Home Forums General Game Design Do you distribute via Wargames Vault? If so, how's it been?

This topic contains 26 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by Ivan Sorensen Ivan Sorensen 1 week, 3 days ago.

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  • #105761
    Autodidact-O-Saurus
    Autodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    Over the years I’ve written a number of rule sets but only distributed them via my own web pages and blogs. I’ve been thinking about sprucing them up and distributing via Wargames Vault. I may very well not charge anything for my rules (since most have been available for free for so long) but it would be nice to see wider distribution. (On the other hand I am finishing up 110 ship sheets for my ironclad rules so I may charge a dollar or two for that.) I know we have a number of authors on TWW who use WV. Is it worth it? Do you need to do much once you’ve created an account and uploaded your products?

    TIA!

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #105764
    Retroboom
    Retroboom
    Participant

    I put mine up at “pay what you want” and got about 100 download in the first couple weeks, which was about as many as I’d gotten in the previous year+ from my website. They also offer other conveniences, such as the ability to contact everyone who has downloaded the game to let them know there is a free updated pdf they can come download.

    90+% of my downloads are for free, but the “tip jar” motif is encouraging 🙂

    I’d recommend it.

    www.RetroBoom.com
    Stafford, Va. Let's play!

    #105765
    Mike
    Mike
    Keymaster

    My rules are on WV.
    I would have them on my site but EU regulation is such that I would need to charge VAT for sales of automatic digital products.
    I could avoid that by manually sending them, but that could mean a 12 hour wait for some customers, so decided to let someone else do that for me.
    They take quite a cut, but I have zero work to do.
    Just log in every now and then and take some cash out.

    #105771

    Russell Phillips
    Participant

    All of my books are on there, and have been for years. I have no complaints.

    #105773
    norm smith
    norm smith
    Participant

    Wargamesdownloads dot com are a viable alternative.

    http://commanders.simdif.com

    #105779
    Darryl Smith
    Darryl Smith
    Participant

    Yes, and I have a very limited product mix so my sales are far and few, but I don’t mind!

     

    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/4275/Legion-Publications

    Buckeye Six Actual
    https://ambushedinthealley.blogspot.com/
    http://foragecaps.blogspot.com/
    http://germancolonialgaming.blogspot.com/

    #105793
    NKL Aerotom
    NKL Aerotom
    Participant

    I find WV to be excellent. You don’t have to do anything once you’ve created an account and uploaded PDFs / set up the titles.

    If you do want to make changes based on feedback, its incredibly painless – you can upload a new PDF and you have the option of updating everyone who has purchased the PDF to get the latest at no extra cost. The print on demand books from WV are also pretty good once you get comfortable with the set up.

    #105800

    Andrew Rolph
    Participant

    I have written a couple of books and, at the time, considered a number of ways of distributing them. In the end WV was the cheapest and simplest way to go about it.

    If you’re distributing PDFs only then it is very simple, as others have said. Hard copies are trickier because of WV’s specification for the source PDF for that. Having said that, they have been very helpful in assisting me with that – if not very fast.

    For hard copies WV have a pricing structure which allows you to sell at a very reasonable price. My books are around the $10 mark and each sale earns me a (very) small amount of money. Distributing via Lulu/Amazon would require me to increase the price to between $25 and $30. I can’t remember, but I think the profit per sale would be slightly more than through WV (but not much) but critically Lulu/Amazon didn’t appear to have an option to produce the book cheaply in the first place to be able to set a low price. And the higher price struck me as one which would deter people from taking a punt on an unknown author.

    Cheers

    Andrew

    #105825
    Autodidact-O-Saurus
    Autodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    Thank you, gentlemen. I’ve got some work before being ready to upload so time to mull it over.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #105828

    Russell Phillips
    Participant

    Just be aware that they won’t allow you to only upload freebies – you need to have at least one title that you charge for. I’m not sure if Pay What You Want titles count as freebies or paid for this rule.

    #105830
    hammurabi70
    hammurabi70
    Participant

    What are the tax and royalties implications of using WV, or another, distribution website?

    #105831
    Retroboom
    Retroboom
    Participant

    I wasn’t aware of that rule, but that said my one and only offering is pay what you want. So that route works.

    www.RetroBoom.com
    Stafford, Va. Let's play!

    #105834

    Russell Phillips
    Participant

    I wasn’t aware of that rule, but that said my one and only offering is pay what you want. So that route works.

    I only found out when I tried to upload a freebie first 🙂

    #105836

    Russell Phillips
    Participant

    What are the tax and royalties implications of using WV, or another, distribution website?

    In brief, keep a record of what you earn and your expenses, then file a tax return at the end of the year. Same as any other business.

    #105882
    hammurabi70
    hammurabi70
    Participant

    What are the tax and royalties implications of using WV, or another, distribution website?

    In brief, keep a record of what you earn and your expenses, then file a tax return at the end of the year. Same as any other business.

    As I understand it WV is based in the USA.  Therefore do you suffer US taxes as implied by this?:

    https://controller.richmond.edu/payroll/international/royalties/index.html

    I am no (international) tax expert; perhaps there is one on the site but I am doubtful.  I am concerned about the implications of all this.  And yes, I have had the joy of being detained by US Immigration over such paperwork issues so I know they are not to be taken lightly; as with Thailand and Japan I think it took about an hour to talk my way out of the situation but I much rather avoid getting into such scrapes in the first place.  I do not want to get detained when next visiting family in the USA!

    #105883

    Russell Phillips
    Participant

    I’m in the UK, so I got a US ITIN and filled in a W8BEN form. There’s a tax treaty between the US & UK that basically means I get charged 0% tax in the US, and only pay tax in the UK. I’ve done that for various sites were I sell books.

    More recently, things seem to have changed. Most of them have an online form that I fill in, that only requires my national insurance number, not an ITIN.

    #105933
    TerrainShed
    TerrainShed
    Participant

    The actual selling side of my rules is fine.

    What DTP program are you using?

    On the WV website it suggests using either InDesign or Scribus (the latter is open source & free). After completing the layout with Scribus, I found that I needed the WV team to mess about with the file to make it usable from their end. I never found out what was wrong with it and I’m not sure they knew either but I ran out of favours toward the end of the process. This will make future updates & 2nd editions difficult to prepare.

    It was probably something I did but I never got to the bottom of it 

    Enjoy your gardening

    Les & Alison

    #105938

    Andrew Rolph
    Participant

    …What DTP program are you using? On the WV website it suggests using either InDesign or Scribus (the latter is open source & free). After completing the layout with Scribus, I found that I needed the WV team to mess about with the file to make it usable from their end…

    InDesign is (as far as I am aware) the ‘proper’ market leader, professional quality software. It is supposed to be very intuitive. Unfortunately it is also very expensive unless you are going to write lots of stuff.

    Therefore (since I never intended to write more than one or two books) I used Scribus as well. This is somewhere near the other end of a continuum which finishes on user friendly. The first book was hell, with enormous volumes of rework, as various steps proved themselves (later in the process) to be needed to have been done earlier. So do a, then b. Oops b should have come first. Start again. Do b, then a, then c. Oops c should have come first. Start again. Repeat at least a dozen times. I almost gave up and thought that a PDF release only was fine.

    In the end the file still wouldn’t pass the WV checks but they told me that it was a guttering issue – which I understood. So for the second book, I understood the order of building the PDF and the thing which had failed WV’s checks. It took less than a quarter of the time to create the PDF.

    Still failed the quality checks however. it took a long time but in the end WV simply converted it to InDesign, put it right, reconverted it and posted it back to me. I was able to make an amendment or two to it and it still worked.

    I don’t feel I’ve run out of ‘credit’ with WV but they were unable to tell me what was wrong with the second book so I am loath to start a third. Given the work they had to put in to make my items saleable I think they offered a fine customer service (perhaps a little slow at times).

    However all this is irrelevant if you are just going to make PDFs available.

    So if you wish to market hard copies and expect to do several, InDesign might be worth the investment (but it will wipe out any profit or cause you to raise your sale price considerably). If you’re only going to do a couple of things then Scribus, enormous patience, a lot of time and the helpful bods from WV will probably get you through.

     

    Cheers

    Andrew

    #105939
    Darkest Star Games
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Not being familiar with publishing software (I’ve literally only used Word!) what could be causing the issues with WV checks?  Is it pictures blotting out text, or vector lines causing some sort of block?

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #105953

    Andrew Rolph
    Participant

    Not being familiar with publishing software (I’ve literally only used Word!) what could be causing the issues with WV checks? Is it pictures blotting out text, or vector lines causing some sort of block?

    Can ‘t really help I’m afraid. Indesign/Scribus take your document and pictures and knit them together into another format which embeds all sorts of information useful to a commercial printer. What you then do is export this as a pdf. All this was successful – I could print the exported pdf off on my own printer perfectly w ell. However the next step is to upload this pdf to WV and that’s where it repeatedly failed. For unknown reasons the p df  became ‘unstable’. So it was fine for me and passed the so called ‘pre flight ready for printing’ checks performed at home. But then it just didn’t work…

    Cheers

    Andrew

    #105965
    TerrainShed
    TerrainShed
    Participant

    …What DTP program are you using? On the WV website it suggests using either InDesign or Scribus (the latter is open source & free). After completing the layout with Scribus, I found that I needed the WV team to mess about with the file to make it usable from their end…

    it took a long time but in the end WV simply converted it to InDesign, put it right, reconverted it and posted it back to me. I was able to make an amendment or two to it and it still worked. I don’t feel I’ve run out of ‘credit’ with WV but they were unable to tell me what was wrong with the second book so I am loath to start a third. Given the work they had to put in to make my items saleable I think they offered a fine customer service (perhaps a little slow at times).

    This sounds like exactly what happened with my rules (including a couple of restarts over a 2 year period as I learned about laying out). I know it’s free but I feel WV shouldn’t recommend Scribus for print versions (my QRS was a digital download created with Scribus and that uploaded and cleared vetting with no problems for me). Scribus did everything I wanted in terms of layout and was easy and enjoyable once I got into a routine.

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by TerrainShed TerrainShed.

    Enjoy your gardening

    Les & Alison

    #105983
    Darkest Star Games
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Very interesting.  At work we use Bluebeam for our PDF conversions.  I work in architecture so a lot of what we are converting are construction drawings and specifications, but also renderings.  It has an option to embed all sorts of color info for print services (which bloats the heck out of the file size), and so far we have had no issues with the print services we use.  I’ve been pondering doing my own rulesets for DL (I’ve written for THW quite a bit, but nothing on my own), so I guess I’ll be taking a look at Scribus and see if it makes a difference.  Thanks y’all!

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #105994

    Andrew Rolph
    Participant

    This sounds like exactly what happened with my rules (including a couple of restarts over a 2 year period as I learned about laying out).

    Wow restarts over two years – that’s patient/determined! First one took me several restarts over about three or four months

    I know it’s free but I feel WV shouldn’t recommend Scribus for print versions (my QRS was a digital download created with Scribus and that uploaded and cleared vetting with no problems for me). Scribus did everything I wanted in terms of layout and was easy and enjoyable once I got into a routine.

    Yes I suppose so (regarding the recommendation) but if they are then willing to put in the post production support work…? What is ironic is that they say that other software will almost certainly fail their checks and then, in email conversation with them, they admit that Scribus generally does too!

    Scribus did my book covers perfectly well and I agree that once you have a system it works quite well. It just took a lot of trial and error to find out how it was supposed to work/what it was trying to do.

     

    Cheers

    Andrew

    #107269
    Ivan Sorensen
    Ivan Sorensen
    Moderator

    Just to pipe in, I’ve been so satisfied with the Wargame Vault that if I started talking about it, ya’ll would accuse me of being a paid shill or something 🙂

    I can’t speak to the print aspect though, since I have no delved into that yet, but the ease of updating PDF’s and making them instantly available to customers is outstanding.

    I’ve had instances where a customer noticed something that was either a bug or wasn’t worded as clearly as it could have been, and I was able to have an updated version in peoples hands like 10 minutes later.
    Compared to buying games that have errata and problems that’s been known for YEARS and never been updated, it’s marvelous.

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://sites.google.com/site/nordicweaselgames/

    #107375
    Autodidact-O-Saurus
    Autodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    Thanks for all the comments. Just this morning I created a publisher account and uploaded my first document. It is a 1/250 scale card model of an early Zeppelin that I designed a few years ago. It’ll be interesting to see what the WV reviewers flag on the pdf since I used Linux tools to create the document. It was designed in Inkscape  and it’s been through several other Linux pdf tools for the final product. I have no idea how closely the Linux tools conform to Adobe pdf ‘standards’. We’ll see in a couple days, I guess. If all goes well then I can start refreshing all my rule sets.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #107376
    Autodidact-O-Saurus
    Autodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    Well how totally cool is that! It’s up and available at https://www.wargamevault.com/product/263974/LZ17-Sachsen-1-250-scale .

    Anybody up for downloading it and letting me know if it looks OK on your computer?

    Thanks!

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #107378
    Ivan Sorensen
    Ivan Sorensen
    Moderator

    I can’t print it right now, but looking at the screen, it looks perfectly fine to me (Mac Preview).

    I can check on the Ipad later if I get a chance.

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://sites.google.com/site/nordicweaselgames/

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