Q4 2010 sales figures

Our second quarter of Eureka sales brought us within kissing distance of a milestone I thought was pretty optimistic: 1,000 units sold. We should hit that total in Q1 2011, but in the meantime, let’s wrap up 2010!

I share these stats because as a new publisher, I found it useful when others shared them; actual numbers can be tremendously valuable to see, and I hope these are helpful to you. (Here’s Q3 2010, the first quarter of EP sales.)

Eureka sales

Lifetime (through Q4 2010): 828

Q4 total: 317

Direct print + PDF bundle: 23
Holiday sale print + PDF bundle: 41
Con on the Cob print: 18
Retail print: 8

Direct PDF: 25
Holiday sale PDF: 40
DriveThruRPG and RPGNow! (OBS): 74
Holiday sale DTRPG and RPGN: 72
Paizo PDF: 6
e23 PDF: 9
Studio 2 PDF: 1

Pretty chart form (the big spike is our Black Friday 29% off promotion):


Sales are steady. Take out preorders from Q3 (-76), and Q3 and Q4 look pretty similar: 382 and 317, respectively. Being new at this and not knowing what to expect, that seems like a good thing. Another strong quarter, and we’ll cross my pie-in-the-sky 1,000 units milestone, likely in Q1 2011. Awesome!

Direct sales and OBS sales are our primary drivers to date. This one I expected, although I was hoping the book would be in retail stores in December. (Our fulfillment partner had a delay, and it should be in stores in January 2011, instead.) Paizo, e23, and Studio 2 website sales are all gravy compared to direct and OBS sales — gravy I’m happy to have, of course!

Two sales turned out to be a good idea. After our Black Friday sale (stats here), I decided to reprise the exact same deal for most of December to try and finish the year strong. We nearly doubled our direct print and PDF sales during those two periods (Black Friday and the holiday season), and matched our OBS numbers; I’m happy with those results. (I only put the book on sale in those two venues.)

A Paizo newsletter mention didn’t help much. This was a real surprise. I asked Paizo to include Eureka in one of their newsletters, and they were gracious enough to do so. I really appreciated that, as it’s one of the only RPG newsletters I actually read; it’s excellent. I also thought that Eureka would be a good fit for Paizo’s Pathfinder/3.5-centric audience. Newsletter exposure moved a few units in PDF and none in print; given that we sent Paizo 28 print copies, that’s disappointing.

Facebook advertising works. This time around, I tried a less focused audience: I included “fantasy” as an interest, for example. (Last time, I did a very targeted ad buy.) From 12/14-22, when the ad ran on FB, we sold 12 direct print, 12 direct PDF, and 25 OBS PDF; from 12/23-12/31, with no ad, we sold 11 direct print, 7 direct PDF, and 17 OBS PDF. Even granting that pre-Christmas sales should have been stronger, as they were, this suggests — again — that Facebook advertising works.

International direct sales are significant. Of our direct print sales, 14 were international (22%); for PDFs, 22 (34%). For a company as small as EP, those are meaningful percentages. I continue to be surprised at the appetite for Eureka overseas, giving the cost of shipping, but it’s a good kind of surprised.

Right now, the biggest wildcard is is retail sales. Studio 2 sold a couple copies to an Internet retailer, and I shipped a few to Gnome Stew author Scott Martin’s new gaming store, Crazy Squirrel Game Store, but distributors won’t be pushing out the book until this month. Fingers crossed!

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