Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Goal Setting: Planning your projects for the following year (art by Alexia Veldhuisen)

The flyer  we've been using at conventions
art by Alexia Veldhuisen

You can learn more about Alexia and her art HERE

It has been a fantastic summer for me and Sinopa Publishing LLC.

Things that have happened:
1) Tale of the Wizard's Eye shipped and met its backer reward delivery estimate

2) Tarot Adventures, Book One: The Draw of Glenfallow has surpassed its funding goal and is ending on September 1st, 2017 (in case your reading this later).

3) Children's books have been written and just waiting on illustrations now.

4) Merchandise store opened to fair traffic and dismal sales so far.  I'm still looking into other items sold in conjunction with books being released.

5) The social media campaign for 47 Furious Tails is warming up.  Several people have volunteered to help share the link to the campaign and to spread the word.  I'm attending a local comic convention on September 9th to hand out the flyer above and continue to drum up support for the campaign.

6) Writing on Tarot Adventures, Book Two: Comet over Echo rock is proceeding.  Encounters have been laid out, most of the art is already done.  Now I'm playing catch up on the writing to get ready for it's KickStarter campaign.  This book will be the last one in the Tarot Adventure series released in 2017, with the next four in the series planned for release in 2018.

7) Set goals.  I've set revenue goals for 2018.  Really high, terribly unlikely, possibly delusional goals but goals nonetheless.  Why?  Because goals are important.  They help you keep your eye on what you are working toward and off the television or phone.  Set goals folks, then work to meet them.

So Tale of the Wizard's Eye shipped after a lot of scrutiny from me and the other folks I had proofreading... I've learned a lot from that project, and I'm working to do much better with each release.

Other things that happened:
1) Vampire the Masquerade, the world of darkness got its own version of the DM Guild.  If you were a gamer in the 90s you've heard of Vampire.  Now we can all write and develop for it.  I will brush up on the rules for it (new version as I understand it), dust off some old campaign notes, and see what I can put together.  Should be fun.

2) Other stuff:  Natural disasters, riots, political discontent, etc.  The world is weird... plan accordingly.

So in light of what has happened, what do I want to make happen?
When you ask yourself that question, I recommend writing things down.  Thoughts can be ephemeral things.  Don't let them escape.  What follows is my list of things I want to accomplish and my brief bit about how to accomplish those things.  Enjoy!

Things I would like to see happen:

2017:  Firstly, I would like to see 47 Furious Tails KickStarter fund.  To be honest, I would love for it to set a KickStarter record for the most backers of a comic.  I know that is a HUGE goal.  Believe me, I know.  The current project as a comic book that I can locate on Kickstarter with the most backers was in 2014 for a comic called "LadyPorn Conquers Earth!" with 5709 backers.  The story of 47 Furious Tails is one of honor, loyalty, and sacrifice.  I want to believe that more people will support a story about the 47 ronin, than a comic about porn.  I want to believe that.  Sex sells though, so I will just have to work hard to reach that goal.  Do I believe I'll reach 5710 backers?  Honestly I have some doubts.  That is more, by far, than my first two KickStarter campaigns.

Want to help?  Sure you do, at least I hope you do. On September 14th, go to KickStarter and search out "47 Furious Tails".  Look over the KickStarter and pledge your support if you believe this story deserves to see print.  Share the link with others and ask them to do the same.  With enough backing the comic can see print and be in the hands or comic and samurai fans all over the world. It will be available in digital format as well.

2017: Secondly, I would like to see Tarot adventures, Book Two: Comet over Echo Rock see most, if not all, of the backers from The Draw of Glenfallow return to continue their support.  I am working hard to earn their support.  Working on improving the writing, formatting, ease of use, and story for the adventures I publish.  I hope I'll see them return to continue their adventures through the series.
The art in The Draw of Glenfallow is simply awesome.  Between the story, which I shamelessly believe is pretty good, the art, and the ease of use I am confident the book will be well received.  It is a brutal adventure though, so time will tell.

This goes back to my previous thoughts on KickStarter funding and earning your audience through providing your best work and best value to your backers.  They have supplied you with their money afterall, its important that we as game designers, writers, and publishers earn those dollars.  A project should never be "good enough".  It should be the best you can do or not be done.  (End of that thought).

2017: Last but not least, I want to finish the weapon source book being done by myself and Zachary Viola.  A cool idea that I'm really excited about.  Would love to see it in print and on folks shelves.

Wow... only 4 months left in 2017 and I'm planning for next year. How time flies. If you haven't started considering your release schedule for 2018, start now.

1)  Prepare for subsequent KickStarter campaigns to fund the subsequent issues of 47 Furious Tails.
2)  Prepare for second comic book line (no spoilers here, its not ready yet)
3)  Release books 3 through 6 of the Tarot Adventure series (this is my initial plan, it may come to pass that multiple books may be released via KickStarter funding if the audience is supporting these books enough to warrant it).
4)  Complete design of a card game I'm working on. Complete analysis of game dynamic and play testing.  Launch KickStarter for funding and see if it people want to play it as much as I do and if it is as fun as I think it is.
5) Children's books.  Children's books are running behind right now.  I would like to get the illustrations done, then launch a KickStarter campaign (notice a trend yet) to fund the ISBN, art, and print costs.  I would like to have this campaign going in early 2018 if at all possible with books released before the spring.
6) The Rose of Relange (tm) role-playing game:  This project took a back seat as several artists on the project ran headlong into real issues with the timetable.  This project will now not see play test until 2018, which affords me some opportunity to create more material for it to go into the play test.  Time permitting I am hoping to put this out to the play testers before the end of March 2018, and I would like to take it to GenCon 2018 once print run is complete.  Ambitious, aren't I?

No time right now for contemplating 2019.  Not going that far ahead yet.

Art from: Tarot Adventures, Book Two: Comet over Echo Rock
By: Alexia Veldhuisen

Now you've seen how I'm ordering my goals.  The next step is to set out how to achieve them.
For each goal, list out the steps you need to complete to reach that goal.  For example, a number of my goals are dependent upon receiving funding through KickStarter.  So I develop an action plan for how I will conduct the campaign, I list out the individual actions I need to undertake to complete the tasks needed, and I start doing them.  That last part is key.  Do not put things off.

Now that we know what we want to accomplish and how we are going to achieve those goals it is time to develop contingencies.  Something will, inevitably, go wrong or otherwise necessitate a change to the plan.  Develop your contingencies then act.

Do the things.  Accomplish your goals.

Simple?  Not really.  Anything worth doing is usually not simple.  So strap in for the long haul, work diligently, and achieve your goals.

I want to thank you all for once again joining me on my adventure.

I hope you will join me next time.

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