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Tag Archives: Publishers

Brainfarts: Selling adverts in RPG Ebooks: Can it work? Can you make it viable?

2 Jun

So, more thinking out loud here, I’m going to talk about something that is virtually non existent in RPG ebook media as far as I am aware, which could either be a real pain for me, or a real bonus.

To recap, while before I could advertise my own projects, material and goods etc on the WP blog platform, if I got caught advertising any other persons stuff without monetisation, I’d have been shut down, never to return. This restriction did not apply to my ebooks, in which I can publish whatever the fuck I like (with restrictions on dodgy material and such) however many pages I want, there is freedom to advertise anything.

Now the advertising word is my oyster, so to speak.

Sure, a couple of people moaned about me adding adverts at the back for my products, but the rest have said nothing. Whether it’s a sign of apathy, or that no one cares that I’m sticking the ads in at the end, listening to the vocal few is always a bad thing, so I’ll plump for the apathy angle instead.

Hear this idea out, then you can discuss, comment and chip in with your own thoughts.

These ads cost me nothing to put in, so why not make some cash by letting others do the same? So, before the nay sayer’s chip in and yap about it’s not worth it to advertise in my PDFs, why then, did plenty of real hobby advertisers opt to advertise in last years Grinning Skull Compendium 2016 if it’s no good to do so? Even so it was offered by me to do it for free, if there were no value to advertisers, then why bother? That is because, it is a good idea.

You might think that even so my releases don’t sell into the thousands usually, you forget that these adverts are classed as being in the niche subject of direct targeted adverts. With that the value goes up, the chance of response also goes up and job is done.

Since the idea was taken up with the compendium, why not take this forward and try again, only this time lets try and get it to pay. A full A5 sized page ad (half A4 page size) could be expensive to pay for, but as I am not a huge name publisher, I’m willing to keep the price low. Also I’d be inclined to offer the ad in each new small PDF release until 2018 as incentive to advertisers. Maybe selling myself short? but, as they cost me nothing to include, then I think this adds extra value to tempt niche advertisers to part with their cash. How much? $20 seems reasonable to me for almost seven months worth of promotion in a niche hobby publication.

Now while many advertisers were happy to take the free offer, how many would be willing to pay for the privilage? $20 is hardly anything for a whole 7 months worth of ads (and beyond if you consider that the PDFs will contain the ads whilst in that edition) I’d limit it, to the first 20 advertisers to take up such offer, and negotiate any others after that (space providing, and smaller ad, maybe $15 for a quarter page for same amount of time) I’d draft a template letter, containing the details, then isolate 100 potential niche hobby companies and potential advertisers, and send the offer. This would then be easy to log the results, maximise the potential of filling the schedule and net a possible $400+. Noice!

Can it be done? Will anyone be brave enough to be included and pathe the way for my grand future plan? (not telling just yet) Who can tell?

The reason for this transparency, is that I want to show those of you out there, that indeed there are other ways around situations like this, and to prove or fail in the attempt. Sure, I could do this in secret, try it myself and not publish how it worked or didn’t, but since this is an experiment, I wanted to share what happens in case you are in a similar situation and would like to do the same. I’m nice like that, you know, and want you all to know that I care about you all so much! Apart from that man at the back picking his nose, I don’t like him!!

So, what are your thoughts? Good idea? Bad idea? Is there any validity? Are there any small publishers like myself who have an opinion on this?

As ever, comment, share, and get a conversation going. I’d love to hear your opinions!

Let me know what you think, would you like me to try it? Would you try it?

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New Release: Hammergate Poster Map

28 May

New release time again, Get the latest with the Hammergate poster map.

This map booklet contains further exploration of the town of Hammergate from the newly released “The Witch’s Daughter” GSAM01 module (Which can be found here http://www.rpgnow.com/product/212464/The-Witchs-Daughter-Adventure-Module-GSAM01)

Contained within, is a printable B&W poster map (57×79.9cm, 9×9 A4 sheets)of the town for you to use along with the module, or simply for your own RPG campaigns!

This is a Pay What you Want title, basically FREE, but those downloading are asked to donate what you want in return. Any contributions help contribute to the authors and are gladly welcomed with greatful thanks!!

You can grab a copy, by visiting this page at our RPGnow.com product page here: http://www.rpgnow.com/product/212875/Hammergate-Poster-Map

New Release: 100 City Encounters & Adventure Hooks for all fantasy RPGs!

6 May

It’s shameless plug time, otherwise known as release day, so I wanted to let you know about the latest Grinning Skull Design Studios PDF to our ever growing range of RPG supplements.

100 City Encounters & Adventure Hooks is a great new title in the series, and is perfect for GM’s who want to add some side quests into their players city wanderings!

Check it out by visiting http://www.rpgnow.com/product/211316/100-City-Encounters–Adventure-Hooks-for-all-fantasy-RPGs or check out our publisher page http://www.rpgnow.com/browse/pub/8807/Grinning-Skull-Studios for more of our titles.

100 Summoned Demons, for all Fantasy, Horror & Modern RPGs Out Now!

28 Mar

Back once again with yet another (yes, really another one!) release from Grinning Skull, with 100 Summoned Demons for all fantasy, horror & modern RPGs.

Get your copy by clicking this link now!

Or visit our publisher page link below. 

Stories of Suspension, and Suspicion of Spammers…(and the “S” word…)

5 Feb

grinningdennissemalt

Ok, I thought I’d just clear up the reasons why this blog got taken down last week. I’ve had a lot of people ask just why it happened and the story behind it, so for what it’s worth, let me tell you before I draw a line about it…
I had prepared a post called “Doing the S-E-M-A-L-T karaoke” in which I just wanted to draw attention to this dodgy company that has caused so much ire for many of us out there recently. This article was done in my usual deliberate tongue in cheek manner, asking for those out there with any gripes could pose intentionally provocative or just plain rude questions to them (with preference to the more humorous ones) and further highlight the company’s shadiness and inability to give straight answers to the normal queries that folks may have about them.
Further in the post, I also highlighted the fact that their own blog had even less than the Grinning Skull about the company, plus the fact that I had left them a few comments on there telling them how I thought the other commenters there, were actually “sock puppets” spouting positive comments in order to fool the layperson into thinking they are actually an above board company. These sarcastic comments made by myself were also taken down by them to counter any negative reaction (of which i completely understand, I would have too under the circumstances if I were them!)
Anyway, as soon as I tried to post this article, I was frozen out from the entire wordpress system and alerted with a warning message, that highlighted the fact that I had been suspended for violating the TOCs of WordPress, either for the reasons of being flagged for spamming, or running articles detailing talk of S-E-O for purposes of ranking and such. Obviously this was utter bullshit and at the time, I did start to think that i’d either been hacked by the offenders (note that i’m not going to mention their name, or talk to much in detail about the whole thing, for reasons I’ll mention in a moment) or that they had had me taken down for my abuse and ridicule of them. Call me paranoid, but with all the talk these days of international snooping and hacking of data, you really never know. Plus, since the whole thing began, i’ve heard loads of conflicting stories about them, so there’s no wonder I was thinking that way!
I don’t know how many of you bloggers use Zementa for your postings, but for those who don’t, Zementa is a useful blogging tool that helps link your posts to useful info with suggestions, explanations and info from about the net. It is a usually decent tool that adds another level of detail to sometimes boring posts, but it would seem that this time it was my undoing! Without thinking I applied the links from the text I’d written with details from my article, linking them to the various explanations of the stuff I had wrote down (something I won’t be doing without thinking n future, I can add!) as is recommended by others while using the add on.
As per usual, I added my list of tags and key words, as you do with your posts, again not thinking I was doing anything wrong. This was also not a great idea, especially when it comes to the automated system employed by the wordpress software, when it comes to spam and such.
As it turns out, those two reasons seem the most likely reasons that the blog was suspended, the anti-spam measures in place flagged me as a spammer who was trying to diddle the rankings system in order to get better placement on the big G! This was all sorted with a few messages to the good “human” staff at support, when they realised I had been taken out of context in my aims with the post, and they reinstated me without delay.
It did highlight a flaw in the wordpress support system, that if there is a genuine reason and a blogger did actually need support in similar cases like this, when one is suspended, you can’t even post on the support forums to ask for help, nor is there an active email address to contact to try and sort things out. Luckily, it was sorted and reason triumphed in this matter. No hacks, no paranoia, just a simple mistake with the wordpress software!
You might be wondering why I refrain from mentioning S-E-M-A-L-T? Well, since it seems that now the wordpress software anti-spam measures recognise the company and all talk of it, as spam, I don’t want to risk it happening again, nor do I want to highlight them by linking to them and giving them more backlinks to aid their progress. I would also advise that other bloggers on the wordpress platform refrain from doing the same and be careful what your putting in your posts and what stuff your linking to, as the software is automated and they instantly suspend you without warning. Be careful!
On another note, it seems that this company seem to think that the reply they gave in my other post (A letter from…etc) is sufficient to quell the bad press they have been getting from other net users and bloggers, and have now decided to fiddle with their blog and facebook pages with reference to that post. they seem to think that this is an endorsement to them being regarded as “a proper reputable company”. I don’t know if the fact that they are from a non english speaking country, that the english sarcasm is lost on them, or they really are that stupid. The cheeky bastards are even peddling the statement on their Facebook page, and even so the many comments there are from others either complaining or slagging them off, my acerbic later comments were deleted by them, in which I was saying that I did not endorse them what so ever!
So, I will say it here, once again: “I DO NOT ENDORSE S-E-M-A-L-T WHAT SO EVER, AND THAT I WOULD SAY THAT ANY PERSON WITH CONCERN, TO LET OTHERS KNOW TO AVOID, REPORT OR COMPLAIN PUBLICALLY ABOUT THEM IN ORDER TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT THIS DISREPUTABLE COMPANY.”
Please make sure that other web users are aware of just how shady they are in their business, and if possible, let any appropriate authorities know of their antics and methods by alerting them to what they are up to. Even so they weren’t to blame for taking my site down, the web could do without them or their likes. They offer nothing that you can’t already do for yourself, and every little bit of their actions betray them as being the lying, underhand and scheming spammers they are. Lets face it, even wordpress recognise them for spamming (as is evident in their suspension of my site) and word is that the staff there are working on a solution to delete evidence of their botnet’s visits to our wordpress sites and statistics!
I won’t be following up further related posts (unless they really piss me off that is…) my site really isn’t the place to highlight the failings of this flawed company, but even so that is true, It pisses me off when stuff like this happens, it’s just another load of blaggers taking us for mugs, which is just not on. I’m not trying to become some kind of investigative reporter that uncovers plots against society, i’m just a bod trying to help others with the truth. Something that this rotten apple of a company, seems to not like.
The suspension of my blog did make me realise just how much I really enjoy blogging, and the old addage is true about “you realise how much you miss something when it’s gone”.
Happy posting my brothers and sisters of blogland!

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