I’ve been earning an income in some capacity from the gaming industry since 1995. I’ve seen a lot of different aspects of the industry. I’ve been a freelancer, a retailer, and a convention host (and vendor, and guest). I’ve attended the GAMA Trade Show, GenCon, and distributor open houses. I’ve had candid discussions with all tiers. I’ve seen behind-the-screen figures from publishers, stores and distributors.
I’ve seen a lot of people come in and launch something without discovering how their existing peers work. Stores open with no understanding of what game retail is like. Likewise, publishers have put out books or games doomed from the start because of fundamental marketing, design or planning flaws. As a retailer, I facepalmed many times over a new publisher making a mistake that somebody else just made a few months ago. A little networking–like attending a con or reading a message board–could have prevented those errors.
Now that I know what the roadblocks are and how others have circumvented them, I’m ready to put my experience to the test again. I’m launching a small-scale publishing company, focusing on 4e and Pathfinder support materials. This is a side effort for now. I plan to reinvest any earnings from the publishing company for the first two years or so. My goal is that the publishing will be able to pay me a full-time salary within that time frame.
The site is at www.mayriverpublishing.com. We’re soliciting game submissions and novel submissions now.