Raging Swan

Life and Game Design

Previous Entry Add to Memories Share Next Entry
Raging Swan Press in 2012
raging_swan

2012 was a terrific year for Raging Swan Press in pretty much every measurable way. Beyond that, I’m still having terrific fun and I’m getting to work with some pretty cunning, skilled designers which makes me a happy chappie. At almost no time in the year did I not look forward to diving into the work day. My one regret is not finding enough time to actually start writing another decent-sized module. Writing Shadowed Keep on the Borderland was a blast and I really want to write another such module.

Releases

2012 was our busiest year yet. Raging Swan Press released 60 PDF and/or print products this year! (In 2011, we released 33 products and in 2010 we released 12). This year of these 60 products, six were both print and PDF releases. Releasing a little over a PDF a week made for a very busy but ultimately satisfying year.

We’ve been lucky to garner scores of four and five star reviews (and a couple of less than enthusiastic reviews) and I love reading about how people have enjoyed using or reading a Raging Swan product. We still remain focused on GM products; as a GM myself this is my primary interest and I love getting to work both on my campaign and my business at the same time!

Sales & Revenue

2012 was amazing. Helped by a very aggressive release schedule (see above), Raging Swan’s yearly revenues tripled! The graph below shows how revenues have grown since 2010.

image

To me, that graph looks great!

We’ve also worked hard to maximise our revenue by driving as many sales as possible toward the Paizo store. As the chart below shows, Paizo continues to account for a little over 50% of Raging Swan’s revenue, while OBS accounts for 40%

 

image

Of the other stores e23 has chipped away sales from OBS. Print through Amazon UK and US remains a very small percentage of our business, but late in 2012 Raging Swan’s print products finally became available at Paizo. I’m looking forward to developing this part of our business in the future and to looking at other distribution options.

Successes & Failures

Sadly not every product released this year was an amazing success. Early in 2012, I took the sad choice to stop releasing new TRIBES supplements. The line’s sales had slowly been falling and it came to a point where they were just no longer viable. The anthologies, have sold well, however, so it’s not all gloom and doom. I think part of the line’s problem was that the focus of each instalment became too focused – if you didn’t need a tribe of sun-worshipping orcs, for example, the supplement was not really going to float your boat. I’m thinking of a way to update and re-release this line – more news when I’ve nailed down the details.

Shadowed Keep on the Borderland was Raging Swan’s run away success this year (which is nice as I really enjoyed writing it!). The Dungeon Dressing line has also been very well received – so much so that 2013 will see the release of two new lines: Urban Dressing and Wilderness Dressing focused on the same general idea – giving GMs the tools they need to quickly create interesting, detailed environments.

2013

This year, Raging Swan Press plans to maintain its aggressive PDF release schedule, putting out the equivalent of at least one PDF a week. I enjoy the constant pressure of doing so and I also think it’s still in our interests to get as many products out there as we can. I also like producing products on a wide range of subjects instead of focusing on just one thing. One product I’m trying to resist the urge to do is a Dungeon Dressing compendium. While I really want to do this, I think there is a hell of a lot of things I have not yet covered in the series to date. I have a gigantic hardcover in mind as the capstone to this series. I don’t want to rush it and miss vital stuff out of the compilation. Thus, this product is unlikely to emerge in 2013, but I can see myself releasing it in 2014.

2013 will also see Raging Swan Press return to The Lonely Coast. One of our first products, the free campaign download has been wildly successful and I’ve been thinking about doing a print version pulling together all the various Lonely Coast products to date. To that end, the VILLAGE BACKDROP series will visit the three as yet undetailed villages on the coast. We might even do a TOWN BACKDROP. That would be awesome. Compiling it all into a full-on campaign setting book would be even more awesome!

Blogging. I’ve become more and more disenchanted with Livejournal as a blogging platform. Recently, my blog has been awash with spam and the format and categorisation tools don’t really seem up to snuff. I’ve been mulling over a move to Wordpress and I might eventually take the plunge and start moving everything over to a new blog. As you can imagine, the thought of this process fills me with boundless joy!

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of publishers putting out Pathfinder-related supplements which raising Raging Swan’s profile tricky. Competition is fierce and although Raging Swan has been jolly successful to date – much more than I thought it would be – I’m concerned that system bloat and the sheer volume of Pathfinder compatible releases will create an increasingly difficult market in 2013.

I’ve made the conscious decision to shy away from releasing tons of player-focused supplements presenting new feats, spells and magic items. It’s my feeling that the game has enough feats and suchlike to last a lifetime and I don’t really feel the urge to add to the bloat. I know this has cost me money and customers, but at the end of the day I’m doing this because I love designing and publishing; releasing stuff that I’m not 100% confident enhances the game isn’t my thing.

I really want to find the time to do a decent amount of writing. I‘ve had several ideas for modules, but at the moment I just can’t seem to free up the time to actually get started. I don’t want to lose sight of the fact that I started this gig to write!

In any event, 2013 is going to be a great year for Raging Swan Press.


Great stuff! Really glad it's been a good year, and I hope this year is even better ;)

I thought about moving to Word Press but I'm sticking with Livejournal for now, particularly after they got the statistics working again properly. I still might move in the future as many people in the D&D/gaming field seem to be on there.

Cheers


Rich

Thanks for a great year of bloging

talesoftheswans

2013-01-07 07:46 pm (UTC)

Hi,

Just wanted to add my congratulations. I have really enjoyed reading your blogs and have used the bar brawls and will run the Shadowed Keep soon. Very inseprational for my own campaigns.

Keep up the good work!

Brad

Re: Thanks for a great year of bloging

raging_swan

2013-01-07 09:06 pm (UTC)

Thanks very much for the kind words - I much appreciate them. Did your player enjoy their barroom brawl?

Also, if you are going to use Shadowed Keep make sure to grab all the freebies on the modules webpage - hopefully you'll find them useful.

You are viewing raging_swan