Tuesday, January 15, 2013

OneBookShelf Discontinues Crowdsourcing Fulfillment Support

Well this is a kick in the head.

OneBookShelf, purveyors of RPGNow.com, DriveThruRPG.com, etc. just announced that they are no longer going to support publishers who need to fulfill crowdsourcing rewards:
Some of you will recall that we started a new program last August, helping publishers with Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaigns to fulfill your digital and print product orders. Since then, we have helped a number of our publishers to fulfill their Kickstarter obligations.
Unfortunately, after careful examination of the costs and benefits, we have decided to discontinue this program. We apologize to any of you who were considering using this method for your own Kickstarter campaigns.
Of course, you can still use our publisher tools and infrastructure to help send products to your backers.
Now, this is of particular moment to me, as I used RPGNow to fulfill the print and digital rewards for my first Kickstarter campaign with great success, and was planning on using them to fulfill the rewards for the Adventures Dark and Deep Players Manual. Now that that option has been closed to me, I might need to re-evaluate my publishing strategy as a whole, and look to venues other than RPGNow.com entirely.

It could well turn out that having to switch to a new publisher at this late date, after the Kickstarter campaign is ended, but before the rewards were sent, could turn a slight profit that would have been folded back into new products into a not-so-slight loss. I find myself in this unenviable position; my planning and budgeting was built around the RPGNow.com fulfillment quotes. Now that's all out the window.

Gotta say doing this so suddenly really makes me feel like the rug has been pulled out from under my feet. Announcing that "as of XXX date, we will no longer support crowdsourcing fulfillment" would have been much better from my point of view, and allowed me (and, doubtless, other publishers caught in the same position) to make alternate plans. As it is, I am left with a very bad taste in my mouth regarding OneBookShelf.