HG Merchandising

In lieu of a Ko-fi or Patreon setup, I’m interested in supporting myself via artwork I’ve developed for my WiP. That way, I would be able to give my followers something concrete, rather than make a pure ask. However, I have questions. Just want to be absolutely forthcoming and compliant.

  1. I’m most interested in publishing my game. So my first and standing question is: would any of the below preclude me from entering into contract with Hosted Games?

2a) I’m guessing, because authors are allowed to link social media and fundraising sites, I would be able to link an external site?
2b) Would I be able to announce merch updates on my forum thread, e.g. my shop got in 3 frog-dragon bobble heads?
2c) Would I be able to poll interest from my followers on my thread, e.g. do you guys like stickers or magnets?
2d) Are the rules any different if I want to give rather than sell, say, promotional art prints to my diehard alpha testers?

Here are some examples of products I had in mind, in case that effects the ruling:

ex: RO Phone Case

ex: Dragon Coaster Set

ex: Cover-Art Mousepad

*I own 100% of the art that would be used.
**I would process through a legitimate LLC and pay appropriate taxes.
***I would sell in English, Spanish, French, and German

  1. Are the rules different if I use attributed text excerpts? For example, if I wanted to include a signed quote card in a custom Funko Pop, or if I wanted to make quote refrigerator magnets. I imagine most sales would be prints and stickers but want to make sure I’m doing the right thing. :sweat_smile:
Funko: Phill in Shining Armor

Phill in Shining Armor

Thanks for any guidance. Thanks too for creating and maintaining a platform for our creations. Cheers! :beers:

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Maybe something you’d have to discuss directly with CoG, most of us forum goers can only speculate. I can’t off the top of my head think of any authors who sell merch on the side, though there may be the odd one or two who could weigh in.

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I love the idea

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I know seraphinite games (the creator of wayhaven Chronicles) sells merchandise for wayhaven though I’m not sure if she needed approval from cog/hg games but for any specific questions you might want to email cog

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Anything you own you can exploit, unless you’ve signed away the rights to it.

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@jasonstevanhill Am I right in saying that the only thing you can’t monotize is the game itself through another platform, like Patreon or something (or another format besides ChoiceScript)?

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That reminds me to buy one of these bad boys.

Glug glug glug.

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Specifically another choice-based format. You can dechoice a story and turn it into a conventional novel if you want. I’ve never seen the rule as a major impediment myself. The other marketplaces aren’t likely to bring in this kind of money anyhow. The one area it would chafe is if you ever had a series and decided midway through that you wanted to do it elsewhere (for whatever reason). That would be a no go as far as I know, yo.

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You cannot monetize ChoiceScript without a license, period (except as outlined on the Writing an HG page).

As Hustler says, when you publish with us, you sign away your right to release the same content/story in a competing format.

That wouldn’t prevent you from switching mid-series to a competing format or a different format. But what you publish with us stays with us.

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@jasonstevanhill @hustlertwo
So, lets see if I got it:

  • If I write a HG named (for ex.) “The Sword and the Wand” and I want to publish it as comic book (traditional, not interactive and not choice based), the answer is “yes”.
  • If I wrote The Sword and the Wand as HG and then I want to write “The Sword and the Wand: Nex Generation” as traditional novel, the answer is “yes”.
  • For everything related to The Sword and The Wand not involving writing and coding, (as T-shirt, tea cups, poster, action figure etc.) the short answer is: My problem, my money
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If it helps anyone, Redbubble (who purchased Tee Public for $41M in '18) hosts art sales on fifty or so pre-formatted items at no cost and handles the production and shipping for a portion of proceeds. All I did was upload the banking info for the LLC I freelance from, size my images, and enable/disable items.

Example Landing--they set the pricing based on their costs.

I’m not going to try it until January (new tax year), but my only cost has been fifteen minutes of time–I’d developed the art anyway. I’ll probably stick to prints, stickers, and magnets, but I’ll post performance here to let you know if it’s a viable option. Print shops are huge in Austin (Mondo). My friend has made his car payment for a year with stickers, so I thought it might be worth a try here, especially for some of you authors with developed followings. Cheers, all.

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Ditto this. You probably won’t make much $ and margins are VERY slim on all merch there, but yeah it takes little time to set up and requires no maintenance or effort after initial setup. No worries about shipping or buying a bunch of merch in advance, it’s very easy.

(It’s not like it would be smarter to buy a bunch of Speck Community College t-shirts back in 2016 where about a dozen still reside in one’s basement closet to this very day)

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Don’t worry, you’re not alone. I have a duffel bag of Nuclear Powered Toaster merch made on Redbubble in 2010 (including a thong for some reason that probably wasn’t as funny as I thought it was, and the duffel itself) that went with the second run of the webcomic and was meant to be sold at MomoCon. Dropped almost all the ad revenue it ever had on magnets and bumper stickers. Gave away a few, sold none. Still, those magnets came out looking extremely good.

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Oh man, that is really depressing. I’m sorry.

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Well, fortunately it is a lot less depressing now than it was in the immediate aftermath, since the comic shut down shortly thereafter when the artist quit.

All that being said, so long as you avoid that trap and don’t buy a bunch of stuff to sell or whatever yourself, Redbubble is a potentially viable option to extend the life of things a bit, and also give something that can profit the artist. Might look into it myself.

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I would buy the fuck out of a Bunkisi plushie.

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