This past March I published my first dungeons and dragons adventure, A Fey’s Anger, on the DM’s guild. It is a single encounter, but one that is wrapped in a larger backstory as it’s the first of a three-part series. My original intent was to craft a larger, multi-encounter module, but the realities of work and family life limited time I had available to invest in my hobby. I’m happy that I changed my approach and focused on smaller encounters because the reduced scope allowed me to finish a creation rather than continuously fret over a larger unfinished work.
Since completing my modest publication, I’ve been intrigued by articles that Teos Abadia has written on his own experience selling his creations on the DM’s Guild. His first post on the subject can be found here. This article inspired me to keep careful watch on how my own efforts would fare. But before I examine my sales numbers, there’s a few distinctions that I should make between the experience Teos presents and my own.
Teos is relatively well known in D&D circles, and for good reason. He’s been an active member of the gaming community for many years, overseeing organized play for Living Greyhawk, Living Forgotten Realms, and Ashes of Athas. He’s worked with Kobold Press, Baldman Games, and of course Wizards of the Coast. With this respectable body of work behind him, his words carry significant weight. Something Teos produces rightfully garners the attention of the d&d community at large.
I, in comparison, am a newcomer. Although I’ve played the game for years, it’s been among a small group of friends, not with a larger gaming community or at any grand convention events. On social media, I’m currently a tiny voice in a sea of content. There’s no way I can expect my initial offerings to be as successful as those that Teos has written about. But I’m more than okay with that. I see this as a beginning, and Teos as a great example of what can be accomplished if you’re a nice guy who works hard. His success is something I aspire to achieve.
With that said, what’s my own experience so far?
As I’m just starting out, I’ve purposely limited my expenditures with this effort. The art was free as I used either from public domain sources or pieces made available through the DM’s Guild site. I also leveraged a small gaggle of friends and family to edit my product, yielding a net outlay of $0. Certainly I invested a lot of time, but no cash out lay thus far.
In terms of promotion, its been limited. I’ve mentioned my offering in two gaming groups I belong to. I’ve also made a few posts on twitter, and have been thankful for the retweets by my online connections to a wider audience.
My first publication went live on March 23, 2018. In the thirteen or so weeks since then, I’ve had 24 sales. With my $1 price and a 50% commission rate nets me a modest $12 in total commissions from the product. This is certainly not a get-rich-quick scheme, but I never expected it would be. This has certainly been a labour of love.
Recently I reached out to Merric Blackman, a prodigious reviewer of D&D adventures to see if he might review my product. If you haven’t come across his blog, you really should take a look. To my astonishment, Merric very quickly answered yes, and posted his review in a remarkably short span of time. His review can be found here. I am eager to see if his review will have an effect on my product sales.
So after three months, I can honestly say I’m quite pleased with my results to date. Though my sales are modest in comparison to those presented in Teos’ article, I’ve still managed to squeeze out a number of sales in a crowded set of offerings on the DMs Guild.
I’m also extremely grateful to what I’ve found to be a very welcoming and helpful D&D community. I’m continually impressed by the warmth, support and encouragement I’ve received so far, and I look forward to seeing where my future endeavors may lead.