This is the big, huge, massive problem in the current day and age. Making your work is all well and good but getting it out there and getting people to buy it is a massive hurdle. RPGs were ahead of the curve in getting electronic books out there – but using the PDF format, which is convenient from the perspective of the designer (the same files are used for printing) but possibly shrinking the potential audience by being less compatible with e-readers, which don’t tend to support the format or the same rich layout.
The bigger problem though, is simply being noticed. Part of the reason we have so many crowdfunded efforts is that these attract attention and loyal customers who can act as ‘boosters’, raising a game or supplement’s awareness level. Even so, the massive amounts of ‘noise’ relative to your signal make it hard to draw eyes to your products.
- Nobody likes spam.
- Facebook curates people’s feeds for them, to the point where many will never see your advertisement or posts.
- Social media dominates people’s reading/clicking habits now, RSS feeds and visiting individual sites does not.
- Patreon/Makersupport helps create ‘superfans’ the same way crowdfunding does, but you need to make them aware of you first.
I try to have a good body of work up, a presence on all the main (and alternative) social media and so on to have a good digital ‘footprint’, a Youtube channel, and as much personal engagement as I can manage. As an independent creative it’s – unfortunately – as much about people making a connection with me as it is about the work.
That’s all you can really do, try to keep plugging away. Draw people to you however you can and not just endlessly spam product. Show who you are and where the work comes from too.
Controvery, which I’ve never actually sought but has found me anyway, is a two-edged sword. On the one hand it raises your profile and will help people learn about you, on the other you’ll often be misrepresented or conjured into someone’s go-to bogeyman. You’ll gain a lot of interested people, but you’ll likely lose a lot too.
These days of course, anything and everything is controversial and ‘terrible’ to one side or another, so it’s important to gather the skills to deal with the vitriol. There is, unfortunately, nothing so good as experience for teaching that.