Prepare Your Game Manuscript to Send to Layout Pt. 2

This entry is part 4 of 17 in the seriesTutorials

This entry is part 4 of 17 in the series Tutorials

Introduction

In last week’s post, I showed you how to use Stylesheets to keep a consistent look and feel throughout your document.  Using Stylesheets will also help improve your manuscripts’s ability to be cleanly imported into layout software such as Adobe InDesign.

This week, we’ll discuss a few DOs and DON’Ts about manuscript formatting that will further improve compatibility with import workflows. If you follow these tips, your layout artist will thank you. Otherwise, they’ll grit their teeth and, depending on how their day has been going, swear a lot because they have to fix everything manually.

Why This All Matters

Most layout programs are capable of importing documents from various programs such as MS Word and LibreOffice, and they have a lot of different settings available when doing so. Ideally, your layout artist will … Continue reading

Prepare Your Game Manuscript to Send to Layout Pt. 1

This entry is part 3 of 17 in the seriesTutorials

This entry is part 3 of 17 in the series Tutorials

Introduction

It’s an amazing feeling to see your game designs turned into a proper book, complete with complimentary art, typefaces, and all of the other bells and whistles. But how does it get from the stream of text you’ve entered into your word processor to the final product your adoring fans will download (or better yet, see on the shelves at their FLGS)?

After you’ve written your manuscript, it needs to be entered into a desktop publishing program such as Adobe’s InDesign or Scribus, the open source alternative. Once imported into the layout software, the layout artist can manipulate all of the text you’ve written and transform it from a stone wall of text to an elegant sculpture.

To do that, your layout designer needs to have a few cues about what sort of text elements your … Continue reading

Tips for Blogging from Microsoft Word

This entry is part 2 of 17 in the seriesTutorials

This entry is part 2 of 17 in the series Tutorials

Introduction

Blogging is an important part of any publisher’s toolbox, but it’s also a fun activity for other hobbyists. Though it’s possible to do all of your blogging directly in a browser, it can be helpful to create blog posts offline and upload them later.

Why would you want to do such a thing? There are a few great reasons:

  • Working offline means cutting down distractions. If you’re working in a word processor rather than your browser of choice, you don’t have the entire internet at your fingertips to distract you.
  • You create offline backups of your work as you create it. IF your blog goes down for some reason, you still have copies of your posts. (You are still remembering to back up your blog regularly though, right?)
  • It can be easier to work in … Continue reading

Game Publishing Lessons eBook Now Available

This entry is part 12 of 12 in the seriesGame Publishing Lessons Learned

This entry is part 12 of 12 in the series Game Publishing Lessons Learned

Game Publishing Lessons Cover

I’ve received a lot of great feedback about the Game Publishing Lessons Learned series of articles. Many new and upcoming publishers have found helpful advice within the 11 articles of the series, so I thought I’d package it all up into one place and make it available as an eBook.

In addition to minor updates, I changed the order of the articles to make the information flow a bit more smoothly. You’ll now find the How to Talk to Artists section directly proceeding the How to Find Artists chapter, for example.

As I went about the task of laying out the new … Continue reading

ISBNs – the Unexpected Expense

This entry is part 11 of 12 in the seriesGame Publishing Lessons Learned

This entry is part 11 of 12 in the series Game Publishing Lessons Learned

Introduction

I recently rounded out the Game Publishing Lessons Learned series with an article about Post-Kickstarter Fulfillment. Though that brought an end to the topics raised over at RPGGeek, it wasn’t the whole story about what I learned during my first foray into game publishing.

When the layout process was nearing completion for Psi-punk, I got an e-mail from Ruben (the layout artist) asking me for the ISBNs I would be using for the book. At the time I had a general understanding of what an ISBN was (it’s a 10 or 13-digit number that uniquely identifies your book) but I didn’t know the significance of having one. More importantly, I didn’t know that it could potentially be a huge added expense. I found myself scrambling … Continue reading

Post-Kickstarter Fulfillment

This entry is part 10 of 12 in the seriesGame Publishing Lessons Learned

This entry is part 10 of 12 in the series Game Publishing Lessons Learned

Introduction

In April 2012, Neil Carr, a member of the RPGGeek community, started a series of Amateur Kickstarter discussion threads. These discussions were partly his way of bouncing ideas off of the community and partly his way of getting advice about how to get started with a Kickstarter project he had in the works. I took part in these discussions and learned a lot of great lessons from them myself.

Now, one year later, I wanted to reflect and share what I’ve learned from those discussions and from my own experience since then. The more we can learn from each other, the better off the industry as a whole will be.

In this series I will recap, post-by-post, each of the 10 or so discussion topics raised by Neal. I’ll touch upon the … Continue reading

How to Talk to Artists

This entry is part 9 of 12 in the seriesGame Publishing Lessons Learned

This entry is part 9 of 12 in the series Game Publishing Lessons Learned

Introduction

Recently I put out the word on Google+ to find an artist who could create some fantastic trade dress for an upcoming line of Pathfinder supplements. My experience was a bit bungled, to say the least. I realized, after inadvertently offending someone and receiving a few helpful bits of advice from someone else, that I didn’t really know how to talk to artists in the gaming industry.

Sure, Psi-punk went okay, but I found Melissa Gay through mutual connections at RPGGeek and it was an instant match. I hadn’t needed to contact anyone else or put out an open call. Now that I’ve had that experience, I’d like to share it with you. Additionally, I’ve spoken with some fine folks at the RPG.net community forums who’ve offered … Continue reading

Designing a Book’s Logo/Title

This entry is part 8 of 12 in the seriesGame Publishing Lessons Learned

This entry is part 8 of 12 in the series Game Publishing Lessons Learned

Introduction

In April 2012, Neil Carr, a member of the RPGGeek community, started a series of Amateur Kickstarter discussion threads. These discussions were partly his way of bouncing ideas off of the community and partly his way of getting advice about how to get started with a Kickstarter project he had in the works. I took part in these discussions and learned a lot of great lessons from them myself.

Now, one year later, I wanted to reflect and share what I’ve learned from those discussions and from my own experience since then. The more we can learn from each other, the better off the industry as a whole will be.

In this series I will recap, post-by-post, each of the 10 or so discussion topics raised by Neal. I’ll touch upon the … Continue reading

How to Distribute Game PDFs to Backers

This entry is part 7 of 12 in the seriesGame Publishing Lessons Learned

This entry is part 7 of 12 in the series Game Publishing Lessons Learned

Introduction

In April 2012, Neil Carr, a member of the RPGGeek community, started a series of Amateur Kickstarter discussion threads. These discussions were partly his way of bouncing ideas off of the community and partly his way of getting advice about how to get started with a Kickstarter project he had in the works. I took part in these discussions and learned a lot of great lessons from them myself.

Now, one year later, I wanted to reflect and share what I’ve learned from those discussions and from my own experience since then. The more we can learn from each other, the better off the industry as a whole will be.

In this series I will recap, post-by-post, each of the 10 or so discussion topics raised by Neal. I’ll touch upon the … Continue reading

Crowdfunding Campaign Marketing 101

This entry is part 6 of 12 in the seriesGame Publishing Lessons Learned

This entry is part 6 of 12 in the series Game Publishing Lessons Learned

Introduction

In April 2012, Neil Carr, a member of the RPGGeek community, started a series of Amateur Kickstarter discussion threads. These discussions were partly his way of bouncing ideas off of the community and partly his way of getting advice about how to get started with a Kickstarter project he had in the works. I took part in these discussions and learned a lot of great lessons from them myself.

Now, one year later, I wanted to reflect and share what I’ve learned from those discussions and from my own experience since then. The more we can learn from each other, the better off the industry as a whole will be.

In this series I will recap, post-by-post, each of the 10 or so discussion topics raised by Neal. I’ll touch upon the … Continue reading