Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Guest Blog Post - A Product A Week, Are You Crazy?!? by Hyrum Savage

This one is a little special to me.  I have known Hyrum for years and would consider him a GREAT guy and someone you should meet in the RPG industry.  So here was nice enough to do this guest blog post for me.  Just incase you don't know Hyrum here is his bio and background:

Hyrum Savage is the Marketing and Organized Play manager for Paizo Publishing, a leading publisher of fantasy roleplaying games, accessories, board games, and novels. Paizo's Pathfinder® Roleplaying Game, the result of the largest open playtest in the history of tabletop gaming, is one of the best-selling tabletop RPGs in today's market. Pathfinder Adventure Path is the most popular and best-selling monthly product in the tabletop RPG industry. Paizo.com is the leading online hobby retail store, offering tens of thousands of products from a variety of publishers to customers all over the world. In the eight years since its founding, Paizo Publishing has received more than forty major awards and has grown to become one of the most influential companies in the hobby games industry.

Now on to the good stuff...

A Product A Week, Are You Crazy?!?

Those were the thoughts running through my head last year when Stan! and I were talking about ways to move Super Genius Games forward. Pathfinder had just been released a couple of months earlier at Gen Con 2009 and while we had been releasing books for Call of Cthulhu, we were both excited about Pathfinder and wanted to find a way to support it. The question was how to do it. We talked about various strategies, looked around to see what other publishers were doing, and ultimately we decided that short, focused PDF’s, priced appropriately was the way to go. And that’s where Owen came in. Stan! and I knew that we would need help if we were going to be able to pull this after, and since it was going to be Pathfinder, we knew Owen would be the perfect choice to help us pull this crazy idea off. Stan gave Owen a call, deals were made, contracts were signed, and the ride began.

Once we had the team in place we needed to decide on just how often we’d release a product. Looking around for inspiration, we saw comic books and “Comic Book Wednesday”, and we looked to Mr. LPJ, the fine owner of this blog. See, Louis has been doing something similar to what we were planning: short, focused PDF’s that were priced below $5. We took those two ideas and the Super Genius release schedule was born. That first month we earned enough to throw a Super Genius pizza party, not large amounts of money, but money. And while I can’t get into specific sales numbers here, let’s just say that at the end of my last month with Super Genius sales were beyond good. And here’s where some simple business truth comes into play. When you give customers a good product, at a good price, week after week, they’ll support you. Don’t let me fool you though, it hasn’t been easy. In fact, it’s been incredibly difficult to not miss a deadline, and there were a few weeks we thought we might. It meant late nights, early mornings, and a lot of Skype calls to iron out problems. But we did it. And now that I’m at Paizo, the Geniuses are still doing it, week after week, releasing one great product after another. In fact, to celebrate this the Geniuses are having a 52 Books in 52 Weeks sale, with everything Super Genius 52% off. Head on over to Paizo.com to check it out, the sale runs through the end of November.

I’m no longer with the Geniuses, but I’ll fondly remember those days forever. What started as a one off comment during a planning meeting turned into a roller coaster ride that ended with me working at Paizo, and the Geniuses dominating the sales charts. So the next time you have that crazy idea, give it some serious thought, it might not be so crazy after all.

Once again thanks Hyrum for do this guest post of In the Mind of a Mad Man.  Talk to you later...