Experimenting: Free for Free — Product Publicity

Apr 17, 2012
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A few days ago, I launched a product experiment by releasing the Medieval Names books for sale on DriveThruRPG. Once I’d figured out the process, I bundled both books for $0.98 and priced the individual titles at $0.59. Similar products provide far fewer names for more money. The response was quite positive. I’m not going to get rich but I’ll have a few extra bucks to spend on gaming materials.

Yesterday, I published the Labyrinth Lord Treasure Book on Demand as a free product. Based on feedback from the original consumers and posts on other sites, the TBoD is useful to many people. The book is neither pretty or ground breaking. Simply put, it contains treasure lists for the time challenged game master.

So why release it as a free product on a commercial site?

Two reasons – 1) I suck at marketing and 2) links from others confirm my ineptitude. The latter comments have included such gems as “great stuff but the guy doesn’t post anywhere – we need to get the word out”. I cannot disagree. I feel completely uncomfortable visiting sites only to promote what I’ve done. The entire idea of starting an account for the sole purpose of self promotion makes me shudder. I have the same feelings on social media sites. Those I use to connect with other like minded individuals — not spam them with my latest and greatest thought.

Tossing a free product onto a commercial site full of cool titles is likely to get lost in the noise, right? Not to mention its from a completely unknown “publisher” of gaming products. I trusted DriveThru to provide marketing. My trust was not misplaced. In fact, I had to start filtering sales notifications.

Bat Guano Crazy

Granted, these are free product notifications. My best day of hits on the same generation system is far less than the sales in a single day. I’ve long known Mithril & Mages was not known by the majority of the Labyrinth Lord community. The magnitude of the difference is shocking.

Oh yeah, those free books? They are marked page by page with the web address. I might still suck at the marketing front but a few more folks know about me.

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