Archive for June, 2011

June 21 2011 Update

| June 21st, 2011 | No Comments »

No, I have not stopped working on the Digital Download Experiment; in fact there are some very cool things happening behind the scenes. We’ve opened a dialogue with the fine folks at One Book Shelf about it. More information as it becomes available!

Last weekend was my last day working the part-time job at the game store. My wife has officially stopped working at her current job and we are in full-blown get-the-house-ready-to-sell mode. So naturally, after three years in the house without any problems the master bathroom started to leak and now the ceiling of the living room has a big water splotch. The plumber is coming over today to find the cause of the leak but for sure we will be painting the entire ceiling, which totally SUCKS cuz I was trying to avoid that.

My wife and her parents got the basement painted so now it’s up to me to put in the new flooring which I’ll be doing this week. After we finish all that we will finally be able to actually put the house up for sale!

On the publishing front I got my first check for Fantasy Firearms in the mail. While I can’t sneeze at the amount I will admit I was somewhat disappointed in the total number of units sold so far. I went with Mongoose because of their experience getting products into the market and their name recognition, but all that apparently wasn’t enough to get as many books sold the first quarter as I was hoping. We’ll see how the summer picks up, what with GenCon coming up and all.

I put up the new RPG Battlechangers last night from Chris Field and Otherverse Games. That one looks like a lot of fun, I have to admit. Chris has several more products on deck as well so look for them soon. I also saw on Chris Fields website that he’s thinking of doing a Pathfinder Modern rule set. I was initially against it as I was *sure* Paizo was going to do it, but there wasn’t even a rumor of it coming out of Paizo Con last week. So I told Chris I think it’s a great idea and offered to help if he wanted it. I have a ton of art and plenty of content. I’ll keep you posted, but even if Chris goes it alone I can’t think of any writers I know of that can make the old D20 Modern rules “sing” like Chris can; he’ll bring the fresh and deliver a top-notch system if anyone can. Yes, I pledged to the Kinckstarter that the Super Genius guys were trying to do, but $70,000 is a lot of scratch to put up for a RPG project. There are those guys (I forget the company name off the top of my head) who *OWN* the Psionics rules for Pathfinder; so why not Chris Field for a P-Modern version?

I spent an hour yesterday at my credit union setting up a business account because they didn’t want to take the $60 check that Paizo wrote me for last month’s earnings. (Even though I’ve been depositing small checks for about a year now.) So anyway, I now have an “Official” Skortched Urf’ Studios business checking account. (They had some trouble pronouncing it at the credit union!) So someone please tel me why Paizo can’t just send me funds via PayPal like everyone else in the free world? Come on guys, get with the program. I love the prestige of having a checking account with checks and an ATM card and all, but I write out like three checks a year since everything else is on a bill pay service or paid via credit or debit card. Paizo, you guys really need to move into the 21st century instead of mailing checks out to everyone.

Well, that’s about all for now. More info soon!


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A Big Update -Boston here I come!

| June 1st, 2011 | No Comments »

Well, as the three people that read this Blog know (Hi Mom!) my wife has been looking for a job. Well, she found one! She recently graduated with a Masters in Public Health and that landed her a job in Boston at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. She is *incredibly* excited about it since she went to college in Boston and loves the area. She was offered enough money that it doesn’t make any sense to stay here in VA, so we’re moving!

The company I work for full time has their HQ in Bedford, MA so I’m seeing what I can do to transfer up there. But even if I can’t right away, her new income will allow me to find another job or *possibly* go full time with Skortched Urf’ Studios. We’re still crunching the numbers and beating the bushes within the company to see if I can swing a transfer so I can keep my full-time income; which is plan ‘A’. (Though plan ‘B’ with me publishing and writing full time is also very enticing!)

She starts in early July so I have about five weeks to pack, prepare my current house for sale, and move to Boston. We’ll probably drive up there next weekend to start looking for a place. I’m going to be busy. I’m both sad and excited at the same time; sad to leave the DC area as I have grown up here, but excited to begin life in a new city.

On to other topics; the Digital Product at Retail Experiment continues!

I took the cards to the game store last weekend and showed them to Lee Garvin. We showed them to lots of customers to get input and feedback. Overall the feedback for the concept was extremely positive! The VistaPrint cards are a tad too thin, we concluded, so we’re looking at 16pt card stock from some other printers. Lee and I also concluded that the idea of using a credit-card sized plastic card with the scratch-off download code in conjunction with a 4×6 paper hanging card would be optimal in terms of customer recognition of *what the product is* as well as security since to get to the scratch-off code you would have to remove the plastic card from the hanging card. I did , however see a ton of the same type of cards at Best Buy over the weekend for all kinds of things like XBox live points, NetFlix and CinemaNow etc.

That brings up another point that needs addressing. I think we as publishers need to decide on a standard format for these cards. Look at CD’s and DVD’s; they all come in the same size box unless its a special collector edition or something. These hanging cards should be the same general size since the ultimate goal is that many publishers on board. I am proposing that a standard 4×6 inch card be that “standard” size. Most printers are already set up to do cards that size, and it leaves plenty of real-estate for images and sales text. Scratch-off cards for XBox live and Game Stop games are a bit smaller, but I don’t see a need to exactly emulate them in this case as we *want* room to tell our customers what the product is. So 4×6; what do you guys think?

Louis is working on a back end system to handle the download codes. I have two options I’m toying with myself, but I’d be happy to use a single middle-man for delivery if the price is right. (Are you listening One Book Shelf?) Between us we’ll come up with a good system for handling and protecting the download side of the equation.

More info soon! (I feel the need to go home and watch the Boondock Saints for some reason.)

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