What do writers get paid..
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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:25 pm 
 

Can someone in the know tell me what writers get paid to write RPG's.. I know its not much but a general idea would be good.. 4-6cents a word?

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:46 pm 
 

beasterbrook wrote:Can someone in the know tell me what writers get paid to write RPG's.. I know its not much but a general idea would be good.. 4-6cents a word?

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You are in the ballpark. I know it varies based on the end product type - rulebook, module, article, etc.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:50 pm 
 

lets say rulebook/supp..

How many words can you fit on a page.. (just so I can estimate how big something will be with say 100,000 words)

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:26 pm 
 

It also varies on publication, publisher and the ability of the author. An established author, or one of specific note, could be looking at 15 cents a word or so, but most likely for supplements, articles and/or adventures. Probably not entire RPG systems on that price.


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Last edited by mbassoc2003 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:26 pm 
 

I saw this in a TV Commercial.
They get paid in Gum...


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:01 pm 
 

I have had several OSRIC modules published thus far, and have found that the industry rate is about $.01-.02/word, with most publishers paying $.01/word. Basically, the only real compensation one receives in the gaming industry is the joy of seeing one's name in print. That being said, I will continue to write OSRIC modules because I find such to be a relaxing pastime.

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:26 pm 
 

Yeah it is not much.  In my case I also got 5 copies of the book which was cool.

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:26 pm 
 

Fiction writers don't even get paid $0.05/word, at least not for the magazine market. Try two or three, tops.


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:18 pm 
 

I was going to say "diddly-squat", but you guys are so much more diplomatic!!  :wink:


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:41 pm 
 

Robert J. Schwalb, a prolific writer for RPGs created an insightful blog post on this very subject. As you may be able to tell from the title it is not very uplifting :-)

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http://www.robertjschwalb.com/2011/06/c ... ncing-101/

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:52 pm 
 

cgould42 wrote:Robert J. Schwalb, a prolific writer for RPGs created an insightful blog post on this very subject. As you may be able to tell from the title it is not very uplifting :-)

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http://www.robertjschwalb.com/2011/06/c ... ncing-101/

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Sounds like game design is even worse, unless you get spectacularly lucky.


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:05 pm 
 

Strictly talking RPG books, it is even more painful when you consider the illustrator will get 3x to 4x what the writer will get paid. I guess that may seem fair to some and that is ok. But in the RPG world - small press anyway - there is only a finite amount of cash to produce a product and still earn a profit, or at least not lose money. The writer just seems to be low man on the totem pole.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

New modules for your Old School game http://pacesettergames.com/

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:52 pm 
 

When I was in high school a friend of mine's father was a professional writer. I remember one time he was called on a Wednesday to do a rush job on a movie novelization. They mailed him the script. He told them he'd send them his manuscript on Monday. He went to his study, door open, and just started typing. Sunday he was done. Monday he mailed out the manuscript.

This guy was a pro. He wasn't famous but he made a living writing. He and Asimov competed with each other over how many books they had published. His advice to writers was to just sit down and write and keep writing. If you want to be published find out what the editor/publisher is looking for and keep sending in material.

Times have changed. Skip the publisher and just start writing adventures and self-publish, or for fiction, go right to kindle. Every author I've met seems to say about the same thing, just keep on creating and writing, listen to the guy paying you money, if you are lucky to find a publisher or employer, but just keep writing.

For myself, the few times I've been published it has always been someone contacting me to do some work or wanting to buy work that I've already done. I've done work for free, for .5c a word, for merchandise, for $60 a page. I haven't tried the kindle/ebook route, but the percentage you make is huge compared to print publication. With all the bookstore chains collapsing hopefully ebooks will be the way of the future.

What percentage do the print on demand places take? It looks a lot simpler than trying to get an adventure, rulebook or sourcebook printed yourself, or trying to find a game publisher who would want to publish or hire you.


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Post Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:01 am 
 

Most of my RPG freelance writing (for White Wolf, Pagan Publishing, Biohazard Games, and others) was for $0.01-$0.05 per word, but most of that was back in the 1990s, too, when the money was better.  When I wrote for Erik Mona for Dragon and Polyhedron, IIRC I was paid $0.08 per word, while their general rates for first-time authors were $0.04-$0.06 per word.  

I've also been paid flat fees for editing, creative consulting, and such, but in general those were in the neighborhood of $150-$500 at a pop, with stuff at the top end being for editing/creative consulting that needed to be turned around very quickly (like in Jason's example---in less than a week).


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Post Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:20 am 
 

$0.07 per word writing web articles for wizards.com from about 2005-2008 or so.


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Post Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:13 am 
 

I wonder who has the rights to the Harry Potter RPG.


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Last edited by mbassoc2003 on Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:12 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:I wonder who has the rights to the Harry Petter RPG.


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Post Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:09 pm 
 

I get a flat rate and then a tiered royalty structure based on sale volume. I find it works better. The amount to be paid depends on the size of the production -- the more pages it has, the more one gets paid, but it is not based on word count. For example, a 36 page accessory might be $200 but 128 pages is $750.

Figures modified as I am contractually obligated to not reveal exact numbers.


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Post Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:10 pm 
 

beasterbrook wrote:Can someone in the know tell me what writers get paid to write RPG's..


If we factor in amounts invested by self-publishing, the average is probably in the negative.

  


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:13 am 
 

Back in the 80s I got a flat rate of $750-$1500 per supplement.   Then I had to split it.  My partner always asked if I would rather be rich or famous.   She wanted fame,  I wanted riches,  but neither came to pass.

  
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