Showing posts with label Doctor Esker. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Doctor Esker. Show all posts

Saturday, November 28, 2020

New shipment of Doctor Esker's Notebook arrived

A new shipment of Doctor Esker's Notebook arrived from India today. 4,320 games in the third printing. 12 boxes, about 40 lbs each. They went to Charlotte instead of Greensboro, and my customs broker closed down, so I had to figure out some new stuff. My new customs broker was absolutely wonderful, though - shout out to Charlotte Customshouse Brokers (https://www.cltchb.com).

Now I have to get them down to the basement sans hernia.





Update to finances of Doctor Esker's Notebook project

I haven't done a business update for Doctor Esker's Notebook recently, so here goes. Last month, I ordered a 3rd printing for the game. Despite being a larger print run, it was a bit more expensive per game because the shipping got a lot more expensive and because I asked them to do it more quickly than previous jobs. My printer in India sends via air freight, and with fewer flights, the printer indicated they had to charge more for this service. 



Where the chart is red, I've put more into the company than I've gotten out in revenues. Where it's green, I'm in positive territory (not including compensation for any of the hours I've put in). So, I am still at positive (but small) net revenue after this most recent print run, which is a first. 

Once I get the shipment, which will probably set me back another $1,000 in customs and transport, I'll have about $40,000 in potential revenue from copies of the original game and maybe $11,000 from the sequel. No guarantees I'll sell through all of those, but so far, sales have been pretty stable. If that keeps up, it's great - it just might take a while to sell out.

So, I'm not getting rich, but the upside potential is pretty good, and it's what I'd consider a successful product. I'm still selling about 2-4 per day average, probably >90% on Amazon, but with a lot of my sales in November and December as the graph shows. Not sure how this holiday season will pan out, but I'm hopeful. 

Friday, January 3, 2020

Doctor Esker's Notebook Project - by the numbers

I did a workup of the finances and sales I've had for the Doctor Esker's Notebook project. I figure this might be of interest to other indie game designers and publishers. The project started in May 2018, with the first printing (1080 copies) ordered in August 2018, arriving misprinted in October, and then fixed and ready to sell by February 2019. The sequel and the second printing of the original game (2160 copies each) were ordered in July 2019 and arrived in late September 2019.

Let me know if you have questions in the comments.



Bigger version of the image is here.



Saturday, October 19, 2019

Some people suck

Guy buys original puzzle game, returns it three weeks later, presumably after playing and enjoying. Then he buys the sequel, returns it three weeks later.

Total cost to me, $6, plus potentially unsellable stock and bad reputation on Amazon.

Total cost to him: $0.

Don't think I'm not watching, or that you're not a terrible person.


Thursday, October 10, 2019

Finances update

I haven't done a financial update in a while. Here's how it looks. Graph #1 is my total revenues stacked on top of my total expenses.
   
 Graph #2 is my net profitability, now about $4,900 in the red but rising fairly steadily.
 
Both graphs show my initial costs for 1080 games, the gradual rise to net profitability, and then the larger costs of my second print run (2160 each of original and sequel for 4320 total games), and my sales since then.

In terms of inventory, I've still got about 4575 games, which at the net revenue I typically make per game is about $39,000 in total potential revenue if I'm able to sell them all. Set against that revenue will be any future advertising, promotions, taxes, free copies, spoilage, and other such expenses.

So, I have a good shot at net profitability, but probably not until next year, and only then if my sales stay steady or increase.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Son of Doctor Esker's Notebook is now officially available

Son of Doctor Esker's Notebook is now officially available for purchase on my site! Yay. Here's the purchase page. I added a special discount (10%) if you're new to Esker and want to buy both games at once.





Son of Esker is here!

Son of Doctor Esker's Notebook, plus the second printing of the original Doctor Esker's Notebook, are here stateside! It will take me a little time to get them processed, to get some shipped to Amazon, and to get my website updated, but they're here! Yay!

If you see this and want one, and you're in the U.S. you can send $14.99 via Paypal to dave@planktongames.com, and just mention that you'd like Son of Esker rather than the original. If you're not in the U.S., contact me about shipping. I can only cover free shipping to US addresses.



Thursday, September 12, 2019

Son of Doctor Esker's Notebook is nearly on the way to the U.S.!

I've received word that the sequel to Doctor Esker's Notebook is about to ship. It should get here in about a week plus some time to clear customs. I'm really excited to take this next step. I also ordered a second printing of the original, so I'll have plenty for the upcoming holiday season.

SAHMReviews takes on Dr. Esker's Notebook

Here's a new review (mostly spoiler free) for Doctor Esker's Notebook by Scott at SAHMReviews.com.

They're running a giveaway also, linked from the review page, so sign up for a chance to win a free copy of the game!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Doctor Esker goes to school!

The Hungry Gamer posted a picture of Doctor Esker's Notebook being used in a school setting. That's so cool! So happy to see this.




Here's a link to his original post on Facebook.
Here's a link to his YouTube channel - he's got some really cool reviews there.
Here's a link to his reviews on BoardGameGeek.com.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Off a cliff (not really)



Well, my profitability graph went off a cliff. Why? Because I paid for two new things last week. Thing One was a second printing of Doctor Esker's Notebook, which is exciting. I've now sold half of my first print run, and I'm on schedule to run out sometime in October at current sales rates, so I needed some more. I ordered another 2160 games, or double the number from my current print run.

Thing Two was the sequel to Doctor Esker's Notebook, called Son of Doctor Esker's Notebook, which is a whole new deck of puzzles to play. The game mechanism is similar to the first game, but the deck and the puzzles are completely different. You don't need to have played the first to play the second - you can do them in either order. I ordered 2160 of these as well.

So, my graph above, which was flirting with profitability for this year, is now way back in the red. But that's a good thing! I stand to make another $4000 or so from my remaining games from the first print run. I spent about $7500 on the second print run and the sequel print run. That will give me the potential for another $40,000 in revenue from those two printings, or a total profit off all print runs of about $34,000 after I deduct expenses for development, marketing, and supplies. That's nice. Obviously, I'll have taxes to deduct from that also, and I'll have to pay both ends of the social security and Medicare taxes like you do as a sole proprietor. I don't really want to estimate what the hourly rate of compensation for me is, because I've put so much time into this, but I think it'll beat working at McDonalds.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

New Review of Doctor Esker's Notebook by Board Game Gumbo

The folks at Board Game Gumbo reviewed Doctor Esker's Notebook, and they had fun with it. See here for their review:

Board Game Gumbo Dr. Esker review


(Review image from BoardGameGumbo.com)

RoomEscapeArtist review of Doctor Esker's Notebook

Here's a really thorough review of Doctor Esker's Notebook. They say it's "a brilliant puzzle game with a clever answer mechanism." Pretty neat!

RoomEscapeArtist review of Doctor Esker's Notebook

Saturday, July 20, 2019

It's nice to write to creators

I got two emails today that made me feel good about this project. One was from a person asking if she could get the completion stickers I made for Doctor Esker's Notebook for people to use on their Escape Room Passports (see here for details: https://wetheenthusiasts.com/). That was neat, to see that she cared enough to memorialize the event, and that somebody actually wanted one of the stickers I made.

The other email was from a guy my age who just wanted to say that he enjoyed playing the game with his kids. Very kind thing to do - he didn't need to, but he just wanted to let me know that he liked it. This is important to remember - there's always somebody on the other side, at the creative end of whatever you're using for entertainment, and if you can let them know you got something out of it, that's always worth doing. They'll be happy all day.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Sequel is at the printer

I've got the art submitted to the printer, both for a reprint of Doctor Esker's Notebook, and for the sequel. Very exciting! Waiting on proofs.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Great review from G33K-HQ!

I got a terrific review from G33K-HQ for Doctor Esker's Notebook. Here's a link to the review:

G33K-HQ Review

Sounds like they had a great time with it. WARNING: There's a little bit of a spoiler for the first puzzle in their pictures.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Doctor Esker's Notebook project financial update

I've been doing a series of posts about the financial end of my game project, and I haven't posted an update for a while. I'm nearly to the break-even point, which is great! I'm at $-194 by my calculation, with revenues of $3,454 offsetting expenses of $3,649.

I have sold 386 games and sent out 35 as promo or reviewer copies. I have 134 in stock at Amazon, and another 525 or so at home (uh, I mean in my warehouse 😀 ). I make about $9 per game depending on the sales channel, and I am not incurring too many new expenses at this point - the major expenses were printing and development, and I don't have many ongoing costs (other than the cut Amazon and PayPal take from each sale). So, I could make up to about $4,000-$4,500 on this if I just sell out the print run and don't do anything else.

Sales have taken a little bit of a hit over summer. I'm at about two sales a day, where from February to April I was at more like three a day. I hope that's just seasonal and not a trend. Nearly all sales now are through Amazon.

Here's the info in graph form. First, expenses and revenues by category:

The picture above shows revenues (above zero, climbing) and expenses (below zero, mostly flat). Time progresses along the bottom, but not evenly - initially I was updating every day or two, but now I'm updating less frequently.

Next, net revenue (income minus expenses): 



On this one, the time axis is properly scaled. I'm almost back to zero, as you can see.

Of course, I'm not including the time I've put into this project. My hourly wage is something like negative fifty cents an hour. So, this isn't (yet) a good way to make a living, put food on the table, or pay for health insurance. It's not even a good investment relative to a good solid mutual fund, although it will be if I sell out the print run by the end of the year, which looks likely if sales pick up a little around the holidays.

Anyway, looking good. I should hit break even sometime later this month.