Like many small creator-publishers, InfiniBadger Press is a one-man show that attempts to do as much product development and release in-house as possible, using freelancers and licensing to help fill in the gaps that can’t be done that way. This makes for a very lean publishing operation that is agile, but also suffers from the major risk that when the major creative doing it in this fashion ends up getting swamped in real life with family, dayjob, or other things that can impact it, the workload needs adjustment. Plans for product releases need to be adjusted or reconsidered. New schedules need to be evaluated. Certain plans are put on hold while other ones get the priority they didn’t have before.
I find myself in this position now with the increased workload and responsibility in my dayjob, which involves much of the same skills I use for InfiniBadger Press (project management, creative development, design and layout, production etc) but in academia. While this crossover of skills is a great fit, it can at times lead to potential challenges. There are some major deadlines coming up for my dayjob and I have to give priority to them (as it’s what really pays the bills and provides for my family) and adjust InfiniBadger Press projects around that.
That sounds like doom and gloom. It’s not. It’s an opportunity to re-evaluate and re-focus.
It does mean giving careful consideration to what InfiniBadger Press plans on doing over the next few years, and how its going to accomplish them, as well as how to fund them and keep momentum going. InfiniBadger is young, not yet fully two years old, but is growing and developing quite well. There’s lots of things I want to do with InfiniBadger Press, and I aim to be around for the long haul (as has been my dream for over 25 years now). That means continuing to develop new products and release them, growing the product “bank” while giving careful consideration to resources (the major ones being my time and energy, and then cashflow). Any changes being made must be complementary to things that can affect it (family, dayjob) and be practical so that things continue to get done. It’s all a bit of a juggling act really. Sometimes you get it right, sometimes you get it wrong. The trick is to keep going.
The majority of small press creator-publishers tend to work almost every day on their products, and this is what happens at InfiniBadger Press right now. Alternatively, some creator-publishers work exclusively at weekends in a flurry of activity. InfiniBadger Press is going to be moving the bulk of its creative and development work to the weekends. This allows for continuing to operate OSRToday and doing light development work throughout the week, or fulfilling additional work that’s already in play, and staying in communication with various freelancers and partners. It also means giving dedicated time to working on projects and the ability to schedule this time. That makes it easier to plan projects and complete them. It also helps work out what projects are going to be put on hold.
One thing that is being put on hold is the plan for InfiniBadger Press to offer layout, graphic design, book design, book cover design, and other consulting services to other creator-publishers who are looking to develop or grow their own products. There are a couple of third parties that I’m working with right now such as Barrel Rider Games for the White Star RPG line, and they will be the only ones that will be able to take advantage of that for some time. Once existing and upcoming agreements are completed this will be reevaluated, probably at this time next year.
Another plan that has been in the works for a while has been a subtle rebranding of InfiniBadger Press products to lead to a somewhat more unified and modern presentation. Part of this rebranding is moving, for the most part, to digest-sized printing for print products. This is being done for aesthetic as well as a few other reasons (that I won’t go into here). There’s also a slight change in overall branding being used on covers to unify product design. The branding change isn’t a huge change, but it makes all of the products that will be released have a specific “company look”.
The digital+ program is going to continue and become a major focus of value for InfiniBadger Press products, and a number of existing products are going to be updated shortly with the ebook and raw file formats of the product. A lot of time has been spent thinking about the digital and print strategy for releasing content and what (if anything) needs to change to keep products competitive while still making them worthwhile to develop and support. A lot of hours goes into making a product and releasing it and those hours need to well spent, and they also need to be compensated for at the right level. Sales of product is what keeps new product being created and released. That’s just a maxim of running a business.
There are several new products that will be coming out in the coming months, some of which have been announced on our new Release Schedule page. The release dates in their are the current anticipated release timeframes for products. Only products that have are confirmed for development and release are placed here. The Foundry is where various products that are still in development and being considered for eventual release may be found.
The move to digest sizing potentially means reformatting the VIGNETTE SCENARIOS series of products at some point. There are still additional products to come out in this series, and moving to this format allows for a standardization of page size, as well as the ability to revisit the artwork and layout within the existing products to improve upon them. There’s been some feedback about products like adventures and making them less expensive for those who buy digital only and print on their own, so some changes to design are being considered. There are at least 2-3 more products in this line that are planned for development.
Regarding ANOTHER BUNCH OF CONTENT, four issues of the original first batch of six issues have been released. The plan for this product line was to release an issue a month and then compile it all into compendiums every six months. It hasn’t really been a strong seller, and takes a lot of effort to actually create. The new plan for this line is to release the remaining two issues for the first half-dozen (as some had purchased subscriptions for Issues 1-6). Issues will be released going forward on no set delivery schedule, instead being released as supplementary product along with other product lines. Once twelve issues have been released, the decision will be made about whether to make a full compendium in PDF and/or print. If such a thing happens, those who have purchased issues will receive a discount on that product.
OSRToday will continue to be an ongoing concern for InfiniBadger Press, but there will be some changes to how it operates. A new format for posting content more regularly, the Daily Snapshot, has been implemented, which allows posting and sharing content and news more often in a summary format. Large articles will still be posted, but they will be reserved for prominent stories and content. This makes the site more agile and easier to maintain, making sure that it doesn’t detract from all of the additional projects that are ongoing. There are some additional changes and updates coming to the site, but those will be communicated at the OSRToday site itself later when they are ready to be announced.
Many people are probably wondering about the current status of Old School Quarterly. The original plan was to get the Zero Issue, the test issue, out last summer, but a number of things conspired to stop this happening and the schedule slipped. The slippage was also due some of the same factors I mentioned in the opening of this post, and by many changes in my own personal life that I was grappling with. I’ve been hesitant to share anything specific about OSQ until I know exactly what is happening, and I’m almost there with that. More news will be coming very shortly on this, posted directly on the OSQ website (and probably mirrored here as well).