December 8, 2008

We Have A Winner! and Market Research Results - RPG Blog Anthology

The survey has been closed for a week, and now I'll announce the WINNER of the drawing for the free copy of The 2008 Anthology of Roleplaying Game Blogs. The WINNER IS ....

John Brown
Westfield, IN

John will receive one free copy of The 2008 Anthology of Roleplaying Game Blogs once it is published early next year. In addition, John will be able to purchase up to five additional copies at a 50% discount of the list price. I should note that last week I announced the winner of the nomination contest: Matt Conway, who also will receive a free copy of the book and a discount on up to 5 additional copies.

Congratulations John Brown! And thank you for participating and giving us your feedback!

A few weeks ago Dave Chalker suggested that I do some market research for The 2008 Anthology of Roleplaying Game Blogs. It was one of the best received bits of advice I got at the early stages of the project. My total naivety about marketing and publishing is not something I try to hide, but this quote demonstrates how naive I really was:
"to be honest, market research is good, but the results of it won't change my effort or goals." - me.
Oh my gods was I wrong. Thank you again Mr. Chalker - your advice was well taken and I'm glad I kept my ears open afterwords. So, my form of market research was to put together a survey and ask the readers of the RPG blogosphere what they would want to see in the Anthology (and give them a chance to win a free copy of the book as well). It ran for a few weeks and I managed to get 58 responses. Not a huge number, but nonetheless a telling bit of data. Here's my summary of the results...
  1. Would an annual Anthology of Roleplaying Game Blogs be something that you would purchase for yourself or as a gift for someone?

  2. What topic areas would you like to see covered in such an Anthology?

  3. Please list the three most important choices from your selections above.

    The choices for the top three categories were combined from all surveys into a single weighted value for each category.
  4. If the Anthology included a collection of works that covered the topics you have chosen, where would you be likely to purchase it?

  5. Leave Additional Optional Comments Here
    • "Good job so far, Jonathan. I had thought about doing this a couple of months ago, and discarded it as taking up too much of my limited time. It is good to see someone running with it. As long as you keep it fair and transparent, you should have no problems." - #12
    • "i think this is an AWESHUM idearz!" - #13
    • "The appeal of a blog lies in its immediacy. Writers can expound on topics on a daily (if not hourly) basis, making blogs exceedingly relevant to their Web-based readership. Taking this content and assembling it into a printed book, however, strips it of its context and reduces its value to the reader. I likely won't purchase a "Best of" anthology for these reasons." - #21
    • "While it may be interesting to find it at my local store I can imagine how difficult it is to organize the distribution. Therefor a well known online bookseller may do the trick easily :)" - #28
    • "I would definitely be more interested in buying this as a PDF rather than a hard copy." - #30
    • "I think that this could be a great idea. Depending on the content and price, I would probably buy it. " - #38
    • "I try to buy my local store first, a less local store within the province by mail order, then directly to the publisher if shipping to canada is not too much." - #49
    • "Paizo is my preferred online retailer. " - #57
That's it for the survey! Thanks to everyone who pitched in and shared their thoughts.

On a side note: work continues on the reviews of the nominated blog posts (all 135 of them) to the Anthology; thus far I've received over 190 reviews from a highly dedicated (read:awesome) group of volunteer Anthology Reviewers. I will keep you all posted to the status of the project as things progress.

So, until next week's update... GAME ON!!!


  1. Westfield? That's like 20 minutes away from me--closer when we move. Cool!

    The responses are actually really close to what I personally would want out of such a product. This is an exciting project!

  2. Always happy to see my genius displayed in chart form :)

  3. Westfield is literally up the road (US 31) from me (Franklin,IN), though I wish it only took 20 minutes for me to get to the northside. Hoosiers represent!

  4. One should note that, in all likelihood, almost all the people who responded are dedicated blog readers or bloggers.

    This is probably a good thing, as following such advise is likely to make the product attractive to people who might become future bloggers or blog readers.


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