The third Namespace volume was released on DriveThruRPG today. Wild West Names contains over one thousand male, one thousand female, and ten thousand surnames collated from 1860 to 1890 United States sources. The sixty page PDF provides pure names like the other Namespace editions and is priced at $0.89.
The price for Given Names from Medieval and Ancient Times and Surnames from Medieval and Ancient Times returned to non-sale pricing of $0.99 and 0.89 respectively. Alternatively, the Medieval volumes can be purchased as a bundle for $1.58.
Sales since the launch of the products have surpassed expectations including twenty two copies of the bundled volumes, ten copies of given names, and eight individual sales of surnames. The sales were sufficient to load up on some stock art to adorn the interior pages of the secret project for June.
Finally, the free Treasure Book on Demand was downloaded 185 times, dwarfing the for sale products. The book has always been free and will remain so. The release was intended to raise awareness of the Labyrinth Lord™ utilities available from Mithril & Mages to an audience who may not have seen them. Finally, TBoD was the only product to be rated and was pegged at 5 stars.
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.
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.
I updated the generation routine to insert the full page cover image from David. So half of the process is completed. I still need complete the layout for Gate of Smoke’s image, which is a bit trickier, since I have to add some of the cover elements in addition to his image. I should have Gate’s variant completed by the weekend if I don’t get visited by chaos monkeys. I have a much better understanding of how to approach fixed element layouts now. Obviously, when I have his variant encoded, the resulting cover will be randomly selected.
While adding the cover feature, I discovered the process chews up a significant amount of memory during the layout process. More memory than the hosting company allows. On demand books will now be generated on the venerable old pack mule, moosh.net. Users shouldn’t notice a difference other than an additional bit of latency while the data is transported over the crappy DSL connection. If you need it quick, grab one of the seven archived books, which are updated daily.
The art contest closed on June 30th. Two entries were posted. Both are well done and must have taken a substantial amount of effort. My skills as an art critic are non-existent and so I chose not to choose. Both entries will be awarded the top prize for the contest. Without further ado, here are the entries.
Gate of Smoke didn’t comment when posting his entry. The details in the image suggest the spoils of adventure do not come easily.
Victor commented on his full cover entry,
This was quite a challenge, but I had a blast putting it together. Next to monsters, D&D is all about treasure, so I wanted to pay proper tribute to the masters.
He paid a fine tribute from my perspective. For more from Dave, you can visit his blog, Ménage à Monster.
I do not have a website address for Gate but will link it when I do. You can see more of Gate’s art on his Deviant Art page.
Thanks again to both of the entrants.
I’ll get the artwork inserted into the generation system after I recover from my red-eye flight home from Alaska. My body desires multiple naps.