Oct 202011

It’s a new quarter! That means we look back on Q3, the big ‘un, the one with conventions in it, a release of a new Dresden Files novel, awards, all that jazz. How’d we do?

To get a little quarter-to-quarter perspective, I’ve added in a “LQ vs TQ” column showing the percentage change between last quarter and the more recent one. An uptick for most titles — but not a shock. We’ll probably see some significant dropoff in Q4, so tune back in in three months to see that.

Title Sales Last Q Sales This Q LQ vs TQ Prior Lifetime New Lifetime
Penny 49 49 No Change 1065 1114
Diaspora 206 180 -13% 945 1125
Do 631 497 -21% 631 1128
Do:BoL 0 51 New 0 51
DLYM 82 91 +11% 1579 1670
DRYH 188 196 +4% 3949 4145
DFRPG:OW 810 1013 +25% 9903 10916
DFRPG:YS 1099 1427 +30% 11686 13113
Wizard Dice 141 26 -82% 2076 2102
HBR 46 79 +72% 514 593
SOTC 298 345 +16% 6948 7293
SOTS 15 11 -27% 718 729
S7S 43 47 +9% 1671 1718

More detailed breakdown behind the cut.

Title Source Direct Retail/Distro PDF Special Total
Penny IPR 3 2 5 10
Diaspora IPR 5 18 2 16 41
Do IPR 8 13 3 89 113
DLYM IPR 2 12 10 24
DRYH IPR 6 18 5 11 40
DFRPG:OW IPR 1 2 28 31
DFRPG:YS IPR 2 7 24 33
Wizard Dice IPR 1 12 13 26
HBR IPR 1 2 2 10 15
SOTC IPR 2 16 5 4 27
S7S IPR 1 1 1 3
Penny EHP Store 8 7 15
Diaspora EHP Store 26 9 35
Do EHP Store 32 11 43
Do:BoL EHP Store 14 14
DLYM EHP Store 5 9 14
DRYH EHP Store 13 25 38
DFRPG:OW EHP Store 90 87 177
DFRPG:YS EHP Store 106 96 202
HBR EHP Store 11 3 14
SOTC EHP Store 13 42 55
SOTS EHP Store 4 4
S7S EHP Store 2 4 6
Penny OBS 5 5
Do OBS 56 56
Do:BoL OBS 37 37
DLYM OBS 25 25
DRYH OBS 52 52
HBR OBS 14 14
SOTC OBS 118 118
S7S OBS 10 10
DRYH Lulu 2 2
SOTC Lulu 1 6 7
Penny e23
Diaspora e23
DLYM e23 1 1
DRYH e23 1 1
DFRPG:OW e23 1 1
DFRPG:YS e23 1 1
HBR e23
SOTC e23 1 1
SOTS e23
S7S e23
Penny Distribution 19 19
Diaspora Distribution 104 104
Do Distribution 285 285
DLYM Distribution 27 27
DRYH Distribution 63 63
DFRPG:OW Distribution 723 723
DFRPG:YS Distribution 1,095 1,095
Wizard Dice Distribution
HBR Distribution 36 36
SOTC Distribution 137 137
SOTS Distribution
S7S Distribution 28 28

  16 Responses to “Evil Hat Sales Numbers: Q3 2011”

  1. Interesting, as usual. How much due you think the summer spike was helped/hurt to Borders blowing out its stock? Or were those books counted already in a previous quarter? That’s under the “Distribution” column, right?


    • Borders should have nothing to do with it. As I understand it (I don’t have retailer-by-retailer numbers from my distributors), Borders bought all of their stock back when the product first launched a year ago, and didn’t re-up afterwards. From what I’ve read about their demise, realizing they might need to place a reorder would’ve taken their system many months, anyway, and by that point their troubles were quite pronounced.

  2. I keep wondering if there’s value in an e23-targeted product.

    Known names, overall conversions, rules conversions, etc.

    Very iffy, in all respects.

    • Maybe? I’m not sure that’s a strong product strategy for a company that’s not SJG, though. Ultimately — and no sleight intended here — e23 is a SJG company store that happens to have let other publishers come along for the ride. From some perspectives you might say it exists simply as a dodge for SJG to sell to its base without giving Caesar’s coin to the folks running DriveThru. 🙂

    • No disagreement on any of your points.

      Historically, before RPGNow and DTRPG merged into OBS, e23 was a decent third horse in the race. But that really dwindled with time — I saw it just by comparing T&J (2005) sales to ZoZ sales (2006) on both sites.

      I was really thinking about outreach to a separate subsector of the hobby. Hm. Hm. Hm. Hm.

  3. I find it interesting that Do has sold more copies in six months than Diaspora has in more than a year. Thoughts on why that is?

    • Well, Do came off of a kickstarter in the prior quarter. It loaded up a ton of sales right there all at once. Diaspora on the other hand came to Evil Hat *after* the guys at VSCA had had it out there for a while. The sales shown here do not reflect Diaspora’s sales performance as published outside of Evil Hat. So we’re in essence looking at different segments of a product’s lifespan. We weren’t there for the “big boom” of Diaspora’s initial release. So the true lifetime tally for Diaspora is still significantly higher than Do’s, it’s just spread across more than one company.

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  5. Hey Fred,

    Thanks as always for posting this information! Out of curiosity, do you just lump convention sales in with Retail/Distro? Is IPR Evil Hat’s only convention seller?

    • IPR is our only convention seller at present. I use the “special” column for that on their line items. (“Special” in the Lulu context means “sold a hardcover edition of SOTC”, mainly.)

  6. Hi Fred,

    Sad to have missed Metatopia, it would have been great game and chat with you and hear your talks. Looking over your numbers here, I am curious about what “Distribution” means specifically. If you’ve already explained this elsewhere, could ya hook me up with a link?


    • Means old-school middle-man distribution: Alliance, ACD, PHD, Esdevium, Lion Rampant, Ulisses Spiele, Pegasus Spiele, and probably others I’m not thinking of.

    • Does Evil Hat use all 7 of those? Mainly I’m curious about how all those Drseden books are getting to customers.

    • At least those seven are customers of Evil Hat, yes. (I say it like that because it’s weird to me to think of me as “using” them; I feel like they “use” Evil Hat to supply them with product.) There may be others I’m not thinking of.

    • Gotcha. I hear you on the perspective.

      I have a bunch of distro questions! If this isn’t the place for them, no prob, I can revisit some other time.

      Basically, I’m wondering what those 1095 Q3 sales of DFRPG:YS look like, the chain of ownership from Evil Hat to the customer. That’s 77% of the total 1427, which surprises me!

      My (probably incorrect) understanding looks like this:
      1) Alliance gets Dresden books from Evil hat.
      2) Alliance offers Dresden books to American hobby stores. The number of hobby stores is small and dwindling. The number of those that carry RPGs is smaller still. The number that carry anything other than D&D is vastly smaller still.
      3) Those few retailers pay Alliance for Dresden. Alliance then takes their cut and pays Evil Hat.
      4) If the retailers can’t sell Dresden, they send it back and ask for their money back. So Evil Hat hasn’t really sold a book until a customer’s taken it home with them.

      1095 in 3 months seems like a staggeringly large number to me, based on that process. Am I simply underestimating the number of people who go into hobby stores and buy a spiffy new RPG they’ve never heard of? (I mean, if they’d heard of it, they probably would have bought it via another channel, right?) Am I underestimating the overseas market?

    • Time for a Dear Deadly post! Stay tuned.

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