Pelgrane Biz 2011 Part 3

Following on from the previous post, this is how gross $ sales break down by outlet.


The net margin picture (which includes a lot of guess work) looks a little different:



PDF sales declined as a percentage of net margin, because of the mammoth Ashen Stars and Bookhounds pre-orders, but increased overall.

So, after all this, why would I carry on doing distribution sales? Well, in 2011, I sold nearly 5000 games through distribution. By mail order, including a whole bunch of additional PDF products I sold about 4000. One of the purposes of Pelgrane Press is to get as many of our games in to the hands of as many gamers as possible – and we can only do that through retail. Even if we were to make more money by selling direct only, I still wouldn’t do it. Retailers are also the recruitment ground for many new players, and they fulfil a valuable role maintaining and building the hobby. Finally, we sold 75% of our copies of Bookhounds through retail, and it’s only because of that we can justify the print quality that we want using offset printing.

10 Responses to “Pelgrane Biz 2011 Part 3”

  1. Thank you for sharing this data! In the context of all the talk about the state of the tabletop games industry, you’re providing a real service by shining some light on your corner of the market.

  2. Thanks, Simon.

    Do you read Evil Hat’s quarterly postings on how they break down their business?

    And what happened in Feb 2011 that Feb 2010 exceeded it (the only month that happened)?

    • Simon Rogers says:

      In Feb 2010, I got a payment from a licensee, and Feb 2011 was our slowest month both for mail order and distribution.

      I do read Fred’s postings – I’m always impressed by them, particularly the sales of Dresden Files – a perfect storm of publisher, system and license.

  3. Mudshark Baby says:

    Thanks for these updates, Simon. I am just a punter but find it interesting all the same, despite not needing to use the data in any way. I think your forthright manner reflects well on your business and I am sure this endears you more to many of us out here.

  4. Niclas says:

    Agree with everyone above, this is a really interesting read, even for us outsiders!

  5. Steve says:

    1% IPR Retail. THAT WAS ME!

  6. Allan says:

    Its interesting, but what do all the terms mean?
    IPR? etc etc.
    Some sort of legend would be good.


    • GB Steve says:

      IPR is Indie Press Revolution, a retailer/distributor for indie rpgs. e23 is Steve Jackson Games’ online pdf shop. It carries more than just GURPS games. OBS is the Ocean Bottom Survey. Those brave boys and girls get an annual care package from Pelgrane in recognition for all the work they do scanning the depths. There’s not much else to do when you’re down there for a three month shift so they like to play rpgs.

    • Simon Rogers says:

      Hi, Steve’s explained a couple (OBS is in fact One Book Shelf, the organisation behind and Let me know if you need any more info.

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