Hey Daniel, how's business so far?

Koi pond

It's been ten months since I resigned from my full-time job, just about six months since I started selling Koi Pond as a print-on-demand product. As I covered in detail back in July, I still consider Koi Pond an early success. I thought you'd want to see a more focused listing of earnings and sales since this venture launched.

4-2013
31x Koi Pond: A Coy Card Game
$288.72 Retail
$69.80 Royalties*

5-2013
28x Koi Pond: A Coy Card Game
$399.19 Retail
$100.83 Royalties

6-2013
16x Koi Pond: A Coy Card Game 
$234.30 Retail
$58.17 Royalties

7-2013**
42x Koi Pond: A Coy Card Game 
25x Koi Pond: A Coy Card Game (Retail Version)*
80x Koi Pond: Four Walls (Promo Card 2)*
80x Koi Pond: Four Winds (Promo Card 2)*
$896.68 Retail
$162.88 Royalties

8-2013†
18x Koi Pond: A Coy Card Game 
11x Koi Pond: Four Walls (Promo Card 2)
5x Koi Pond: Four Winds (Promo Card 2)
$260.62 Retail
$68.82 Royalties

9-2013
35x Koi Pond: A Coy Card Game 
6x Koi Pond: Four Walls (Promo Card 2)
5x Koi Pond: Four Winds (Promo Card 2)
$441.36 Retail
$76.58 Royalties

10-2013 (to Date)
11x Koi Pond: A Coy Card Game 
6x Koi Pond: Four Walls (Promo Card 2)
6x Koi Pond: Four Winds (Promo Card 2)
2x Suspense: the Card Game*
$180.35 Retail
$50.05 Royalties

Grand Totals To Date
407 Products Sold
$2,701.22 Retail
$587.13 Royalties Earned*

* Low or no royalties because the orders were placed by DriveThruCards itself or by me for point-of-sale at conventions. This year I've also reinvested some of my royalties into self-orders for reviewers. Reviewers are busy people though. I think my small game tends to fall to the bottom of the list compared to big boxes with big names.

** I started doing a lot more podcast interviews starting around this time, promoting my card design class on SkillShare and the upcoming Belle of the Ball kickstarter.

† I suspect August was slow because of Gen Con. People saved up (or recovered) their funds. Either way, it was the gorilla of the month. Sales would recover well the following month, perhaps driven by a small amount of buzz?


Going Forward
For the time being, I'm sticking to this model. It's a slow start, but I expected as much. It's less than 1% of my earnings for the year, but that's not a surprise.

Fortunately, I'm still freelancing with several ongoing projects. I still offer a card design class on SkillShare that helps cover some household expenses. Belle of the Ball's kickstarter did very well, so it might earn out sooner than expected. Surprisingly, I'm also still earning royalties from Happy Birthday Robot and Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple, which may continue once the Do Fate RPG comes out next year.

No single game is going to carry anyone to fame and riches in this business. Well, maybe Munchkin... and Magic... Okay, maybe a rare fraction of a percent can get lightning in a bottle, but that's no way to run a business. My plan is, and remains, to design and develop several prototype card games simultaneously, release them on a regular schedule for POD publication, and over time the overlapping royalties might become substantial enough that I can focus more of my full time on game design.

That's the dream anyway. We'll see where I stand at the end of the year.
Daniel Solis
Art Director by Day. Game Designer by Night.