Thursday, December 31, 2009

Getting Back on the Horse

I am sorry that there haven't been any posts here lately, but really there hasn't been much news. I plan to be "back on the horse" in January with some product line changes, and hopefully some new products. Here are some of the things I am working on, planning for, etc.

(1) I am trying to nail down some artwork for the Sparks Primer which will be a free electronic release that takes the place of the introductory material in the City Streets locations as well as other Sparks products. I wanted to have better artwork because I need to have print quality work for ..

(2) I plan to have compilations ready and scaled for Print-on-Demand (POD) offerings through OBS (OneBookShelf) stores. These compilations should be a minimum of 48 pages but will include the Sparks Primer as an introduction. Electronic products and print products need to be treated differently in terms of a variety of little things so this isn't going quickly.

(3) I have some potential OGL/4e GSL products coming up in the pipeline. I am still tweaking how these products will be offered. I hope to have more information in the future.

Now the big thing, how do you know you can start getting this work done when nothing (visible) has been done for several months? Well, my youngest is going to be in Day Care/Pre-school at least 2 days a week starting this January. This is going to free up a lot of time for me to get other work done. I hope to have a much stricter work/writing schedule when this begins.

Those few of you that keep this blog flagged and/or check it once in a while, thank you for your patience. I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Well behind ...

Okay, I am far, far behind where I wanted to be at this point on just about every project I have ongoing. Hey, I even just posted this as a blank post a second ago (hit the return key by mistake).

Work has only been done in bits and pieces and usually on different projects/books as the fancy has struck. While I have been very busy with "real life" I have no real excuse as I have had free time here and there with which I could have accomplished quite a bit more. My youngest is now 2 1/2 and the weather here has improved to the point that, quite honestly, we have a lot of fun together going places or just playing outside. The good thing is that this helps spark a number of ideas for me, the bad part is that it really does use up my time.

My goal for this year was to have 24 releases, 20 of those as City Streets locations. Four of those are releases in the Great Creators line which I put an end to because they simply weren't selling and the person doing the real work on them has been relocated several times. I have a fairly lengthy list of titles/outlines right now, I just haven't taken the time to really flesh out these locations as I need to.

I am still working on the Sparks Primer. I am planning a new layout for this, some additional information, and I am hoping to have new artwork for it. Tomorrow is Veteran's Day and my dear wife has off from work. This means that maybe I can convince her to watch DS#3 while I go have some work done on the van. Ideally, I'll be able to write in the waiting area while the van is being worked on. It also means that maybe she and I can have a nice lunch date (with DS#3 along, but that is okay) someplace.

I will try to be better about posting here in the future, but in general, no news tells you pretty much what you need to know.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Recovering

I am spending time recovering from, well, all the work that piled up when I was sick. Tomorrow is my oldest boy's 14th birthday so I'll be spending a bit of time working on getting some things done for that too. Then I guess we'll hit the weekend and soccer games again.

A little while back I did get the website upload done. Not much to it other than an erasure of any possible release dates ;). I have gotten a little bit of work done, just not enough to be pleased with right now. Ideally, I'll have more news soon, but my focus is still getting the family fully recovered from our battle with the flu.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Flu

Massive delays right now due to the flu. I'll try to have more information up soon.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sick

Well, I have a bug and I am dealing with family that also have the bug so work is pretty much not going anywhere.

I hope to at least upload the changes I made to the website over the weekend later today. I have a few more changes to make though, so I'll just have to fight through the headache and try to get them done.

The Sparks Primer/Intro change has been more time consuming than I thought, but that always seems to be the case when making changes. I hope the change works out well. I am thinking about "opening" up the Sparks Primer for use by other publishers but honestly don't know if anyone would bother using it.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Zero

Well, no excuses here, I just simply haven't been getting anything done. Okay, at least not anything for GU. While I expect that to change today and tomorrow now that I have a few things out of the way, I will not have anything ready to release this weekend.

In other news, I have decided (95%) that I will pull the Sparks Introduction from the already released .pdfs. This is easy enough for the RPGNow (OBS) releases but it looks like I'll probably need to send the new files to Paizo and ask them to put them up. We'll see how that goes.

The compilations (such as the Summer Tavern Special) will probably still include the Sparks Intro, but now I will be substituting in the Sparks Primer. This is partly because I am trying to do the layout on those as if they will go to print.

My list of things to do is very long right now. Many of the things on the list are pretty minor (or sound minor) but are very time-consuming. I'll try to post a progress report this weekend.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Whoopsie!!!

Okay, another whoopsie! I am signed up to automatically enter the promotions at RPGNow (and all of the OBS stores) and they ARE running a "Talk Like a Pirate Day" promotion and I DO have products offered at a discount there. The following products are 20% off from now through the weekend.
Brandy's by the Bay
Tavern Denizens-Book I: The Dives
The Mug and Bottle

These are exactly the books I would have offered at a discount anyway. Odd how that works ;).

Talk Like a Pirate Day

Well, I had hoped to run some sort of promotion or discount this weekend for "Talk Like a Pirate Day." According to several other publishers despite the internet postings, etc. about "TLPD" it isn't much for sales or promotions. I guess I'll be waiting until next year to find out.

I am revamping the Sparks Primer and that is taking time. I have had long term plans to introduce other "generic" products with slight variations on the Sparks introduction but it would be much easier to simply expand what I have now to cover all of the potential planned products and make that the Sparks Primer.

Essentially, I am backing up a step and taking time to redesign a few things and alter a few plans. I like to think that this is a good thing for the long term. Honestly, I can't say that it is going to hit sales as I have had numerous delays lately. What it does is slow down having a series of regular releases. Regular releases DO drive sales of "backstock" -which in electronic terms simply means older books. This means having a release every 2 weeks helps even out sales.

I would love to say that I'll be getting lots of work done this weekend with my mother here to help out but the reality is that I'll be spending most of the weekend either AT a soccer game or DRIVING to a soccer game. I want to have another release for September. My goal is to have 20+ RPG releases during 2009 so I'll really need to get cracking if I am going to make that.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cover Trials



Okay, I love getting feedback on the cover(s). Special thanks to Mark, Vicki and her son B., and JT. If anyone else has cover comments please comment on the blog or email me.

I am still working on some other variations but everything is still based on the same main cover I showed before. If you guys have a chance to look at these two and give me some comments I certainly appreciate it.

Thanks again!

Woes and Whining

Well, okay, I'll try not to whine. Making the changes I would really like to the Sparks Introduction and releasing that as a free product are going, well, slowly. I do have a cover mock-up made. Okay, let's be honest, I have 4 different covers made, but this cover or a variation of it will likely be the final effort. The title right now is "Sparks Primer."

Along with the new cover I want to have a new layout, and I am making some minor editing changes to the text to make it a bit more generic. Some have noticed I used a different, edited down version of the introduction in Tavern Denizens and the "new" introduction will be a bit more general and apply to everything (I hope).

This process has definitely been slowing down other projects and I am actually pretty frustrated with that fact. I really want to have something ready for "Talk Like a Pirate Day" even though several publishers say that sales for that day have never really done much. If nothing else I will run some sort of promotion.

Once I have the Sparks Primer finished I will have to decide if I will go back and remove the Sparks Introduction from all of the CS releases that are already published. I think that would be an unpleasant amount of work for fairly low return.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Release Schedule(s)

Okay, I need to stop even trying to publish a release schedule. Normally, I would say that I should still be able to nail my planned release for this weekend but, due in part to some changes I made, this is unlikely to happen.

SOMETHING will be released next week before "Talk Like a Pirate" day, exactly which release might still be a question for a few days.

I will be releasing a separate "Sparks Introduction" for all of my generic lines as a free release. To do so, I want to have a different, hopefully nicer, layout and some better artwork. I simply haven't had the time to nail this down the way I want to and it has taken time from completing actual products. This will only pertain to electronic releases, if I do anything for print or POD (Print-On-Demand) it will include the introduction. This means I want a print-ready layout and that has been more of a task than I want to think about.

Add in a few kids' activities, my wife's call schedule, and a quick trip to Houston this weekend and I just don't think I can have the separate, new, Sparks Intro ready and have the next release ready for the weekend. If I can get a few things nailed down tomorrow I might still have a chance, but I am definitely not counting on it.

If I have to remain with the intro I have in order to get product(s) out next week I will. I really would like to find a way to finish the changes that I outlined for myself. I think it will be a "slicker" look that will do better for both print and electronic media. We'll have to see how it goes.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Weekend Sale and Bad Reviews

First, the 20% discount at RPGNow and the Paizo.com store is still in effect through the end of tomorrow (September 7th). The sale is actually going very well for me as sales on the Paizo.com site have been particularly good. I am sure this is partly due to the fact that my products are still very new there and largely due to the inclusion of the sale in the Paizo.com store blog.

The second thing is that I had a bad review for one of the products on the Paizo.com store. Now, I am not going to complain about it (much) as one of the comments in this one is actually a bit helpful in a decision I have been struggling with.

The City Streets locations all use the "Sparks" introduction, a system I used to provide generic information that GMs can more easily turn into game statistics for their game system. I have been considering removing that introduction (it is available as part of Gior's Glassworks, a free download) and providing it as a free download (in addition to Gior's) for quite a while now. Two publishers have told me NOT to do this, that I should have the generic info available for each location.

I now have several reviews and comments that really seem to indicate that I do not need this for the electronic products. I will still need to put the introduction into any products I print or sell through a Print-on-Demand (POD) service. The publishers that were adamant about me including it were largely print publishers before selling products online so they'll have a very different perspective than true electronic book customers.

So, the short of it is, even bad reviews can be helpful with decision-making. Some of the other comments (not enough crunch, and the price point) are probably not going to change things much. I am considering adding some prices to products and services (being sold in a particular CS location) in the future, but then it gets difficult to decide what system to use. While the "standard" RPG fare uses copper, silver, and gold pieces, there are a number of games out there that use different systems. When you get an email thanking you for not having that information you have to balance that against a review saying it should be there.

I do have a few products planned that will have prices in, because I think they should be there, I still haven't decided how to price those items though.

All of these ideas are bouncing around in my head as I look at making some significant changes to the layout that I use for the CS products. I am thinking about trying to move to a somewhat "slicker" look and this process is undoubtedly chewing up a lot of the time I could be using to actually make more products!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

I hope to labor more during the Labor Day weekend. Allergies and some issues with DS#3 are almost certain to prevent the release of the next book. The fact that I decided to add more to it is not terribly helpful either.

Right now all GU products are discounted 20% at Paizo.com and RPGNow (and all OBS sites). This sale ends on September 7th (Labor Day in the US) so it is a great time to pick up any of the City Streets locations you might have missed.

I am planning for 2 releases per month through the end of the year but some of these releases are planned to include several locations so we'll have to see how it all works out.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mixed News

Well, some mixed news. I am not sure I am going to hit the planned release for my next CS release, fortunately, I put the whole "tentative dates" and "subject to change" bit on the "upcoming" page of the website. The beginning of school has been very hectic and the soccer tournament both of the older boys played in this past weekend really killed my writing schedule. More importantly for the next release (Alchemists and Healers), it has killed my ability to get some of the maps done and a few other things ready. Tomorrow my dear wife is home from work (she was on-call this past Saturday) so I might get enough work done to get everything through layout on Thursday. Then again, it might be a nice day and I might just go have fun with her and DS#3.

On the "good news" side, Paizo mentioned GU on the main blog page of the Paizo Store tonight in regards to a 20% off sale. Basically, I am on the RPGNow/OBS list of publishers participating in promotions and they have a promotion going this week (20% off) and I wanted to match that at Paizo so I emailed them. Well, it appears Paizo must like me at least a little bit. I am hoping that the mention will drive a few sales on their store.

Honestly, I have to work a lot more on promoting products but I guess I tend to spend the "spare" time I have writing or working on something else. We'll see if I can turn the advertising/promotion bit around a little this fall.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sept. 3/4

The next CS release will be on Sept 3rd/4th. The first week of school and plans for a major soccer tournament this weekend are slowing me down a bit.

RPGNow/OBS will be having a DragonCon sale, I believe it will be 20% off of everything Sept 1st-7th. I will be emailing Paizo to try to have the same sale prices there on those dates as well.

I was planning a Labor Day sale anyway so this just makes things a bit easier for me.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Site Update

Well, I finally updated the website with an "upcoming" page providing a bit of information about upcoming products as well as some links to Paizo.com and RPGNow.

I hope to begin providing more information about planned products on that page as time goes on.

Right now the next planned release is Alchemists and Healers a multiple-location City Streets release that includes several potion brewers, herbalists, and herbal healers for those PCs that might need a bit of healing.

Right now I am looking at releasing next week Thursday/Friday, or the following week right before Labor Day Weekend. Next week is the first week of school for my children so I might wait for Labor Day Weekend.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Agouri's Scriptorium

I apologize for the lack of updated on the blog. I do have a small update to the website up now, I held back some things because they weren't quite ready yet, but I hope to have those up this coming week. It has been a very busy week due to my daughter's birthday (7 now, yeah!) and back-to-school preparations so I haven't been able to get advertising out the way I hoped.

Agouri's Scriptorium is the latest City Streets release. My other latest news is that products are now available from the Paizo.com store. There will be a delay of a day or so between books being available at the OneBookShelf sites and the Paizo site, but it shouldn't be that big a deal for those of you that only shop at Paizo.

Need ancient scrolls translated? Want help interpreting the scribble on that treasure map? Agouri can help!

Agouri’s Scriptorium is a haven for those that need letters written, or any sort of translation service. Merchants use him for simple bookkeeping, and nobles send their children to learn to read and write. Agouri is well-traveled and can read, write, and speak a wide variety of languages, even languages dead and forgotten to others. If the PCs need special letters written, books translated, or any sort of language service Agouri’s is the place to turn to.

Stay tuned for more City Streets news!

Friday, August 7, 2009

GenCon Release and Promotion

Well, I decided to hold back Agouri's Scriptorium for next week. This way I will have a release during the week/weekend of GenCon. I had hoped to have a different book ready for next week but that is only at about a 50/50 chance right now and I would like to have more of a "sure thing."

I am also still waiting on the Paizo approval of my uploaded City Streets books, so far my company name is listed but none of the books are available. I have heard that it takes a while for the first approval, and I did upload just over a dozen products. I am sure that Paizo is also very busy getting ready for GenCon. This means that I think I will have to upload the next CS book this weekend in order to have it approved for release next week (I can set a release date on it at Paizo too).

Of course, this is how I am feeling right now. It is always possible that I will suddenly change my mind and go ahead and upload the book tonight, but the idea of delaying it has made me start tweaking it again so, eh, probably not. Darned shame really.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sigh, did it again

Okay, looks like I didn't think to upload the changed files for the website earlier in the week. The changes weren't major as I hadn't finished the "Upcoming" page with planned release dates (none of which would be firm anyway).

In other news, I have uploaded the full City Streets line to Paizo.com and, pending their approval process, I expect they'll have those available on their sales site sometime this week.

Agouri's Scriptorium will be released late Thursday night/early Friday morning. I haven't decided yet.

I hope to have more information posted about some of the future planned releases later this week as well.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Release Schedule

I am working on a tentative release schedule right now. I am trying to decide how best to space releases while giving myself time to actually finish some of the various projects on my plate.
I did not release Agouri's Scriptorium this weekend. I felt it would get lost in the Christmas in July promotion. I am trying to decide if I will release it this coming Friday or the following Friday. I believe I will list it for August 7th. I'll post here when I finally get the website updated with more information.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Summer Tavern Special I

Well, the cover is posted below so I don't see a reason to repost it, but the Christmas in July-2009 Summer Tavern Special I compilation is out and available at RPGNow and other OBS stores. I tried to send comp copies to those loyal customers that have already purchased a number of the taverns in the compilation but the software seemed to stop at 10 customers and I know this means I missed some people.

If you are a customer that has purchased these taverns already (check the list) go ahead and email me. I will "set you up."

All of GU's other products are 20% off for the duration of the sale as well so don't forget to pick up anything you happen to be missing.

Soon I will post information on some upcoming releases. I am feeling "ahead of the game" at the moment, but this usually means I get slammed with something else. Let's hope that doesn't happen.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Scary ...


Two posts in one day?

The "Christmas in July" promotion special is going to be a compilation of the taverns published so far, and an added bonus hole-in-the-wall and possibly something to promote the Tavern Denizens product line. This is going to be one .pdf so it is a slightly updated layout for a few of these and I did something different to make the cover stand out a bit.

Now that I have posted twice in one day I suppose you shouldn't look forward to more news until at least Thursday or so ;).

Curious

Well, I was just looking at sales numbers for the weekend so far and came across something I noticed with past releases. A new release DEFINITELY drives some sales of older releases ("backstock" doesn't seem like the correct term for .pdfs).

Not counting unpaid sales that went to reviewers, The Mug and Bottle has sold 6 copies since it's release. In the same period of time I have sold 11 copies of previous releases. The majority of those went to one buyer that basically bought the City Streets line (they bought some earlier in the week and finished off buying everything this weekend).

This suggests my original plan of trying to have a CS release every 2 weeks is still a very good idea. It has been difficult to hit that during the summer though. This coming week I should have another release ready before the "Christmas in July" promotion as well as a special compilation. I am a little worried that the new release will get lost in the flood so I am considering what to do. It might be better sales-wise to have the compilation ready for this week's promotion and then use the new release next week in an effort to drive some further sales.

I'll be thinking about these things as the week progresses and let you know my decision.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

On the way...

Okay, Agouri's Scriptorium is on the way. I got permission to use a clip art piece by V Shane that happens to match my mental picture of Agouri so this one will actually have a decent piece of artwork in it. He released some illustrations in his blog at various times and I happened to catch this one a while back. It fits so I emailed him about using it and got the "go ahead." In response, of course, I plan to purchase some of his clipart packages so that he has some compensation (and I have more art to use).

Still not sure if I made the "official" list participating in the "Christmas in July" promotion at RPGNow/DTRPG. I kept forgetting to email about it, Sean said he would try to get me in. If not, well, I will discount everything anyway and hope for the best. The GM's day promotion had so many participants that it really didn't help me all that much, though I do think the reduced prices and bundle I released for it helped.

I hope to have a special tavern compilation available for this promotion as well. This one will go through layout as one book and remain for sale after the promotion. It will be a struggle to get it ready though. We'll see how it all goes.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Mug and Bottle

Yes, The Mug and Bottle is done, uploaded, and, well, not for sale until just after Midnight tonight. I am hoping to stay on the front page of RPGNow and DTRPG through the weekend, but past experience has shown this is difficult to do. If you don't time things correctly and end up on the front page, and/or end up in one of the newsletters, sales truly do suffer.

The only hesitation I had about this release is the fact that it is another dock-area type bar. I wasn't going to release it next (Brandy's by the Bay is our most recent release, but that was, well a LONG time ago now) but it is done and I guess this means I am a bit closer to creating a dockside/dock area compilation in the future.

Here is the blurb:
The Mug and Bottle
Whatever vice your PCs, or the criminals they seek, might have, The Mug and Bottle is happy to serve their dark desires.

Zeon the Bold serves drugs, booze and women in the run down warehouse he converted into a tavern and brothel designed specifically to serve the basest vices of the sailors, dockworkers, and anyone else willing to enter The Mug and Bottle. Home to addicts and drunks, Zeon makes no secret that he will help satisfy any vice, if he doesn’t have what you need, he certainly knows someone that does, for a price.

GM Note: This product describes several new drugs in generic terms for your game use. It does contain themes of drug use, addiction, and prostitution that might not be appropriate for your game, but these themes can easily be altered.
----
We'll see if I can get this in the news listings on some of the other websites this weekend.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mug and Bottle



Well, just a quick update to let the few of you that read this know that the Mug and Bottle is indeed going to be ready this week. The cover is on the front page of the website and I decided to post the maps here.

I am not thrilled with the way the maps came out, I used a heavier weight paper than I usually use and the paper seemed to catch quite a bit of pencil and ink that I wasn't expecting. Basically, it is a rougher textured paper that I have used for some other things with great success but for maps you want to have much crisper lines.

I plan to release this on Friday, probably just after midnight Thursday to see if I can stay on the front page listing of new releases at RPGNow and DTRPG for a few days over the weekend. Lately that hasn't worked out well.

The Mug and Bottle itself is a combination dive/drug den/brothel aimed at serving the vices of sailors and workers throughout the dock district (or any district you put it in). It has listings (sans stats) of a few drugs that are offered as well as some of the ladies willing to provide their special services. I'll post more about it when I have the advertising blurbs written up.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I was Wrong

Okay, my procedure did slow me down enough that I am not able to get a release out before leaving for the weekend. I will do my best to make up for it with more information on the website this Sunday and a better release plan for the rest of July (and, if I am lucky, early August).

Monday, July 6, 2009

Back from Vacation

I am back and working away on several different projects. There should be a release this week. I have a small outpatient procedure on Thursday afternoon but this shouldn't prevent an early Friday release.

I will answer emails later tonight.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

As I Suspected

Well, time really flew by this week so I haven't gotten anything out. I sort-of expected that. I have already made plans for next near in the May/June part of the year. The end of school and first few weeks of Summer Break have simply been insane. Next year I will make plans to have some compilations ready to go so that there is something released, and I hope to run a Father's Day promotion as well as joining Vicki Potter and Tabletop Adventures for the Mother's Day promotion.

I leave for Washington DC tomorrow morning for a family vacation. I will return July 4th.

Sometime around July 9th/10th I will release "The Mug and Bottle" which is a bit of a mix of a bar, drug-den, and brothel (sort-of). In two of my campaigns one or more characters decided this place was such a horrible dive that they burned it to the ground (seriously).

I should be back to every other week releases after that, at least for a while. I hope to have some additional product announcements in July as well. Yes, despite the lack of releases, I HAVE been working on several different books that I hope will raise some sort of interest.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Medieval Battles

Lately, I have been trying to keep the family posts on my personal blog and post material related to GU and writing here. The truth, of course, is that they often overlap. As a stay-at-home dad I often play various games with my kids and often get ideas for various projects from their activities, words, and actions.


This past week DS#2 was able to go to a summer camp class at the San Antonio Academy titled "Medieval Battles"--he actually wanted to do this last year but the classes were full before we could figure out the schedule for the summer. This year, I got him in the class and he had an absolute blast.

Basically, this is a large-scale wargame using fantasy and historical troops. As you can see from the pictures, the game is very extensive. This was originally designed by Allen Hamilton and has essentially been play-tested for over 20 years now. It turns out Allen and his sons are interested in publishing the rules set for this game and I gladly volunteered to help them. Whether that help involves GU releasing the game, or simply helping them get set up to release the rules themselves, I will certainly help them anyway I can.

I am ALWAYS in favor of large tactical games that inspire the imaginations of children. If you live in the San Antonio area I strongly encourage you to find a way to get your children into one of these summer school classes. The San Antonio Academy has them every year (always run by Allen and/or one of his boys). You might want to sign up early though, they often fill up. DS#2 is already chomping at the bit to do a "Master's Class" later this summer. We'll have to wait and see whether or not we can do that. I will sign him up if I can.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Busy Week

This is another busy week with some morning camps for DS#2 and DD and a number of other activities. DS#2 turns 10 on Thursday and is having a few friends over tomorrow night for a sleep-over to celebrate. Of course, Saturday is also my anniversary, so I have to make plans for that too.

In other words, I don't know how much work I am going to get done this week. I have an awful feeling that I will suddenly have about 3 things completed at once and then have to decide how to take care of releasing them. I prefer that problem to having nothing ready at all though.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Grumble

Okay, the May/June drought continues. I will have some time to work this morning, but probably not enough to get things done. We have had so much time outside in the sun lately that I decided this afternoon is going to be a bit of "recovery" time inside. This means it will probably be a "game afternoon" with board games and possibly some RPG time with the boys.

Well, it is time to take the three oldest off to morning soccer camp. A few quick trips after that and then back home to work for a bit.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Working Away

Well, despite the insanity of this week I have still been getting some work done. Still haven't quite accomplished a solid block of 2-3 hours but that should be here pretty soon. I should have something released on Friday.

During my "free" time I have been looking at how I want to do the layout for some POD offerings in the future. Really, it shouldn't take so much of my time, but contemplating font choices and layout issues does become important eventually. You can do things with print layout that you can't really do with layouts designed for on-screen reading. I am not 100% positive how much work I want to put into doing 2 layouts (one print, one .pdf) for various books. I'll probably talk more about those issues when I have made final decisions on how to approach them.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Next Release

As I mentioned in the last post, and will try to have up on the website tonight, I have written off this week in terms of releases. The number of activities the past few weeks has been, well, outrageous. Next week I will have more time to write as well as blocks of time set aside to get layout and artwork completed.

I will also have time to actually email and talk to several people about some projects. It is pretty bad when you can't find time to keep in touch with people.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Next Year ...

Next year, I am going to write off everything between Mother's Day and, oh, say, the second week of June. End of school events, awards ceremonies, piano recitals, swimming, soccer tryouts, and various other bits and pieces make it impossible to get solid blocks of time to work (unless I am already so tired the computer screen starts to swim and take on a life of its own).

I do have products "almost" ready, but it looks like they will stay "almost ready" for another week. I am not happy about it, but I also want to be able to enjoy various activities at the school(s) this week so I just have to come to terms with it. This said, if I don't have 3 releases in June I am going to be screaming with frustration.

I expect summer to be a bit slow but I think I can use it to help build up and complete several longer-term projects I have going right now.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Constant Delays

I can't claim laziness is slowing me down right now. My free time has been taken up by the fact that some shelves in the master bedroom closet collapsed. Basically, cleaning out the old hardware, painting, etc. has sucked up what little free time I have had during the last few days of school here.

Ideally, I can still get a product out this weekend but it is going to be pretty tight. My wife is on-call tomorrow night so no real break there either.

I am already marking May in my calendar next year as a month of practically nothing accomplished for GU. The end of school year activities, end of soccer season, end of dance, gymnastics, etc. all take up so much time that there is really nothing left.

Upcoming product titles include Tavern Denizens Book II, The Mug and Bottle, The Lantern Inn, and a few others. These still need some artwork and layout. Not sure which will get through first.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lazy Boy

Well, I have been a lazy boy this week. I can't claim I haven't had time to write because I have had time to read several books. I like to think that reading is important to writing, but it seems a bit hollow when we hit Wednesday night and I still don't have artwork ready for several books.

I have still been very busy with bunches of last minute things popping up. We are NOT going out of town this weekend so that should make things much easier for me. We have a number of family activities planned but there should be large enough blocks of time for me to get significant work done. Let's hope I have the energy for it.

Tomorrow I will be posting about my "promotion" for the Memorial Day weekend. I am sending a few emails out tonight as well. I should have done this sooner, but, well, didn't. If you missed it, I will be sending a check equal to Gross sales for the entire weekend (5 PM Friday through Midnight Monday) to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. In addition, I will double that donation up to $100 out of pocket. This means that 200% of your purchase goes to the fund. --I don't expect to have over $100 in gross sales for the weekend, if that does happen I guess I'll just step up for the difference in gross vs net.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Whoops

Well, Saturday is almost done for me. My wife and I are going out this evening so no work then--hey, I want to stay married!

My free time today was taken up with some work on things in the house and I am now left with very little additional time.

It looks like I might have a 4e rules editor/writer lined up to help out on some planned 4e products. After he and I discuss the details a bit more I will be posting information about product plans and the new product line name(s), etc. I guess I feel good that I have at least gotten some behind the scenes work done even if I didn't get the next 2 books polished off.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Not This Weekend

This week has been very, very full and I simply haven't had more than a few minutes at a time to sit at the computer and work. I have two different books more than 90% complete and probably only need 2-3 uninterrupted hours to finish one of them. This said, I won't have 2-3 uninterrupted hours until sometime on Saturday. This is basically due to a wide variety of kids' activities crammed into the last few weeks of school. Not all of these activities are actually school-related but they all seem to cluster together in May.

When layout and artwork has to be done in 20-30 minute increments it is incredibly inefficient. When I finally have some time at night I am simply so exhausted that I don't get anything done. I will see what I can do, but I don't foresee having a chance to work on anything until 9:30 or later tonight and I guarantee that I will be exhausted.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Art and Cartography

Well, I have been looking for someone to make maps and do some artwork for me at reasonable rates. Unfortunately, my sales are such that "reasonable rates" means "dirt cheap or cheaper." Paraphrasing someone else's post on a publisher's board once, when looking for artists you have to consider these factors:
a) inexpensive
b) dependable
c) good
You only get to choose two of the above.

I was "talking" with someone about some art for a few projects but that must have fallen through because the artist hasn't been back in touch with me for a while. I am not upset about it, a bit disappointed though. I know that with what I can offer to pay right now it is unfair to expect someone not to get distracted by better paying projects and/or the latest video game. (I don't know if any of these distractions are involved)

I guess I will finally be posting some ads for art and writing, etc. after all. I was hoping to bypass that by contacting a few people directly but that hasn't worked out.

Weekend release: this week has been very difficult and tiring. I think I'll still have a weekend release but I am not certain. I have always felt that if I can't have it out at least by early Friday morning it is best to wait until next week. Right now I am thinking that anytime Friday would be okay. Art and cartography are a hang-up on these right now and I don't know when I will have some solid, uninterrupted time to work on the artwork.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day Sale!

Okay, the sale prices were removed this morning. The sale/promotion did "okay" really, but without Vicki Potter's help including GU in their Mother's Day promotion I don't think it would have done a thing.

This is likely because several of the old-school sites I submitted news to never did anything with it (I think one mod was out of town, go figure, Mother's Day weekend...). It is also because I was really only able to deal with emails, posting, etc. on Thursday and didn't get much done during the weekend. Alas, this happens a lot and weekends tend to have the majority of sales. If I had been on more I probably could have gotten more mentions. I just hate to try to advertise on certain boards without permission or the mod's posting it as news. I have seen other publishers do it and get some pretty ugly backlash.

Interestingly, I sold more copies of the GreatCreators line which, while discounted, were not even included in the promotion. I am still not sure where to go with that product line. JT actually has a few more books ready to go into layout.

My next promotion is going to be Memorial Day weekend. I won't be discounting products but I will be donating all sales proceeds for the weekend (x2 up to $100 out of my pocket) to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. I will post more about this charity and what it does over the next two weeks.

I should have another CS location out this Thursday/Friday. It will be a little dependent on how the week goes. As we get closer to the end of school the activities start piling up rather ferociously. I'll post more news on progress this Wednesday (or sooner).

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mother's Day Sale!

The following information has been posted to several message boards, but in case you missed it:
Happy Mother’s Day!
Sunday, May 10th, is Mother’s Day (at least here in the US) and to mark the day Generic Universe Publishing (GU) is joining Tabletop Adventures to celebrate mothers throughout the world.

GU is offering all of the City Streets releases at 25% off. This sale ends May 10th so act now!
Want to know more about City Streets? Look at the following reviews and download Gior’s Glassworks for free.
Review of Gior’s Glassworks by Kevin Rohan
Review of Gior’s Glassworks by Robert Miller
Review of Kagen’s Books and Knowledge by staff reviewer Peter Ingham
Review of Tavern Denizens by staff reviewer Nathan Collins

City Streets
Has dungeon work worn your adventurers down? Are they searching for something new and different? Need a place to get rid of their newfound wealth? Maybe it is time to hit the streets! City Streets products provide heavily detailed city locations designed for enjoyable role-playing encounters while also providing enough adventure hooks to encourage the characters to head back into danger. Whether it is a tavern, shop, guild house, noble’s manor, or massage parlor, each of these locations possesses detailed information about the building, business, and the NPCs living or working there. NPC descriptions are detailed, but contain no statistical information making them useful with any game system. These locations are mere sparks designed to fire your creativity, and that of the players, to take your game in new directions.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Updates

I did get the website update up earlier this evening. I am not quite done with the information for the "open calls" right now but I went ahead and updated the site. It really won't be a big deal until I actually post that I am looking for submissions, etc. at ENWorld and RPG.net. I need to finish up the writer's guidelines for the Tavern Denizens submissions and have those ready to go before I start posting. If you know of anyone interested in writing, or practicing their writing, please direct them here.

This week is going to be a bit, um, difficult. There were a few cases of the "swine flu" in our general area. The resulting over-reaction changed the schedule(s) for the kids around a bit last week and weekend. They didn't miss any school, the San Antonio schools didn't cancel like some other areas in Texas. In any case, some things did get cancelled and this means that this week is going to be rather "interesting." In any case, I will do my best to keep getting some work done.

Whoopsie!!!

Um, just noticed that the website update I made last Friday never, um, got uploaded. I thought I uploaded it in the morning before heading to my daughter's field trip but I guess I didn't. Worst part is, I didn't notice even though I have seen the front page of the GU website numerous times over the past couple of days.

That is a bit embarrassing. Latest files for the site are on another machine and I was in the middle of updating other files. I guess my task for this afternoon is finishing up the website update(s) and getting everything uploaded.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Grumble

Okay, I struggled to get Brandy's by the Bay out hoping to get it out in time to make the DTRPG/RPGNow newsletters and have time to maybe get a mention in the ENWorld News. Well, despite the late night release (after 11:30 PM) it looks like I was EARLY rather than late and still didn't make the newsletter(s). As a matter of fact, I am almost pushed off the front page listing of new releases. I guess it really depends on who else is releasing products and what time they release them (and how many get released).

I did get it mentioned in the ENWorld News, and that does help, but the majority of sales come from the front page links on weekends and the newsletters (at least so far).

The other way to get into the newsletters is to set up a special and get on the queue for the next newsletter. I am beginning to feel like I might have enough releases to go ahead and do that. I think I will wait for the release of the next Tavern Denizens book though.

I still have to figure out this whole advertising, promotion bit.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Brandy's is up!


Brandy's by the Bay is now up and available for purchase at RPGNow and related OBS stores.

Things did get a bit crazy today but the release is out and I am off to sleep so I can be well-rested for tomorrow's field trip with a collection of 1st graders.

Working Away

Well, we'll have to see what happens for the weekend. I don't like the way the map for Brandy's looks in the layout right now so I am going to try to re-do it. Probably not necessary considering my usual sales but re-scanning doesn't seem to solve the problems. I am going to be looking at different pens for my inking. The artwork for this just isn't coming out right.

I don't claim to have stellar artwork in any of these books, but I do try to at least have something decent.

I'll post again when I am finally done.

I will be gone most of the day tomorrow for my daughter's field trip so I pretty much have to get this completed tonight.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tavern Denizens Review up

Well, Tavern Denizens, Book I: The Dives just received a 4/5 from OBS staff reviewer Nathan Collins. I am hoping the review might help drive a few sales, we'll have to see.

Whatever happens, I am pleased with the review. I would like to have a few more good reviews but I am sure that will take time.

Thursday night (Friday morning early?) will see the release of Brandy's by the Bay a new City Streets location. This is another tavern as I clearly need to have more taverns and inns in the mix of releases. I will still be releasing other locations but sales of anything tavern/inn related are MUCH higher and are probably going to end up supporting the release of "normal" locations. We'll see what happens, I do get backstock sales every time I have a new release.

I have a blurb just about ready for new writers and a 4e rules editor. I need to put those up when I have time to answer any emails that actually come in. If I put it up before the weekend I probably won't answer any emails until next Monday. The weekend will be very busy.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Update

Okay, let's update the previous post to "No chance" for a weekend release. I will be working tonight but I just didn't get enough done this afternoon to have any realistic hopes for a weekend release.

Slim chance for a weekend release

There is still a slim chance for a weekend release. It will depend a bit on DS#3 taking a nice long nap and me getting all the bills paid, etc. If I do get something out it won't be released today, likely tomorrow sometime. This means it won't make any newsletters and probably unlikely to get a mention in the ENWorld news until next week, but I would still like to get something out.

I haven't been feeling 100% this week and most of my energy has gone into taking care of the kids, house, etc.

Tomorrow is the "Battle of Flowers" which is a day of historical importance here in San Antonio. This means the big kids all have off from school. I'll have to figure out what to do with them.

Anyway, if I can't get a product up tomorrow I'll probably just wait until next Thursday. My lovely wife is on-call Saturday and we have 3 soccer games scheduled over the weekend.
If I don't get it out, I might shoot for two products next Thursday but that will require me feeling much better and getting a real chance to get work done.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Slow Week

Well, it has been a bit of a lazy week, sort-of. Then again, it is only Tuesday. I was thinking about shooting for a release this week instead of sticking with every other (when I can) week. It is a possibility, but I have been spending some of my free time playing with the video I took during Easter and DS#3's birthday.

I am going to be adjusting some of my plans to insure that I have a tavern or inn-related product released every month. The demand for those is MUCH higher than for anything else. This is somewhat disappointing as the latest two releases, Zinia's Spa and Siarl's Herbs and Elixirs are locations that I have used in some very memorable gaming sessions. While I know that locations like this do have a market, it is clear that the tavern/inn based locations are much stronger sellers.

I am still planning some 4e related products. It is a bit slow moving, but I am getting closer to making some announcements. I will probably wait for official announcements until I have a product ready to go. I am going to be looking for a "stat guru" to do some 4e stats and stat block editing for me. I had someone interested but I guess his professor wants him to finish his Master's Thesis before the end of summer (I guess the professor is moving and wants to graduate his students first). I will probably advertising for it on ENWorld and RPGNet soon, but I am waiting for some responses from a few people first.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Taverns and Inns???

Well, if customers speak with their money, then it looks like they want taverns and inns. Siarl's Herbs and Elixirs made it into the ENWorld news and was on the front page at RPGNow for a while and has still only sold a single copy (I don't count reviewer copies, etc.) Now, since its release I have sold additional copies of several of the taverns. Hmmm.

I have a lot of "boring" locations lined up that I think I can actually make quite interesting but if sales demand more taverns then I think I need to answer to the customers that are voting with their dollars. I will be thinking about this a bit over the next couple of days while I plan out more releases. I have several Tavern Denizens titles outlined and I think that I will need direct a bit more energy and focus in that direction.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Siarl's Herbs and Elixirs


Well, I had a few problems with the switch to the new desktop but Siarl's Herbs and Elixirs is on sale now at RPGNow and related OBS sites. I am on the front page of releases at RPGNow and I sent an email off to ENWorld in hopes of making the news. We'll see if I make the RPGNow newsletter. It seems like I have enough products to start using some of the added advertising/promotion features OBS offers so I think I will be doing that soon (probably in May).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

New Machine

Well, yesterday I received the new iMac that I purchased last week. This means that I spent much of my free time transferring files etc. I should still have a CS release ready for very late on Thursday. I actually want to be late enough to make the RPGNow newsletter, which shouldn't be a problem with the various other things I need to get done. We'll see how that all works out.

I had planned a "tax day" sale but simply didn't get the ball rolling soon enough and got my time sucked up by other projects.

I hope to have more news up about some other planned products in a bit but that always seems to take longer than I plan for.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Not Much Accomplished

Well, as I expected, I didn't get much accomplished this weekend for GU. Between DS#3 turning 2 and having a house full of guests for the birthday and Easter there simply wasn't enough free time to get things done. When I did have free time I was exhausted.

I am still planning a very short "Tax Day" sale and have high hopes of introducing a small new "Tax Collectors" product to go with it. I haven't decided if that would be free or 99 cents. It'll likely be free and used as a heavy promotion for some of the other products. We'll see.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Distracted myself again

Well, this is a busy week. DS#3 turned 2 today and we will have a house full of company for the Easter weekend. This means it doesn't take much of a distraction to keep me from getting the work done that I REALLY should be doing. Well, I suddenly had an idea for a "freebie" (which could become a "cheapie") related to, well, taxes. I just LOVE the fact that my wife and I are self-employed and have the honor of paying our taxes quarterly (as well as both halves of social security and medicare--yippee!).

In any case, my brief moments of writing time got stolen by work on a probable freebie.

I do still have a release (okay, it looks like "releases" now) planned for next week. It isn't quite ready yet, but it should be done on time. I have a new iMac desktop slated to arrive next week but I will be sure to keep the files over here so that when I set it up I won't need to cease all work. My present desktop still runs the full Adobe CS3 suite, but, well, at over 6 years old it isn't exactly "fast." Right now the laptop that I am typing on compiles .pdfs about twice as quickly. The new machine should be a big help with a number of projects I have planned.

That is the news for now. I will try to have more this weekend.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Zinia's Spa


Well, I did get Zinia's Spa uploaded last night. I thought I was pretty far behind schedule for getting something uploaded for the weekend but it looks like about 5 more products were uploaded by other companies after I got Zinia's up. No the cover isn't especially different from the other CS covers, but I thought this blog could use a picture of some sort.

I am not happy with the artwork on this one. I tried some different things on this one and I can't say that I feel they worked out well. I might put out an update with new artwork in the future.

The Lantern Inn is probably going to be the next CS release, but I probably won't release that until the week after Easter. It is predominantly complete but I need to do more work on the map. Siarl's Herbs and Elixirs is also high on the docket as both of these are essentially complete. It should be easy to get one of these out in 2 weeks. I do have to admit that next week is probably not a quality work week. DS#3 turns 2 next Thursday and we are going to have a full house for Easter. I have a lot to do before then so we'll see how it comes out.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Late but on the way ...

Okay, Zinia's Spa will be a little late, due to kids events probably not uploaded until later tonight. I have to finish up and re-scan some artwork. I thought I was done but when I put the map into the layout the lines for the walls ended up looking the same as the gridlines. Oops!

Once the scanning is done, I pop the artwork in, double check everything, and .pdf it, upload it, and finally, advertise it. We'll see how it all goes.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I see products ???

Okay, I imagine I see products. When I gave up on a product for last weekend I started spreading myself thin when I actually had time to work on products. Basically, I have about 3 products at close to the same stage in development and I really need to focus on one at a time and get them done instead of going from one product to the other.

I still have some work to do on my taxes and then I can get back to writing. I believe I am going to focus on Zinia's Spa right now so that should be tomorrow's release (possibly late tomorrow but we'll see how things go).

I have held off on some open call type announcements because I want to be able to answer email in a timely manner and I really need to spend most of my time getting some products ready. I am going to be looking for some 4e stat people and some writers for 4e and generic products. I am thinking I will ask a few writers if they are interested first and see how that goes. When I do, I will be very open about what my sales numbers and income have been. I know that I can pay a pittance, but I would rather pay per word than have a writer constantly wonder what their sales are.

I will be signing on with (or trying to sign on with) some other online .pdf vendors to see if this will help sell a few more .pdfs. I probably won't be going through that whole bit for at least another month as I just don't see having the time right now. Let's face it, I should have had something released last week.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Nope

An afternoon of T-storms and early dismissal from school for DD and DS#2 helped prevent any effective work this afternoon. Soccer practices are cancelled tonight so there is a chance I might get things finished off for the Lantern Inn but, frankly, I doubt it. I will be struggling with it so we'll see what happens.

Blogger is supposed to have an outage later this afternoon/evening so I thought I'd post the update now.

Let's hope for another stealth product this weekend.

Argh!

Well, as I feared, the computer updates and some other last minute activities with the kids put me far enough behind that the next CS location isn't ready yet.
I still MIGHT get a chance to finish it today, but it doesn't look promising.

If I can't get it out by late tonight I will probably delay it for next week. The computer system and hardware updates sucked up a lot of time but they needed to be done.

I'll post another update tonight.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Huh?

Well, I just noticed that Tavern Denizens, Book I: The Dives is #10 on the "Hottest Items" list at RPGNow. I know that this is based on items sold per some sort of unit of time, but, well, let's just say it hasn't sold THAT many copies. Okay, full disclosure, it has sold 23 copies since release (paid copies). If that can get you to #10 on the "Hottest Items" list right now, well, let's just say sales can't be very good for others either.

In different news, my day has been an almost total waste in terms of any writing or product work. I spent a lot of time upgrading software (and some hardware) on the computers. I have the new MacOS installed and some other things done to make life easier for my wife. It was horrendously time consuming and right now the main desktop is still going through its thing.

Yes, I did backup everything first.

What I haven't been able to accomplish is any work. I am hoping to get writing here in just a few minutes. We'll see how that goes, pretty brain dead at the moment.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Late is Good ?!

Well, the busy week made Tavern Denizens, Book I: The Dives a "stealth release" from my point of view. Yet, I did get time to send an email off and get it mentioned in the ENWorld news section AND I guess I "timed" the release so that it made its way into the RPGNow newsletter. In other words, I was so rushed that I got the book uploaded later than normal and it actually seems to have benefitted me.

My previous releases tended to get knocked out of the front page and didn't make into the newsletter due to the VAST amount of 3d poser art of "hawt elf babes" and such. I am thinking that if nudity and "babes" sell maybe I should do more drawing. Yes, I have been getting pretty annoyed by getting knocked off the front page of RPGNow by the rendered "clip" art. I am actually considering trying to do a decent drawing of some hot chick with a sword and pop that up as clip art and see how well it sells. The problem is, if it sold more than my other releases I would probably get depressed.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Stealth Release

Well, things got very busy this week so I didn't really get a chance to post, and releasing Tavern Denizens, Book I: The Dives pretty much became a "stealth release." I STILL haven't updated the website but I did get some posts up on message boards and I got an email off to Russ Morrisey (Morrus at ENWorld) so I did get a mention on the ENWorld newspage which certainly seemed to help.

I was hoping to have another CS release ready at the same time but that simply did not work out. I guess that one will be released next Thursday.

The TD layout was a bit difficult due to the table arrangement I used. Basically, I had to choose between leaving lots of white space on some pages or running NPC descriptions over from one page to another (making reading, and copy/pasting more difficult). It is an electronic product so I went for ease of use. Now, if I do eventually do a print compilation of the Tavern Denizens line I will probably have to do the layout all over again. That would definitely been far into the future though so I am not going to worry about that now.

I hope to have a website up later today, but, well, today is going to be busy too.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Back Home

Well, I am back from vacation. I forgot to set the auto-responder but it looks like I got mostly junk mail when I was gone. I have already taken care of the few messages I received.

Over the next several days I'll be plugging through the Tavern Denizens layout and working on the writing and editing for several City Streets locations. I will also be outlining my plans for any 4e products and (probably) putting up some sort of open call or call for writers, not sure yet exactly how much I'll be able to pay.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Vacation again

Well, I leave for Spring Break with the family on March 7 and return March 14. I will have the laptop with me and will be working on several different projects but I probably won't be on the internet.

I decided that preparations for the trip would get insanely stressful if I force myself to finish up a few of the books before leaving. In addition, a "scheduled release" without advertising doesn't do very well. A few message board posts do seem to help sales. I should be able to finish several books up during my vacation and have some releases out on March 19.

In other news, I will be signing onto the 4e GSL and begin preparation on the "4gotten" product line. This line will include "4gotten options" and "4gotten trails." The options books will present rules options for game use, including things like items and spells, and the trails portion of the line will consist of adventures and possibly generic setting information. Now, everything here is in the planning stage and I know that there is no way I can write all of these myself. This means that I am going to want to find a rules person and some writers. The question becomes, what can I pay them? Some of the options books might not technically be under the GSL, we'll have to wait and see. The preliminary logo work didn't convert well but here is a small sample. This logo isn't set in stone yet, I actually have various versions right now, but I think this is the one I like the best. If you have an opinion, let me know.

Edit: with the black background the drop shadow effects simply don't show up at all do they? When I get the initial options cover done I will post a copy of that instead.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

GM's Day 2009 Tavern Special [Bundle]

Well, the original plan was to finish up an additional tavern and do a special layout of 4 taverns/inns for GM's Day. The various things going on slowed me down so much that this turned into a "Bundle" of products using the OneBookShelf/RPGNow software.

Basically, I have something out for GM's Day, it just isn't want I had hoped for.

Next week I will be on vacation. I have found that scheduling a release during vacation and being unable to post anything about it is fairly ineffective. If I get certain products ready by Friday I will release them and post about them at ENWorld, RPGnet, etc. If not, I will wait until the Thursday after my return (March 19). If this happens, I will probably have 2 releases that day.

Tavern Denizens turned into a layout nightmare. If you see the final product you'll probably understand why. Basically, the table entries get pretty large and, unless you let a description run over a page (looks terrible), you end up with lots of white space on some pages. I am going to be VERY busy the next few days so it is unlikely that I can get it all cleaned up before I leave. I will, of course, try.

During Spring Break I will be "internet free" but I WILL have my laptop with me so I am actually likely to get some work done. We'll just have to wait and see what the next few days bring.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

4e and other things

Well, the revised GSL is acceptable and I will probably be signing on and doing a few 4e compatible products. I am going to have someone go over it first, just to make certain, but it looks like I can even do some 4e compatible products that aren't GSL and some that are. This probably isn't really even an issue. I do have ideas for some 4e products that fit into the guidelines of the GSL so I will probably go ahead and write those up.

Tavern Denizens hit a snag. When I changed a couple of things I wanted to do with it, I created a very difficult layout problem. I don't think I will be able to overcome that easily right now, particularly with some of the other things I need to get done today. I will update again when I know more.

I will be leaving for another vacation (Spring Break) this Saturday. I return the following Saturday. On my return I will probably post some more "open calls" or at least "calls" for some writing. I still won't be able to pay very much, but I clearly can't write everything I want to do myself.

Monday, March 2, 2009

4e GSL revised

Well, I am going to be "wasting" time looking at the revised 4e GSL and SRD over the next day and a half (or more) so this is probably going to cause some significant delays in a few products (particularly with my upcoming, internet-free (mostly) vacation with the family.

At first glance it looks like I might be doing some 4e products after all.

The question is, will these "glances" cause a delay to the first Tavern Denizens release?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Tavern Denizens

Well, the cover is done, but I decided to add something to Tavern Denizens so I am not sure that I'll have it out this week. Getting ready for vacation is going to take some time. I am going to do my best to get this one out, but I can't say for certain what will happen.

My plans include posting an update to the website tomorrow, but we'll see how that goes. My wife is on-call tomorrow night and one of the boys has soccer practice (huge surprise, I know). I plan to do more writing tonight so the website is going to have to be tomorrow.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Hissss

Okay, I had high hopes of getting lots of work done today but I only got a small amount done. While out running errands I got a tire pressure warning light so I pulled into a station to check the tires, sure enough, one of them was hissing and almost flat. I filled it up, went to the tire store next door to the filling station to be told it would be 3-4 hours before they could "get me in," rushed home to drop off the milk, back to the filling station to top off the tire, and then onto the dealership to get the tire repaired (which took almost an hour and a half but only cost $15). This was all with DS#3 along.

DS#1 and DS#2 are both in a soccer tournament this weekend so it'll be hard to get much accomplished. I have pretty much decided what I want the cover to look like for the Tavern Denizens book(s) and I believe my lovely wife can help me with it so I might have something to show on Sunday night. This will depend upon how tired we end up getting with all of the games.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Miel's Curios

Okay, Miel's Curios is out. Here is the blurb.

Miel is a purveyor of interesting curiosities, spinner of tales, and leads a secret life as a nefarious lothario. He sells a wide variety of goods, and is always willing to search for special requests. Whether the PCs end up dealing with Miel’s darker secrets, come by to hear the latest rumors, or simply come to purchase some of Miel’s sometimes eclectic goods, Miel is a memorable character and his store is certain to burn its way into their memory.

I am working on another product with the "main" title Tavern Denizens that I was hoping to have out next week for the GM's Day promotions. We'll see if I can manage that, as of right now I don't have a finished cover for it so I haven't decided exactly what I want to do with it. That isn't the only problem, of course, I still need to lay it out, but I think I might have that covered.

I am also trying to finish up several additional CS locations. I would like to have a tavern/inn compilation ready for the GM's Day sales. This would be a limited release that gets pulled back down sometime in mid-March. Ideally, I would like to have The Lantern Inn ready for inclusion in the compilation and to put out on its own next week. I will be out of town for Spring Break March 7-14. Basically, I am hoping to get LOTS of work done in a short period of time so I'd better stop blogging and start working.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Future Releases?

Okay, I actually have made some progress on typing a few things into the computer from my ever-present notebook(s). I hope to make some more progress tomorrow, but we'll just have to see how that goes.
As far as upcoming releases the future holds:
Miel's Curios (Feb 26th - City Streets)
A special City Streets compilation of some sort for GM's Day
Tavern Denizens I -Visiting The Dives- part of a new product line planned for release the week of GM's Day. This one might be pushing it, but I think I'll be able to make it.

This pretty much means I am going to be very busy this week.

I am also eagerly awaiting the revised 4e GSL to see if I can work with it. I might email Scott Rouse at WotC tomorrow to see if he is willing to send the license to me for review. He claimed in a post that the license part was done, but the SRD is still being worked on. If can see the license that should tell me if I can work with it (I'll still need to see the reference document, but if the license is cleared up a bit, I can work with that.

Wednesday, I will be talking with someone about publishing a very large book next fall. The truth is, I would like to publish it, but I don't know if I have the time to do it justice. Basically, I want to do a good job on it so I am going to want the time to do it right. Based on our last emails, I believe the creator agrees. We'll find out Wednesday.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hmmm, Interesting ...

While watching DS#3 play outside earlier today, I was writing down a few notes in my ever-present notebook when I started paging back and forth through it. I realized that I have probably 2 near-complete products that simply need to be typed into the computer and edited a bit.
I am hoping that I can find some time to do that this weekend. If so, that will help put be a bit ahead of the game and give me time to work on some things for the GM's Day (week) promotion at the OBS sites. We'll see how it all works out.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Uh Oh ..

Well, I finally uploaded two of the Jules Verne books that were sitting on the other computer. Of course, I did this thinking that today was, well, yesterday. I guess we weren't supposed to be uploading files/images today due to a server change over at OBS. Right now it looks like things loaded okay, but I am guessing there is a chance I'll have to upload again in a few days. We'll see.

I finished the next City Streets release titled Miel's Curios. This means that it will definitely be ready for release next week ;). I am close to complete on several other locations as well so I believe I am still on track for a release every 2 weeks. I am hoping to have a special release ready for GM's Day the first week of March but we'll just have to wait and see how that pans out.

I am embarrassed to say that I had a website update completed a couple of days ago and I guess I was working on it really late because I never uploaded it. I am making some more changes to the website with info on the Jules Verne releases and hopefully a few other things so I am going to go ahead and work on that.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Update-2/11/09

Okay, sick kids, sick me, and the plumbing leak and repairs combined to pretty much decimate the plans I had for the GreatCreators line this month. JT is in one of those times where he is out of communication for a bit so that hurts too.

The Green Dragon is still scheduled for release at midnight tonight. This is the newest City Streets release and has actually been ready for a few weeks. I'll post more about it tomorrow. You can see the pre-release blurb at the bottom of this page.

I will upload and schedule the release of two Jules Verne books for sometime next week. Journey to the Center of the Earth and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea are both ready. Honestly, 20,000 Leagues was ready a few weeks ago and I was very upset with myself when I realized that I hadn't actually uploaded it for sale. We are getting almost 0 sales of the GreatCreators books right now so I am not certain how much more I am willing to put into the line right now. I thought having bookmarked and linked text would be a major convenience for some, but so far the sales just aren't there. We'll still try a few more outlets over the next few months and see how that goes.

I wanted to have a "planetary romance" month where we released some of the classic sword and planet books as well as a few of the books that sort-of started out the trend. The Edgar Rice Burroughs Mars series is the most well-known but there were some others before that. This plan has largely been held up by, well, me. When I was dealing with the sick children and then foolishly got sick myself, I didn't get those projects completed and now my time is focused on new City Streets books and some other new products on the RPG side. I have the text(s) from JT and simply need to put them through layout. We have templates for this series so the layout doesn't really take all that long (though it still takes some time). I just haven't gotten them done.

On the bright side, I have been feeling much better today and I have high hopes that I'll get more work done tonight.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Very Sick

I have the bug that's been going through the family. Next year I get the flu shot!

Nothing else to report, just trying to recover enough to get some things done. As soon as I am up and going again I will have some news to get posted both here and on the website.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Grumble ...

Well, I was planning to get some website updates done, post some more news here, and even get more done on a few products, but this just didn't happen. Sick children and a water line leak have certainly slowed things down.

Oh, and yes, I did watch the Super Bowl last night. I also made a HUGE batch of chili. Fortunately, the chili freezes well (see the sick kids comment above).

In any case, I hope to have more news up here soon. The Sci-Fi channel is releasing a "Journey to the Center of the Earth" movie this Thursday so it seems to be a good time to release the Jules Verne version of "Journey to the Center of the Earth." The truth is, the release JT and I have ready is based on a translation originally titled "A Journey to the Interior of the Earth" which is considered a more accurate translation. I hope to release it tomorrow night and find a way to promote it as well. I have to deal with a number of things for high school applications/registration for DS#1 (for next year) tomorrow so I don't know how much will get done. Of course, if I have sick kids at home again (most likely will) this won't help.

Friday, January 30, 2009

GreatCreators

Okay, still a bit of delay on some of these. I have some ready to go, but not exactly in the order I was hoping to release them. Oops!

The White Tankard released on time, just after Midnight yesterday morning. I need to hit a few more message boards about it and see if that helps sales for the weekend.

While I am not thrilled with the sales of the .pdfs I have released so far, I am not crushingly disappointed either. This is partly because of my very low expectations based on the comments and info I have had from other publishers. I am hoping that trying to hold to a fairly regular release schedule will eventually keep GU in the minds of some customers and begin to drive sales. Once I have enough of a "backstock" I plan to do a bit more advertising and possible some sales to help get product sold. When I do this I hope to provide a special benefit to those customers that were loyal to me and bought the smaller .pdfs as they came out.

I am hoping that sales will continue to improve, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Aw Crumb!!!

Well, I am back from vacation and I did get some work done this afternoon but I didn't get to the website update I really needed to get to. I was asked for a recommendation for someone that I happen to think is a fantastic person as well as a great worker and writing a GREAT letter for someone like that takes time. I mean, if they asked me to write a letter for someone I didn't think so highly of, it would be easy. Anyway, that letter has chewed up a bit of time this evening.

I should have a website update finished later tonight or sometime tomorrow. The next City Streets release is going to be The White Tankard on Thursday (Jan 29) and the next GreatCreators release, is, well, in limbo. We might change the layout format we have used for those books despite the fact that several are already through layout. Basically the two-column landscape layout that several research studies suggest for onscreen reading aren't completely "acceptable" to certain fiction eBook vendors (long story).

Anyway, February is going to be "Planetary Romance Month" for the GreatCreators line. One way or the other, we'll get Lt. Gullivar and John Carter out to you during Feburary. Stay tuned for more.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Vacation

I will be on vacation from January 16th-January 25th. There will be no posts during that time. I will be completely "internet-free."

I had some problems with a few uploads yesterday. I don't know if it was the cable modem on my side (most likely) or something else. In any case, I was shocked to find that somehow I deleted the entire description of The Lord's Kennel which released early this morning. I will have to go through the other products and see if other mistakes were made.

The next City Streets release is January 29th.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tomorrow ...

Okay, I admit it, I got distracted by several different projects as well as a few things for the upcoming vacation. The City Streets releases are still ready to go, as are a few GreatCreators books but I got distracted and haven't uploaded anything yet.

I might still have a GreatCreators release tonight (Around the World in 80 Days-Jules Verne), if not, it'll be up tomorrow morning.

I haven't decided the exact order of the City Streets releases, when I peg that down I will have that information on the website. Basically, I was going to release "The Lord's Kennel" by James Ludwig, the same author/artist that did "The Black Ape," this Thursday. However, the other two releases that are ready to go are both taverns (or a tavern/inn) and I think it is probably best to separate those a bit more. I know I won't have time to finish off some of the other locations this week. I might have time before the 29th. You can see some of the truly boring decisions that go on behind the scenes. Thrilling isn't it?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Quick Update

Well, I should have a number of GreatCreators releases scheduled into the OBS system sometime tomorrow. I thought I'd have it done tonight but the thumbnails got messed up so I need to go back to the desktop machine (I am posting from the laptop) to fix that. The GreatCreators line clearly isn't going to go well through OBS and the contracts/etc. for other efiction vendors is clearly going to have to wait until I get back from vacation (or later).

When I schedule some of the GreatCreators releases (all Jules Verne right now, JT is a HUGE Verne fan) I will also be scheduling some City Streets products. I haven't decided the exact order of release, but I have 3 City Street minibooks ready to queue up for release. I should have time to get all of the information up on the website sometime tomorrow.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Moving along

Well, things are going fairly well. I have a few GreatCreators books (mostly Jules Verne) in the docket but I don't want to release them yet. Why? Well, sales for these on the OneBookShelf (OBS) sites are clearly going to be slim to none and a publisher can only have so many new releases up on the "new releases" page. The honest part of it is that my Thursday releases are toward the bottom of that page right and by releasing something else I will knock my own releases off that page. This pretty much means I am going to wait.

This week I am in town and will be working away madly on several projects. Okay, let's face it, I'll be working away madly on trying to get things ready for vacation next week and trying to tuck in work on GU anytime I can. I plan to schedule some releases to go out while I am gone but still haven't decided exactly which releases those will be. Vicki Potter has been helpful enough to give me some advice on the tools at OBS so I have been trying to get familiar with those while working on other projects. I have some ideas for a few things to boost sales in the future but right now I guess I am just trying to get a semi-regular release schedule going so GU looks like it is taking this whole publishing thing seriously.

I started this at one of the worst possible times in terms of the RPG industry. I guess it is a good thing I heard all the negativity, that set my expectations low and, well, that is a good thing ;). No matter what the final result is, I am constantly learning new things and gaining new skills so I look at this whole thing as a huge bonus.

I thought I would close with some related news: I will be doing at least 1d3 4e compatible products. I still don't know if I will do them with the GSL or do them in a way that the GSL isn't needed. This evening I realized that about 3 product ideas I have could avoid the GSL altogether. The bonus is, one of them could be done in a way that is compatible with both 4e and 3e products (but using the OGL). I am going to be taking my time on this as the whole GSL vs OGL thing is, well, a pain. I have one product already sketched out in a notebook in enough detail that I really feel like writing it up. I figure that if I don't publish it myself, I can probably sell it to someone that will.

That is the news for now. I should have another small website update on Tuesday and a new City Streets location available on Thursday. I leave for vacation on Friday and will be gone for a little over a week. I plan to schedule some automatic releases through the OBS system while I am gone.