Raging Swan Press in 2020
by Creighton Broadhurst
January 02, 2020
Raging Swan Press in 2020
With 2019 done and dusted and 2020 in full effect it seems like a good time to take stock of the last 12 months and to reveal some of our plans for 2020.
2020 is particularly momentous for Raging Swan Press because in March we celebrate our tenth birthday! When I started Raging Swan Press back in the dim, half-remembered early days of 2010 I had no idea we would last ten years or grow so much! I am delighted we’ve survived ten years and achieved a certain amount of success. There is still much to do as my lust to create and to help others run awesome games is yet undimmed, and I can’t wait to get started.
Late 2018 and 2019 were a challenging time for Raging Swan Press. In the UK, Brexit and the ensuing political instability is causing considerable uncertainty. The exchange rate is all over the place which means we are (sometimes) paying about 16% more than we thought we would be for art, cartography or words coming from outside the UK.
The announcement, playtest and release of Pathfinder 2nd edition has also had a negative impact on Raging Swan Press. This isn’t a comment on the new edition’s rules. However, sadly, sales of our products supporting 2nd edition Pathfinder haven’t exactly been stellar. And—of course—the announcement of the new edition precipitated a precipitous drop in sales of Pathfinder 1 products. Sales at Paizo—of both editions—in particular have been terrible.
Still, it takes time for a new game to “bed in” and so I’m not planning to stop supporting either version of Pathfinder. On a personal note, my Adventures in Shadow campaign uses Pathfinder 1st edition and while that’s the case we’ll be producing Pathfinder 1st edition products.
Hopefully, the Pathfinder market will sort itself out in the near future and the sales trend will turn around.
As I mention above, Raging Swan Press turns ten in March. When I started out, I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing. Of course, that’s to be expected as I was new to this publishing lark.
Our release schedule and product focus are somewhat different now to what they were then. One area in which I was particularly clueless (and which has changed dramatically since we began our quest) is web design and development. Consequently, our web presence grew “organically”. (Which is a nice way of saying chaotically and with no real plan). I now run and maintain four websites—which is a colossal waste of time and resources—as I don’t have the time to really focus on all of them.
Consequently, In 2020, I’ll be reducing our presence to two websites. I’ll still be running gloamhold.com (which is my campaign’s website) but I’ll be combining the material appearing on Raging Swan’s website, my personal website and Raging Swan’s webstore. That’s (obviously) a large undertaking and I expect it will take many months to migrate all the material to the new site. Still, there is no better time to start than now and I’ve been working on the new site’s design (which I’m building with Squarespace). I expect the new site to be up—but not complete—by the start of February.
Raging Swan Press Patreon
Our Patreon campaign has been the bedrock of the company for the last two years or so. Particularly in the last year or so the support of our patrons has enabled us to invest more in artwork and cartography as well as maintaining our industry-leading word rate for our heroic band of freelancers. Our Patreon campaign will remain a focus for Raging Swan Press in 2020, and I’m already scheming to both grow the campaign and provide even more awesome rewards for our patrons.
Raging Swan Press is Ten!
In March, Raging Swan Press turns ten-years-old. This is awesome, and deserves a celebration.
Starting in March, we’ll be releasing new editions of some of our oldest and most popular products. For example, in March we’ll be releasing an OSR edition of The Lonely Coast and later in the year we’ll be releasing Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands in an updated and expanded 5e edition. As times allows, I’d like to release both books in other system editions. In particular, an OSR edition of Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands seems like a total no-brainer.
I also have another secret project currently slated for a March release date. The Super Secret Project (or Project Gelatinous Owlbear as I’m referring to it internally) marks a new departure for Raging Swan Press so until I have proofs in my sticky little hands I don’t want to say too much about the project. If this project is successful, it will spawn a whole new line!
It’s going to be a super-busy and packed year for Raging Swan Press. As well as all the above we’ll be pushing on with our normal aggressive release schedule. Last year we released 159 distinct products, and while I’m not expecting to release quite as many in 2020 we’ll easily release 100 or so. If you’d like to see something specific in our 2020 schedule I’d love to know about it. Please leave a comment below.
As always, thank you for supporting Raging Swan Press. I hope you have an excellent 2020 and that you get to play some epic games.