Another year, come and gone. No products published, nothing in the pipeline. Excuses? I have a few.
In many ways, 2022 has been the most chaotic year of my professional life. Within a month of announcing that I was running for judicial office, my long-time law partner ended up in the hospital. Within two weeks, he had caught COVID and died. He was a close friend and mentor, and while we grieved for the loss of him, the situation was made much worse in that we had no plan in place in the event that something happened to one of us.
I spent the rest of the year trying to manage a political campaign, along with both my own and my law partner’s clients and court appearances, while also trying to close down our law practice and open up a new one in my name. All of that took time. It took resources, both financial and those less readily quantifiable.
Frankly, I’m not quite sure how I weathered it as well as I did, except to say that I had amazing people behind me, in every facet of my life: personally, professionally, and in my gaming groups. I even started running a weekly game for my teenage nieces and nephew after the political campaign ended; it’s been incredible to introduce a new generation to the games I loved growing up.
All of that said, I’m not sure what the future holds for Šukāmu Press. It’s been 33 months since we released the second edition of Babylon on Which Fame and Jubilation Are Bestowed, and although sales will never reach the level of that first year, they’ve settled into a steady, reliable trickle. At some point last year we hit electrum seller on DriveThruRPG.
I long ago made peace with the fact that my writing efforts will forever be a side project. My day job is too important and gratifying to set aside, and my personal bandwidth is constrained by those obligations.
I am fully aware, of course, of the ways I could better monetize BFJB. Over the last two years I’ve flirted with the idea of hiring artists to produce a glossier, more modern-looking book. I’ve also considered repackaging BFJB‘s content for 5e and releasing it on DMsGuild. But I always come back to the fact that both of those options feel wrong for my game. I like the black-and-white, public-domain-art presentation of the published book, and I don’t think I’d enjoy the process of dressing it up in 5e’s mass-market garb. While that limits our reach, in the end I greatly prefer BFJB to be a special little indie game.
So, that’s the update. Happy holidays to everyone reading this. I hope 2023 will be a better year for all of us.