I was complimented the other day on my success with Raging Swan Press. Being English, I immediately thanked the person. Later, though, I wondered, “Have I succeeded? Is Raging Swan Press actually a success?”
As you can imagine, that’s a question with many different answers. It all depends on how you define success. For example, I have not made enough money to buy my own island (yet). However, running Raging Swan Press gives me immense satisfaction. I love the creative challenges of writing and I love knowing our books and supplements help GMs all over the planet improve their games. I also love the fact that I can sneakily work on my campaign while at work!
It’s a well known truism that making decent money as a third party publisher in the RPG market is tremendously tricky. Certainly, Raging Swan Press could not be the sole source of income for me and my family (unless we downsized to a leaky shed).
However, money isn’t the be-all and end all. Running Raging Swan Press enables me to work from home and to set my own hours. As my wife has a high-powered, long-hours job these two advantages are worth their weight in gold. With planning, school holidays don’t affect my ability to work (or my income). Illness is easily manageable. School runs and school events are easy to attend.
The thing I love most about running Raging Swan Press—beyond in effect being paid to do my hobby—is that it gives us almost unrivalled flexibility. I can’t imagine a “proper job” could be so flexible.
Basically, Raging Swan Press makes our lives a lot less stressful!
And so, yes. Raging Swan Press is a success, but not in the way the person complimenting me probably meant.
How do You Define Success?
How would you define the success of a third party publisher like Raging Swan Press? Let me know, in the comments below!