Wednesday, April 10, 2013

PBE Games - Q1 2013 (man I'm rich)

When I first started publishing RPG products via One Bookshelf, I promised myself I'd share out the sales results. There are a few real publishers that do this, and I've always found their data fascinating. So here goes.
Since I just started publishing in February, these figures don't cover a complete quarter. I publish exclusively through OBS, so I receive a 70% royalty on all sales. Here are the numbers:
  • Deadly Blows (February 13): 13 copies sold for $38.87 gross, $27.21 earnings
  • Tome of Names V1 (March 12): 8 copies sold for $14.32 gross, $10.02 earnings
  • Koslac's Crossing (March 20): 5 copies sold for $15.16 gross, $10.61 earnings
Note that (copies sold * list price) may not add up to gross sales, as there are a couple review copies reflected in those totals. During that period I also had $4.81 in additional income from OBS's affiliate program.
I'm lucky enough to have friends and relatives who can fill some of the roles I can't in the production process, and are willing to work for peanuts. My biggest bugaboo is art. I can draw maps, but when it comes to actual art, that's a different story. I spent $11.99 on clip-art packages in this quarter, and I've been supplementing that with public domain art. After paying costs, I'm left with a grand total of $25.50 pure profit (neglecting, of course, the cost of hosting, and my own work).

As you can see, I can now retire.

I'm not surprised by these results. I approached this entire project with a let's see what happens mindset, figuring 25 sales on an individual product would be a pretty good result, and Deadly Blows has come the closest to that mark. With each new product I also learn a bit more about the many tools OBS offers, so I can do a better job of marketing (if you were an early customer, sorry you didn't get a thank you note with your purchase).

Next week will see the launch of my next product, The Tombs map pack. After that, it'll be volume three of the Tome of Names (volume two went out earlier this month).

So there you have it, the financial joy of being an RPG publisher. I hope you found this a worthwhile read. I'd like to extend thanks to the OBS staff, especially Scott Holden, who's gone above and beyond the call of duty to answer my many, many questions. Finally, thanks to anyone and everyone that's purchased one of my products!


  1. Thanks for the info. I was super curious how business has been for pbegames. Keep up the good work!

  2. I love this kind of stuff, and wish more publishers would share. Thanks for reading!


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