ePublishing 101, Tales of the Far West & Sundry Updates

Back in 2006, Phil Reed (then the man behind Ronin Arts, and now Chief Operating Officer and Managing Editor of Steve Jackson Games) and I collaborated on a subscription-based series called ePublishing 101, a tutorial on every aspect of doing business as a PDF publisher in the hobby games industry, covering topics from planning and production to release and marketing, and everything in between. The hobby games industry was an early adopter of the digital publishing model, and Phil and I had been among the spearhead of that movement. In 2007, we assembled the various articles into a book, which we published in PDF and via Print-on-Demand on Lulu.

Of course, in the five years since we released the book version, things have changed. Considerably.

Since 2007, digital publishing has gone from a niche-market oddity to a revolution in the traditional publishing industry, up-ending entire business models and creating a viable alternative for independent creators. It has disrupted the entire industry, created new business models, and new success stories… in short, everything that it did in the hobby games industry, writ on a larger scale.

The early adopters have valuable lessons that we learned along the way — solutions to problems which the larger digital publishing world are only just encountering. In addition, the tools and methods available to digital publishers have changed (several times over) in the past five years. So, I’m pleased to announce that this Summer, I’ll be releasing a 2nd edition of ePublishing 101, expanded and revised to focus on more than just the hobby games niche. The still-applicable original materials from Phil and I will be annotated to reflect changes in technology and markets, and joined by tons of new material on every aspect of today’s digital publishing frontier.

Keep an eye out for further announcements.

In other news, TALES OF THE FAR WEST has been out now for about a week and a half. How is it doing? Well, setting aside the 700+ copies that went out to our Kickstarter backers, it’s selling really well for a first release from an independent. As of today, our numbers look like this:

Amazon Kindle: 83 copies
Amazon Print: 28 copies
Barnes & Noble Nook: 12 copies
DriveThruFiction: 71 copies
Far West webstore (digital): 6 copies
Far West webstore (print): 2 copies

And again, that’s not counting the 700+ Kickstarter backers. Not bad for less than 2 weeks. I am especially impressed by the performance of DriveThru (although, given the tie-in to the Adventure Game, I suppose I should’ve expected that). Overall, I’m very pleased.

One last thing: As a brief follow-up to yesterday’s blog post, where I mentioned the continued success of Kickstarter, citing Order of Stick’s half-million: How about a MILLION in a day? That appears to be where Double Fine Adventure is headed. The point-and-click adventure game launched yesterday, made it’s 400K goal in 8 hours, and is currently approaching 900K…. more than on-pace to hit one million dollars in its first day of funding. It still has over a month to go.

Today, Kickstarter congratulated the Elevation Dock as its first one-million-dollar project… and it’s looking like they’ll have TWO such projects before the day is out… and Double Fine will have only taken a day to reach that goal.

Somehow, the word “Amazing” doesn’t seem to do this justice.

So this is future. Pretty cool, all in all.

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