It's LAUNCH +6 at Daftworks Towers, and I thought I should give you a rundown on how things are going.
They're going OK, to be honest. For an indie product with only one person handling the marketing, the sales and exposure has been steady. Elite Encounters is proving to be a reasonably popular item, and I've already had some positive reviews from both the Kickstarter community and the general populace.
So what movement has there been?
Well, the EPUB and Kindle versions have been getting some attention. There was a setback with the EPUB version, in that I couldn't confirm that all the changes for RC2 and 3 had been rolled into the in-progress version. That version had been extracted from the text of RC1, and although I was pretty sure I had rolled up the RC2 and 3 changes, a read through of the text whilst doing the RC4 modifications revealled some missing changes. So, rather than have to go through the changelists again, I made the decision to re-extract the text from the finished version and start over. In some ways this might make things easier, as I can make some overall changes to the format and do the extract in a more productive way.
The Kindle version is in progress as well. During some discussions around putting the book online at Amazon, it became clear that any ebook format other than Kindle was not particularly welcome. Some updating of my Amazon seller account was then necessary in order to start engaging Amazon in discussions about their conversion tools for PDF to Kindle. This may take some time and might not even be suitable, so whilst laying out the Epub version I will be doing so with a potential conversion to Kindle in mind.
In terms of physical rewards, I've cleaned up the deliverables spreadsheet to make it easier to work out what has been fulfilled and what hasn't. I forgot just how much there was to send out in this project! In any case, the dice and dice ring fulfilment will be going ahead soon, and will be handled by someone other than myself. Which is probably good news.
Other than dice, the main physical deliverables are the POD and Loose-leaf versions of the book. I'm glad to say that I have found what seems to be a potential source of POD copies. I will hopefully be receiving the quality control proof copy this week (tomorrow, hopefully) and will let you know if the supplier will be getting the contract. They are also sending me a proof copy of the loose-leaf version for me to check and see if it would be fit for purpose.
On top of all that, I'm learning how to be a publisher and salesman. I'm looking into ways to publicise the book in a variety of mediums. The first step is that I have listed the book on DriveThruRPG, the largest online supplier of RPG material. I've made some mistakes with the listing, but I'm slowly getting my head around their marketing tools and listing options. So far Elite Encounters has one five star rating, but no reviews. More than a dozen copies were sold/downloaded in the three days since it went live as well. I've also contacted some reviewers in the RPG industry to see if they would be interested in featuring the book in their magazines, videos and websites.
In all, a busy week. Once the initial launch furore settles down, I'll get more focused on the other deliverables, but the focus now is making sure that the electronic books, the main focus of the original Kickstarter, are getting the attention they need to make the investment of your money and my time (and money as well) worthwhile.
So, what about Frontier's involvement? Frontier now have another published product under their branding. Oddly, they have been rather quiet since the final approval was given. I'm hoping that over the next few days they will get back to me with a few answers and directions for their side of the book's marketing. I hope they are pleased with the final outcome of this, their longest-running licensed product and that they are going to be involved with it going forward. I hope I did their faith justice in the end despite the many setbacks.
And the same goes for the guys in Kickstarter land. You are the reason this book was made and I'll never forget that. I hope you can forgive me for the length of time it took to write, and that you'll have a little more patience whilst I fulfil the rest of my promises to you.
And I don't say this enough, but this week I intend to set this right. The book stalled a couple of times, and one of the major blockages was the development of the Vehicle Combat System. Colin Ford rose to the challenge of assisting with that development, and without his vision and knowledge of a variety of gaming systems, the VCS in Elite Encounters would not be the amazing thing it has turned out to be. So a HUGE thank you to Colin for his help and his brilliance.
Ok. Back to work. If you read this before 8pm UK time tonight, I'll be streaming live on twitch.tv/selezen and no doubt talking about the game. Last week's stream ended up being a 2 hour presentation about the RPG and everything that goes with it, so if you want to take a look at that then you can find it on youtube.com/selezen.
Yeah, it's shameless self-publicity. Deal with it ;-)
Until next time, people.