Funding Question for the Community

This subforum is for discussion of the Iron Falcon Rules for Classic Fantasy Role-Playing. Maybe someday they'll have their own forum, but for now I'm keeping the discussion here.
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Solomoriah
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Funding Question for the Community

Post Sun Apr 14, 2019 11:33 pm

I'm considering my options for artwork in the Handbook of Monsters. I do believe I need to pay for art, since I make a profit from IF books. SO, given that fact, I'm considering how to fund it.

Specifically, I'm thinking about a Patreon. Anyone who wanted to help with artwork could donate. I think I'd have three "tiers" of supporters, at $1.00, $30.00, and $90.00 minimums. Those donating the smallest amounts would simply be supporting members, having some bragging rights but no special treatment; those paying at least $30.00 would get a listing in the relevant books as "Art Supporters" while those donating at least $90.00 would be listed at the TOP of the Art Supporters listing as Gold Level Art Supporters.

All money donated would be plowed into art, or into incidental expenses (such as the small handful of printed proofs I'm required to buy when publishing). I would promise at least 90% of the money would go directly to artists, with the non-binding intent to keep the number above 95%. (This is after the 5% deduction that Patreon takes, that is, the percentages are of the donations I actually receive, not the donations made by members). Contributors would be listed in the books their donations paid to illustrate.

Initially, I'd put the funds into illustrating the Handbook of Monsters; after I have it in print, I might start working on a new copy of the Core Rules with updated interior artwork. At some point my currently-in-progress project would get a spray of new art as well.

I would have final authority on artwork included or excluded. I won't allow anyone to take over editorial control just because they made a donation... it's still my project.

All of this would depend, of course, on whether or not sufficient donations were made. Right now, the artists I have polled are expecting $35.00 to $60.00 US for single pieces of artwork, with a couple of outliers offering works for as little as $15.00.

The Patreon funds would be used for artwork, as I say. I would not take a "cut" of this money in normal operation; if funding levels get too high, I might shut down the Patreon temporarily so that money does not build up inappropriately. I make a modest amount of money from the sale of the books... I do not need to make money from donations as well.

I do not plan to increase the prices of any of the books just because they get prettier, though it is possible I might raise prices slightly sometime soon (as IF sales are not quite quick enough right now to cover my modest promotional costs). I plan to keep paperback rulebooks below $10.00 on Amazon.com and at comparable levels on Lulu.com and RPGNow.com.

To be clear, then, Patreon donations to the IF project would fund artists almost directly. You would be rewarding not just me, but the artists who work with me.

What do you guys think? Is this a good idea, or a stinker?
My personal site: www.gonnerman.org
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teaman
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Re: Funding Question for the Community

Post Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:55 am

I sent you a PM Solo, and best of luck on the funding.
Teaman is the sole proprietor of Sharp Mountain Games at drivethrurpg.com. (Soon he'll be able to purchase the name brand peanut butter!). Come take a look if you have some time.

http://drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/8418 ... tain-Games
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Solomoriah
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Re: Funding Question for the Community

Post Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:24 pm

Hmm. So here's what I'm thinking right now. I will, of course, give away free art-free PDFs, nicely formatted (I've seen a lot of guys do the "art-free PDF" and do it badly, won't go there). A full-art PDF will probably retail for $5.00 or so; Patreon supporters who donate at least $2.00 would get that same PDF when it comes out (so effectively, preordering at a discount). I have no cost overhead (other than the art, of course) for the PDFs so this is a no-brainer.

The print book will likely retail under $10.00 in paperback, under $20.00 in hardback; Patreon supporters who donate at least $40.00 would receive the paperback plus the full-art PDF. Those who donate at least $90.00 would receive the hardback plus the full-art PDF. All of those would fulfill at least a month ahead of general release of the book to the public.

I might even declare a $175.00 level which is just like the $90.00 level, but the book is signed and numbered by me. I have to get more on that last one because I'll have to add some mailing costs on top... I can Prime-ship the books for free, but if I sign them, I have to pay to mail them out. Also means I'll have to limit contributions to places where I can reasonably ship.

Eh. Something like that anyway. Still working it out in my head.
My personal site: www.gonnerman.org
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chiisu81
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Re: Funding Question for the Community

Post Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:32 pm

(Asking as I have never used Patreon) Patreon is a monthly donation, correct? I think the values you've listed are a little too far apart. Also, I guess it will depend on how many people you get to sign up for whichever levels that will determine when (or if) you ever get enough artwork to "complete" first the monster book and then a new printing of the core rules.

The advantage of Patreon is of course it's ongoing, so you can have more time to get the word out, as well as potentially having more money come in over a longer period. The downside is that if this is to take quite awhile, esp. for wanting some (or most) to donate at the higher levels, is that they're gonna expect far more items/materials along the way. I know I would.

Your other option is of course Kickstarter. If you have a fixed goal, and are able to estimate the number of illustrations and the total cost of those among the artists you'd hire, then you'll have a set budget to try to raise. The upside is since you're offering the two Iron Falcon books you don't need to offer much if any stretch goals, upper tiers, etc. You could throw in signed copies, etc. as perks for those who'd pledge more. The downside of course is the fixed time period to run the campaign, and you'll need to make sure to hammer social media, blogs, etc. to get the word out.
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Solomoriah
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Re: Funding Question for the Community

Post Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:20 am

As I understand it, I can ask for donations per month or per project; I was looking at per project. Per month will make it much harder to figure out who to credit in which book.
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johndice
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Re: Funding Question for the Community

Post Sat Apr 20, 2019 1:38 pm

As an enthusiastic patron on patreon I love the idea of supporting you on patreon. However, I urge you to look at other patreons to see the dynamic of tier rewards and how they differ from simply receiving donations.

The best patreons make you feel you are supporting a artist making periodic unique gifts for you while striving for a common goal.

Random Encounters patreon is my personal favorite as far as OSR goes, and offers excellent 'return on investment' :p and also happens to be an amazing artist if you are looking for art.

If you have any questions I'd be happy to give my two cents on your patreon plans.

Cheerio
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teaman
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Re: Funding Question for the Community

Post Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:50 am

Another option is if the artists would be willing to mail you the original pieces, you could offer them for higher level subscribers.

Obviously that won't work for the digital art, but would for artists working more traditionally.

(Especially if they are strikingly handsome artists).
Teaman is the sole proprietor of Sharp Mountain Games at drivethrurpg.com. (Soon he'll be able to purchase the name brand peanut butter!). Come take a look if you have some time.

http://drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/8418 ... tain-Games
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