storm as I swear I now see his cartography everywhere I look.

No year is perfect, and Rite Publishing has failures like any other company. I always believe in transparency, we acknowledge our mistakes, learn from them, and move not to make them again in the future.

Kaidan Campaign Setting (PFRPG): Never start a Kickstarter without the manuscript being done.  If you do don’t every allow the burden to fall all on one author, bring in others, a singular vision is awesome but you can break the writer. Also because it’s taken so long we have lost or original artists for the project. This manuscript is done, edited, and the mock layout is done. We are now moving forward with artwork. Therefore, this is a production timeline failure, but not a failure as a product and will like the martial arts guidebook will become a success in 2016.

Adventure Quarterly (PFRPG): This is another timeline failure, not a product failure, as the adventures, art, and cartography have been stellar. We do an amazing job putting Pathways out on time every month, but I fail to get AQ out every quarter. Once issue # 8 is complete, Robert N Emerson (editor-in-chief) and I will be making changes with Adventure Quarterly so that we can fix this problem.

Gossamer Options: Characters (Diceless): I should not be an editor. I don’t have the time or the skill to be great at this. This book needed a better editor than me and any failings on its part are due to my failures as an editor and developer. It’s not a bad book, but it’s the weakest of the Diceless line, and we have set that bar so high that a standard book like this ends up coming out weak.

The Long Walk: Life On The Grand Stair (Diceless): This is a failure of timeline again, projects sometimes just get behind, it is in editing now and will come out of that next quarter, but what I should have done on this from the beginning was bring a second experienced writer in to assist with this book from day one. It’s sadly the same mistake I made on Kaidan, putting too much on one author and one editor. Now that we are past all of it, it’s an awesome manuscript, heck I am running the adventure as part of my home game. I am really looking forward to publishing this one.

So the big lessons from 2016, don’t be afraid to use multiple authors on large projects, don’t be afraid to bruise someone’s ego by bringing in another author late in a project (even your own) because you are saving their sanity and your own. Oh yeah, and I am not allowed to be an editor.

The Future
I want to do things with PFRPG Occult Adventures maybe a 1920s Noir Chicago adventure path, I want to do the Gateway Pass adventure series, where your PCs never leave the local outpost and the adventure comes to you.  I want to publish more In the Company of (Rakshasa, Daemons, Demons, Devils, & Unicorns) next year.

I want to do a Bestiary for Lords of Gossamer & Shadow (Diceless) probably a Kickstarter. A series were we detail a single world in the Shatterlight series. See some fiction written for the game system, plus a guide to powers series, along with continuing the Gossamer Worlds, Threats, and Lucien’s Guide Series.

On a personal note, I hope to finish my novel Tartarus: A Superhuman Prison.

No comments:

Post a Comment