Saturday, June 2, 2012

May Numbers for GM Games

Crunching the numbers for the cost and sales for my little gaming neck of the woods.  Here is the following breakdown in sales for May.

The Manor sold 44 in print and 40 in PDF.  Knowledge Illuminates sold 5 PDF copies.

Cost of Making a Print Zine

Each zine costs 30 cents to make.  This includes an estimate of paper, card stock, ink and envelopes.  My envelopes were the highest cost at 20 cents each, but have since found some that are at 5 cents each.  Postage for the USA is 65 cents, cost to Canada is $1.30 and to the outside world I plop three creepy butterflies on costing $1.95.  I could reduce my costs slightly by going into the post office and doing each one individually, but it takes too much time and I always mess it up.  Then there are the Paypal fees, they take 40 cents from my US orders, 46 cents from the Canadian orders and 48 cents from my European orders.

Those three things are the immediate expenditures.  So here is the break down by region.
US Orders - Price $3.50 - Cost $1.35 - Profit $2.15
Canadian Orders - Price $4.00 - Cost $2.06 - Profit $1.94
European Orders - Price $4.50 - Cost $2.73 - Profit - $1.77

Here are the total sales by region.
US - 36 ($77.40)
CA - 1 ($1.94)
EU - 6 ($10.62)
Mis - 1 ($3.60) - a Matt Jackson special here.
Total - $93.56

Cost of a PDF Zine

This section is very easy because it don't matter one lick where you live.  One price for all.  And I only sell the the PDF on RPGNow and all its subsidiaries.  I am under the non-exclusive contract so they get 35% of the take and I get the remaining 65%.

Since I sold 40 in PDF at $2.50 a pop it makes the math easy.  I made $65 from the PDF version.  Oh, and throw in 5 copies of Knowledge Illuminates at $3.25, bringing the PDF total to 68.25

So combined it looks like I made $161.81.  Not shabby.  No retirement, but that will get me a pizza or two and allow me to buy a few other things people are writing out there.  But hold on one second.  The costs to produce the zine continues.  Now these costs are purely at my discretion where the ones above are almost inescapable.

Contributors Copies (or CC)
I think its good practice to send out anyone who contributed a print copy of the zine.  Or any product for that matter.  PDFs are fine, but really, a print copy should be the way to go.  I sent out copies to the artists and others who assisted with the zine, copies to my gaming group and of course one to my mom.  So when I call her she can say she got it and tell me its very good even though she doesn't understand it.  I also sent out  copies to a couple reviewers.  I sent 11 CCs.  The total cost of those 11 to send was $8.20.

Artist Costs
The OSR has a wealth of excellent artists who will to help out with your project.  The prices vary from "I'll just take a copy" on up.  I won't go into too much detail in this one because these guys were very generous, but I did want to send them something because without their help the zine isn't nearly as good.  And hey, artists like pizzas too.

Start Up Costs
Purchasing the start up gear is always going to set you back.  Plus, much of what you buy in not going to be used in the first issue, its for down the road.  So when I buy 250 red card stock covers and only send out 55 copies and I have 5 sitting that means I have 190 red card stock so it should be good for a couple of issues.  Of course I will be doing different colors so that cost will continue until the second time around.    Long arm staplers aren't cheap.  I got mine for about $30.  And buying the extra ink cartridges for printing.  Oh and I bought that cool stamper thingy.

So after all the start up costs, postage, production costs and fees I made -$108.70.  Yep, over a hundred dollars in the hole.  But no worries.  I have enough card stock for the next two issues (different colors), enough paper for a while, ink is stocked and stapler only needs purchased once I hope.  So the next issue I should peek my head out of the hole.

I want to thank everyone who ordered and hope you stick around for the second issue.  I've got some kick ass maps from Matt Jackson that will feature a cool adventure.  And if there is room, another installment of the ever strange Rural PA.


  1. Well done. I think you'll really notice a difference once you have a few issues out and the orders for back issues start coming in.

    US postage rates for sending stuff overseas are much cheaper than those in the UK. It would cost me about $3.70 to post a copy of The Manor from the UK to the US.

  2. Oublieditor Thanks. And wow, I didn't realize there was such a huge cost for postage in the UK. I'm looking forward to how it all develops.

  3. I love your transparency. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks for making the monetary sacrifice. I enjoyed Issue #1 and look forward to #2.

    I'm no expert, but anticipating profit on month two of a new enterprise has to be encouraging.

    Keep up the good work, Tim!