Well, Christmas is over and done with. I got some quality time with my family and I hope you all spent some time with yours.
Now to take a look at the past year and consider what path to take in the coming year.
Achievements for the blog:
Most popular post: While my initial post about Oz: Dark & Terrible garnered the most hits in this calendar year, the most popular post that I wrote this year was How Not To Promote Yourself On The Internet. It also qualified as the most commented post of the year, as well.
Apparently, snark sells on the internet. I got a bit of that myself in November thanks to the Mistress of Doom. The Mistress' blog has been taken down, but that little bit of "special attention" did some good.
Speaking of the Kickstarter, it qualifies as my lowest low point this year. Sales of AiO had been pretty slow, and I felt like I may have hit a ceiling in terms of getting customers. I figured the best way to get in more customers (or at least money) was to release another supplement. In order to get the money to do it, I tried Kickstarter.
As the month wore on and it didn't look like I was going to get funded, I was getting ready to throw in the towel. While I wouldn't delete the blog or my products (I don't really do fits of pique), I was going to step back from it and maybe try something else. Another blog, another game, who knows?
Then Teach Your Kids to Game Week happened. That made November my strongest sales month of the year. Certainly not the time to call it quits. Life is a funny thing sometimes.
Thanks to that sales boost, 2011 netted me 99 sales to date. Along with 108 from last year, I'm now at 207 sales overall. Not terribly strong, and not to my goal of 300 yet.
The Characters Pack, my first supplement, pulled in only 36 sales this year. Which is not bad, considering that it has pretty much paid for itself at this point.
So what is the future of AiO?
Like I said last year, my goal is too keep things small and manageable. The big things need the money that the little things generate in order to come about. So no more Beyond the Deadly Desert talk for a while.
It has always been in my plans to do adventures for AiO and things are finally getting to a point where I can hire writers and artists and such to do them. But wait! Aren't I a writer? Why am I not writing the adventures?
Frankly, the big reason is that The Jaded City of Oz, the sample adventure in the main book, was so crazy-awesome that I don't think I can come up with anything in the same league. Once the adventure pool has diversified some, I can definitely see myself giving it a go, though.
The blog will be changing some, too. I had originally intended this blog to be a marketing tool, so that people could see what I'm selling and why it's so awesome. But my desire to keep the blog on a weekly update schedule conflicts with that sometimes and the blog has become a bit more general. So, in marketing speak, the blog has become more about "conversation" than "conversion." While I don't think I can switch completely into "shilling mode", expect a little more product visibility.
What about my goal of getting into stores? Hasn't left my mind. I've got things to a point where I just need a bit of money to afford my initial inventory.
TLDR: I have lots of things I want to do, but I need my products to sell in order to do them.