Monday, September 29, 2014

Zine-O-Morph status

So, as I stated in my previous post, issue #1 didn’t sell too well. And I am wondering if maybe the price was a bit too high. I see a lot of other zines with more content for less price, and I’m wondering if I overestimated its value, especially considering the format (PDF-only).

To that end, I am thinking of setting up a system of reducing prices. When a new issue is released, it will go for the $2.99 cover price. But, when the next issue is released, the previous issue will be permanently reduced to $1.99. I think this will be a good thing, though I’m sure there will be a lot of people who might put the new issue on their wish list, and then wait for the price to drop. I know I would. And that’s cool.

That being said, I might reduce issue #1 early. However, the thought makes me feel bad for the few people who already bought it. So, what I might do is generate some exclusive content for those few. I’m not sure what it would be at this time (my brain is in Military Sci-Fi mode, and not underdark adventures right now). I don’t know, what do you guys think?

As far as #2 goes, it’s cruising along nicely. The main article is just about done (probably a few little tweaks as they come to me), as is the first of three new races. I also came up with a substitute for the “New Items” section that I think will be cool. And as I said before, the fiction is done as well. All told, I suspect I will be ready to roll with it by the end of the month.

My initial idea was to do a new issue quarterly, but I think rather than committing to that kind of schedule, I will probably do new issues as I get them done. I’m also thinking I will probably open the zine up to non-paid contributions (both writing and artwork). If that seems to be something others are interested in, I will probably work up a list of topics that specific issues will cover, and let people send me what they think would fit.

Anyways, happy gaming! And be sure to check out my other stuff, and leave reviews for what you purchase. Thanks in advance!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Have to giggle at myself sometimes

So, I published Zine-O-Morph #1 on Friday, and it bolted out of the start gate with a good handful of sales right off the bat. And for most of Saturday, it sat at #3 on RPGNow's "Hottest Titles" featured at the top of their front page, and at #4 on their "Hottest Small Press" for a time too. I got all excited and giddy.

Then I saw on Google+ that Tim Shorts of Gothridge Manor had put up a flash review with some glowing praise. That made me grin. Tim put out one of the best fanzine out, and was a huge inspiration for me to even try. So, to have him praise it was high praise indeed! Subsequently, by the end of Saturday I was beaming with excitement over this.

Then Sunday rolled around. Not a single sale. And now Monday morning...still at the same number.

Ok, I'm sure I'm over-thinking it. But hey, it's my blog, right? Honestly, it doesn't really surprise me, and it wouldn't surprise me either if it just didn't sell well. While I am confident in my writing ability, and I think the presentation is pretty good (though I plan to up the graphics game a bit with subsequent issues), I think it's a weak subject matter.

Underdark adventures have kind of been done to death. And people are probably just tired of hearing about them. And I totally understand that. Had I to do it over, I would have done something else, probably. That being said, what I did do, particularly the new race, I am pretty proud of. Heck, even the fiction turned out well.

So, just a recap, this is not me capitulating. I am moving forward with new issues. Heck, all it is is me doing what I do anyways (writing scads of RPG material from my head), and making it available to others for a small fee. If I can make a few bucks, it'll help with the costs of Gamehole Con and Gary Con, so that's cool.

Anyways, if you bought the issue, please give it a review. As always, I am actually interested in peoples' opinions of the stuff I do. And, obviously, reviews help with sales. But that's generally a secondary consideration. I have a full-time job.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Zine-O-Morph is live!

Check out the first issue of Zine-O-Morph at RPGNow!

Thank you to all who encouraged me, and those who helped make it happen.

Zine-O-Morph #1 is GO!

Well, it will be once I can get to a computer that has an updated browser (I publish from work during my break times, and my work is a bit behind on updated brower versions).

Last night I finalized the deal with Jon Ascher, the DeviantArtist, and set up the possibility of his art in future issues as well.

The Zine weighs in at 29 pages, including the cover. I'm pricing it at $2.99, and should be available for purchase by the end of today.

Already hard at work on issue #2, which is probably already about 35% done at this point.

Monday, September 15, 2014

In the proverbial can

...more or less.

Issue #1 is all done. I even wrote a short, 1-page afterword for it today. All I need to do now is get the final artwork from the DeviantArtist. I had initially given up on that, thinking he had decided not to do it, since he hadn't responded as I thought he would. But, last night I was pleasantly surprised to find a first draft of the drawing in my email. It looks fantastic. And after a couple of aesthetic modifications, it should fit in quite nicely. I think in the future, if I decide to commission artwork, I will do it earlier in the process, and have more patience.

As I have mentioned before, the plan for issue #2 is already underway. I have a general outline of the main article, some ideas for new races, and an idea for what to do for new items. In a complete 180' from issue #1, I already have the fiction written. It's an older vignette that I had written with no plan as to what to do with it. So, I finished it, edited it, polished it up, and now it's sitting in the working file for the zine issue.

This whole process has been a bit of a learning experience, and one that I have enjoyed. It's been nice to see support from fellow bloggers and zine-makers. In this age of (relatively) easy self-publishing, there are a lot of zines out there. And that fact almost made me falter. But, I persevered, and am going to go ahead and stick it out there. If it falls flat, no big deal. At least I tried, right?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Free publicity anyone?

If you are interested in placing a small advertisement graphic for your own zine, or other indie publication, in the back of my Zine, please send me a B&W jpeg. No bigger than 3"x3", please.

Send them to tdoolan005(at)gmail(dot)com.

Made the cover today. It's all looking pretty nice, if I do say so myself.

Friday, September 5, 2014


Zine-O-Morph #1 had some progress lately. I finished one of the pictures, and am now working on making a cover image out of it. I was originally going to go full-color, but I'm thinking I might do it B&W, as that seems to be en vogue for fanzines these days.

I have one piece of art in progress from a fellow blogger, and another I had been talking to a DeviantArtist about. However, the DeviantArtist seems to have lost interest, so that's a step backwards. But, I might be able to pull it off myself. I can visualize what I need in my head, so I might be able to get something workable down.

I also finished the fiction, so that will be back in. I was struggling to write something that would fit with the Zine format, without being too long and drawn out. I took my original story and jumped the starting point further in and went from there. I think it turned out pretty good, all things considered.

And finally, I have added a bonus section. This whole idea began with the concept of using Drow in Basic Era games. I did a write-up of them, and that was going to form the basis of the whole Zine. But, I was later informed that Labyrinth Lord did one already, so I decided to go a different route and make up my own race. Then, after seeing the LL effort, I decided that mine was much better. So, I am including my views on the Drow for Basic as a bonus section.

All in all, I think this will turn out pretty cool.
I'm rather proud of this illustration.
Took some inspiration from the
Bill Willingham classic.