It’s a simple question. If we are to meet the income goals for 2012 of £12,000 after costs, what do 6d6 need to sell? All the details are on the spreadsheet but you can see the key numbers here or in a more easily digested form below.
Physical products such as the 6d6 Core and Mince Pies & Murder have so far generated about 25% of our gross (pre-costs) income. If this continues, to reach our sales targets we need to sell about 130 copies of the core rules and an average of 50 copies of each of the existing adventures.
The book sales will need to be backed up by sales of cards and sundries such as dice. Based on existing sales we need to shift abut 50 sets of dice and around 100 sets of blank cards and binder rings.
The story with PDF products is very similar. We will need to sell around 50 copies of 6d6 Core and each of the titles in PDF form. Additionally, it would take over 100 sales of the 6d6 Library Card (a cut-price PDF bundle).
As well as the hard copy and PDF versions of our products, we also sell memberships to 6d6 Online. To hit the income target I need to sell 50 or so lifetime memberships and 20 monthly memberships.
The Numbers Lie
It is vital to note that the numbers above, and on the spreadsheet, are pretty much a pile of crap.
They are extrapolated from our sales in 2011 and there simply isn’t enough data to make a decent prediction. Some products (such as the yearly membership) haven’t sold at all so there are no projected sales for it. They are also heavily biased by a lot of our sales coming from conventions which obviously favours physical products.
The numbers also ignore the issue of scale. We struggled to sell more than a handful of items at each convention and there is no way we will suddenly sell 100 copies of the core rules at conventions next year. To shift that many copies we need move into retail outlets and the viability of that is doubtful due to our costs.
Finally, the projection also ignores any new products being launched (there will be four in the first six months at least). Nor does it take into account the difference between the sales around a product’s launch and the back-ground level of sales afterward. Its debatable we will sell fifty copies of the Outbreak! PDF over the next 12 months but it is far plausible we will sell 30+ copies of 6d6 Magic when it launches.
The numbers also fail to take into account profitability. PDFs and memberships are vastly more profitable to 6d6 than hard copy sales. Works such as 6d6 Core or Mince Pies & Murder are more profitable than Outbreak! because I wrote them and thus don’t need to pay the writer their 1/3 share. A PDF sale of 6d6 Magic will be almost pure profit (if you ignore the vast amount of time invested in writing it).
Through careful pricing, promotions and simple things like where products appear on the web site, I can emphasis more profitable products. Allowing me to hit my income targets with less sales.
All A Waste Of Time?
Despite the fact that the numbers are so widely unreliable, they do have a real purpose. They give us a ballpark figure to aim at.
It is clear that from these figures I need to be looking at selling between 50 and 150 copies of each of the major products. e.g 50 copies of Outbreak! hard copy, 50 Outbreak! PDFs and 50 yearly memberships. If sales are in this region across the entire range, we will hit the income target and more.
Armed with this information I can make plans about the size of production runs I can needed for each game. It also gives me a target, the importance of which cannot be underestimated. With so many possible uses of my time and resources, it is often hard to know where to spend them. As 2012 progresses, these targets will help me measure my progress and where I’m falling short.
As flawed and unreliable as these figures are, they are a vital part of 6d6’s future.