Sig Budget Post-Mortem
All of these numbers are in Canadian dollars, based on a 1.4 conversion rate. There are a number of items listed for the sake of completeness that state “Jason Unpaid”. For these items, I have done the work without claiming compensation. Any compensation will be derived from net profits at the end of the process.
Total Kickstarter Budget
- Campaign Result: $9,888
- Net after Kickstarter Fees: $8,989
Development Costs ($2,380)
- $1050 to editing (Developmental and Copy Editors)
- $1050 to art (Cover art, Icons)
- $280 for indexing work
- $0 writing/design work (Jason unpaid)
- $0 layout work (Jason unpaid)
Most of these development costs were paid up front, largely out of the profits from the sale of other products or via freelance work. I was able to save significantly on the budget by doing all of the writing, game design, and layout work myself.
REMAINING KICKSTARTER FUNDS: $6,609
Printing Costs ($3,085)
- $3,085 to print 300 copies
- 150 copies for backers
- 50 copies damaged in the mail
- 100 copies remaining after the kickstarter (for sale and later revenue)
Printing the game was the most significant expense of the campaign, and for good reason. Colour printing, particularly in the case of digital short-run print jobs, is quite expensive compared to the black and white option. Sig needed to be presented in glorious colour though, and I’m extremely proud of how the physical book looks. I am, however, near the end of this print run and the current version of the book will not be reprinted.
REMAINING KICKSTARTER FUNDS: $3,524
Shipping Costs ($1,684)
- $334 for Shipment to Magpie (Fulfiller)
- $1080 for Magpie Fulfillment Costs (Reshipment)
- $270 for all other direct shipment costs
Shipping is almost always a nightmare, but working with Magpie Games as a fulfiller was a fantastic approach. The fine folks at Magpie sent out the books to most of my backers, and they managed to save a ton on shipping through their hard work. If I see a profit off this project, it will be thanks to them!
REMAINING KICKSTARTER FUNDS: $1,840
Stretch Goal Costs ($1,468)
For reference, the RPG industry is slowly settling on a standard pay rate for writers of approximately 5 cents per word. For this project, I paid each freelance writer for the prime worlds 20 CAD cent/word, which equates to approximately 15 US cents/word. Each contract had an upfront amount, and a final payment.
Yes, I did pay my stretch goal writers triple the normal rate. Each of the writers are fantastic professionals deserved better than the industry normally provides, and I wanted to make a point. The final outcome was utterly fantastic, and worth every penny.
- $700 Advances on Prime Worlds
- $700 Final Payments for Prime Worlds
- $110 for editing Night Markets Adventure Chapter
- $0 for Map of Sig (Jason unpaid)
- $280 for Icons for the Prime Worlds.
REMAINING KICKSTARTER FUNDS: $150
I am proud to say that that we have successfully completed the kickstarter campaign in the black! It isn’t much, but I appreciate the trajectory. Worry not, though, as I have plans for those profits.
The Future – Manual of the Primes
As I described in the last post, the Sig stretch goals have created a ton of additional content. The work is so good that I really want to integrate it with the rest of the book. As part of the process, I decided to add two new chapters of content.
The first new chapter will present the core game mechanics of Spark. This will mean that the new book will stand alone, and provide someone with everything they need to run the game.
The second new chapter will explore the neighborhoods of Sig, describing places like the Rat Farms, the Ideological Tether, or the Golden Spires. It also presents a variety of different characters who represent those communities, offering you plenty of opportunities to explore the city. I have budgeted another $450 in order for professional editing of the new content so that it can be included in the final text. This will bring us $300 into the red, but I should have enough total book sales and PDF sales for Sig to pay for that.
Do you have any questions or comments? Please let me know in the comments, and I will be happy to share more information!