When I first started investigating publishing to DMs Guild, I was a little intimidated by the production quality I found there. All the publications had such nice layout and artwork, I thought I’d never be able to put together something comparable. But as I started scouring the internet for help, I discovered there are a lot of great resources out there. So as I approach the date of releasing my adventure, I thought I’d take a moment to share with you all what I found along the way.
Perhaps the single most impactful thing I discovered was Scott Tolksdorf’s Homebrewery site. This online tool applies the 5e layout and style to your writing using a markup language that is very approachable, especially to a programmer like me. It easily exports to PDF and is a great starting point for a professional looking document. He’s also built a bit of a community around the site, with a pretty active Reddit and a lot of folks kit-bashing and sharing techniques for taking your layout the extra mile.
There are a couple places to get stock art for your adventure. Sure, it may not be a perfect match to your content, but you can get really close and sometimes you might just luck out. I even saw one article that suggested finding good stock art first, and then building your adventure around it, which strikes me as a pretty clever idea.
If you search drivethrurpg for the phrase “stock art”, you’ll find a ton of great stuff that is guaranteed to at least be in the right arena for D&D. Pieces typically go for around $3-5 each, which is just a crazy steal in my mind. If you’re publishing to DMs Guild, they have a whole section called Resources for DMG Creators with similar stuff completely for free. Yes, DM’s Guild takes a bigger cut than drivethrurpg, but one of the perks you get is access to a ton of free artwork, maps, etc.
I’ve also had a lot of luck with Pixabay and iStockPhoto, who both have a pretty huge quantity of free stuff, as well as stuff for a few dollars a piece. In fact, I’ve started using Pixabay a lot for the featured images of these blog posts. It really eases my conscience to have a great source of artwork like this with clearly written licensing and attribution info.
Before I contemplated publishing to DM’s Guild, I wanted to know more about the market. I’ve certainly heard anecdotally that nobody gets rich publishing RPG material, and I have not deluded myself into thinking this is going to be a life changing experience. But I did find it reassuring to have some baseline for my expectations, and was happy to discover several blog authors who have shared some sales data analysis:
- What is An Adventure Worth? – The Alphastream Gaming Blog
- An Update on DMs Guild Sales – World Builder Blog
- DMs Guild Sales Update 1 – Mount Ogden Gaming Company
I won’t bore you reiterating all the information in the above posts, but do give them a read if you’re thinking about publishing your work. If nothing else it will help you figure out when to give a satisfied nod vs. when to start popping the champagne.
Well, there you have it, as usual all my work comes from standing on the shoulders of giants. I figured the least I could do is pay it forward in hopes that this research helps someone move from “I don’t know” to “I can do it.” Stay tuned later this week for more info about my upcoming release on DMs Guild.