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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 35 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Publishing Company?  (Read 2861 times)
higgins
Member

Posts: 54


« on: December 12, 2011, 12:27:08 PM »

Hi all!

I have bunch of self-publishing questions. First, I see a lot of indie-games published under company names. Heck, even The Forge is full of company-titled subforums.

1. What's the benefit of saying "Game XYZ Publishing" instead of "Game by Xxx, Yyy and Zzz"?
2. Are all these "XYZ Publishing" things real companies, or are people just calling themselves (and their co-authors) like that?
3. If I want to sell .pdf's is there any reason not to go to drivethru? Some people use IPR. Some both. John Wick uses something called CCnow. What's the best way to go?
4. What's the process of receiving income from drivethru/lulu? Will a lot of paperwork be involved or is the money just transferred to the paypal, etc?
5. Will the paperwork be more complicated if the game has several authors across the globe?

Regards,
Henri
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2011, 12:58:12 PM »

Hi Henri,

Here are some older threads about your first questions, concerning companies. As you can see by the dates, this is a recurring topic at the Forge.
2003: Game Company: Why?
2005: The Something-Something Press
2008: DBAs, Business Licenses, LLCs, Corporations, etc...

Your second questions are all about sales venue. I think there are many variables at work.

First, you can sell PDFs any way you want, and even in multiple ways at once. The simplest way is right off your own website, with no third party interface. I haven't recently reviewed exclusivity rules for RPG Drivethrough, Lulu, et cetera, but at least some of them can be thought of as add-on options rather than limitations.

What I'm saying is that seeking "the best way" is not relevant. You need to think in terms of what's best for you. If you have a strong internet presence and name-recognition, you might do better to keep your games "local" to your own site or at least include them there as well as anywhere else; if you want to deal minimally with printing, then Lulu or similar sites would be better; and so on.

The claimed benefit from using one of the bigger sites is that people will come to shop there and find your stuff. The truth of this claim is difficult to assess. The obvious cost is exactly that, the cut that is taken from the payment.

Second, you can collect money from customers in many different ways. Most interface sites like the ones you're mentioning already offer a number of options, usually Paypal and credit cards. But if you don't use one of those sites you can do anything you want, CCNow or anything like it. My earliest sales in 1996-1998 were paid through snail mail. I have a couple of titles on Lulu, and they process the original sale, then periodically send me my cut through Paypal. Whereas for most of my sales, the customer pays me directly. I don't know if any of the services like IPR, Lulu, and Drivethrough accomodate multiple authors; I think they are set up to work with a single point of contact.

I hope this helps. As I said, there are a lot of variables in the issues you've raised and so I'm not sure if I've answered the questions you needed the most.

Best, Ron
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higgins
Member

Posts: 54


« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2011, 03:07:21 AM »

Thanks for the reply, Ron!

So, since drivethru will take a 35% bite out of the final sale price (30% if exclusive), and CCnow will take $0.50 per transaction + 5% from gross sales (adding up to 15% total for a $5 product), it seems the best financial option would be to come up with a lemonade stand name a'la "XYZ Publishing", make a paypal account for that, ask customers (and lulu) to pay directly on that account, and then send the proceeds out from that account to the individual authors? Would the (supposed) yearly limit of $400 be calculated from the "XYZ Publishing" paypal account, or by the individual persons who get their money added to their bank accounts? Then, provided we've hit a gold line and the sales would exceed the (supposed) yearly limit of $400, we'd need to think of incorporating for tax purposes?

Now, that would of course leave all the .pdf send-out do be done by hand, right? Or is there a good way to automate the process? Possibly adding a drivethru-style unobtrusive "customer name plus order#" watermark" on it for a basic protection to discourage file sharing?

Regards,
Henri
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Chris_Chinn
Member

Posts: 280


« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2011, 11:29:43 AM »

Hi Henri,

Quote
and then send the proceeds out from that account to the individual authors?

Are you publishing your own games or forming a company to help other people publish games? 

Chris
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higgins
Member

Posts: 54


« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2011, 11:54:13 AM »

Are you publishing your own games or forming a company to help other people publish games?

I just want to make my own games available, but I'm not the sole author.
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Chris_Chinn
Member

Posts: 280


« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2011, 11:56:37 AM »

You may want to check on how Paypal pulls percentages to make sure it's not a situation where sending it over to the other authors is pulling another transfer fee.

Chris
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higgins
Member

Posts: 54


« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2011, 12:16:47 PM »

Sure, paypal has its fees, but so does every other credit system, including banks. I'm pretty sure one account and then splitting it would be a lot less hassle and confusion than having the customers wire money to three different accounts, or requiring IPR to do something similar.

However, currently I'm trying to figure out that, transfer fees aside, how feasible the idea would be in a first place? Will the IRS raise a red flag when the joint-account gets over $400? Or when each individual author gets $400 transferred to his bank from the joint-account? And in either case, there'd be no trouble if we declared the profits as individuals, right? We'd just pay taxes on it, if it goes over the limit, while incoporating would help us avoid the tax burden to some degree?
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2011, 09:59:19 AM »

Hiya,

Those last questions are probably out of the league for any of us to answer except through direct experience, and I have none at all to help in this case. If anyone does, then please chime in. For more general answers, you're best off looking at the policies of the IRS and other relevant agencies directly through their sites (daunting, but possible). If anyone wants to help with that and post links here, that'd be excellent.

Best, Ron
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higgins
Member

Posts: 54


« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2011, 04:29:55 AM »

Those last questions are probably out of the league for any of us to answer except through direct experience

Yes, I'm perfectly aware of this, but I also figured that people around here would have loads of personal experience in selling games without actually going incorporated.
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