Q4 Sales Numbers: Soft Quarter, Slow Year

It’s January so that means it’s time for another sales numbers post (archive here) from the Hat!

As expected, the fourth quarter of 2014 was pretty soft compared to the prior — it’s been our experience that the bigger spikes in sales occur in the earlier parts of the year. The holidays have an effect for us, but it’s opposite of what you might expect; possible causes include the idea that folks are either waiting to buy things (because they might get them as gifts), and retailers aren’t buying (because they already stocked up for the end of the year in the third quarter, and they don’t want to carry that much leftover inventory across the great tax year divide).

For our webstore — a smallish source of data here, but a source — things got doubly complicated by the USPS changing around their shipping API yet again, which caused us to lose a couple months of time where we didn’t have media mail as a shipping option. As a small company with a webstore, it’s hard for us to offer lower-than-actual-cost shipping without it biting us pretty hard, so media mail has been a good way to deliver our book products, at least, at a somewhat more acceptable shipping cost. It only helps so much, though, as the dominant expectation online shopping has created for folks is that shipping shouldn’t cost what shipping actually costs, so for many companies it’s a question of how much of that cost to subsidize in the interests of staying competitive. For Evil Hat, we’ve chosen to focus more on making sure that our products cost a little bit less than is typical, at least in the small press segment (seriously, the Designers & Dragons books at $20 each, with each at 400 pages or more, is a deal), but that doesn’t always convey clearly to buyer psychology. But I digress!

Regardless, while the causes are difficult to confirm, the pattern isn’t; year over year, no matter our size, we’ve seen the Q4 drop. This year’s wasn’t an exception, tho there are a few interesting spikes worth commenting on. Eldritch and Valentine dice both did better than in the third quarter (perhaps folks are starting to round out their collections?), and unsurprisingly Spirit of the Season sold a couple dozen more copies than Q3 due to the proximity of the holidays.

Lifetime-wise, the numbers are adding up interestingly and attractively. In particular the Pay What You Want lifetime tallies at the bottom of the first table are worth looking at. Our gross (post-OBS/Patreon cuts) revenue for Patreon-derived product comes in at over $26k (which we’ve spent and then some, esp. given taking them into print, but still), which represents around half of our overall lifetime PWYW revenue stream (Core, Accelerated, and Toolkit add up to around $25k lifetime) — granted, the PWYW tracking on those last three titles there don’t include their crowdfunded portion, whereas with the Patreon stuff it makes sense to include the Patreon revenue as part of the tally. No matter how you calculated it, we’ll take the over $50k of voluntarily given revenue to date, naturally!

2015 should shape up to be an interesting year, with more physical product releases than we saw in 2014, and potentially more product releases overall. Plus, as you might guess, a couple Kickstarter campaigns of interest. 🙂

And with that, here are the numbers:

Key Sales Last Q Sales This Q LQ vs TQ Prior Lifetime New Lifetime Growth
ARRPG 1207 343 -72% 3095 3438 11.1%
Cats 0 67 New 0 67
Penny 31 13 -58% 2574 2587 0.5%
PharaohHK 0 0 Not Yet 1520 1520
DinoBeyond 23 12 -48% 2785 2797 0.4%
Dice Bag CC 0 0 OOP 11 11
Deck of Fate 104 50 -52% 724 774 6.9%
Deck of Fate Red 18 9 -50% 79 88 11.4%
Deck of Blanks 11 24 +118% 153 177 15.7%
Diaspora 87 55 -37% 2878 2933 1.9%
Dice Bag Dino 0 0 New 14 14
DinoForever 0 0 Not Yet 1520 1520
DinoNow 57 29 -49% 3505 3534 0.8%
Do:BoL 6 4 -33% 229 233 1.7%
DoFate 0 0 Not Yet 9694 9694
Do 14 14 No Change 2858 2872 0.5%
DLYDice 4 2 -50% 51 53 3.9%
DLYM 49 33 -33% 3984 4017 0.8%
DRTB 81 67 -17% 2464 2531 2.7%
DRYH 144 95 -34% 6573 6668 1.4%
DF Accelerated 0 0 Not Yet 9694 9694
DFRPG:OW 549 383 -30% 17674 18057 2.2%
Paranet 0 0 Not Yet 0 0
DFRPG:YS 737 478 -35% 22635 23113 2.1%
Fate Accelerated 1164 780 -33% 16420 17200 4.8%
Fate Core 2464 836 -66% 19561 20397 4.3%
FDAntiquity 449 449 No Change 2395 2844 18.7%
FDAtomic 400 314 -22% 2930 3244 10.7%
FDCenturion 382 266 -30% 3023 3289 8.8%
FDCore 535 376 -30% 3971 4347 9.5%
FDEldritch 306 400 +31% 2049 2449 19.5%
FDValentine 188 236 +26% 1326 1562 17.8%
FDVampire 339 334 -1% 1866 2200 17.9%
FDWinter 345 299 -13% 2836 3135 10.5%
FreeportComp 205 94 -54% 1366 1460 6.9%
FST 675 671 -1% 13362 14033 5.0%
Fate Worlds 1 400 202 -50% 13482 13684 1.5%
Fate Worlds 2 382 188 -51% 13478 13666 1.4%
HBR 8 7 -13% 939 946 0.7%
KhanOfMars 20 5 -75% 2821 2826 0.2%
KingKhan 22 12 -45% 1909 1921 0.6%
RTA 99 40 -60% 2161 2201 1.9%
RTA Expansion 28 21 -25% 1400 1421 1.5%
SallySlick Novel 16 6 -63% 9930 9936 0.1%
ShadowOTC 0 0 Not Yet 9694 9694
SOTC 149 119 -20% 13921 14040 0.9%
SOTS 17 32 +88% 1186 1218 2.7%
StonesThroe 0 0 Not Yet 1520 1520
StormOTC 24 9 -63% 831 840 1.1%
Strange Tales 95 27 -72% 11008 11035 0.2%
S7S 6 10 +67% 2047 2057 0.5%
YoungCenturions 0 0 Not Yet 9694 9694
ZepAttack 2182 537 -75% 2182 2719 24.6%
ZepAttackDW 1334 375 -72% 1334 1709 28.1%
ZepConquest 63 3 -95% 63 66 4.8%
Fate Accelerated PWYW $412.85 $224.01 -46% $3,580.24 $3,804.25 6.3%
Fate Core PWYW $1,306.40 $826.90 -37% $11,822.55 $12,649.45 7.0%
FST PWYW $1,205.17 $678.06 -44% $8,460.38 $9,138.44 8.0%
AetherSea PWYW $0.00 $4,740.39 New $0.00 $4,740.39
Cats PWYW $5,545.03 $784.45 -86% $5,545.03 $6,329.48 14.1%
Romance PWYW $0.00 $4,068.29 New $0.00 $4,068.29
SaveGame PWYW $0.00 $4,598.46 New $0.00 $4,598.46
VCS PWYW $462.26 $356.84 -23% $5,570.13 $5,926.97 6.4%

 

Title Source Direct Retail/Distro Virtual Special Total
Penny EHP Store 3 3
ARRPG EHP Store 15 17 32
DD00 EHP Store 9 1 10
DD70 EHP Store 11 1 12
DD80 EHP Store 10 1 11
DD90 EHP Store 9 1 10
DinoBeyond EHP Store
Diaspora EHP Store 5 5
DinoNow EHP Store 2 2
Do EHP Store 5 5
Do:BoL EHP Store 2 2
DLYDice EHP Store 2 2
DLYM EHP Store 7 7
DRTB EHP Store 2 2
DRYH EHP Store 16 16
DFRPG:OW EHP Store 23 29 52
DFRPG:YS EHP Store 25 35 60
Fate Accelerated EHP Store 22 22
Fate Core EHP Store 31 31
Fate Accelerated PWYW EHP Store $32.50 $32.50
Fate Core PWYW EHP Store $145.00 $145.00
FDAntiquity EHP Store 7 7
FDAtomic EHP Store 9 9
FDCenturion EHP Store 5 5
FDCore EHP Store 9 9
FDEldritch EHP Store 11 11
FDValentine EHP Store 4 4
FDVampire EHP Store 12 12
FDWinter EHP Store 11 11
FreeportComp EHP Store 8 8
FST EHP Store 16 16
FST PWYW EHP Store $270.00 $270.00
Fate Worlds 1 EHP Store 7 10 17
Fate Worlds 2 EHP Store 7 10 17
HBR EHP Store 2 2
KhanOfMars EHP Store
KingKhan EHP Store 1 1
RTA EHP Store 2 2
RTA Expansion EHP Store 2 2
Cats EHP Store 5 5
SallySlick Novel EHP Store
SOTC EHP Store 14 14
SOTS EHP Store 3 3
Strange Tales EHP Store 3 3
S7S EHP Store 2 2
ZepAttack EHP Store 4 4
ZepAttackDW EHP Store 5 5
Penny OBS 3 5 8
AetherSea PWYW OBS $1,268.64 $1,268.64
ARRPG OBS 88 88
Deck of Fate OBS 43 7 50
Deck of Fate Red OBS 9 9
Deck of Blanks OBS 24 24
DD00 OBS 19 59 78
DD70 OBS 24 74 98
DD80 OBS 20 61 81
DD90 OBS 20 60 80
Diaspora OBS 4 4
Do OBS 8 8
Do:BoL OBS 2 2
DLYM OBS 26 26
DRTB OBS 27 27
DRYH OBS 57 57
DFRPG:OW OBS 32 32
DFRPG:YS OBS 41 41
Fate Accelerated PWYW OBS $191.51 $191.51
Fate Core PWYW OBS $681.90 $681.90
FST PWYW OBS $408.06 $408.06
Fate Worlds 1 OBS 88 88
Fate Worlds 2 OBS 100 100
HBR OBS 3 3
Romance PWYW OBS $594.69 $594.69
SallySlick Novel OBS 4 4
SaveGame PWYW OBS $1,085.31 $1,085.31
SOTC OBS 67 67
DinoBeyond OBS 3 3
DinoNow OBS 9 9
KhanOfMars OBS 2 2
KingKhan OBS 2 2
SOTS OBS 24 24
StormOTC OBS 9 9
Strange Tales OBS 9 9
S7S OBS 6 6
Cats PWYW OBS $784.45 $784.45
VCS PWYW OBS $356.84 $356.84
ZepConquest OBS 2 1 3
Fate Core PWYW e23 $- $-
Fate Worlds 1 e23
Fate Worlds 2 e23
ARRPG e23
SallySlick Novel e23
Strange Tales e23
Penny e23
Diaspora e23
DLYM e23
DRYH e23
DFRPG:OW e23
DFRPG:YS e23
HBR e23
SOTC e23
SOTS e23
S7S e23
DD70 Amazon 12 12
DD80 Amazon 7 7
DD90 Amazon 5 5
DD00 Amazon 5 5
DRTB Amazon 24 24
DinoNow Amazon 13 13
DinoBeyond Amazon 7 7
DRYH Amazon 8 8
DFRPG:YS Amazon 43 43
DFRPG:OW Amazon 31 31
KhanOfMars Amazon 3 3
KingKhan Amazon 6 6
SOTC Amazon 15 15
SallySlick Novel Amazon 1 1
Diaspora Amazon 8 8
DRTB B&N 5 5
DinoNow B&N 3 3
DinoBeyond B&N 2 2
DRYH B&N
DFRPG:YS B&N 10 10
DFRPG:OW B&N 5 5
KhanOfMars B&N
KingKhan B&N 1 1
SallySlick Novel B&N
SOTC B&N
Fate Core Distribution 781 781
Fate Accelerated Distribution 733 733
Fate Worlds 1 Distribution 95 95
Fate Worlds 2 Distribution 73 73
FST Distribution 651 651
ARRPG Distribution 204 204
FreeportComp Distribution 83 83
Cats Distribution 62 62
DRYH Distribution 5 5
DLYM Distribution
DRTB Distribution 6 6
SOTC Distribution 15 15
SOTS Distribution 3 3
DinoNow Distribution 2 2
RTA Distribution 36 36
DinoBeyond Distribution
KhanOfMars Distribution
KingKhan Distribution 1 1
RTA Expansion Distribution 19 19
SallySlick Novel Distribution 1 1
Strange Tales Distribution 13 13
ZepAttack Distribution 533 533
ZepAttackDW Distribution 370 370
DFRPG:YS Distribution 319 319
DFRPG:OW Distribution 259 259
S7S Distribution
Penny Distribution
HBR Distribution
Diaspora Distribution 28 28
Do Distribution
DD70 Distribution 60 60
DD80 Distribution 60 60
DD90 Distribution 59 59
DD00 Distribution 60 60
FDCore Distribution 359 359
FDWinter Distribution 286 286
FDCenturion Distribution 256 256
FDAtomic Distribution 298 298
FDValentine Distribution 226 226
FDVampire Distribution 319 319
FDEldritch Distribution 387 387
FDAntiquity Distribution 439 439
Penny IPR 2 2
ARRPG IPR 15 1 16
Diaspora IPR 10 10
Do IPR 1 1
DLYM IPR
DRYH IPR 2 7 9
DFRPG:OW IPR 1 2 1 4
DFRPG:YS IPR 1 3 1 5
Fate Accelerated IPR 14 8 22
Fate Core IPR 3 17 3 23
FDAntiquity IPR 3 3
FDAtomic IPR 6 1 7
FDCenturion IPR 5 5
FDCore IPR 2 5 1 8
FDEldritch IPR 2 2
FDValentine IPR 6 6
FDVampire IPR 3 3
FDWinter IPR 2 2
FreeportComp IPR 3 3
FST IPR 1 1 1 3
Fate Worlds 2 IPR (2) (2)
Fate Worlds 1 IPR 2 2
HBR IPR 2 2
SOTC IPR 7 1 8
RTA IPR 2 2
Strange Tales IPR 1 1 2
SOTS IPR 1 1 2
S7S IPR 1 1 2
DRTB IPR
DinoNow IPR
KhanOfMars IPR
KingKhan IPR
SallySlick Novel IPR
ZepAttack IPR 0
ZepAttackDW IPR 0
SaveGame PWYW Patreon $3,513.15 $3,513.15
AetherSea PWYW Patreon $3,471.75 $3,471.75
Romance PWYW Patreon $3,473.60 $3,473.60
DD70 Kickstarter 1023 2060 3083
DD80 Kickstarter 992 1912 2904
DD90 Kickstarter 978 1912 2890
DD00 Kickstarter 967 1912 2879
ARRPG BackerKit 3 3
DRTB BackerKit 3 3
Fate Accelerated BackerKit 3 3
Fate Core BackerKit 1 1
FST BackerKit 1 1
KingKhan BackerKit 1 1