“You are not going to have much success in any side of this business unless you’ve got a network of customers who are interseted in buying what you want. You might have the most brilliant one-shot game that has ever been invented, but if nobody knows about it and you don’t have a way for people to try it out or to know about it, you’re going to sell probably in the hundreds of copies.”
“There are a number of strategies that I think companies can take to figure out how to sell their product ot a large number of people.”
— Eric Mona, speaking at Neoncon in February, 2010
His strategies summarized:
1) Use the open game license — essentially, tap in to the Dungeons & Dragons market. Sell to people who exist and have existing habits.
It may not be what you as a publisher want to do, he says. (Mona mentioned his own company’s Pathfinder license.)
2) Have an organized play strategy — a regular groups of people who have an ongoing connection to your game. He mentions Living Greyhawk. Also important for demo type exposure — e.g. a 4 hour game.
3) You really have to spend at least as much time working on marketing and getting word out as you do on creating, writing and designing the game.