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Post Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:51 pm 
 

bbarsh wrote:Bottom line is that expensive art requires a high sales volume relative to your print run.


Presumably that has always been true, explaining the art of so many non-TSR products over the years...


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Post Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:57 am 
 

That's also where FGG win big points by using the same piece of cover art for all their Slumbering Tsar products. Good business sense.
So, another question might be... Can a staggeringly good piece of cover art sell a mediocre product?


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Post Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:08 pm 
 

TheHistorian wrote:
bbarsh wrote:Bottom line is that expensive art requires a high sales volume relative to your print run.


Presumably that has always been true, explaining the art of so many non-TSR products over the years...


Yes, I was commenting specifically on small publishers in the context of really low print runs compared to anything done by TSR, or even Judges Guild, etc. I do want to be clear that I think using established artists (those who are associated with TSR for example) is the ideal. Problem is that asking them to do work for a tiny fraction of what they probably were paid back in the day is problemsome. Hopefully, as the OSR grows in popularity and exposure, sales voume will increase and that is good for everyone - including artists.


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

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Post Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:09 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:That's also where FGG win big points by using the same piece of cover art for all their Slumbering Tsar products. Good business sense.
So, another question might be... Can a staggeringly good piece of cover art sell a mediocre product?


In a word, YES. TSR did that for years.   :lol:


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: Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:49 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:That's also where FGG win big points by using the same piece of cover art for all their Slumbering Tsar products.


Sounds good from the publishing end. How is their customer support? Any comments about "boring" covers?


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:03 am 
 

I have a project in mind.  I need advice about a couple of things:

1)  Where to look for help with art.  How much should this cost?  Is my own amateur art better than paying for a professinal...from an old-school sentimental viewpoint?

2)  Where do I look for a printer?  What are the pitfalls?

3)  So, if I print 100 copies, and do some small advertising...how many copies will I have left after Acaeum guys buy them to be nice to me?


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:04 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:That's also where FGG win big points by using the same piece of cover art for all their Slumbering Tsar products. Good business sense.
So, another question might be... Can a staggeringly good piece of cover art sell a mediocre product?


Yes - All the of the Mayfair modules were good examples.

And...a bad piece of cover art can sink module sales, particularly if the artwork depicts something that is not from Western Europe.


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:23 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:I have a project in mind.  I need advice about a couple of things:

1)  Where to look for help with art.  How much should this cost?  Is my own amateur art better than paying for a professinal...from an old-school sentimental viewpoint?

2)  Where do I look for a printer?  What are the pitfalls?

3)  So, if I print 100 copies, and do some small advertising...how many copies will I have left after Acaeum guys buy them to be nice to me?


Actually, the answers are obtainable.
1) Just google the following "catch" words and you'll find websites galore, "fantasy-artists" "medieval-fantasy art" or things similar.
1b) Depends on the project. Colour vs. B&W, full page vs. quarter (or smaller)
1c) I think so, but it can't be too amateurish. Stick drawings will piss off any one.

2) Never have. Always use(d) Lulu; except for some things Guy Fullerton had pressed for a limited version of the G4.

3) 95? Just kidding. It all depends, but if its your first time out the gate at this, don't expect a sell out.

I'll put in a gratuitous "plug" for the artist Joe Calkins. He's done lots of work with me in the past (several covers, including the G9). He's more modern than OS, so you really have to be descriptive if you want the "old" feel. But, if youre paying good money, I know he can deliver for you. Just google his name, and you should come up with a Cerebius url address.


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Post Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:36 pm 
 

bbarsh wrote:

Bottom line is that expensive art requires a high sales volume relative to your print run.


A question for all of you if you don't mind related to the above. How much do you guys think a known (amongst OSR nerds) artist contributes to sales or at least readers of a finished product?

I have written a module that I am quite proud of and I am nearly at the illustration/mapping stage. I am not in this for the money or the women (which I have been assured isn't a good reason to do this anyway), it is very much a labor of love. I am willing to pay good money for art because I want my module to visually be on par with some of the ones I collect. Before I commit to a commission I am curious how valuable you guys think it is.

Also I would love it if anyone who creates home brew print adventures here would reply (or PM me), I buy a lot of them and am always on the lookout for good stuff.



  

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Post Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:57 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:That's also where FGG win big points by using the same piece of cover art for all their Slumbering Tsar products. Good business sense.

Really depends on the product IMO.  The Slumbering Tsar books are all interconnected so using the same cover art for every book isnt all that bad an idea.  However, there has been some negative response from customers regarding FGG's One Night Stands and Saturday Night Specials.

http://www.talesofthefroggod.com/index. ... ght-stands

Apparently some of the adventures have the same artwork (Ursined, Sealed & Delivered is the exception I believe) even though they are all stand alone adventures.  Quite a few people were miffed that Pete Mullen's original cover to Spire of Iron & Crystal wasnt used instead of the generic artwork that has nothing to do with the adventure.

mbassoc2003 wrote:Can a staggeringly good piece of cover art sell a mediocre product?

I dont mean to pick on Bill here, but if Pacesetter's T1 The Thing in the Valley (which I think is a very good adventure) was garbage I still would have purchased it because that cover by Nathan Nada is brilliant.  Great artwork makes all the difference in the world sometimes.  Probably why I never bought UK5 back in the day.

Nogrod wrote:How much do you guys think a known (amongst OSR nerds) artist contributes to sales or at least readers of a finished product?

Lets put it this way.  Get Pete Mullen, Rowena Aitken, Nathan Nada, Peter Szmer or Mark Allen to do the cover or interior artwork and I'll buy it.  Get Larry Elmore, Erol Otus, Jeff Easley, Fred Fields or Paul Jaquays to do it and I'll buy two.  :D   Oh, and if you cant draw maps you might consider hiring a cartographer.  Some of the stuff Dyson Logos and Robert Conley does is really nice.


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Post Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:45 am 
 

Kingofpain89 wrote:Lets put it this way.  Get Pete Mullen, Rowena Aitken, Nathan Nada, Peter Szmer or Mark Allen to do the cover or interior artwork and I'll buy it.  Get Larry Elmore, Erol Otus, Jeff Easley, Fred Fields or Paul Jaquays to do it and I'll buy two.  :D   Oh, and if you cant draw maps you might consider hiring a cartographer.  Some of the stuff Dyson Logos and Robert Conley does is really nice.


Well that answers that question. You have good (and probably expensive) taste in artists. Is $500-$1200 dollars even in the ballpark for the artists you have listed (the first list not the second I don't know what Erol Otus charges, but I am sure I can't afford it) for a cover + interior illustrations?

What would you think a cartographer would cost, my module is not map heavy but maps make the game for me most times. I can use Campaign Cartographer, but I am not especially talented with finished product dungeon maps.

Thanks for your thoughts.

EDIT: I found the answer to the map question. The Mapmakers Guild forums are awesome.



  

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Post Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:42 am 
 

Nogrod wrote:Is $500-$1200 dollars even in the ballpark for the artists you have listed (the first list not the second I don't know what Erol Otus charges, but I am sure I can't afford it) for a cover + interior illustrations?

What would you think a cartographer would cost, my module is not map heavy but maps make the game for me most times. I can use Campaign Cartographer, but I am not especially talented with finished product dungeon maps.

It will depend on which artist you hire, how many pieces of art you are looking to use and if you plan to do primarily B&W or color.  You might PM bbarsh (Bill), prufrock (Martin) and burntwire brothers (Devon) and ask them what the artwork cost on their self produced adventures.  Devon got a commission done by Jeff Easley, Martin used Jason Braun, and Bill has several adventures featuring artwork by Nathan Nada (and several others).  Mark Allen does work for John Adams (Brave Halfling publishing; and the guy who just sold those nice empty storage boxes with the Erol Otus and Pete Mullen artwork).  If you are coming to NTRPG in June you can meet Erol Otus, Jeff Dee, Jennell (Paul) Jaquays and Jason Braun and ask them yourself.  There are a lot of talented artists out there and I just mentioned my favorites.

As for cartography costs, I have zero clue.


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Post Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:04 pm 
 

Personally, I feel that great artwork is essential for those publishers charging for their products. I rarely download free modules because most feature little to no artwork, and the artwork present is usually subpar. Of course, the gaming content itself is the most important part of the product, but when I am paying for something, I want the whole package -- great artwork, preferably by the TSR masters, fantastic cartography, and professional formatting that replicates the look of the classics.

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Post Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:07 pm 
 

Nogrod wrote:Also I would love it if anyone who creates home brew print adventures here would reply (or PM me), I buy a lot of them and am always on the lookout for good stuff.


8O
Uh, well, you can go to my store and download some freebies. (See link in my sig)


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Post Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:49 pm 
 

Thork N Hammer wrote:
8O
Uh, well, you can go to my store and download some freebies. (See link in my sig)


Heh, you assume I haven't already purchased some of yours from Lulu already. I really liked the ones I purchased BTW.



  

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:07 am 
 

Well, its been kind of slow around there lately. I just thought y'all forgot about me.  :lol:


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:29 am 
 

Sorry for the slow reply, just read the thread Ian.

mbassoc2003 wrote:3. Black Blade seems to be in a hiatus. Why? Is there a lack of material being offered in the market for publishers to publish, or is there a lack of time and resource vs. perceived return for putting in the time and effort? I know there were discussions of reprints of Starstome, Castle of the Mad Archmage and the Seren Ironhand bookend modules. It appears as though there is an issue of a credible return for putting in the time and effort needed to take the material and create a publishable product from it.


No, credible time rather than credible return has been our issue.  Carving out time to work on the projects was difficult throughout 2011:  Jon's been completely snowed under with work*, and I've been merely insanely busy.  To your project-specific questions:

  • Starstone:  requires an OCR scan or transcription of the module text before editing or layout can begin
  • Castle of the Mad Archmage:  it's a _huge_ project, and will take considerable time and funds-raising to bring to market (50+ maps ain't cheap; we knew this going in, but still aren't willing to sacrifice product quality to speed up the box set's time to market); given that we made minimal headway in 2011 on it, we'll release more info/details when we are able to do better than "in late 2012, hopefully"
  • CH-1 The Morandir Company and CH-3 The Mountain King (the bookend manuscripts to CH-2 Seren Ironhand):  require an OCR scan or transcription of the module text before editing or layout can begin

That help?

* real work, that keeps our families fed and all that---not this RPG stuff :D


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:25 am 
 

[*]Starstone:  requires an OCR scan or transcription of the module text before editing or layout can begin

sure there is one already for this.. I'm just assuming..

[*]Castle of the Mad Archmage:  it's a _huge_ project, and will take considerable time and funds-raising to bring to market (50+ maps ain't cheap; we knew this going in, but still aren't willing to sacrifice product quality to speed up the box set's time to market); given that we made minimal headway in 2011 on it, we'll release more info/details when we are able to do better than "in late 2012, hopefully"

one word.. KICKSTARTER!.. trust me on this one!

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:55 am 
 

beasterbrook wrote:[*]Starstone:  requires an OCR scan or transcription of the module text before editing or layout can begin

sure there is one already for this.. I'm just assuming..


In fact I just re-found it on my HD, so yes (I thought it was on the external HDs that had died, but thankfully not).  

beasterbrook wrote:[*]Castle of the Mad Archmage:  it's a _huge_ project, and will take considerable time and funds-raising to bring to market (50+ maps ain't cheap; we knew this going in, but still aren't willing to sacrifice product quality to speed up the box set's time to market); given that we made minimal headway in 2011 on it, we'll release more info/details when we are able to do better than "in late 2012, hopefully"

one word.. KICKSTARTER!.. trust me on this one!


Yes, we're planning to go that route as well, believe me.


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:24 pm 
 

grodog wrote:[*]Starstone:  requires an OCR scan or transcription of the module text before editing or layout can begin.
[*]CH-1 The Morandir Company and CH-3 The Mountain King.

If you give me a few months, I'll try and get these to you in MSWord format.


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