Every year, A'n'SR -entertainments sets goals and tries to meet them. This year, we did pretty good (see our part 1 post for how we did). We also like to take time to tell the story of the year, and why some things happened and others did not. It is a way for us to get some lessons learned out of our heads, and hopefully as bits of wisdom for others.
This year, we had a few really big goals: 21 new books, getting on Amazon and Nook book stores, and launching a new line of games. Below is a more wordy version of how we did on all of them.
21 was Too Much
Honestly, we bit off more than we could chew on this one. We had 13 Authorials books, 5 Setting books, and an unfinished Angels... from Hell book sitting in our back pockets. We started off really good, sticking to our schedule of releases and everything, but about mid-way through the year, we started slipping on deadlines. We missed getting books out on time. Heck, we forgot the Angels book wasn't finished.
Lesson Learned: It felt terrible missing the deadlines we had set, and we never want tot do that again. So, we definitely bit of more than we could chew with such a release schedule, and we are going back to a 5-games/books per year schedule, even if it means less money.
We did the -U- + Options bundle pretty much for fun. Its purpose was to get people a chance to catch-up on all th-U- books while we released the -U- Settings books. While we sold some -U- Settings books, we sold a whole lot more bundles. In fact, it gave us our best month ever, which was great to see.
Lesson Learned: We need to do more bundles when it makes sense. We may do a U- Setting bundle next year, just to see how it does. The key is, though, that they are not great for supporting other books, but as sand-alone product pairings.
Darn You TheGameCrafter.com
In September, TheGameCrafter.com held a micro-game contests. This really got our creative juices flowing, and we ended up diving in. Everything went on hold until the game was done. This was a good thing, since we generally like to make and play smaller games. We dusted off our first game ever, Faith Hope Love, made a new minis line of games (ZipWarZ), and dabbled into the world of Mars for the first time (Pyramids of Mars). Problem is, it totally sidelined us from everything else. We did not win the contest, but it was worth it.
Lesson Learned: Stick to one game in a contest, and make it awesome. Also, don't be afraid of doing a contest, lots of great things come out of it.
As we plan for 2014, we are taking all these things into consideration. This probably means less games released, but more focus on what works well. Look for our 2014 schedule of games coming early 2014 or late 2013 (whenever it is we finalize it.