Welcome to the second instalment of Guild Guidance! In this article I’m going to take a look at how to successfully market your DMsGuild product, where to post it, where not to post it, and how to draw more eyes to your work. This topic was suggested by Andy Morley on twitter!
Over the years, I’ve realised that in order to launch a successful product on the DMsGuild, you need not only to produce something of high quality, but you need to market it well. The quality comes from writing, editing, artwork and the like, but the marketing relies solely on social media.
The best way to sell copies of a product is to get it into the Top 10 Banner on the DMsGuild, this ensures it is seen by everyone that visits the site, and means that it’s likely to be bought far more frequently. In order to hit the Top 10, you’ll need the quality mentioned before, but you’ll also need to rack up a lot of sales in the first 24 hours that the product is live. Kinda paradoxical; in order to sell more copies, you need to sell more copies. Because of this, a lot of the marketing work needs to be done in the run up to release (something I’m always too lazy to do). Once you start getting an idea of your product, it’s wise to tease it on social media platforms, when art and initial layouts start appearing, share them with your audience to generate even more interest. Make a big deal out of the cover release. Send off review copies to YouTubers and podcasters that have a large audience. Contact the DMsGuild Newsletter folks to try and get a prime spot in the email. Release the product and spam the link everywhere you can.
Facebook. Facebook has a number of groups dedicated to helping out DMsGuild creators, and also just to share D&D content more generally. The best of these (in my opinion) are the Dungeon Masters Guild Fanclub, the Dungeon Masters Guild Creator’s Circle, Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, and D&D 5E the Next Edition. These groups have big audiences of people, many of whom are eager to support new content on the DMsGuild. Furthermore, there are several OBS and DMsGuild employees in these groups who you can contact about getting into the newsletter. Be sure to post here in the run-up to release and on release, but make sure you don’t violate any of their community guidelines.
Twitter. Twitter is a hive of DMsGuild activity provided you know the right places to look. There are hundreds of people using the #DMsGuild hashtag. Sharing pictures and links on twitter is always more successful than just text posts, but anything you can do to keep reinforcing your product in people’s minds is going to help out a lot. You can also try and shout out to ‘D&D Celebs’ like Mike Mearls, Chris Perkins, Matthew Mercer etc. in the off chance you might get a retweet, mention or follow.
Reddit. Generally, the DMsGuild gets a bad press on reddit. Although r/DMsGuild does exist, it doesn’t have a large audience, and a lot of the people on the sub are also to be found easily on facebook and twitter. You can try posting to places like r/dnd or r/unearthedarcana, but you’re likely to get shot down, so I wouldn’t recommend it.
DMsGuild Newsletter. As mentioned before, if you can get yourself into the newsletter, you’re sure to receive a boon of sales. The best way to do this is to get in contact with DMsGuild/OBS employees, normally through email or facebook. In the interest of personal privacy, I won’t publicly post the profiles or email addresses of the folk to contact, but if you’re interested you can find it out yourself with ease, or drop me a private message on twitter and I can try to hook you up.
Reviewers. Sending out review copies to YouTubers, podcasters and bloggers is essential to get your product seen, read and bought by others. Some of the larger podcasts and YouTube channels might reach thousands of people, all of whom are potential customers. I’m going to drop a list of reviewers here that was compiled by Ken Carcas for you guys to hit up:
Patrick E Pullen
Draven’s RPG Review
Table Top Babble (James Introcasso)
Loot the Room (Chris Bissette)
You can also send your stuff to me and I’ll review it!
Be warned, some reviewers are more honest than others. Depending on their style, some people might see fit to totally rip apart a product, so be wary of that. Irrespective of this, it’s always nice to get feedback, even if it is brutal. I remember being told that my writing ‘lacked style or character’ when I first started on the guild!
To reiterate the point of this article, you NEED to market a product well and forcefully in order for it to be a success. You need to post pictures on social media as often as possible. Try to cultivate your own audience. Release spoilers and sneak previews of your work. Use the right hashtags and post in the right groups. Try and get into the DMsGuild Newsletter. When you finally release, post it everywhere, as often as possible, and don’t relent until you reach the Top 10! It’s a lot of work, I fail to do it almost every release, but you only need to take a look at a product like Shore of Dreams or Monsters of the Guild to see that it works.