Marketing Your Game


We recommend against spending money marketing your game. Like, renting a booth at a convention or whatever.

Of course, if you can get on a panel, that’s a different story. But don’t spend money on a booth/table.


The panel would probably attract more interest anyway. Wizard World is pretty big - we had over 25K folks attend in Louisville last year. They have tons of slots to fill with programming and I thought it’d be worth it to take a swing next year. I would definitely be more interesting than the woman who presented a talk on anthropology in Star Trek.


(Appreciate this thread is old, but it appears a relevant place to ask a follow up question)

@jasonstevanhill, if you don’t mind my asking. Is it that you recommend not spending money on marketing at conventions, or generally?

I appreciate that COG and HG push their publications to reviewers, etc. I also appreciate that the lower revenues on IF publications can make a marketing campaign spend a disproportionate cost.

But there are examples of marketing campaigns for small/indie games being successful. I just wanted to ask if you’re willing to write a word or two about the reasoning behind this (if it is a statement about marketing spends generally). Thank you!


I’m obviously not Jason, but I think he might be on vacation with his new bride. I’m not 100% sure about that.

I’ll just toss in my two cents since I’ve been exploring marketing as much as anyone else here.

It will be hard, especially to start, and the $.52 per game profit for an author on a $2.99 game obviously means you’d have to sell (and I mean on-the-spot downloads) 200 copies just to make $100, which is the bare minimum for most table spaces at smallish conventions. Many are much more expensive.

So will you make your money back immediately? No way. But does that mean you shouldn’t try? I’m not sure about my answer yet.

I’ve had three “for sure” reviews and/or emails because of my June convention so far. From a pure numbers standpoint, that’s pretty bad. But, it’s interesting who they are. One is a reporter for a local TV station. It doesn’t hurt meet new folks like that, especially in your hometown. Another apparently has website experience and has offered to help improve my website (for free) because he loves CCH and wants to “contribute” in direct way.

And two folks at the convention had already read CCH and that was pretty awesome meeting them.

So I think you have to think long-term. What are you writing goals for the next five years? Are you marketing your game, a series of games, or yourself? Would you be okay with losing money on exposure now if it lead to a few readers becoming dedicated readers; folks who buy your next book no matter what? And if you gain local readers, might those people help in other ways, buy merchandise in the future (where you have a higher profit margin), contribute to crowdfunding campaigns, etc?

But from a math perspective, with our low profits on these games, it will hardly ever make sense to push the games in a physical setting. Selling HGs and CoGs is a “numbers game” and the platforms do a great job with that.


What a lovely considered reply (especially interesting given your previous contributions to this thread). Thank you @Eric_Moser .

I guess I’m in the process of weighing the different ways effort and resources could be spent doing this. Our company markets very successfully on google for example - so I’m aware (in very different contexts) how marketing can have a significant impact relative to resources put into it.

But theoretically IF is both niche, yet has the potential to access the wider market of e-readers. I’m not suggesting that paying for a marketing campaign would make that happen, just that, given a good quality product it would be interesting to see how far a marketing professional could push a choicescript game.

At the very least I’m definitely going to have to drop a line to a couple of local newspapers. Thanks for the inspiration : )


Thanks for the like @Harian It’s neat to get a like to an old message. :slight_smile:

I see that I didn’t think my Facebook page would have a lot of effect back then. Things have changed. :slight_smile:

I started that page by calling it Life of a Wizard. It was my only game and I had no idea that it would be so accepted. It spurred me into make many others and changing the page name to Lucid’s Games. It’s now up to 1328 likes and reaches 1500.

It’s a small percentage of my total readers, but it’s also a great way to get that “first time bump” when a new game releases. This helps my games reach higher on the lists, which draws in new fans and sends it higher yet. :slight_smile: The CoG mailer is by far my largest form of marketing. In addition to this forum, having that large pre-existing fan base is enormous.

@JimD has 2678 likes at this time, but he started before me, so I’ll catch up with him eventually. :wink:

I don’t post a lot, which has a mixed effect. It means that I’m not filling up people’s newsfeeds, so they don’t mind keeping me liked and don’t unlike me due to spam. But, it also means that I don’t have a large online presence. I suspect that the reason I have a large number (and @JimD too), is by writing a sequel. People want to know when the next one is coming out. The downside is that you are committed to finishing it. Luckily for me, the Lost Heir is well-liked, so I have the proper motivation to keep going on it. :slight_smile:

I’m not on Twitter and I don’t do any other type of marketing, just this:

I read and follow all of @Eric_Moser’s convention threads. He may not get big bumps of sales from his efforts, but I think it’s super cool. Those hard core fans will spread the word faster than the lukewarm fans. Is it financially effective with regards to the time and money he puts into it? Likely not. But it looks like a lot of fun and he can tell people that he’s been to conventions to share his work. :slight_smile:

All in all, I’m not a good marketer. I’d rather be writing stories than finding new fans.


@Lucid, if you’re going to eventually catch @JimD, does that imply that I’ll eventually catch you? :smirk:

I stupidly didn’t include my social media stuff in the app itself and I probably blew the chance for more likes/follows. I’ll likely include that in a Part 1 update when Part 2 is ready to roll.

Also, to @Charles_Parkes, and anyone else, if your writing plans include writing “conventional” novels (which may have a slightly higher per-unit royalty, but only if they are traditionally published), I think it’s a good idea to “get yourself out there” and start networking and meeting people.

I am hoping to keep CCH going in some way, shape, or form for a long time, even after the three HGs are done. If I had enough support, a ongoing comic or a graphic novel would be a dream, but that would likely require crowdfunding, which again, is a reason to develop and cultivate a reader base.

Two of the other vendors I met at the convention shared specific Kickstarter project info (“ran the numbers”). One guy failed the first time, kept reaching out to old fans and converting new ones, and was successful the second time. It allowed him to pay his artist and create a (in my opinion) professional-quality comic.


One biggie for me is, do the authors get access to free promo codes to do their own marketing?


Once I release my game, I’ll probably be posting about it on every semi-related forum I can find, and any relevant subreddits on Reddit. Afraid of looking like a spammer with that approach though.

Edit: Didn’t realise this thread was 2 years old.