Friday, 5 February 2016

A Tiny Experiment

In the first issue of my forthcoming interview zine, A Random Encounter, I asked my interviewee if they had been given any particular advice about publishing or making games from others. They mentioned a couple of things, but one thing in particular jumped out to me:
It was James Raggi that told me not to just use Payhip but to make sure I used OneBookShelf because you get so many sales that way from people who are looking for something to buy and they just stumble across your product.
This was particularly interesting to me; I knew that my interviewee had released something on Payhip initially for pdf (and Lulu for print-on-demand), but it being on OneBookShelf had passed me by. They went on to say that they now got virtually no pdf sales via Payhip, it was all on OneBookShelf.

Oddpool has been on Payhip since September - and the last print copy is in the drawer just next to me if anyone has a few quid lying in their Paypal back pocket! - and Oddpool is small and niche. I didn't think it was necessarily worth me putting it on OneBookShelf, or if it was even possible for me to do it. But my interviewee's words kept coming back to me, and after I decided that I was going to make sure A Random Encounter was on OneBookShelf it dawned on me that it might be good to put Oddpool up there first, make sure I'd had a test run of checking all of the settings etc.

It was put up on OneBookShelf and approved just over nine days ago. I linked to it once or twice on G+, set it as pay-what-you-want with a suggested minimum of £1 and left it at that. I've mentioned Payhip quite a bit over the last five months, regularly - and hopefully non-annoyingly - reminding people that Oddpool is there. I checked in just now to see what the sales have been like on OneBookShelf up to last night.

Short version: OK, so I'm not a millionaire from a Pocketmod! But here's the comparison:

Payhip - available for five months - 43 PWYW sales, 7 paid, total revenue after fees = approx £5.
OneBookShelf - available for nine days - 89 PWYW sales, 7 paid, total revenue after OBS royalties = $7.05 = approx £4.87.

Small sums of money relatively speaking, and as a guy with a maths background I'm not going to jump up and make wild claims or extrapolate ("Oh my gosh, if I'd just used OBS for the last five months then I'd have earned so many $s!") - but clearly being on OneBookShelf makes a difference, I'm guessing most of all in terms of visibility. People are already there looking for pdfs to put in their basket and can see your title. I'll be interested to see how A Random Encounter fares, and am tempted to run another experiment, advertising the link on G+ for the print direct from me and for the pdf via Payhip, but putting it on OneBookShelf with little fanfare for the first month to see what happens. Worth doing?

Has anyone reading this done any experiments in terms of how they sell or make their work available?

PS - find out what other questions I ask my interviewee in the first issue of A Random Encounter, coming soon!
PPS - find out the identity of my interviewee next week!

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