Prolific RPG publisher Mongoose Publishing is the latest company to release a guide to success in the game industry. Called I am Mongoose, and so can you! the book is designed to teach you “to create your own roleplaying games, what to do once you have a book ready to sell, and how much money you are likely to make over the course of your first year in business.” There’s some frank discussion in the previewed pages, akin to the infamous “Don’t enter the game industry” talk Steve Jackson has given at GTS many times. Note the release strategy on this book – one way to maximize earning potential is to use the PDF format for experimental side projects. At $29.95 for a 37 page PDF, it might be best to file this as a business expense. The press release is below.
Mongoose Publishing press release follows:
Making Riches and Profit From Roleplaying Games!
I am Mongoose, and so can you! is an in-depth look at how anyone can make a full-time living from the roleplaying games industry. Whether you are looking to find a career creating and selling roleplaying games, or are determined to start your own business, this book shows you how.
You will be taken through facts and figures showing, chapter and verse, how to go about gathering the resources needed to create your own roleplaying games, what to do once you have a book ready to sell, and how much money you are likely to make over the course of your first year in business.
This book covers several different scenarios, allowing you to pick the one most suited to you, and your current situation. Even in today’s credit crunch climate, you will be shown how you can make a very viable living from roleplaying games alone.
Written by Matthew Sprange, owner of one of the most successful roleplaying companies around (Mongoose Publishing), I am Mongoose, and so can you! will show you all the secrets you need to begin.
Think of this book as the equivalent of spending an hour or two with the boss of a successful roleplaying publisher, asking them just how you can make a successful living doing the same thing!
You can find this PDF at;
Or you could save your $30 and go to your local library and check out any book on running a business that employs freelancers, a book on digital pre-press (toss in a copy of Strunk & White or a book on how to find a good editor while you’re at it) and a book on market research and get the same thing for free.
I’m going to shatter some bubbles here, folks, but the game “industry” is just like any other business. If you operate under sane, established business practices, you have a higher probablility of being a success! The high rate of failure is from people running companies like a hobby rather than as a business.
Are there some tips in this PDF that might be unique to games? I’m sure there are but the odds of any of them being a game-breaker? Unlikely. You’re not going to manage a run a successful company from a PDF. Put in the real work.
Did the product strike a nerve for you? 🙂
All fair points. A bit pricey for 37 pages, too. But I’m just going on the preview pages, so there might be something useful in there.
“so there might be something useful in there.”
Yes! You can learn how to run a company that publishes books without such silly things as proof editors, layout folks, or well…all the things real publishers use. The only fitting thing about this product is that there are two weasels on the cover, which ya know…makes sense.
I’m still just marvelling at the price for the page count. Owch.
I like that: “The high rate of failure is from people running companies like a hobby rather than as a business.”
Further, these losers are obsessed with the notion that anyone who makes money off gaming is somehow beneath them; they do it “for the love of the hobby,” where those of us looking to make a profit are supposed to somehow be… I don’t know what – robber barons of some sort?
I’m so tired of this “work pays our bills, this is our hobby” nonsense. We *know* it’s your hobby because no one would pay you for your sub-par mediocrity, riddled with systematic inconsistencies and based on pointless “house rules” that upset the engine!
If you can afford to pay for registration, hosting, and programs, and have the time to devote to creating and distributing quality content, then bully for you! You’ll understand if I think you foolish for not trying to make a buck off your hard work – especially when, if you are truly so phenomenal and stuff, it would mean you could do it full-time, instead of flipping burgers “to pay your bills.”
Of course, that’s never the case; these “professional hobbyists” always offer poorly-formatted conversion notes, campaign “diaries,” and other useless errata, so loaded with bad grammar and misspellings you can barely wade through it, void of artwork, and prefaced with a hardline rant as to how their refusal to do quality work and inattention to detail is supposed to impress us (because it proves what a labor of love this is for them). Along with the obligatory, ugly swipe at those of us who use advertising to recoup our costs and so on.
You don’t have to publish a book – even an “e-book” – to turn a buck on RPGs, nor should you. It’s an outdated practice; print is dead. Why create 234435646 “editions” of your system in e-books when you can create a single website dedicated to it and make changes on a recurring basis?
Sorry. I should have introduced myself before dumping, but I found your site by searching for certain terms related to my rant and have been reading some older posts. I think I agree with many of the outlooks expressed here, as many of you seem to be as disenchanted with the blowhards this hobby draws as I am.
As for this particular product, don’t you [i]dare[/i] pay $40 for this book! Send me $40 and I’ll literally *help* you do it!
I love that word “always.”
ALWAYS send me $40 and I will help you do it.
But if you can afford to do it on your own “as a hobby,” please try to do so with a little class, significance, and attention to detail; the overwhelming amount of “integrity” is no substitution.